Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorbjǫrn hornklofi (Þhorn)

9th century; volume 1; ed. R. D. Fulk;

2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) (Harkv) - 23

Skj info: Þórbjǫrn hornklofi, Norsk skjald; omkr. 900. (AI, 22-29, BI, 20-26).

Skj poems:
1. Glymdrápa
2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál)
3. Lausavísa

Little is known about the Norwegian Þorbjǫrn hornklofi ‘Horn-cleaver (?)’. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 273) names him as a poet of Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ (r. c. 860-c. 932). Judging from Fsk (ÍF 29, 59), he seems to have spent his whole life at the court of this king. Þorbjǫrn is the composer of two poems about Haraldr, Glymdrápa (Þhorn Gldr) and Haraldskvæði (Þhorn Harkv). Skálda saga, an anecdote about skalds preserved in Hb, and hardly likely to be historical, depicts him as one of three skalds, the other two being Auðunn illskælda ‘Bad-poet’ and Ǫlvir hnúfa ‘Snub-nose (?)’, each of whom attempts a romantic encounter with the same rich widow and then bemoans his failure in a lausavísa (see Auðunn Lv 2, Þhorn Lv, Ǫlv Lv 2). The three skalds are also named in Egils saga (ÍF 2, 19) as Haraldr’s favourites. They occupy places of honour in his hall, with Þorbjǫrn between the other two.

In the prose sources Þorbjǫrn is predominantly referred to only by his nickname Hornklofi. To date there is no satisfying explanation of this word. It is attested in the Þulur as a raven-heiti (see Þul Hrafns 1/5III and Note), but it does not occur in that sense in the surviving body of skaldic poetry. Scholars have claimed that the nickname refers to Þorbjǫrn’s device, in Þhorn Harkv, of having a raven speak in his stead (SnE 1848-87, III, 408; ÍF 26, 101 n. 1). Fidjestøl (1991, 126) is, however, justified in doubting this interpretation. An alternative possibility would be to link the nickname to Egill Hfl 16/6-7V (Eg 49): en jǫfurr heldr lǫndum hornklofi ‘and the ruler holds his lands by a hornklof’. But hornklofi here must be the dative of neuter hornklof, whereas Þorbjǫrn’s nickname is a masculine n-stem, and unfortunately the meaning of this passage is obscure, though hornklof seems to be some kind of tool.

notes
my abbr.

Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) — Þhorn HarkvI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 91.

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Skj: Þórbjǫrn hornklofi: 2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál), Flere af de herhenhørende vers tillægges i forskellige håndskrifter Tjodolf hvinverske. (AI, 24-9, BI, 22-5)

SkP info: I, 99

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Þhorn Harkv 6I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Note: The following transcriptions have been entered to aid the editing process. These may not have been fully reviewed and checked and may therefore not be reliable. You may wish to consult the manuscript images. Any corrections can be notified to the database editor.

 Kx Uti vill jol drecka. | ef skal eiɴ raða || fylkir hiɴ frammlyndi | ok freysleik heyia | ungr leiddiz elldvelli | ok iɴi at sitia | varma dyngio | eþa vǫtto dunsfulla |   [RDF]  edit 
 F Vti vill iol drekka | ef skal eíɴ raða fylkir híɴ fram lyndi ok freys leik heyia. vngr | leiddiz elld visi ok íɴí at sítía varma dyngío. eða vꜹtto dv | ns fvlla· |   [RDF]  edit 
 J1x Vti vil | ioll dreka ef skall einn raða fylkir inn framlyndi ok fr | eys leik heygia. ungr læiddz ellduælli æða inni si | tia uarma dyngiu· æða· uauttu dunsfulla·   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x Uti vill | jol drecka | ef skal einn raða | fylkir inn framlynde || oc freysleik heyia | ungr leiddiz elldvelli | eþr inne sitia | varma dingiu | […] vꜹttu dunsfulla |   [RDF]  edit 
 51x Vti vill iol drecca | ef scal æinn raða | fylkir en framlyndi | oc fro᷎ys læik hæfia ungr læiddiz elld velli | oc inni sitia | varma dyngiu | eða vattu duns fulla. |   [RDF]  edit 
 FskBx Vti vill jol drecca | ef scal æinn raða | fylkir enn framlyndi | oc frꝍys læik hefia | Ungr læiddiz elld pelli | oc inni sitia || varma dyngiv | eða vattu dunsfula |   [RDF]  edit 
 302x Vti vill iol drecca | ef scal æinn raða | fylkir en framlyndi | oc fro᷎ys læik hæfia (hæyia) | ungr læiddiz elld velli | oc inni sitia || varma dyngiu | eða vattu dunsfulla |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 FskAx Uti vill jol drecka | ef scal einn raða | fylkir hinn framlyndi | oc frꝍysleic hevia | Ungr leiddiz elld velli | oc inni at sitia | varma dyngiu | eða vottu duns fulla |   [RDF]  edit 
 52x Uti vill jol drecca | ef skal einn raða | fylkir hinir framlynde | oc frꝍysleic heyia | ungr leiddiz elld velli | oc inne at sitia | varma dyngio | eða vottu duns fulla ||   [VEÞ]  edit 
 301x Vti vill jol drecca ef | skal einn raða , fylkir hinn framlynde oc frꝍysleic | heyia ungr leiddiz elldvelli oc inni at sitia, var | ma dyngiu eða vottu duns fulla . |   [VEÞ]  edit 

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