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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.

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, 100

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Þhorn Harkv 7I

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 Heyrðir þu i hafrsfirþi | hve hizug barþiz | konungr hiɴ kynstóri | v Kiotva hiɴ ꜹðlagða | kneʀir comu ꜹstan | kaps vm lystir | með ginondom hꜹfþom | ok grofnom tinglom |   [RDF]  edit 
 F Heyrðir þv i hafrs fírði hve hitzig barþiz | konongr hín kyn stóri v kíotva híɴ ꜹðga· kneʀir komv ꜹs | tan kapps of lystir með gínonndom hofðom ok grꜹfnom tinglom· |   [RDF]  edit 
 J1x Heyrþir | þv i hafrs firde hve hizig barðiz konvngr inn kost sa | mi vid kiotva inn æðlagða kneʀir komu ꜹstan ha | ps of fyllde m ginenðum hofdum ok grofnum ting || lum ·   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x Heyrðir þu i hafrsfyrðe | hve hizig barðiz | konungr inn kostsami | v Kiotva inn ꜹðlagða | kneʀir komu ꜹstann | haps of fylldir | með ginendum hꜹfþum | oc grofnum tinglum |   [RDF]  edit 
 51x Ho᷎yrðu i hafrs firði || hve hizug barðez | konongr kynstor | við Kiotvan auðlagða | kner⸜r⸝ir como austan | kapps um lystir | með ginandum hofðum | oc grofnum tinglum |   [RDF]  edit 
 FskBx Hꝍyrðu j hafrs firði | hve hizug barðez konungr | konungr kynstor | við kiotvan auðlagða | knerrir como austan | kapps um lystir | með ginandum hofðum | oc grofnum tinglum |   [RDF]  edit 
 302x Ho᷎yrðu i hafrs firði | hve hizug barðez | konongr kynstor | við kiotvan auðlagða. | knerrir como austan | kapps um lystir | með ginandum hǫfðum | oc grofnum tinglum |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 FskAx Hꝍyr þu i Hafrsfirðe | hve hizi barðez | konongrenn kynstore | við kiotvan auðlaghða || knerrir komo austan | kaps vm lystir | með ginandum hofðum | oc grofnom tinghlom |   [RDF]  edit 
 52x Hæyrþu i Hafrsfyrðe | hve hizi barðiz | konongren kynstore | v Kiotvan ꜹðlaghda | kneʀir komu ꜹstan | kapps um lystir || með ginandom hofðum | oc grofnom tinglom |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 301x Hꝍyr þu i hafrsfirðe hve hiz barðizt | konongrinn kynstore , við kiotvann auðlaghða , knerrir | komu austann kapps um lystir , með ginandom hofðom | oc grofnom tinglom ,   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Flat Heyrde j hafrs firde hue hr | austliga bardizst konungr hínn kynstore vid kíotua hinn audlagda knerrir kuomu austan kaps vm lystir med gínandum hofdum ok | grofnnum tínglum·   [RDF]  edit 

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