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, 103

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — Þhorn Harkv 9I

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 freistoðo hins framraða | er þeim flyia kendi | allvalldr ꜹstmanna | er byr at útsteini | stǫðom nocqva bra stillir | er honom var styriar væni | hlꜹmmon var a hlifom | aðr Haklangr felli |   [RDF]  edit 
 F Freistoðo híns fram raða er þeim fylgia keɴdi | allvalldz ꜹst manna er byr at v́tsteíní. stꜹðom nokkva bra stillír | er honom var styriar vø̨ni. hlꜹmmvn var a hlífom aðr haklangr | felli.   [RDF]  edit 
 J1x freistodv ins framraða er þeim flyia kenðe allvast ꜹ | stmanna er byʀ at vtsteini | stǫðvm nꜹkcua bra stillir er honom | var styriar vænni hlꜹmmun var a hlifum aðr haklangr | felli   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x freistoþu ens framraða | er þeim flyia kendi | allvast ꜹstmanna | er byʀ at utsteine | stꜹþum nꜹckva bra stillir | er honum var styriar vænne | hlꜹmmun var a hlifum | aþr Haklangr felli |   [RDF]  edit 
 51x fræistaðu ens fram raða | er þæim flya kændi | allvallz aust manna | er byr a ut stæíní | Stoðom nockva bra stillir | er hanum var styriari væni | glommon var a lifðum | aðr en haklangr felle |   [RDF]  edit 
 FskBx fræistaðu ens fram raða | er þæim flya kændi | Allvallz aust manna | er byr a utstæíní | Stoðom nockva bra stillir | er hanum var styriar vænz | glommon var a lifðum | Aðr enn Haklangr felle |   [RDF]  edit 
 302x fræistaðu ens fram raða | er þæim flya kændi . | allvallz ast austmanna | er byr a ut stæíní | Stoðom nockva bra stillir | erhanum var styriar væne | glommon var a lifðum | aðr en haklangr felle. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 FskAx Freistuðo ens framraða | at þeim flyia kende | Allvalz austmanna | er byr at utsteini | Stoðom nockva bra stillir | er honom voro styriar væne | hlaumon var a lifþom | aðr enn Haclangr felli |   [RDF]  edit 
 52x Freistaðo ens framraða | at þeim flyia kendi | allvalz ꜹst manna | er byr at utsteine | stoðum nockva bra stillir | er honom varo styriar væni | hlꜹmmon var a lifðom | aðr enn Haclangr felli |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 301x Freistaðo ens | framraða at þeim flyia kenndi allvaldz valz aust | manna er byr at utsteini . stoðom nockva bra stil | lir er honom voro styriar væne hlaumon var a lifðom | aðr enn Haclangr felli .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Flat Freistudu híns fra | mrada er þeim flyía kende alualldr austmanna er byrr at vtsteíní | stodu nokkuar steindir er stiller atti enn styriar nenni· hlommun | uar ahlifum adr haklangr felle·   [RDF]  edit 

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