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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóðólfr ór Hvini (Þjóð)

9th century; volume 1; ed. Edith Marold;

III. 1. Haustlǫng (Haustl) - 20

Skj info: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, Norsk skjald, 9 årh. (AI, 7-21, BI, 7-19).

Skj poems:
1. Ynglingatal
2. Haustlǫng
3. Et digt om Harald hårfagre, næppe ægte
4. Lausavísur

Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, or inn hvinverski, ‘from Hvinir’ (Þjóð) was a Norwegian skald of the late ninth or early tenth century. As his nickname indicates, he was from Hvinir (Kvinesdal, Vest-Agder). His biography is largely unknown. Skáldatal names him as poet to several rulers and powerful men: Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ and Rǫgnvaldr heiðumhár or heiðumhæri ‘High with Honours’ (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 273), Hákon jarl Grjótgarðsson (ibid., 256, 265, 280), Þorleifr inn spaki ‘the Wise’ (ibid., 259, 268, 285), Strút-Haraldr jarl (ibid., 259, 284) and an unknown Sveinn jarl (ibid., 268). However, the associations with Hákon, Strút-Haraldr and Þorleifr are uncertain since they may have lived later in the tenth century; see Bugge (1894, 145, 175); Åkerlund (1939, 7). In Hkr, both within the Prologue (ÍF 26, 4) and in HHárf (ÍF 26, 127-8, 139), Þjóðólfr is represented as skald and friend to Haraldr hárfagri and as a dedicated foster-father to Haraldr’s son Guðrøðr ljómi ‘Beam of Light’. It is in this context that he speaks the two lausavísur associated with him (Þjóð Lv 1-2). Þjóðólfr ór Hvini is the composer of the poems Ynglingatal (Þjóð Yt) and Haustlǫng (Þjóð HaustlIII, edited in SkP III). Five stanzas of a poem dedicated to Haraldr hárfagri (Þjóð Har) are also attributed to him. Several stanzas of Haraldskvæði (Þhorn Harkv) are falsely attributed to Þjóðólfr; see Introduction to Harkv. Finally, a fragment (Þjóðólfr FragIII) edited in SkP III is likely to be the work of a different Þjóðólfr, though it is tentatively associated with Þjóð Yt in Skj; see Introduction to Yt.

Haustlǫng — Þjóð HaustlIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 431.

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Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski: 2. Haustlǫng (AI, 16-20, BI, 14-18)

SkP info: III, 446

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Þjóð Haustl 10III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 446.

Urðut bjartra borða
byggvendr at þat hryggvir:
þá vas Ið- með jǫtnum
-unnr nýkomin sunnan.
Gerðusk allar áttir
Ingvi-Freys at þingi
(váru heldr) ok hárar
(hamljót regin) gamlar,

{Byggvendr bjartra borða} urðut hryggvir at þat: þá vas Iðunnr með jǫtnum nýkomin sunnan. {Allar áttir Ingvi-Freys} gerðusk gamlar ok hárar at þingi – regin váru heldr hamljót –,

{The inhabitants of the bright hillsides} [GIANTS] were not sad after that: then Iðunn was among the giants, newly arrived from the south. {All the kin of Ingvi-Freyr} [GODS] became old and grey at the assembly – the divine powers were quite ugly of form –,

Mss: R(25v), Tˣ(26v), W(55) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Urðut: ‘Vrdott’ Tˣ;    bjartra: brattra W;    borða: so all others, ‘b[…]rþa’ R    [2] byggvendr: ‘byggendr’ Tˣ, W;    hryggvir: hryggir Tˣ, W    [4] unnr: uðr R, Tˣ, uðr with ‘unnr’ written above in a later hand W;    komin: so W, nýkominn R, Tˣ    [6] Ingvi‑ (‘inge’): ‘ing[…]’ W;    at: ‘[…]’ W

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 2. Haustlǫng 10: AI, 18, BI, 16, Skald I, 10, NN §§2504, 3039; SnE 1848-87, I, 312-13, III, 45, SnE 1931, 112, SnE 1998, I, 32.

Context: As for st. 1.

Notes: [All]: The prose narrative of Skm (SnE 1998, I, 1-2) tells that, after the trio of gods had returned to Ásgarðr, at an appointed time, Loki lured Iðunn into a forest outside Ásgarðr, and there Þjazi, once again in eagle form, snatched her up and abducted her to his home in Þrymheimr. The gods soon began to show signs of the absence of her youth-preserving apples, and became grey and old (hárir ok gamlir, cf. ll. 7, 8). They held an assembly (þing) to discover who had last seen Iðunn. — [1-2] byggvendr bjartra borða ‘the inhabitants of the bright hillsides [GIANTS]’: Skj B, LP: borð 5 and Skald emend the mss’ borða to barða, gen. pl. of barð ‘beard, prow of a ship, edge, slope of a hill’ to make sense of a kenning which must, on account of the context, refer to giants, characteristically dwellers in rocks or mountains. Although the first vowel in R is obscured by a blot, all mss are likely to have read borða, and it is possible to keep the mss’ reading, understanding borð in the sense ‘edge, side, slope’ (Fritzner: borð 2; Marold 1983, 165 n. 370). SnE 1998, II, 254 assumes a sense ‘inhabitants of (those who dwell on, stand on) bright shields, giants’. Borð is here understood to mean ‘shield-board’ and a reference is assumed to the myth of the giant Hrungnir, who stood on his stone shield when facing the god Þórr in single combat. However, there is no indication that this property of Hrungnir could be generalised to all giants in the kenning system. Both Skj B and Skald prefer W’s brattra ‘steep’ over R, ’s bjartra, and that reading is equally good. — [3, 4] Iðunnr ‘Iðunn’: The name of a goddess, wife of Bragi (see also Note to Þul Ásynja I 1/7). The two parts of her name (cf. AEW: Iðunn) are separated by tmesis, tellingly punctuated by the phrase með jǫtnum ‘among the giants’. The second element is given as the later form ‘uðr’ in all mss, though a later scribe has written ‘unnr’ above the line in W. The form in ‑unnr must have been original here, as it provides aðalhending with sunn-. — [4] sunnan ‘from the south’: Þjóðólfr imagines Ásgarðr to have been in the south of the mythic world, and Jǫtunheimar probably in the north; cf. Lindow (1994a). — [5-6, 7, 8]: The main clause in these lines (which is punctuated by an intercalary in ll. 7, 8) is unusually completed in the following stanza, by the unz ‘until’ clause of st. 11/1-4. The punctuation of these two helmingar indicates the continuity of sense between them. — [5] gerðusk ‘became’: The pl. subject is allar áttir Ingvi-Freys ‘all the kin of Ingvi-Freyr [GODS]’ (ll. 5-6) and the complement gamlar ok hárar ‘old and grey’ (ll. 7, 8). Another possibility is to understand gerðusk at þingi in the sense ‘[all the kin of Ingvi-Freyr, old and grey,] set about/organised an assembly’. As it stands, l. 5 lacks a hending and this prompted Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) to emend to gættusk ‘they paid attention, deliberated’ and Kock (Skald; NN §3039) to emend to mœttusk ‘they met’. There is no ms. support for either emendation. — [6] Ingvi-Freys ‘of Ingvi-Freyr’: Name for the god Freyr. The various extant forms of the first element derive from the Proto-Scandinavian form *ingwaz (Gmc *Ingwiafraujaz ‘Lord of the Ingvaeones’; cf. AEW: Ingi 1, Yngvi). In Old Norse the presence of ‑w- caused w-umlaut to Yngvi- (ANG §82.4); here, however, Ing- is secured by the internal rhyme with þing- (a very early example of such a change), but ‑v- has been restored (from the mss’ ‘ing’) in line with Old Norse prose sources, where ‑v- is still preserved.

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