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Runic Dictionary

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Þjóðólfr ór Hvini (Þjóð)

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

III. 1. Haustlǫng (Haustl) - 20

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 5 December 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20 

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

SkP info: III, 447

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Þjóð Haustl 11III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng 11’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 447.

unz hrynsævar hræva
hund ǫl-Gefnar fundu
leiðiþír ok læva
lund ǫl-Gefnar bundu.
‘Þú skalt véltr, nema vélum,’
— vreiðr mælir svá — ‘leiðir
munstœrandi mæra
mey aptr, Loki, hapta.’

unz fundu {{hund {hrynsævar hræva}} {ǫl-Gefnar}} ok bundu {leiðiþír {ǫl-Gefnar}}, {lund læva}. ‘Þú skalt véltr, Loki,’ – vreiðr mælir svá – ‘nema leiðir aptr vélum mæra mey, {munstœrandi hapta}.’

until they found {{the hound {of the roaring sea of corpses}} [BLOOD > WOLF] {of the ale-Gefn <= Freyja>}} [WOMAN = Iðunn > = Loki] and bound {the leading slave {of ale-Gefn <= Freyja>}} [WOMAN = Iðunn > = Loki], {the tree of deceits} [MAN = Loki]. ‘You shall be harshly dealt with, Loki,’ – the angry one speaks thus – ‘unless you bring back by strategems the glorious girl, {joy-increaser of the divine powers} [= Iðunn].’

Mss: R(25v), Tˣ(26v), W(55-56) (ll. 1-5) (SnE)

Readings: [1] hryn‑: so all others, ‘hrvn’ R;    ‑sævar: sæva Tˣ, W    [2] hund: so all others, ‘hrvnd’ R    [3] ‑þír: so all others, ‑þirr R;    ok: at W;    læva: so all others, ‘læv’ R    [5] véltr: ‘vellt’ W;    vélum: ‘vel[…]m’ W    [6] vreiðr: reiðr R, Tˣ;    mælir: ‘myil’ Tˣ;    leiðir: leiðar R, Tˣ    [8] hapta: om. R, Tˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 2. Haustlǫng 11: AI, 18, BI, 16, Skald I, 11, NN §§223, 224, 2005, 2721; SnE 1848-87, I, 312-15, III, 45-6, SnE 1931, 112, SnE 1998, I, 32-3.

Context: As for st. 1.

Notes: [All]: It is quite likely that the transmission of this stanza is defective in all three mss. In the first helmingr, the close similarity of ll. 2 and 4 is suspicious, and ǫl-Gefn ‘ale-Gefn’ occurs in both ll. 2 and 4, while there is, unusually, end-rhyme, which is very striking. Finnur Jónsson was so uncertain of ll. 1-4 in Skj B that he offered a minimal prose word order and a paraphrase of the likely meaning instead of a translation. Ms. W records only ll. 1-5 of this stanza. A gap for the remainder of the poem up to the end of st. 13 has been left and filled in by a later hand. The main hand begins again after the gap with the prose immediately below st. 13. In R, , the final word of l. 8 is missing and no space has been left for it, suggesting a defect in the exemplars of both mss. — [1] hrynsævar ‘of the roaring sea’: In R the final <r> of -sævar is still faintly visible, though the scribe may have intended to erase it. If so, the scribe of R may have intended to write the gen. pl. -sæva ‘of roaring seas’, like the scribes of , W. Skj B and Skald both adopt the pl. form, though from the perspective of the kenning of which this cpd forms part the sg. seems preferable. — [1-2] hund hrynsævar hræva ǫl-Gefnar ‘the hound of the roaring sea of corpses [BLOOD > WOLF] of the ale-Gefn <= Freyja> [WOMAN = Iðunn > = Loki]’: An extended kenning in which, unusually, the base-word is in itself a kenning. The referent of this, ‘wolf’, is required in order to understand how the final referent, here judged to be Loki, derives from the determinant ‘[WOMAN = Iðunn]’. ‘Wolf’ is to be understood metaphorically in the sense ‘abductor, thief’. Some scholars (e.g. Holtsmark 1949, 32-3) consider the final referent to be ‘[GIANT = Þjazi]’ (cf. st. 2/2 ulfr snótar ‘the wolf of the woman’, st. 4/1 fjallgylðir ‘mountain wolf’), and this is a possible reading, both syntactically and on grounds of kenning-pattern. However, it does not conform to the mythic narrative as we know it from SnE, because there the gods are not said to find Þjazi before they seize Loki and threaten him with death or torture. — [2, 4] ǫl-Gefnar ‘of the ale-Gefn <= Freyja> [WOMAN = Iðunn]’: The repetition of this woman-kenning within the space of two lines is likely to be a result of scribal dittography. The kenning corresponds in form to ár-Gefnar ‘of fruitfulness-Gefn’ st. 2/6. — [3] leiðiþír ‘the leading slave’: A hap. leg. cpd of uncertain meaning referring to Loki. Kock (NN §223) draws a parallel with OE lādteow, latteow ‘leader, guide, general’ (derived from lād ‘path’ plus þēow ‘slave, servant’), but there is no evidence that the Old Norse cpd could have this elevated sense, especially as the uncommon þírr ‘male slave’ seems to be equivalent to þræll or þjónn, both meaning ‘slave, servant’ (so SnE 1998, I, 106, 118, Þul Manna 10/7). Kock construes the cpd with læva to mean ‘the leader of crime [= Loki]’. — [3-4] lund læva ‘the tree of deceits [MAN = Loki]’: This kenning, if kenning it is, is suspect on the ground that man-kennings with tree-names as base-words are not normally combined with determinants that are abstract nouns, as Marold (1983, 166) pointed out. Additionally, it occurs in apposition to another Loki-kenning, leiðiþír ǫl-Gefnar, which is also unusual. However, other interpretations either require emendation (lundallgegnir ‘completely honest of mind’, Skald, NN §2721, understanding lund f. ‘mind, disposition’) or the adducing of extratextual information. Thus, Marold’s (1983, 166) ok bundu lund leiðiþí(r) læva ǫl-Gefnar ‘and they bound the mind of the criminal leader of the woman’ requires one to understand that the gods used magic to spellbind Loki. — [5-8]: The use of direct speech in an early skaldic poem is unusual but effective, and the variation on the stem of cognate words (véltr/vélum) equally so. — [6] vreiðr ‘the angry one’: Restoration of original [v] before [r] in initial position to provide alliteration; for a discussion, see Note to Bragi Þórr 6/1 vrǫngum ‘twisted’. The identity of ‘the angry one’ can only be conjectured, the most likely contenders being Þórr, who opposes Loki in other situations in which he has brought the gods into difficulties (e.g. Lok), or Óðinn. — [6] mælir ‘speaks’: Most eds have mælti 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. ‘spoke’ and Skj A indicates that Finnur Jónsson read the final abbreviation in R as ‘ti’; however, it appears to be a normal ‘ir’ abbreviation to this ed. (so also SnE 1998, I, 33). — [6] leiðir ‘you bring’: Both mss have leiðar, but a 2nd pers. sg. verb in the pres. subj. is clearly required here after nema ‘unless’. — [8] hapta ‘of the divine powers’: A conjectural emendation, providing aðalhending with apt and a regular metrical line, first suggested by Finnur Jónsson (1884, 52-4) and adopted in Skj B, Skald and SnE 1998. Holtsmark (1949, 32) prefers Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s (SnE 1848-87) conjecture deyja ‘die’ (to rhyme with mey). Both R and omit the final word of the line, and their exemplars probably did too, as the scribes do not indicate that anything has been omitted after the word ‘Loki’, and both mss go straight on to the first word of st. 12.

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