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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, 449

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

12 — Þjóð Haustl 12III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng 12’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 449.

Heyrðak svá, þat síðan
sveik apt ása leiku
hugreynandi Hœnis
hauks flugbjalfa aukinn.
Ok lómhugaðr lagði
leikblaðs Reginn fjaðrar
ern at ǫglis barni
arnsúg faðir Mǫrnar.

Heyrðak svá, þat {hugreynandi Hœnis}, aukinn {flugbjalfa} hauks, síðan sveik apt {leiku ása}. Ok {lómhugaðr faðir Mǫrnar}, {Reginn {leikblaðs fjaðrar}}, lagði ern arnsúg at {barni ǫglis}.

I have heard thus, that {the thought-trier of Hœnir} [= Loki], strengthened with a hawk’s {flight-skin} [WINGS], afterwards recovered {the playmate of the gods} [= Iðunn] by trickery. And {the deceit-minded father of Mǫrn <= Skaði>} [= Þjazi], {the Reginn <legendary smith> {of the play-blade of the feather}} [WING > GIANT = Þjazi], directed a swift eagle-sucking at {the hawk’s child} [HAWK = Loki].

Mss: R(25v), Tˣ(26v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Heyrðak (‘Heurda ec’): so Tˣ, Heyrðat R    [2] apt: ept R, Tˣ;    leiku: so Tˣ, leikum R    [4] hauks: so Tˣ, hauðs R;    aukinn: aukin R, Tˣ    [6] Reginn: regin Tˣ;    fjaðrar: fjaðran Tˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 2. Haustlǫng 12: AI, 18-19, BI, 16, Skald I, 11, NN §§138, 159; SnE 1848-87, I, 314-15, III, 46-7, SnE 1931, 112, SnE 1998, I, 33.

Context: As for st. 1.

Notes: [All]: According to Skm (SnE 1998, I, 2), after the gods had threatened Loki with death or torture, he became so frightened that he undertook to journey to Jǫtunheimar and recover Iðunn, if Freyja would lend him her falcon shape (valshamr). He flew in this shape north to Jǫtunheimar and discovered Þjazi rowing out to sea, having left Iðunn at home alone. Loki found her, turned her into a nut, and flew back to Ásgarðr with her in his claws. Þjazi soon discovered his loss, adopted his eagle shape and set off in hot pursuit of Loki, ok dró arnsúg í flugnum ‘and caused an eagle-sucking in his flying’. See Note to ll. 7, 8 below. — [1] þat ‘that’: A rare example of þat used for the conj. at ‘that’ (cf. LP: þat conj., = at; Heggstad et al. 2008: þat 2). — [2] apt: Lit. ‘back’. To be understood with the verb svíkja ‘trick, cheat’ in the sense ‘tricked back’, i.e. ‘recovered by trickery’. Both mss have ept, prep. ‘after’ (in sense of motion, with dat.) or ‘after’ in time, with acc. Ept does not fit the context here, so most eds have emended. Skj B and Skald emend to opt ‘often’ and understand l. 2 as an intercalary, emending the mss’ ása to ôsu and choosing R’s leikum to read sveik opt ôsu leikum ‘he [Loki] often betrayed the gods with his tricks’. They then emend flugbjalfa ‘flight-skin’ (l. 4) to fló bjalfa ‘flew [strengthened with a hawk’s] skin/form’ in order to provide a finite verb for the helmingr’s þat-clause. Such emendations are not necessary to achieve good sense, as Holtsmark (1949, 36) and Marold (1983, 166-7) have shown. — [5-8]: Several possible syntactic arrangements of these lines have been proposed. Lómhugaðr ‘deceit-minded’ (l. 5) can be taken either with Reginn, legendary smith name (l. 6) or faðir ‘father’ (l. 8). Both nouns form kennings for Þjazi. Most eds and commentators have opted for the adj. to qualify faðir Mǫrnar (l. 8), but Kock (NN §138), followed by Holtsmark (1949, 36), favours the connection with Reginn. Marold (1983, 167, 185-7) argues on the basis of the kenning-type that lómhugaðr faðir Mǫrnar is the more likely arrangement. The adj. ern ‘swift, energetic’ (l. 7) may be construed with reginn and the kenning of which it forms part (see following Note) or with arnsúg ‘eagle-sucking’ (l. 8), as argued by Kock (NN §138) and Marold (1983, 167). For the gen. form Mǫrnar, see Note to st. 6/4 above. — [6] Reginn leikblaðs fjaðrar ‘the Reginn <legendary smith> of the play-blade of the feather [WING > GIANT = Þjazi]’: An unusual kenning, dependent for its meaning on the details of the underlying myth. Reginn has been treated here as the pers. n. of the legendary and evil smith, foster-father of Sigurðr and brother to Fáfnir (and also a dwarf-name, see Note to Þul Dverga 6/4). As such, Reginn is an appropriate base-word for a kenning for the giant Þjazi. Leikblað fjaðrar ‘play-blade of the feather’ is without parallel as a kenning-type, but must refer to the beating of the eagle’s wings in flight. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; 1933, 1-2) transposes leik- from blað to reginn on the ground that ‘Reginn of the wing’ is not an appropriate kenning for a giant and construes ern leikreginn blaðs fjaðrar ‘the swift play-Reginn of the blade of the feather’. Marold (1983, 167) argues that, if leik- is understood as a verbal addition to the wing-kenning, it is not irregular in terms of kenning-type. — [7, 8] ern arnsúg ‘a swift eagle-sucking’: This phrase, with Skm’s very close verbal parallel, noted above, has not been treated as a kenning. It presumably refers to the wind caused by the eagle’s wings as he pursues Loki or possibly to a magical force the eagle was able to exert upon him.

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