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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, ‘(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.

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, 456

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

16 — Þjóð Haustl 16III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng 16’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 456.

Þyrmðit Baldrs of barmi
(berg) solgnum þar dolgi
(hristusk bjǫrg ok brustu)
— brann upphiminn — manna.
Mjǫk frák móti hrøkkva
myrkbeins Haka reinar,
þás vígligan, vagna
vátt, sinn bana þátti.

{Of barmi Baldrs} þyrmðit þar {solgnum dolgi manna}; berg hristusk ok bjǫrg brustu; upphiminn brann. Frák {vátt {vagna {myrkbeins {reinar Haka}}}} hrøkkva mjǫk móti, þás þátti vígligan bana sinn.

{The brother of Baldr} [= Þórr] did not spare there {the greedy enemy of men} [GIANT = Hrungnir]; rocks were shaken and crags burst apart; the heaven above burnt. I have heard that {the knower {of killer whales {of the dark bone {of the land of Haki <sea-king>}}}} [SEA > ROCK > GIANTS > GIANT = Hrungnir] moved very violently in opposition, when he recognised his warlike slayer.

Mss: R(24r), Tˣ(24v), W(51) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Þyrmðit: ‘þverriðit’ W;    of: af W    [2] þar: sák W    [4] upp‑: ‘rꜳn’ W;    manna: mána W    [5] móti: mæri or mæti W;    hrøkkva: ‘hrau\c/kua’ Tˣ    [6] myrkbeins: so W, myrk hreins R, mein þorns Tˣ;    Haka: so all others, baka R    [7] vagna (‘vꜹgna’): ‘vaugna’ Tˣ, ‘vogna’ W    [8] vátt: so all others, ‘vatr’ R;    þátti: so all others, ‘þatri’ R

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 2. Haustlǫng 16: AI, 19, BI, 17, Skald I, 11, NN §§141, 226, 1813, 2409, 2505, 2506, 3097A; SnE 1848-87, I, 280-1, III, 21-2, SnE 1931, 104, SnE 1998, I, 23.

Context: As for st. 14.

Notes: [1] of barmi Baldrs ‘the brother of Baldr [= Þórr]’: Baldr was Þórr’s half-brother; Óðinn was the father of both gods, but Þórr’s mother was Jǫrð (see Note to st. 15/7), while Baldr’s was Óðinn’s wife Frigg (SnE 2005, 45-8; Vsp 53). Barmi is a poetic word for brother, and means lit. ‘child nourished at the same breast’, untrue in this case. Cf. Bragi Rdr 3/8 of barmar Erps ‘the brothers of Erpr’, also used of half-brothers. Of is here the pleonastic particle (LP: 1. of C), sometimes found in early poetry with nouns of kinship or close friendship; in Haustl there are instances of this usage in of rúni Þórs ‘confidant of Þórr [= Loki]’ st. 8/5, of rúna trolls trjónu ‘friend of the troll of the muzzle [= Mjǫllnir > = Þórr]’ st. 17/7 and here; cf. Kuhn (1929a) and Fidjestøl (1989b). — [2, 3] berg hristusk ok bjǫrg brustu ‘rocks were shaken and crags burst apart’: It would also be possible to arrange the word order as bjǫrg hristusk ok berg brustu ‘crags were shaken and rocks burst apart’ (so Skj B). Kock (NN §§141, 2409, 2506) suggested several ways of construing ll. 1-4 without an intercalary, though none of them are persuasive, and several require emendation (Skald has bergfolgnum ‘rock-sheltered’ (l. 2), agreeing with dolgi ‘enemy’ (l. 2) and takes upphiminn manna ‘heaven above of men’ (l. 4) as a sky-kenning). — [6, 7, 8] vátt vagna myrkbeins reinar Haka ‘the knower of killer whales of the dark bone of the land of Haki <sea-king> [SEA > ROCK > GIANTS > GIANT = Hrungnir]’: There has been considerable debate among scholars about the most plausible arrangement of the elements of this extended giant-kenning. In this kenning, vagna ‘of killer whales’ is strictly speaking redundant, as váttr myrkbeins reinar Haka ‘knower of the dark bone of the land of Haki <sea-king>’ could be understood on its own as a giant-kenning. The interpretation adopted here, originally proposed by Reichardt (1928, 102), follows the word order of the helmingr most closely. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) offers the slightly more convoluted vátt myrkbeins reinar vagna Haka ‘the knower of the dark bone of the land of the carriages of Haki <sea-king> [SHIPS > SEA > ROCK > GIANT = Hrungnir]’. Vátt lit. ‘witness’, ‘knower’, possibly ‘frequenter’ (l. 8) is the direct object of frák ‘I have heard’ (l. 5). Vagna (or vǫgna, as the spelling of the mss seems to suggest, cf. ANG §81) may either be gen. pl. of vǫgn ‘killer whale, orca’, as understood here (cf. st. 4/5 ving-Rǫgnir vagna ‘the swinging Rǫgnir <= Óðinn> of killer whales [GIANT = Þjazi]’), or gen. pl. of vagn ‘carriage, chariot’. Marold (1983, 171 n. 415) offers a thorough refutation of the readings of Kock (NN §§226, 1813, 2505, 3097A and Skald) and various other scholars.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated