This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Runic Dictionary

login: password: stay logged in: help

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 19 January 2022)

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, 439

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Þjóð Haustl 5III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 439.

Fljótt bað foldar dróttinn
Fárbauta mǫg Várar
þekkiligr með þegnum
þrymseilar hval deila.
Enn af breiðu bjóði
bragðvíss at þat lagði
ósvífrandi ása
upp þjórhluti fjóra.

{Þekkiligr dróttinn foldar} bað {mǫg Fárbauta} deila fljótt {hval {Várar þrymseilar}} með þegnum. Enn {bragðvíss ósvífrandi ása} lagði at þat fjóra þjórhluti upp af breiðu bjóði.

{The gracious lord of the earth} [= Óðinn] bade {the son of Fárbauti <giant>} [= Loki] share out quickly {the whale {of the Vár <goddess> of the bowstring}} [= Skaði > OX] among the fellows. But {the cunning unyielding opponent of the gods} [= Þjazi] thereupon snatched four ox-parts up from the broad food-board.

Mss: R(25v), Tˣ(26r), W(55) (SnE)

Readings: [2] mǫg: ‘[…]g’ W;    Várar: ‘vǫro’ R, ‘[…]ra’ Tˣ, vara W    [6] at: ‘[…]’ W    [7] ósvífrandi: ósviptandi W    [8] þjór‑: ‘þio[…]’ R, ‘þiorir’ Tˣ, ‘þor’ W;    ‑hluti: so W, ‘hlifi’ R, ‘luti’ Tˣ;    fjóra: so all others, ‘ora’ R

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 2. Haustlǫng 5: AI, 17, BI, 15, Skald I, 10, NN §§137, 227, 2504, 3037; SnE 1848-87, I, 310-11, III, 42-3, SnE 1931, 111, SnE 1998, I, 31.

Context: As for st. 1.

Notes: [All]: Lines 1-4 of this stanza recall the first helmingr of st. 4, both in subject-matter and vocabulary. The difference is that in st. 4 Þjazi is represented as disrupting the orderly sharing of food by trying to take over Óðinn’s role as leader and chief food-distributor. In st. 5/1-4 Óðinn reasserts his authority (and the kenning for Óðinn reflects this, just as that for Þjazi in st. 4/5 alerts one to his usurping of Óðinn’s role), and this forces Þjazi to snatch far more than his fair share of the ox, four parts, described in the prose narrative of Skm (SnE 1998, I, 1) as lær oxans tvau ok báða bógana ‘the ox’s two thighs and both shoulders’. — [2] mǫg Fárbauta ‘the son of Fárbauti <giant> [= Loki]’: Fárbauti is named in Gylf (SnE 2005, 26) as Loki’s giant father. The same kenning for Loki is in ÚlfrU Húsdr 2/4. — [2, 4] hval Várar þrymseilar ‘the whale of the Vár <goddess> of the bowstring [= Skaði > OX]’: None of the proposed readings of these lines are entirely satisfactory. Most eds emend the mss’ various forms to Várar, gen. sg. of the goddess name Vár, and understand the kenning Vár þrymseilar ‘the Vár of the bowstring’ (lit. ‘the Vár of the noise-band’; cf. Þul Boga 1/3, where þrymr ‘noise’ is listed as a bow-heiti) to refer to the giantess Skaði, daughter of Þjazi, who is said in Gylf (SnE 2005, 24) to live in the mountains at Þrymheimr, Þjazi’s home, where she travels around on skis with bow and arrows and shoots game (she is referred to as ǫndurgoð ‘ski-deity’ in st. 7/4). It is not entirely clear why an ox should be termed Skaði’s whale, unless to emphasise its large size and appropriateness as quarry of a giant huntress – after all the party of gods had come upon a herd of oxen in their travels through mountains and wildernesses, according to Skm. Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 323) suggests that whales could be seen as Njǫrðr’s oxen, alluding to the mythological circumstance that Skaði was unhappily married to Njǫrðr, god of the sea, but this seems rather far-fetched. Kock (NN §137) adopts the form Vôru rather than Várar in l. 2 and, basing himself (NN §2504) on a statement in Magnús Ólafsson’s Laufás Edda (LaufE 1979, 266) which could be understood to mean that hvalr þrymseilar alone is a kenning for an ox, he construes Vôru with an emended þægiligr ‘acceptable, agreeable’ (l. 4) to mean ‘acceptable to Vár’. Marold (1983, 158-9) construes þekkiligr Vôru ‘acceptable to Vár’ with dróttinn foldar ‘lord of the earth’ (rather than the ox-kenning) and emends l. 4 to hval seilar Þryms ‘whale of the rope of Þrymr <giant> [OX]’, i.e. Þrymr’s draught animal. — [6, 7] bragðvíss ósvífrandi ása ‘the cunning unyielding opponent of the gods [= Þjazi]’: Both Holtsmark (1949, 23-4) and Marold (1983, 159-60) consider this kenning refers to Loki, not Þjazi, the latter on the ground that, as Loki was instructed to carve the ox in the first helmingr, he should be the expected subject of the second, which describes the division of the beast. This argument is not supported by the narrative of Skm (see Note to [All] above). The cpd ósvífrandi is related etymologically to the strong verb svífa ‘swing, float, hover’; cf. the adj. ósvífr ‘unyielding, bold’ (AEW: svífa).

© 2008-