Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóðólfr ór Hvini (Þjóð)

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

1. Ynglingatal (Yt) - 37

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.

Ynglingatal — Þjóð YtI

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 3.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27 

for reference only:  8x   11x   13x   14x   15x   16x   17x   20x   25x   26x 

Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski: 1. Ynglingatal (AI, 7-15, BI, 7-14); stanzas (if different): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12-13 | 13 | 14 | 15-16 | 16 | 17-18 | 18 | 19-20 | 20 | 21-22 | 22 | 23-24 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27-28 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33-34 | 34 | 35-36 | 36 | 37 | 38(?)

SkP info: I, 9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Þjóð Yt 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 9.

Varð framgengt,
þars Fróði bjó,
feigðarorð,
es at Fjǫlni kom.
Ok sikling
svigðis geira
vágr vindlauss
of viða skyldi.

Feigðarorð, es kom at Fjǫlni, varð framgengt, þars Fróði bjó. Ok {vindlauss vágr {geira svigðis}} skyldi of viða sikling.

The word of doom that fell upon Fjǫlnir was fulfilled where Fróði lived. And {the windless wave {of the spears of the bull}} [HORNS > BEER] was to destroy the prince.

Mss: (15v), papp18ˣ(4v), 521ˣ(12-13), F(3ra), J2ˣ(7v), R685ˣ(10r) (Hkr); 761aˣ(55r)

Readings: [5] sikling: sigling F    [6] svigðis: svigðir F, ‘suigþ̄’ J2ˣ    [7] vágr: vargr F    [8] of (‘um’): so all others, ‘[…]’ Kˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 1. Ynglingatal 1: AI, 7, BI, 7, Skald I, 4, NN §§1780-1; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 25, IV, 3-4, ÍF 26, 26, Hkr 1991, I, 15 (Yng ch. 11), F 1871, 9; Yng 1912, 19, 55-7, Yng 2000, 14-15; Yt 1914, 1, Yt 1925, 198, 212‑16.

Context: Yng relates the death of the Swedish king Fjǫlnir, son of Yngvifreyr, who, drowsy and drunk after a feast at the court of the Danish king Fróði in Hleiðra (Lejre), falls through a hole in the upper floor down into a barrel of ale and drowns.

Notes: [2] Fróði: Five different early legendary Danish kings bear the name Fróði, both in the Icelandic Skjǫldunga saga and in the writings of the Danish historians Sven Aggesøn and Saxo Grammaticus. Two of them, Fróði I and Fróði III, are recorded as kings who presided over times of peace. Likewise Yng (ÍF 26, 24) refers to a Fróðafriðr ‘Fróði’s peace’. According to Yng the king named Frið-Fróði ‘Peace-Fróði’ and Fjǫlnir were friends, and Fjǫlnir visited him at the Danish royal seat of Hleiðra (Lejre). — [3] feigðarorð ‘the word of doom’: Feigð is an abstract noun related to feigr ‘doomed, fey’. The collocation with orð ‘word’ could mean that Fjǫlnir had been cursed and was doomed to die. But it might merely express the fateful, predestined aspect of his death. In many stanzas of Yt (1/8, 3/6, 5/12, 7/8, 8/4, 9/10 etc.) the auxiliary verb skyldi ‘was to’ itself imparts this sense of predestination. — [4] Fjǫlni ‘Fjǫlnir’: In Norwegian and Icelandic historiography (HN, Íslb and Hkr) Fjǫlnir, a son of (Yngvi)freyr, is fourth in the line of the Yngling kings. These sources most likely draw on Yt in their reporting. It is certain that Fjǫlnir is a mortal king in Yt, because it refers to him as siklingr ‘prince’ (Beyschlag 1950, 37; Baetke 1964, 85-8). Yet Fjǫlnir is also clearly one of Óðinn’s names in the Poetic Edda (Grí 47/5, Reg 18/7) and in several skaldic kennings (see LP: Fjǫlnir). On the etymology of Fjǫlnir and the relationship between the two appearances of the name, see Note to Þul Óðins 2/1III. — [5-8]: The motif of drowning in beer or mead has parallels in Scandinavia (e.g. Saxo 2005, I, 1, 8, 27, p. 134) and more widely across Europe. — [5] sikling (m. acc. sg.) ‘the prince’: The verb viða ‘destroy’ would take a dat. object (see Note to l. 8 below), for which reason Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Yng 1912; Skj B) emends the mss’ sikling to siklingi, while suppressing the ok ‘and’ found in all mss on metrical grounds. In LP: viða he seems to have changed his view, for there he prints sikling (cf. NN §1780). Skald, ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 have all chosen ok sikling. — [6] geira svigðis ‘of the spears of the bull [HORNS]’: The word svigðir is attested only here and means ‘the one with the bent horns’ (Konráð Gíslason 1881, 205; Yng 1912), cf. OIcel. sveigja ‘to bend’ and svig n. ‘bend’. — [7] vindlauss ‘windless’: This adj. qualifies, and helps to identify, the referent of the kenning, ‘beer’, which is windless, in contrast with the metaphorical vágr ‘wave’ which is the base-word. — [8] of viða ‘destroy’: Of is the expletive particle. As for viða, an inf. verb is indicated by the context, especially skyldi ‘was to’, and by numerous parallels in the poem, beginning with st. 3/6 of troða skyldi ‘had to trample’. The verb viða appears only in Yt, Brot 5/8 and Guðr II 30/6. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) thought it derived from the prep. við and meant ‘to move toward’, taking a dat. object. Noreen (1912a, 2-3) argued that viða was normally construed with an acc. object, but this is doubtful. Stanza 16/2 has dat. fjǫrvi ‘life’, while vígmiðlung ‘battle-dealer [WARRIOR]’ in st. 26/13 and sikling in the present stanza might be endingless datives such as occur occasionally in older sources (cf. ANG §358.3).

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