This interface will no longer be publicly available from 1 September 2020. 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;

1. Ynglingatal (Yt) - 37

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.

stanzas:  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, 26

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Þjóð Yt 11I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 11’ 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. 26.

Ok varð hinn,
es Ôlfr of vá,
vǫrðr véstalls
of veginn liggja,
es dǫglingr
dreyrgan mæki
á Yngva rauð.
Vasa þat bært,
at Bera skyldi
vígs of hvetja,
þás brœðr tveir
at bǫnum urðusk
of afbrýði.

Ok {hinn vǫrðr véstalls}, es Ôlfr of vá, varð liggja of veginn, es ǫfundgjarn dǫglingr rauð dreyrgan mæki á Yngva. Þat vasa bært, at Bera skyldi of hvetja {valsœfendr} vígs, þás tveir brœðr óþurfendr urðusk at bǫnum of afbrýði.

And {that guardian of the altar of the sanctuary} [KING], whom Álfr slew, had to lie slain when the envy-ridden ruler reddened the bloody sword upon Yngvi. It was not right that Bera had to incite {the slaughterers of the slain} [WARRIORS] to fight when the two brothers needlessly became each other’s slayers out of jealousy.

Mss: (23r), papp18ˣ(6v), 521ˣ(23-24), F(4ra), J2ˣ(12r), R685ˣ(13r) (Hkr); 761aˣ(58r)

Readings: [2] of: om. F    [3] ‑stalls: ‑tjalds F, ‘‑kallz’ J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [5] dǫglingr: so papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, F, R685ˣ, dǫglingr corrected from ‘dꜹlingr’ Kˣ, dǫglingar J2ˣ, ‘daulingr’ 761aˣ    [6] mæki: mæka R685ˣ    [9] bært: beitt F    [10] at: á R685ˣ    [12] hvetja: víkja F    [13] brœðr: ‘b[...]’ J2ˣ, ‘bredr’ R685ˣ    [16] afbrýði: ‘afryði’ papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 1. Ynglingatal 12-13: AI, 10, BI, 9, Skald I, 6, FF §50, NN §3201; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 39-40, IV, 12, ÍF 26, 42, Hkr 1991, I, 23-4 (Yng ch. 21), F 1871, 15; Yng 1912, 27, 61, Yng 2000, 29; Yt 1914, 7, Yt 1925, 202, 230-2.

Context: The brothers Álfr and Yngvi take over the kingship after their father Alrekr. Álfr remains in the country, while Yngvi leaves to be a viking. Yngvi is a successful, able warrior, handsome and cheerful, while Álfr is taciturn, unfriendly and conscious of his power. His wife Bera clearly prefers his brother and makes him jealous. One evening Álfr kills Yngvi with his sword, but Yngvi is able to return the blow, killing Álfr as well.

Notes: [1, 3] hinn vǫrðr véstalls ‘that guardian of the altar of the sanctuary [KING]’: In various skaldic poems, rulers are praised or blamed for protecting or destroying sanctuaries (e.g. Eyv Hák 18, Hfr Óldr 1), though the relationship of rulers to the priesthood and to sanctuaries in heathen times remains obscure (Sundqvist 2002, 176-213). Parallels to vǫrðr véstalls are found in valdr vés ‘owner of the sanctuary’ (KormǪ Sigdr 6/5III) and in wiawari ‘protector of the sanctuary’ in Swedish runic inscriptions (Rök Ög 136, Sparlösa Vg 119) (see Baetke 1964, 62; Sundqvist 2002, 198). Vǫrðr véstalls is construed in Hkr 1893-1901, IV in apposition to Ǭlfr, the subject of the subordinate clause, since Álfr is portrayed in Yng as always remaining at home. However, in this edn (as in FF §50, ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991) it is assigned to hinn ‘that’ in the main clause, referring to Yngvi, in order to preserve the integrity of the lines characteristic of Yt (see the Introduction) and because kennings rarely function as appositives. — [2] Ôlfr ‘Álfr’: This is presumed to have developed from a cpd name *Aðwolfʀ < *Aþawulfaz, arising from loss of ð (cf. ANG §228) and u-umlaut (Yt 1925). Noreen (1912b, 129; Yt 1925) and Åkerlund (1939, 91) spell it Ǭolfr, but the contracted form is indicated here. The simplex form Alfr, from the noun alfr ‘elf’ (LP: Alfr), is preferred in Hkr 1893-1901, Skj B, Skald and ÍF 26, but this is less likely since alfr is attested only as the first or last element of personal names in Swedish runic texts (cf. Peterson 2007, 19-20). — [5] dǫglingr ‘ruler’: Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV), Noreen (Yt 1925) and Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) take the word to mean an offspring of Dagr (see st. 8/1), accepting the explanation in SnE (1998, I, 103), although in LP: dǫglingr Finnur Jónsson rejects this. — [8] Yngva ‘Yngvi’: This has generally been assumed to refer to a king Yngvi, who was named after his royal house. However, with the exception of the late ǪrvOdd Ævdr 34/7VIII (Ǫrv 104), this would be the only instance of the otherwise well-attested heiti for ‘ruler’ being used as a pers. n., and it is possible that this might also be a ruler-heiti, and consequently that the pers. n. of Álfr’s brother is missing. In justifying this assumption one may adduce that in HN (2003, 76) the slain brother is called Ingjaldr, whereas the murderer goes unnamed: Cuius filius Ingialdr in Swecia a fratre suo ob infamiam uxoris eius occisus est. Que Bera dicta est ... ‘His son Ingjaldr was murdered in Sweden by his own brother because he had brought discredit on the latter’s wife, whose name was Bera ...’. — [11] valsœfendr ‘the slaughterers of the slain [WARRIORS]’: Although sœfa means ‘to slaughter’ (animals), the word is used both in prose and in poetry for the killing of enemies in battle (cf. LP, Fritzner: sœfa). Konráð Gíslason (1881, 222-4) points out that the phrase has a parallel in fella val ‘cut down the slain’ (cf. Hárb 16/6, 37/11, Sigsk 37/4, Hávm 87/4).

© 2008-