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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;

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 7 July 2022)

 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, 29

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Þjóð Yt 13I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 13’ 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. 29.

Knátti endr
at Uppsǫlum
Aun of standa.
Ok þrálífr
þiggja skyldi
jóðs alað
ǫðru sinni.
Ok sveiðurs
at sér hverfði
mækis hlut
inn mjávara,
es okhreins
ôttunga rjóðr
lǫgðis odd
liggjandi drakk.
Máttit hárr
hjarðar mæki
upp of halda.

Ánasótt knátti endr of standa Aun at Uppsǫlum. Ok þrálífr skyldi þiggja ǫðru sinni alað jóðs. Ok hverfði at sér inn mjávara hlut {mækis sveiðurs}, es {rjóðr ôttunga} drakk liggjandi odd {lǫgðis {okhreins}}. Hárr austrkonungr máttit of halda upp {mæki hjarðar}.

Decrepitude long ago overtook Aunn at Uppsala. And the one tenacious of life had to receive the food of an infant a second time. And he turned the narrower part {of the sword of the bull} [HORN] toward himself when {the reddener of kinsmen} [= Aunn] drank lying down [from] the tip {of the sword {of the yoke-reindeer}} [BULL > HORN]. The grey-haired eastern king could not hold up {the sword of the bull} [HORN].

Mss: (26v), papp18ˣ(7v), 521ˣ(29-30), F(4vb), J2ˣ(14v), R685ˣ(14v-15r) (Hkr); 761aˣ(58v-59r)

Readings: [4] Aun: ‘Aum’ 521ˣ    [6] þiggja: liggja J2ˣ, R685ˣ;    skyldi: skylda F    [7] alað: so J2ˣ, R685ˣ, aðal Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, F, 761aˣ    [8] ǫðru sinni: so all others, ‘auþi s.’ Kˣ    [9] sveiðurs: so F, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, ‘sveiðuðs’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ    [11] mækis: so F, J2ˣ, ‘mækil’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, ‘mælus’ R685ˣ    [13] ok‑: at‑ F    [18] hjarðar mæki: mæki hjarðar J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [20] of (‘um’): at F, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 1. Ynglingatal 15-16: AI, 10-11, BI, 10, Skald I, 6; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 47-8, IV, 14-15, ÍF 26, 50, Hkr 1991, I, 28 (Yng ch. 25), F 1871, 18; Yng 1912, 32, 62-3, Yng 2000, 37; Yt 1914, 8, Yt 1925, 202, 233-5.

Context: King Aun or Áni (see Notes to ll. 3 and 4 below), son of Jǫrundr, who is not a warrior but a wise man and zealous blótmaðr (heathen sacrificial priest), sacrifices all of his sons to Óðinn in exchange for a promise that he would live ten years longer for each sacrifice. He grows very old this way, but the Swedes prevent him from sacrificing his last son, so he finally dies.

Notes: [All]: In consuming an infant’s food through a horn, the aged king follows a practice of feeding babies with sucking horns which is known from the earliest records (see Brüning 1908, 69-73; Rosenfeld 1955-6, 53-5). — [1] knátti: See Note to st. 4/4. — [3] ánasótt ‘decrepitude’: Lit. ‘grandfathers’ disease’. Ána is gen. pl. of ái ‘grandfather’ (Läffler 1886a; Läffler 1886b), and the grandfathers’ sótt ‘disease, illness’ can be interpreted as decrepitude in this context. Snorri (Yng, ÍF 26, 47) seems to have understood ánasótt as ‘Áni’s disease’, since he gives the king’s name at the beginning of the chapter as Aun eða Áni ‘Aun or Áni’. — [4] Aun (acc. sg.) ‘Aunn’: Whether the nom. sg. form of the name is Aun or Aunn is not certain. Aunn may be suggested by the form Auchun in the Lat. HN (2003, 76) and is adopted in LP: Aunn and in this edn. — [7] alað ‘the food’: This, the J2ˣ reading, is to be preferred as the lectio difficilior, and in the variational technique typical of Yt the same topic (here Aunn’s feeding as an infant) is normally carried through the stanza. Alað n. derives from ala ‘to feed, nourish’ (Fritzner: alað), and otherwise occurs only in the legal term alaðsfestr ‘a fee to be paid by a convict in the Court of Execution’ (CVC, Fritzner: alaðsfestr; Konráð Gíslason 1881, 224). Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB I, 247) prefers the reading aðal n. ‘nature’ (K transcripts and F) and translates the clause as ‘was obliged to take the nature of a babe the second time’. — [9] sveiðurs ‘of the bull’: The reading sveiðurs (F, J2ˣ, R685ˣ) is preferred over ’s ‘sveiðuðs’, which would indicate an unattested nom. sveiðuðr that, according to Konráð Gíslason (1881, 225), would have arisen from sveiðurr ‘bull’. — [14] rjóðr ôttunga ‘the reddener of kinsmen [= Aunn]’: All mss show rjóðr ‘reddener’ here, and this is retained in the present edn (so also Skald; Yt 1925; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). Konráð Gíslason (1881, 226-9, followed by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901; Yng 1912; Skj B) suggests emending to hrjóðr ‘destroyer’ for semantic reasons, but while neither rjóðr nor the verb rjóða ‘to redden’ occurs elsewhere with a human object, the same is true of hrjóðr and hrjóða ‘to destroy’ (LP, Fritzner: hrjóða, rjóða), and hence emendation to hrjóðr is not justified (ÍF 26). ‘Reddener’ could be interpreted either as ‘he who reddens them in blood’, i.e. who kills (his kinsmen), or as ‘he who sacrifices them’ (so Schück 1905-10, 92-3), and colouring in blood may have been an important aspect of the cult (cf. Ranke 1978). If ‘sacrificer’ were the correct interpretation of rjóðr, the stanza would correspond to the narrative in Hkr (see Context above), and it is further supported by the adj. þrálífr ‘tenacious of life’ (Beyschlag 1950, 30; Krag 1991, 118). HN (2003, 76), by contrast, makes no mention of sacrifice, referring only to the advanced age of the king, here called Auchun, and to his decrepitude, which forces him to drink milk for the last nine years of his life. The similarity to the Greek myth of Kronos has been noted: Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB I, 523) and Eitrem (1927) assume an ancient commonality between the myths, while Noreen (Yt 1925) believes the sacrifice legend to be an educated fabrication by Snorri, perhaps a reformation of the Kronos myth. On possible religious-historical contexts of the Aunn legend, which religious historians locate in a periodic ritual king’s sacrifice, see ARG II, 421-2, 456.

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