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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 December 2021)

 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, 53

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

25 — Þjóð Yt 25I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 25’ 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. 53.

Varð Goðrøðr
inn gǫfugláti
lómi beittr,
sás fyr lǫngu vas.
Ok umráð
at ǫlum stilli
hǫfuð heiptrœkt
at hilmi dró.
Ok launsigr
inn lómgeði
Ôsu ôrr
af jǫfri bar.
Ok buðlungr
á beði fornum
of stunginn vas.

Goðrøðr inn gǫfugláti, sás vas fyr lǫngu, varð beittr lómi. Ok heiptrœkt hǫfuð dró umráð at ǫlum stilli, at hilmi. Ok inn lómgeði ôrr Ôsu bar launsigr af jǫfri. Ok buðlungr vas of stunginn á fornum beði Stíflusunds.

Guðrøðr inn gǫfugláti (‘the Splendid’), who lived long ago, was dealt with using treachery. And a hate-filled head brought a plot against the drunk ruler, against the leader. And the treacherous-minded servant of Ása won a hidden victory against the prince. And the king was stabbed on the ancient shore of Stíflusund.

Mss: (42v-43r), papp18ˣ(12r), 521ˣ(54-55), F(7rb), J1ˣ(21r), J2ˣ(24r-v), R685ˣ(22v) (Hkr); 761aˣ(63r)

Readings: [1] Goðrøðr: ‘gudredr’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [2] gǫfugláti: ‘gvfglati’ J1ˣ    [3] beittr: ‘benr’ J1ˣ, ‘betæ’ R685ˣ    [4] lǫngu: ‘lꜹgu’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ    [6] ǫlum: ‘elum’ F, ǫllum R685ˣ    [7] ‑rœkt: ‑rœk F    [9] ‑sigr: corrected from ‘‑ligr’ in later hand J2ˣ    [10] ‑geði: ‑gerði F, ‑geðr R685ˣ    [12] af: of F, at J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ;    bar: barr F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 1. Ynglingatal 33-34: AI, 14, BI, 13, Skald I, 9, FF §54; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 82-3, IV, 25-6, ÍF 26, 80-1, Hkr 1991, I, 47 (Yng ch. 48), F 1871, 32; Yng 1912, 53, 69, Yng 2000, 68-9; Yt 1914, 16-17, Yt 1925, 208, 250-1.

Context: Guðrøðr, the son of Hálfdan, asks King Haraldr of Agðir (Agder) for his daughter Ása in marriage but is refused. He therefore attacks the king’s residence; Ása’s father and brother die in the struggle and she is carried off and married to Guðrøðr. A few years later, while the king is anchored in Stíflusund, Guðrøðr is murdered by a servant of Ása as he departs drunk from a feast.

Notes: [1] Goðrøðr ‘Guðrøðr’: An attempt has been made to identify Guðrøðr with the Godofridus mentioned in the Royal Frankish Annals, a Danish king who ruled in Schleswig and died c. 810 during a struggle with Charlemagne because of a servant’s treason (Munch 1852-63, I, 384-6; Storm 1875, 63-9). Jessen (1871, 20) and Steenstrup (1876, 68-80), followed by Finnur Jónsson (1895, 358), correctly dismiss this. — [4] sás vas fyr lǫngu ‘who lived long ago’: The line is hypermetrical, for which reason Skj B, Skald and Åkerlund (1939, 115) suppress fyr despite its presence in all mss. Yt 1925, ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 retain it. The line also figures in the discussion of the dating of Yt. One assumption has been that such a phrase could not have been used in reference to anyone appearing so late in the enumerated line of kings, i.e. almost as a contemporary of the skald (Bugge 1894, 168; Wadstein 1895a, 83; Krag 1991, 139). The adv. forðum ‘once’ (st. 26/6) is assessed similarly. Åkerlund (1939, 15-17), however, demonstrates from parallels that the expression could refer to a more recent past, even within the skald’s lifetime. — [6] at ǫlum stilli ‘against the drunk ruler’: This matches the context of stanza and prose, as well as the evidence of other occurrences of the adj. (CVC: ölr). The phrase partially duplicates at hilmi ‘against the leader’ and could be construed either as appositional (so Yt 1925, FF, Åkerlund 1939, 115, Hkr 1991 and the present edn) or as a kind of ablativus absolutus meaning ‘while the ruler was drunk’ (so Bugge 1894, 164, Hkr 1893-1901, IV, Skj B and ÍF 26). — [7] hǫfuð ‘head’: The word can stand for a person; see LP: hǫfuð 2. In this case it might refer to Ása, the vengeful wife (ÍF 26). — [7] heiptrœkt ‘hate-filled’: The spelling of ‘-rø̨ct’ is normalised to ‑rœkt (oe ligature) in Skj B, Skald and this edn, whereas other eds print ‑rækt (ae ligature). Although the two forms are merged in ModIcel., they were distinct at the period in question. The adj. rœkr, related to OIcel. rœkja ‘to attend to sth., take care of sth.’, describes someone active and attentive (Fritzner: rœkr) and appears in words like fjǫlrœkr ‘effective, industrious’ and tírrœkr ‘covetous of honour’ (LP: fjǫlrœkr, tírrœkr), and hence also heiptrœkr ‘hate-filled’. The adj. rækr, by contrast, is derived from the verb reka ‘to repel’ and means ‘something that can or must be repelled’. — [11] Ôsu ‘of Ása’: Earlier scholars assumed that the name of the estate of Oseberg, near the site of the great ship burial, contained the name of this queen (Rygh et al. 1897-36, VI, 223; Brøgger 1916, 50-2; Nerman 1917b, 256-7). However, earlier attestations of the p. n. have raised doubts about this derivation (Korslund 2000, 1; for other interpretations see Nyman 2003). Recent dendrochronological tests dating the grave to the year 834 have also cast doubt on whether one of the two women interred there was Ása or Álfhildr, the first wife of Guðrøðr and mother of Óláfr Geirstaðaálfr (Myhre 1992c, 274). — [15] Stíflusunds ‘of Stíflusund’: The p. n. has not survived (ÍF 26). The association of Stíflusund with Geirstaðir (on Geirstaðir see Note to st. 26/14) in the Þáttr af Upplendinga konungum (Hb 1892-6, 457) is more likely the result of speculative Icelandic historiography than of any particular geographical knowledge.

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