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Runic Dictionary

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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, 58

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

27 — Þjóð Yt 27I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 27’ 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. 58.

Þat veitk bazt
und blôum himni
svát konungr eigi,
es Rǫgnvaldr,
reiðar stjóri,
of heitinn es.
Ok mildgeðr
markar dróttinn

Veitk þat kenninafn bazt und blôum himni, svát konungr eigi, es Rǫgnvaldr, {stjóri reiðar}, es of heitinn heiðumhôr. Ok mildgeðr dróttinn markar...

I know that nickname to be the best under the blue sky that a king might have, that Rǫgnvaldr, {the steerer of the carriage} [RULER], is called ‘High with Honours’. And the generous-minded lord of the forest...

Mss: (44r) (ll. 1-8), papp18ˣ(12r) (ll. 1-8), 521ˣ(56) (ll. 1-8), F(7va), J1ˣ(21v) (ll. 1-8), J2ˣ(25r) (ll. 1-8), R685ˣ(23r) (ll. 1-8) (Hkr); 761aˣ(63v-65r)

Readings: [7] heiðum‑: so 521ˣ, F, J2ˣ, 761aˣ, heitum Kˣ, papp18ˣ, J1ˣ, hættum corrected from heitum in a later hand R685ˣ;    ‑hôr: ‑hœri F    [8] es (‘er’): ‘derr’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [9] Ok mildgeðr: so F, 761aˣ, om. Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [10] markar dróttinn: so F, 761aˣ, om. Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 1. Ynglingatal 37: AI, 15, BI, 14, Skald I, 9, NN §1014A; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 85, IV, 28, ÍF 26, 83, Hkr 1991, I, 49 (Yng ch. 50), F 1871, 33; Yng 1912, 54, 70, Yng 2000, 71; Yt 1914, 18-19, Yt 1925, 210, 253.

Context: Rǫgnvaldr was king in Vestfold after his father Óláfr Geirstaðaálfr. Þjóðólfr composed Yt in his honour.

Notes: [All]: In its praise of a ruler, the stanza differs decidedly from the other stanzas, and it clearly indicates that the poem was composed for Rǫgnvaldr. According to Yng (ÍF 26, 83, and Context above) Rǫgnvaldr was a son of Óláfr Geirstaðaálfr and hence, like Haraldr hárfagri, a grandson of Guðrøðr. This would find some support in the fact that Haraldr named one of his sons Rǫgnvaldr, possibly following the custom of naming a child after a recently deceased kinsman (Nerman 1914; Marold 1987, 83 n. 3). No trace of Rǫgnvaldr remains in other historical traditions, however, and this has led to diverse speculations. (a) Bugge (1894, 134-5) argues that Rǫgnvaldr was unrelated to Haraldr hárfagri. Believing that Yt was composed in Northumbria or in Ireland, he attempts to identify several kings who fell in those places as Rǫgnvaldr. (b) Wadstein (1895a, 80-2) attempts to show that the last stanza was composed for Haraldr hárfagri (already suggested by Guðbrandur Vigfússon in CPB I, 243). He takes rǫgnvaldr to be a noun meaning ‘the powerful ruler’ and views heiðumhárr as equivalent to hárfagri (‘Fair-hair’), which Bugge (1894, 163) convincingly refutes. (c) According to Bergsveinn Birgisson (2008, 410), Rǫgnvaldr may have been Reginfridus, son of the Danish king Godefridus. — [6] stjóri reiðar ‘the steerer of the carriage [RULER]’: (a) This interpretation (also adopted in Bugge 1894, 138; Yng 1912, 70; Noreen 1912b, 135; Brøgger 1916, 39) preserves the normal meaning of reið f. (LP: 1. reið). The use of carriages is proven by the Oseberg ship burial, which is dated to approximately the same period and contained a richly ornamented carriage as well as a tapestry depicting figures riding on carriages (Graham-Campbell 1994, 42-3). That Rǫgnvaldr is associated with a carriage is perhaps indicative of his involvement in cultic or royal processions akin to the Swedish custom of Eriksgata (cf. ARG I, 473-4). The base-word stjóri is primarily used to refer to a ruler and appears with designations for people, entourage etc. (Meissner 328; for a few exceptions see LP: stjóri). Here, however, stjóri may have a meaning comparable to that of the verb stýra ‘to steer’, which can be used for ships and carriages but also for countries and people (cf. LP: stýra). (b) Others (Wadstein 1895a, 82; Storm 1899, 139; Brøgger 1925, 185; Hkr 1991) have interpreted reið as ‘ship’, citing a ship heiti in Þul Skipa 3/8III. However, reið ‘carriage’ is normally used not as a ship-heiti but as the base-word in ship-kennings, with determinants such as hlunna ‘of launching-rollers’ or the name of a sea-king (see LP: 1. reið 1). (c) Noreen (Yt 1925; cf. Lindquist 1929, 73) suggests that reið meant a troop of riders, but the word is not attested in this meaning, and mounted warriors were not common in the Viking Age. — [7] heiðumhôr ‘High with Honours’: This, the explanation generally accepted today, is first proposed by Bugge (1894, 137-8), who notes that although ON heiðr does not occur in the pl., synonyms like sœmð do. The comp. heiðumhæri is the normal form in prose (on the difference between heiðumhôr and heiðumhæri, see ÍF 26, 83, n.). — [9-10]: The last two lines are only attested in F and 761aˣ and are syntactically incomplete. It is possible that they are a fragment of a lost stanza (Konráð Gíslason 1881, 185-6; Bugge 1894, 137), and they are omitted in some eds (Hkr 1893-1901; Yng 1912; Skald; ÍF 26; cf. also Åkerlund 1939, 123-4; NN §1014A). — [10] dróttinn markar ‘lord of the forest’: Since ‘lord of the forest’ would not be a standard designation for a king, markar, gen. sg. of mǫrk ‘forest’ or possibly ‘borderland’ (CVC: mörk), may stand for the land in general.

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