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, 19

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Þjóð Yt 7I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 7’ 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. 19.

Kveðkat dul,
nema Dyggva hrør
Glitnis Gnô
at gamni hefr,
þvít jódís
Ulfs ok Narfa
konungmann
kjósa skyldi.
Ok allvald
Yngva þjóðar
Loka mær
of leikinn hefr.

Kveðkat dul, nema {Gnô Glitnis} hefr hrør Dyggva at gamni, þvít {jódís Ulfs ok Narfa} skyldi kjósa konungmann. Ok {mær Loka} hefr of leikinn allvald {þjóðar Yngva}.

I call it no secret, but {the Gná <goddess> of Glitnir <horse>} [= Hel] has the corpse of Dyggvi for [her] pleasure, for {the sister of the Wolf and of Narfi} [= Hel] had to choose the king . And {the maiden of Loki} [= Hel] has outplayed the sovereign {of the people of Yngvi} [= Svíar].

Mss: (19r), papp18ˣ(5v), 521ˣ(18), F(3va), J2ˣ(10r), R685ˣ(11v) (Hkr); 761aˣ(56v-57r)

Readings: [2] hrør: reyr F, hreyr J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [4] gamni: ‘gafin’ R685ˣ    [9] allvald: ‘alld ualld’ R685ˣ    [11] Loka: ‘laka’ papp18ˣ    [12] of leikinn: ‘at lekiom’ J2ˣ, R685ˣ;    hefr: ‘hófr’ F

Editions: Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 1. Ynglingatal 7: AI, 8-9, BI, 8, Skald I, 5, NN §§1011, 1779C; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 32, IV, 8-9, ÍF 26, 33-4, Hkr 1991, I, 19 (Yng ch. 17), F 1871, 12; Yng 1912, 23, 59, Yng 2000, 22; Yt 1914, 4, Yt 1925, 200, 221-3.

Context: Yng relates that nothing is known about Dyggvi, son of Dómarr, except that he died of an illness.

Notes: [1] kveðkat dul ‘I call it no secret’: Lit. ‘I do not call it a secret’. The poet uses several phrases that refer to people’s knowledge of events described in the poem (sts 6, 8, 15, 16, 20, 22). ON dul f. means ‘concealment, (self-)delusion, conceit’, and hence kveðkat dul could alternatively mean ‘it really is true’ (Lie 1957, 68). — [2] Dyggva ‘of Dyggvi’: The prince’s name was probably a nickname meaning ‘the Good, the Doughty’, out of which an independent pers. n. developed. Whether conclusions about the prince’s personality are safely drawn on this basis is doubtful (cf. Turville-Petre 1978-9, 64). — [2] hrør ‘the corpse’: The two readings hreyr ‘burial place’ and hrør ‘corpse’ have the same distribution as in st. 6/2, but here, unlike in st. 6/2, hrør is probably the correct choice for the original word. This is also the position of Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26). He suggests as an alternative that the kenning hlífi-Nauma hallvarps ‘the protecting Nauma <goddess> of the cairn [= Hel]’ in st. 22/5-6 might favour the notion that Hel has the burial-mound (hreyr) instead of the corpse (hrør) to her delight (at gamni) in this stanza, but this is unlikely. — [3] Gnô Glitnis ‘the Gná <goddess> of Glitnir <horse> [= Hel]’: Almost all interpreters of the stanza have assumed this kenning refers to Hel, the being who presides over the realm of the dead (see Note to Bjbp Jóms 34/1, 4). This assumption is favoured by the occurrence of a kenning for Hel in both of the stanza’s other two four-line units. Gná, the name of one of the Ásynjur (goddesses), occurs as the base-word in woman-kennings (Meissner 406). Glitnir means ‘the shining one’ (cf. glitra ‘glitter, shine’), and is recorded as a name of the hall of the god Forseti, which was decorated with gold and silver (Grí 15/2-3), but there are divergent views of the significance of Glitnir here. The present edn tentatively takes Glitnir to be the horse-heiti recorded in Þul Hesta 1/3III (so also Yt 1925; NN §1011; Turville-Petre 1964, 56, 226; ÍF 26). If this is correct, Gn Glitnis, interpreted as ‘the goddess of the horse’, might refer to Hel’s appearance as a mounted goddess of death. Turville-Petre (1964, 56-7) points out a fundamental association between horses and death, as indicated by numerous graves in which horses were burial objects, and by the belief that people rode horses into the realm of the dead. The motif of Death’s horse or of Death mounted is familiar from many folk tales (‘Pferd 3. Mythologisches’, HDA 6, 109). Moreover, the name Glitnir ‘the shining one’ fits the circumstance that Death traditionally rides a white horse (loc. cit.). — [4] hefr ... at gamni ‘has ... for [her] pleasure’: Most interpreters justifiably view this phrase as a reference to an erotic relationship between the dead and the goddess of death. However, it does not follow that Hel is depicted as an erotic, appealing woman (as suggested by Bergsveinn Birgisson 2008, 352); nor is it necessary to suppose that the motif as it appears here is humorous (so Krag 1991, 108). While the image of a death goddess having an erotic relationship with the dead is found only in Yt, the dead are often claimed by goddesses. The sea-goddess Rán receives the drowned (cf. prose introduction to Reg, HHj 18/5, Egill St 7/1V (Eg 78)), and Freyja receives half of the fallen (Grí 14/4-5). — [5-6] jódís Ulfs ok Narfa ‘the sister of the Wolf and of Narfi [= Hel]’: This kenning is explicable on the basis that Hel, the wolf Fenrir and Narfi (also named Nari) are the offspring of Loki. Nari/Narfi’s mother is Sigyn, Loki’s wife, while the giantess Angrboða gives birth to Hel and Fenrir (as well as the Miðgarðsormr ‘World Serpent’, Gylf, SnE 2005, 27). The word jódís occurs only here and in SnE (1998, I, 108), where it is given together with systir ‘sister’ and dís ‘goddess, minor female deity’ among the heiti for ‘woman’. The sense ‘sister’ is clearly required by the present context and this finds some limited support in the SnE context (cf. st. 9/7, where dís Loga appears to mean ‘sister of Logi’; see Note). The second element of the cpd is dís, while the first is uncertain (see AEW: jódís, jóðdís). — [10] þjóðar Yngva ‘of the people of Yngvi [= Svíar]’: On Yngvi, see the Introduction. The people of Uppland, the Svíar, are thought to have been his descendants. — [11] mær Loka ‘the maiden of Loki [= Hel]’: On Hel’s parentage, see Note to ll. 5-6.

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