This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. 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.

Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

login: password: stay logged in: help

Þórarinn loftunga (Þloft)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Matthew Townend;

3. Glælognskviða (Glækv) - 10

Few biographical facts are known about Þórarinn loftunga ‘Praise-tongue’ (Þloft). In introducing Þórarinn’s service to King Knútr inn ríki Sveinsson (Cnut the Great), Snorri Sturluson (ÍF 27, 307; cf. ÓH 1941, I, 473) records in general terms that he was an Icelander and a great poet (skáld mikit) who had spent a great deal of time with kings and other chieftains. Knýtl (ÍF 35, 124) gives a similar portrait, and adds that Þórarinn was gamall ‘old’ when he first came to Knútr. However, all of Þórarinn’s extant poetry derives from his service to Knútr and his son Sveinn, and these are the only monarchs for whom Þórarinn is recorded as a poet in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 258, 267). Þorm Lv 10/1-2 also refers to Knútr rewarding Þórarinn with gold over a long period (for the anecdote in which it is quoted see ÓHLeg 1982, 124-8; ÓH 1941, II, 799-804), and his pre-Knútr career must remain hypothetical. Parts of three poems are preserved: Hǫfuðlausn (Hfl) and Tøgdrápa (Tøgdr) for Knútr, and Glælognskviða (Glækv) for Sveinn, probably composed in this order, and between c. 1027 and 1034; for circumstances of composition and preservation see individual Introductions below. The evidence of the poems suggests that Þórarinn entered Knútr’s service in either England or Denmark, accompanied him on his journey to Norway in 1028, and after 1030 remained at Sveinn’s court in Norway at least until c. 1032. For previous discussions of Þórarinn’s career see LH I, 601-3, Malcolm (1993), and Townend (2005, 256-7).

Glælognskviða — Þloft GlækvI

Matthew Townend 2012, ‘ Þórarinn loftunga, Glælognskviða’ 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. 863. <> (accessed 28 May 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 

for reference only:  10x 

Skj: Þórarinn loftunga: 3. Glælognskviða, 1032 (AI, 324-7, BI, 300-1)

SkP info: I, 866

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Þloft Glækv 2I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Glælognskviða 2’ 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. 866.

Nú hefr sér
til sess hagat
í Þrándheimi.
Þar vill æ
ævi sína
bauga brjótr
byggðum ráða.

Nú hefr þjóðkonungr hagat sér til sess í Þrándheimi. Þar vill {brjótr bauga} ráða byggðum æ ævi sína.

Now the great king [= Sveinn] has arranged himself on the throne in Trøndelag. There {the breaker of rings} [GENEROUS MAN] will rule the settlements always throughout his life.

Mss: (486v), 39(11ra) (Hkr); Holm2(71v), 325VI(39vb), 321ˣ(273), Holm4(67vb) (ll. 1-4), 61(128vb), 325V(86ra-b), 325VII(40r), Bb(203rb), Flat(127va), Tóm(159r) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] sér: Svein 61    [2] sess: ‘se[…]’ 39, þess Holm2;    hagat: ‘hag[…]’ 325VII, hugat Bb    [4] ‑heimi: ‘[…]’ Holm4    [5] vill: vill hann Bb;    æ: om. 39, ey Holm2, 325VI, 321ˣ, alla 325VII    [6] ævi: ‘[…]fi’ 39;    sína: síðan 325VII    [7] bauga: baug 325V;    brjótr: njótr Bb

Editions: Skj: Þórarinn loftunga, 3. Glælognskviða 2: AI, 325, BI, 300, Skald I, 152; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 520, IV, 174, ÍF 27, 406 (ÓHHkr ch. 245); ÓH 1941, I, 603 (ch. 245), Flat 1860-8, II, 377; Magerøy 1948, 11, 16, 19-20.

Context: Following an account in the previous chapter of the translation of Óláfr’s remains into Clemenskirkja, Niðaróss (Clemenskirken, Trondheim), and quotation of Sigv ErfÓl 23, sts 2-10 are quoted as a block in ÓH-Hkr in exemplification of the miracles of the now venerated Óláfr.

Notes: [All]: The introduction in ÓH-Hkr identifies skald and title: Þórarinn loftunga orti um Svein Álfífuson kvæði þat, er Glælognskviða heitir, ok eru þessar vísur þar íÞórarinn loftunga composed about Sveinn Álfífuson that poem which is called Glælognskviða, and these stanzas are in it’. — [1] sér ‘himself’: Note 61’s reading, which identifies Sveinn. Although the poem speaks of Sveinn in both the 2nd and 3rd pers., he is not actually named in any of the extant stanzas. — [3] þjóðkonungr ‘the great king’: Cognate with OE þēodcyning (e.g. Beowulf l. 2 þēodcyninga, Beowulf 2008, 3). As in OE, the first element may mean ‘people’, but could also simply be an intensifying prefix. Þjóðkonungr may seem rather a grand title to apply to the youthful Sveinn, but the phrase Sveinn konungr in Sigv Tryggfl 1/3 and Anon Sveinfl 1/5 confirms that he was indeed recognised as king of Norway, and not simply as regent or governor on behalf of his father Knútr. — [4] í Þrándheimi ‘in Trøndelag’: This is more likely to refer to the region (modern Trøndelag) than to the city (modern Trondheim). For the name in medieval sources, and its relationship with Kaupangr and Niðaróss, see Gade (1998) and Lockertsen (1999). — [5] æ ‘always’: Skj B, Skald and Magerøy all print the related form ey (witnessed by mss including the authoritative Holm2), no doubt to avoid the rhyming clash of æ with the following word ævi.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated