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Runic Dictionary

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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, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

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, 869

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Þloft Glækv 4I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Glælognskviða 4’ 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. 869.

Hafði sér
harðla ráðit
Haralds sonr
til himinríkis,
áðr seimbrjótr
at sætti varð.

{Sonr Haralds} hafði harðla ráðit sér til himinríkis, áðr {seimbrjótr} varð at sætti.

{The son of Haraldr} [= Óláfr] had powerfully taken himself to the heavenly kingdom, before {the treasure-breaker} [GENEROUS MAN] became a mediator.

Mss: (486v-487r), 39(11ra) (Hkr); Holm2(71v), 61(128vb), 325V(86rb), 325VII(40r), Bb(203rb), Flat(127va), Tóm(159r) (ÓH)

Readings: [3] sonr: mǫgr 325VII, son Flat    [4] himin‑: himi‑ Flat, ‘hini’ Tóm    [5] seim‑: seimi Bb;    ‑brjótr: broti Tóm    [6] at: om. 325V;    sætti: setti Kˣ, 39, Bb, ‘set’ Holm2, sætu 61, Flat, Tóm, om. 325V, sæti 325VII;    varð: om. Holm2, varð Kristi þekkr konungr in œzti 61

Editions: Skj: Þórarinn loftunga, 3. Glælognskviða 4: AI, 325, BI, 300, Skald I, 153, NN §965; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 520, IV, 175, ÍF 27, 407 (ÓHHkr ch. 245); ÓH 1941, I, 603 (ch. 245), Flat 1860-8, II, 377; Magerøy 1948, 11, 17, 22.

Context: See Context to st. 2 above.

Notes: [All]: As it stands, this stanza has only six lines, and so it must be assumed that at least two lines have been lost at the end (so Skj B; Skald; Magerøy 1948; ÍF 27). Hence it must remain uncertain as to whether the clause beginning at l. 5 is grammatically complete, even though it can be construed as such (especially with emendation); moreover, the syntactic connection between sts 4 and 5 is unclear, especially in those mss which read svát ‘so that’ in st. 5/1. The stanza is completed in 61 with the lines Kristi þekkr | konungr inn œzti ‘the highest king, pleasing to Christ’, but the authority of this reading must be doubted. — [2] ráðit ‘taken’: The phrasal verb is ráða(sk) til ‘to move, decide to move’ (Fritzner: ráða 7; CVC: ráða B. 3). — [3] Haralds ‘of Haraldr’: Haraldr inn grenski ‘from Grenland’ Guðrøðarson. — [4] himinríkis ‘the heavenly kingdom’: See Note to st. 3/4 above. — [6] sætti ‘a mediator’: Given the incomplete state of the helmingr, no interpretation can be more than tentative. (a) Skj B’s reading (which would seem to assume the agent noun sættir ‘mediator, reconciler’) is adopted here (see also Hkr 1893-1901, IV). It ties in well with the theme of the poem (cf. st. 9, where Óláfr intercedes with God for the benefit of humans) and, although an emendation, makes sense of the ms. readings. (b) Other solutions have been proposed. LP: sætti suggests a n. noun sætti ‘(means) of reconciliation’ here, but also notes that the text is corrupt, and this lexeme is usually f. sátt/sætt (the idiom verða at sætt is recorded, e.g., in Gylf, SnE 2005, 23). (c) Kock (NN §965), linking up with his reading kykvasætr in st. 3/7, suggests the noun involved is sætr n. ‘seat, residence’ or sæti n. ‘seat’; Skald prints sætri. (d) ÍF 27 simply retains the reading of setti, and assumes that the clause cannot be construed as it stands since the last two lines of the stanza are missing.

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