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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þórarinn loftunga (Þloft)

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

3. Glælognskviða (Glækv) - 10

Skj info: Þórarinn loftunga, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 322-7, BI, 298-301).

Skj poems:
1. Hǫfuðlausn
2. Tøgdrápa
3. Glælognskviða

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 1 July 2022)

 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, 871

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Þloft Glækv 6I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Glælognskviða 6’ 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. 871.

Þar borðveggs
bjǫllur kneigu
of sæing hans
sjalfar hringjask,
ok hvern dag
heyra þjóðir
klokkna hljóð
of konungmanni.

Þar kneigu bjǫllur borðveggs hringjask sjalfar of sæing hans, ok hvern dag heyra þjóðir hljóð klokkna of konungmanni.

There bells in the wooden structure ring by themselves above his bed, and every day people hear the sound of bells above the king.

Mss: (487r), 39(11ra) (Hkr); Holm2(71v), 325VI(39vb), 321ˣ(273), 61(128vb), 325V(86rb), 325VII(40r), 325XI 2 n(1r), Bb(203rb-va), Flat(127va), Tóm(159r) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] Þar: þvíat 325V, ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 n;    borð‑: boð 39, 325V;    ‑veggs: vegs Kˣ, 39, Holm2, 325VI, 321ˣ, 61, 325VII, 325XI 2 n, Bb, vex 325V, Tóm, ‘veg(g)s’(?) Flat    [2] bjǫllur: ‘biollr’ 321ˣ, 61;    kneigu: kneiga 39, ‘kneðu’ 325VII, ‘kneg[…]’ 325XI 2 n, hanga Bb    [3] of sæing hans: ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 n;    of (‘um’): ‘v[…]’ 39, yfir 61, ok um Bb;    sæing hans: hans sæing Bb    [4] sjalfar hringjask: ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 n;    hringjask: ‘[…]ingia[…]’ 39    [5] ok: ‘[…]’ 39, 325XI 2 n    [7] klokkna: ‘klvc[…]na’ 39, klokku Flat;    hljóð: ‘[…]’ 39    [8] of (‘um’): ‘[…]’ 39, yfir 61, 325V, Flat, Tóm;    konung‑: konungi 325VI;    ‑manni: ‘inan’ 321ˣ

Editions: Skj: Þórarinn loftunga, 3. Glælognskviða 6: AI, 326, BI, 301, Skald I, 153, NN §1130; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 520, IV, 175, ÍF 27, 407-8 (ÓHHkr ch. 245); ÓH 1941, I, 604 (ch. 245), Flat 1860-8, II, 377; Magerøy 1948, 11-12, 17, 24-7.

Context: See Context to st. 2 above.

Notes: [1] borðveggs ‘in the wooden structure’: Lit. ‘of the plank wall’. Here, as in previous eds, ‘-vegs’ is read as veggs. The gen. borðveggs could qualify either sæing ‘bed’ or bjǫllur ‘bells’. Kock (NN §1130), Magerøy (1948) and ÍF 27 prefer the latter, and this is followed here. Skj B prefers the former, suggesting the phrase refers to Óláfr’s wooden shrine. As to what may be referred to by borðveggr (a term also occurring in Vsp 24/5), Kock suggests the bell-tower, ÍF 27 the choir or chancel, and Magerøy (1948), by means of pars pro toto, the (stave) church building more generally. — [2] bjǫllur ‘bells’: Snorri Sturluson (ÍF 27, 409) interprets the miracle here as meaning that a sound could be heard above Óláfr’s resting-place, svá sem klukkur hringðisk ‘as if bells were ringing’, but it is more likely that Þórarinn is referring to literal bells, ringing by themselves within the church. ON bjalla f. is a loanword from OE (Fischer 1909, 24; AEW: bjalla). — [2] kneigu: So Finnur Jónsson (1901, 111; also Skj B, followed in Skald), rather than knegu (Magerøy 1948; ÍF 27). The verb is an auxiliary to hringjask ‘ring’ (l. 4); see Note to st. 5/5, 8.  — [4] hringjask ‘ring’: A loan-word from OE (Fischer 1909, 24; AEW: hringja 3). — [7] klokkna ‘of bells’: Klokka (f., gen. pl. klokkna) is a loan-word, of disputed origin (Fischer 1909, 60; AEW: kløkkna; Kluge 2002: Glocke). Klokka is the older form, klukka (as printed in Magerøy 1948 and ÍF 27) the younger (CVC: klukka; Holtsmark 1955, 329 only records spellings in <o> in pre-1250 Norwegian mss). Flat’s reading specifies a single bell only (klokku gen. sg.). During his lifetime Óláfr had given a famous bell, Glǫð, to Clemenskirkja (Clemenskirken, S. Clement’s Church), whose sound (klukkuhljóð) Óláfr’s son Magnús was later to hear before the battle of Hlýrskógsheiðr (Lyrskovshede; see ÓH 1941, I, 629; ÍF 28, 43).

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