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Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

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Þórarinn loftunga (Þloft)

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

1. Hǫfuðlausn (Hfl) - 1

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).

Hǫfuðlausn — Þloft HflI

Matthew Townend 2012, ‘ Þórarinn loftunga, Hǫfuðlausn’ 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. 849. <> (accessed 7 December 2021)

stanzas:  1 

Skj: Þórarinn loftunga: 1. Hǫfuðlausn, o. 1026 (AI, 322, BI, 298); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: I, 850

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Þloft Hfl 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórarinn loftunga, Hǫfuðlausn 1’ 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. 850.

Knútr verr grund sem gætir
Gríklands himinríki.

Knútr verr grund sem {gætir Gríklands} himinríki.

Knútr defends the land as {the guardian of Greece} [= God] [defends] the heavenly kingdom.

texts: Flat 556, ÓH 119 (115), ÓHHkr 112 (II 112), Hkr 313 (II 112)

editions: Skj Þórarinn loftunga: 1. Hǫfuðlausn (AI, 322; BI, 298); Skald I, 151; ÓH 1941, I, 474 (ch. 166), Flat 1860-8, II, 306; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 397, ÍF 27, 307 (ÓHHkr ch. 172).


Holm perg 2 4° (Holm2) 56v - 56v (ÓH)  transcr.  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 206r, 23 - 206r, 24 (ÓH)  image  
AM 321 4°x (321x) 211, 8 - 211, 9 (ÓH)  transcr.  image  
AM 73 b fol (Bæb) 2va, 14 - 2va, 14 (ÓH)  image  image  
AM 68 fol (68) 56v, 13 - 56v, 13 (ÓH)  image  
Holm perg 4 4° (Holm4) 54va, 12 - 54va, 13 (ÓH)  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 115va, 26 - 115va, 27 (ÓH)  image  image  
AM 75 c fol (75c) 38v, 20 - 38v, 20 (ÓH)  image  
AM 325 V 4° (325V) 67va, 8 - 67va, 9 (ÓH)  image  
AM 325 VII 4° (325VII) 31r, 6 - 31r, 6 (ÓH)  image  
AM 325 XI 2 g 4° (325XI 2 g) 3rb, 10 - 3rb, 11 (ÓH)  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 118va, 48 - 118va, 49 (ÓH)  image  image  image  
GKS 1008 fol (Tóm) 145v, 37 - 145v, 37 (ÓH)  image  
AM 36 folx (Kx) 427v, 21 - 427v, 22 (Hkr)  image  
AM 73 a folx (73ax) 176v, 12 - 176v, 12 (ÓH)  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 427r - 427r  image  
Thott 972 folx (972x) 419va, 26 - 419va, 27 (ÓH)  image  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated