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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Haustl 5III

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 439.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniHaustlǫng

text and translation

Fljótt bað foldar dróttinn
Fárbauta mǫg Várar
þekkiligr með þegnum
þrymseilar hval deila.
Enn af breiðu bjóði
bragðvíss at þat lagði
ósvífrandi ása
upp þjórhluti fjóra.

{Þekkiligr dróttinn foldar} bað {mǫg Fárbauta} deila fljótt {hval {Várar þrymseilar}} með þegnum. Enn {bragðvíss ósvífrandi ása} lagði at þat fjóra þjórhluti upp af breiðu bjóði.
‘The gracious lord of the earth [= Óðinn] bade the son of Fárbauti <giant> [= Loki] share out quickly the whale of the Vár <goddess> of the bowstring [= Skaði > OX] among the fellows. But the cunning unyielding opponent of the gods [= Þjazi] thereupon snatched four ox-parts up from the broad food-board.

notes and context

As for st. 1.

Lines 1-4 of this stanza recall the first helmingr of st. 4, both in subject-matter and vocabulary. The difference is that in st. 4 Þjazi is represented as disrupting the orderly sharing of food by trying to take over Óðinn’s role as leader and chief food-distributor. In st. 5/1-4 Óðinn reasserts his authority (and the kenning for Óðinn reflects this, just as that for Þjazi in st. 4/5 alerts one to his usurping of Óðinn’s role), and this forces Þjazi to snatch far more than his fair share of the ox, four parts, described in the prose narrative of Skm (SnE 1998, I, 1) as lær oxans tvau ok báða bógana ‘the ox’s two thighs and both shoulders’.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, enn hvinverski, 2. Haustlǫng 5: AI, 17, BI, 15, Skald I, 10, NN §§137, 227, 2504, 3037; SnE 1848-87, I, 310-11, III, 42-3, SnE 1931, 111, SnE 1998, I, 31.


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