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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 14I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 14’ 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. 31.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal

text and translation

Ok lofsæll
ór landi fló
Týs ôttungr
Tunna ríki.
En flæmingr
farra trjónu
jǫtuns eykr
á Agli rauð,
sás of austmǫrk
áðan hafði
brúna hǫrg
of borinn lengi.
En skíðlauss
Skilfinga nið
hœfis hjǫrr
til hjarta stóð.

Ok {lofsæll ôttungr Týs} fló ór landi ríki Tunna. En flæmingr, {eykr jǫtuns}, sás áðan hafði of borinn {hǫrg brúna} lengi of austmǫrk, rauð {trjónu farra} á Agli. En {skíðlauss hjǫrr hœfis} stóð til hjarta {nið Skilfinga}.
‘And the famous descendant of Týr <god> [= Swedish king] fled the country before the power of Tunni. And the roamer, the draught-animal of the giant [BULL], which before had long borne the cairn of the brows [HEAD] about the eastern forest, reddened its weapon of the bull [HORN] upon Egill. And the sheathless sword of the bull [HORN] stuck in the heart of the descendant of the Skilfingar [= Swedish king].

notes and context

King Egill, son of Aun, is driven from the country by the farmhand Tunni, who instigates an uprising with other labourers. Egill finds refuge with the Danish king Fróði inn frœkni ‘the Valiant’ on Selund (Zealand). With the help of Danish fighters he routs Tunni, who dies in battle. Three years later, a bull that should have been sacrificed escapes into the forest, turns mad and becomes a great danger to the people. Egill encounters this bull while hunting, and it kills him. He is buried in a mound in Uppsala.

This stanza seems exceptional within Yt insofar as it gives details of the king’s life, not only the circumstances of his death. Noteworthy in connection with Egill’s killing by a bull is that the Danish king Fróði, to whom he flees, dies the same way: pierced either by a stag’s antlers while hunting (Skjǫldunga saga, ÍF 35, 15) or by the horn of a sorceress transformed into a cow (Saxo 2005, I, 5, 16, 2, pp. 359-60). For other related narratives cf. Schück (1905-10, 110) and Olrik (1903-1910, II, 246-9).



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, 1. Ynglingatal 17-18: AI, 11, BI, 10, Skald I, 6-7, NN §§75, 854, 1808; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 51, IV, 15-16, ÍF 26, 52-3, Hkr 1991, I, 30 (Yng ch. 26), F 1871, 19-20; Yng 1912, 34, 63-4, Yng 2000, 40; Yt 1914, 9, Yt 1925, 202, 235-7.


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