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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 17I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 17’ 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. 38.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal

text and translation

Veitk Eysteins
enda folginn
lokins lífs
á Lófundi.
Ok sikling
með Svíum kvôðu
józka menn
inni brenna.
Ok bitsótt
í brandnói
hlíðar þangs
á hilmi rann,
þás timbrfastr
toptar nǫkkvi
flotna fullr
of fylki brann.

Veitk enda lokins lífs Eysteins folginn á Lófundi. Ok kvôðu með Svíum józka menn brenna inni sikling. Ok {bitsótt {þangs hlíðar}} rann á hilmi í {brandnói}, þás {timbrfastr nǫkkvi toptar}, fullr flotna, brann of fylki.
‘I know the end of the concluded life of Eysteinn to be hidden in Lófund. And among the Swedes [people] said that men from Jutland burned the ruler inside [a house]. And the biting sickness of the sea-weed of the hill-slope [FOREST > FIRE] attacked the ruler in the fire-ship [HOUSE] when the timber-fast boat of the building plot [HOUSE], full of seafarers, burned over the ruler.

notes and context

Eysteinn, son and successor of Aðils, is enjoying hospitality in Lófund when Sǫlvi, a raider king based in Jutland, sets fire to the building by night, killing Eysteinn and his company. After an eleven-day battle, Sǫlvi gains power in Sweden.

[1-4]: Various syntactic interpretations are possible here, since the alternative readings, m. nom./acc. sg. lokinn (J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ) or m./n. gen. sg. lokins (K transcripts, F) ‘concluded’ allow for the following combinations: lokinn with enda ‘end’, lokins with enda, lífs ‘life’ or Eysteins. (a) The interpretation adopted in this edn, as in many previous eds, chooses the reading lokins and construes lokins as a p. p. with lífs, hence ‘of the concluded life’. This results in a construal which connects l. 1 with l. 3 and l. 2 with l. 4, which is characteristic of Þjóðolfr’s composition. (b) Thinking lokins lífs cannot mean ‘of the concluded life’ because lúka governs the dat., Olson (1915, 222) translates lokins lífs as ‘shut in alive’ and thinks it a reference to the king’s burning alive in the brenna. Noreen (Yt 1925) and Lindquist (1929, 67) concur, though Noreen employs the reading lokinn. Kock (NN §2003) rightly objects to Olson’s premise, noting that the case governed by a verb (here the dat.) is irrelevant to the form of the participle.



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 23-24: AI, 12, BI, 11, Skald I, 7; NN §§1013, 2003, 3201; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 58-9, IV, 18, ÍF 26, 60-1, Hkr 1991, I, 34 (Yng ch. 31), F 1871, 22-3; Yng 1912, 38-9, 65-6, Yng 2000, 47-8; Yt 1914, 11-12, Yt 1925, 204, 239-40.


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