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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þjóð Yt 23I

[10] hjá gauzkum jǫfur ‘near the Gautish prince’: Gauzkum has been combined either with jǫfur ‘prince’ or with at vági ‘into the bay’ (see overview in Åkerlund 1939, 113-14). (a) The combination with at vági is contra-indicated both by Yt’s characteristic style of maintaining maximally unitary lines and by the fact that any body of water which might have been called the ‘Gautish Sea’ would be unlikely to be located elsewhere than off Sweden’s west coast, perhaps near the mouth of the Götaälv. (b) Gauzkum must therefore qualify jǫfur, despite difficulties. The prep. hjá ‘near’ governs the dat. case (Fritzner: hjá), which would normally be jǫfri (attested several times in Þjóðólfr’s poetry). It has therefore been suggested (Åkerlund 1939, 114) that this is an alternative dat. form with no ending (see ANG §358.3). As Åkerlund notes, this also fits the metrical scheme better, since jǫfur makes for a flawless Type C2-line. It is unclear why the poet calls the king ‘Gautish’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  3. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  4. Åkerlund, Walter. 1939. Studier över Ynglingatal. Skrifta utgivna av Vetenskaps-Societeten i Lund 23. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Internal references
  6. Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal’ 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. 3.


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