at hǫfði ‘at the head’: The phrase is not to be taken literally (Bjǫrn falls while Óláfr is still standing), and hǫfði (nom. sg. hǫfuð) presumably refers to the king’s person; cf. Note to st. 21/2 and Yt 25/7. Frank (1978, 130) suggests a reminiscence of the last words and ‘heroic self-sacrifice’ of the Danish hero Bjarki; his name means ‘little bear’ while Bjǫrn means ‘bear’.
- Frank, Roberta. 1978. Old Norse Court Poetry: The Dróttkvætt Stanza. Islandica 42. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
- Internal references
- Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 25’ 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. 53.