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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þhorn Gldr 2I

[4] hlymrœks ‘of the battle-cultivator’: The second element of the cpd as preserved in the mss (‘-ræks’, ‘-rœks’, ‘-reks’) is normalised to ‑rœks (see Note to Yt 25/7). (a) This edn interprets hlymrœks as a nominalised form of an adj. referring to Haraldr’s opponent. This produces a structural pattern for ll. 1-4 which closely matches the first helmingr of st. 1 (see Note to ll. 1-4). A drawback to this solution, however, is that hlym- ‘noise (of battle)’ normally needs a determinant, and various alternatives have therefore been proposed. (b) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 71; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) and Eggert Ó. Brím (ÓT 1892, 345) combine it with their emendation of Þróttr to Þróttar <= Óðinn>. Without emendation, this solution is not possible. (c) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (LP (1860): hlenni), Kock (NN §230) and Hkr 1991 take hlymrœks to be an adj. and combine it with hlenna (gen. sg.), thus ‘noise-making thief’. (d) Fidjestøl (1982, 77) reads of trǫð ferðar hlymrœks glamma ‘on the path of the troop of the noise-making wolf’. However, hlymrœks glamma is gen. sg., whereas in most of the comparable cases ferð ‘troop’ is construed with a gen. pl., cf. LP: ferð. (e) Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB II, 30 n.), followed by ÍF 26, attempts an entirely different interpretation according to which the word is the Irish p. n. Limerick. He connects Hlymræks to hlenna ‘thieves’. Helkannandi dróttar hlenna Hlymreks ‘the one who hands the band of thieves of Limerick over to Hel’ then forms an apposition to the subject of the sentence, praising him for a presumed campaign against the Irish. However, the Irish are not mentioned elsewhere in the poem, only the Scots (see st. 8/6), and the structural parallels between the first helmingar of sts 1 and 2 favour the interpretation (a).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  6. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  7. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  8. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  9. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  11. Finnur Jónsson. 1884. Kritiske studier over en del af de ældste norske og islandske skjaldekvad. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  12. ÓT 1892 = Eggert Ó. Brím, ed. 1892. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar. Reykjavík: Ísafoldarprentsmiðja.
  13. Internal references
  14. 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.


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