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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Haustl 6III

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 440.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniHaustlǫng

Ok slíðrliga síðan
svangr — vas þat fyr lǫngu —
át af eikirótum
okbjǫrn faðir Mǫrnar,
áðr djúphugaðr dræpi
dolg ballastan vallar
hirðitýr meðal herða
herfangs ofan stǫngu.

Ok {svangr faðir Mǫrnar} át síðan slíðrliga {okbjǫrn} af eikirótum – þat vas fyr lǫngu –, áðr {djúphugaðr hirðitýr herfangs} dræpi {ballastan dolg vallar} stǫngu ofan meðal herða.

And {the hungry father of Mǫrn <giantess>} [= Þjazi] then ate horribly {the yoke-bear} [OX] from the oak-roots – that was long ago –, before {the deep-minded retaining god of plunder} [= Loki] could strike {the very bold enemy of the earth} [GIANT = Þjazi] with a pole from above between the shoulders.

Mss: R(25v), Tˣ(26r), W(55) (SnE)

Readings: [1] ‑liga: ‑loga W    [3] át: lét W;    ‑rótum: so Tˣ, ‘rot[…]’ R, rótu W    [4] Mǫrnar: ‘morna’ R, W, ‘niorna’ Tˣ    [5] djúp‑: drjúp Tˣ;    dræpi (‘drępi’): so W, drepi R, Tˣ    [6] ballastan: ‘ballastann’ Tˣ, ‘ballaðan’ W    [7] hirði‑: so all others, ‘hirð[…]’ R    [8] ‑fangs: ‑fang W;    ofan: so all others, ‘ofangs ofan’ R;    stǫngu: so Tˣ, ‘strongv’ with first three letters overwritten from something else R, stungu W

Editions: Skj AI, 17, Skj BI, 15, Skald I, 10; SnE 1848-87, I, 310-11, III, 43, SnE 1931, 112, SnE 1998, I, 31.

Context: As for st. 1.

Notes: [All]: According to the prose narrative in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 1), Loki became very angry when Þjazi devoured so much of the ox, and snatched up a long pole, driving it with all his strength at the body of the giant in eagle form. — [4] faðir Mǫrnar ‘father of Mǫrn <giantess> [= Þjazi]’: The same kenning for Þjazi occurs in st. 12/8. Þjazi’s only known daughter was Skaði, so it is possible that Mǫrn is another name for her. Alternatively, and more probably, it may be a general name for a giantess (see Þul Trollkvenna 3/5), and the form ‘morna’ found in both R and W at this point may possibly be gen. pl. ‘of giantesses’ (cf. Meissner 255). The stem vowel in the gen. sg. Mǫrnar must be an extension of the nom. Mǫrn, in which the ǫ resulted from u-umlaut of a. See also Note to Hfr Lv 3/3V (Hallfr 4). Skj B emends to Marnar. — [5, 7, 8] djúphugaðr hirðitýr herfangs ‘the deep-minded retaining god of plunder [= Loki]’: An unusual kenning, dependent, as a number of Haustl’s are, on the mythic narrative context. Loki is, probably ironically, described as ‘deep-minded’ because he tries to attack Þjazi with a pole (a plan that backfires), and he can be described as a hirðitýr ‘retaining god’ because he tries to keep the ox, which is stolen property or herfang ‘plunder, booty’, for himself and his divine companions. — [5] dræpi ‘could strike’: Ms. W’s ‘drępi’ (3rd pers. sg. pret. subj.) is adopted here, rather than R, ’s drepi (3rd pers. sg. pres. subj.) The pret. subj. form of the verb is to be expected here, and in addition the long vowel is required in the cadence.


  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. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  7. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. Internal references
  9. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  10. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Trollkvenna heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 727.
  11. Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Haustlǫng’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 431.
  12. Not published: do not cite (Hfr Lv 3V (Hallfr 4))

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