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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 11I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 11’ 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. 26.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal

text and translation

Ok varð hinn,
es Ôlfr of vá,
vǫrðr véstalls
of veginn liggja,
es dǫglingr
dreyrgan mæki
á Yngva rauð.
Vasa þat bært,
at Bera skyldi
vígs of hvetja,
þás brœðr tveir
at bǫnum urðusk
of afbrýði.

Ok {hinn vǫrðr véstalls}, es Ôlfr of vá, varð liggja of veginn, es ǫfundgjarn dǫglingr rauð dreyrgan mæki á Yngva. Þat vasa bært, at Bera skyldi of hvetja {valsœfendr} vígs, þás tveir brœðr óþurfendr urðusk at bǫnum of afbrýði.
‘And that guardian of the altar of the sanctuary [KING], whom Álfr slew, had to lie slain when the envy-ridden ruler reddened the bloody sword upon Yngvi. It was not right that Bera had to incite the slaughterers of the slain [WARRIORS] to fight when the two brothers needlessly became each other’s slayers out of jealousy.

notes and context

The brothers Álfr and Yngvi take over the kingship after their father Alrekr. Álfr remains in the country, while Yngvi leaves to be a viking. Yngvi is a successful, able warrior, handsome and cheerful, while Álfr is taciturn, unfriendly and conscious of his power. His wife Bera clearly prefers his brother and makes him jealous. One evening Álfr kills Yngvi with his sword, but Yngvi is able to return the blow, killing Álfr as well.



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 12-13: AI, 10, BI, 9, Skald I, 6, FF §50, NN §3201; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 39-40, IV, 12, ÍF 26, 42, Hkr 1991, I, 23-4 (Yng ch. 21), F 1871, 15; Yng 1912, 27, 61, Yng 2000, 29; Yt 1914, 7, Yt 1925, 202, 230-2.


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