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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 13I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 13’ 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. 29.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal

text and translation

Knátti endr
at Uppsǫlum
Aun of standa.
Ok þrálífr
þiggja skyldi
jóðs alað
ǫðru sinni.
Ok sveiðurs
at sér hverfði
mækis hlut
inn mjávara,
es okhreins
ôttunga rjóðr
lǫgðis odd
liggjandi drakk.
Máttit hárr
hjarðar mæki
upp of halda.

Ánasótt knátti endr of standa Aun at Uppsǫlum. Ok þrálífr skyldi þiggja ǫðru sinni alað jóðs. Ok hverfði at sér inn mjávara hlut {mækis sveiðurs}, es {rjóðr ôttunga} drakk liggjandi odd {lǫgðis {okhreins}}. Hárr austrkonungr máttit of halda upp {mæki hjarðar}.
‘Decrepitude long ago overtook Aunn at Uppsala. And the one tenacious of life had to receive the food of an infant a second time. And he turned the narrower part of the sword of the bull [HORN] toward himself when the reddener of kinsmen [= Aunn] drank lying down [from] the tip of the sword of the yoke-reindeer [BULL > HORN]. The grey-haired eastern king could not hold up the sword of the bull [HORN].

notes and context

King Aun or Áni (see Notes to ll. 3 and 4 below), son of Jǫrundr, who is not a warrior but a wise man and zealous blótmaðr (heathen sacrificial priest), sacrifices all of his sons to Óðinn in exchange for a promise that he would live ten years longer for each sacrifice. He grows very old this way, but the Swedes prevent him from sacrificing his last son, so he finally dies.

In consuming an infant’s food through a horn, the aged king follows a practice of feeding babies with sucking horns which is known from the earliest records (see Brüning 1908, 69-73; Rosenfeld 1955-6, 53-5).



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 15-16: AI, 10-11, BI, 10, Skald I, 6; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 47-8, IV, 14-15, ÍF 26, 50, Hkr 1991, I, 28 (Yng ch. 25), F 1871, 18; Yng 1912, 32, 62-3, Yng 2000, 37; Yt 1914, 8, Yt 1925, 202, 233-5.


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