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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
121314

Knátti endr
at Uppsǫlum
ánasótt
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
austrkonungr
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].

Mss: (26v), papp18ˣ(7v), 521ˣ(29-30), F(4vb), J2ˣ(14v), R685ˣ(14v-15r) (Hkr); 761aˣ(58v-59r)

Readings: [4] Aun: ‘Aum’ 521ˣ    [6] þiggja: liggja J2ˣ, R685ˣ;    skyldi: skylda F    [7] alað: so J2ˣ, R685ˣ, aðal Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, F, 761aˣ    [8] ǫðru sinni: so all others, ‘auþi s.’ Kˣ    [9] sveiðurs: so F, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, ‘sveiðuðs’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ    [11] mækis: so F, J2ˣ, ‘mækil’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, ‘mælus’ R685ˣ    [13] ok‑: at‑ F    [18] hjarðar mæki: mæki hjarðar J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [20] of (‘um’): at F, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 10-11, Skj 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.

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.

Notes: [All]: 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). — [1] knátti: See Note to st. 4/4. — [3] ánasótt ‘decrepitude’: Lit. ‘grandfathers’ disease’. Ána is gen. pl. of ái ‘grandfather’ (Läffler 1886a; Läffler 1886b), and the grandfathers’ sótt ‘disease, illness’ can be interpreted as decrepitude in this context. Snorri (Yng, ÍF 26, 47) seems to have understood ánasótt as ‘Áni’s disease’, since he gives the king’s name at the beginning of the chapter as Aun eða Áni ‘Aun or Áni’. — [4] Aun (acc. sg.) ‘Aunn’: Whether the nom. sg. form of the name is Aun or Aunn is not certain. Aunn may be suggested by the form Auchun in the Lat. HN (2003, 76) and is adopted in LP: Aunn and in this edn. — [7] alað ‘the food’: This, the J2ˣ reading, is to be preferred as the lectio difficilior, and in the variational technique typical of Yt the same topic (here Aunn’s feeding as an infant) is normally carried through the stanza. Alað n. derives from ala ‘to feed, nourish’ (Fritzner: alað), and otherwise occurs only in the legal term alaðsfestr ‘a fee to be paid by a convict in the Court of Execution’ (CVC, Fritzner: alaðsfestr; Konráð Gíslason 1881, 224). Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB I, 247) prefers the reading aðal n. ‘nature’ (K transcripts and F) and translates the clause as ‘was obliged to take the nature of a babe the second time’. — [9] sveiðurs ‘of the bull’: The reading sveiðurs (F, J2ˣ, R685ˣ) is preferred over ’s ‘sveiðuðs’, which would indicate an unattested nom. sveiðuðr that, according to Konráð Gíslason (1881, 225), would have arisen from sveiðurr ‘bull’. — [14] rjóðr ôttunga ‘the reddener of kinsmen [= Aunn]’: All mss show rjóðr ‘reddener’ here, and this is retained in the present edn (so also Skald; Yt 1925; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). Konráð Gíslason (1881, 226-9, followed by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901; Yng 1912; Skj B) suggests emending to hrjóðr ‘destroyer’ for semantic reasons, but while neither rjóðr nor the verb rjóða ‘to redden’ occurs elsewhere with a human object, the same is true of hrjóðr and hrjóða ‘to destroy’ (LP, Fritzner: hrjóða, rjóða), and hence emendation to hrjóðr is not justified (ÍF 26). ‘Reddener’ could be interpreted either as ‘he who reddens them in blood’, i.e. who kills (his kinsmen), or as ‘he who sacrifices them’ (so Schück 1905-10, 92-3), and colouring in blood may have been an important aspect of the cult (cf. Ranke 1978). If ‘sacrificer’ were the correct interpretation of rjóðr, the stanza would correspond to the narrative in Hkr (see Context above), and it is further supported by the adj. þrálífr ‘tenacious of life’ (Beyschlag 1950, 30; Krag 1991, 118). HN (2003, 76), by contrast, makes no mention of sacrifice, referring only to the advanced age of the king, here called Auchun, and to his decrepitude, which forces him to drink milk for the last nine years of his life. The similarity to the Greek myth of Kronos has been noted: Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB I, 523) and Eitrem (1927) assume an ancient commonality between the myths, while Noreen (Yt 1925) believes the sacrifice legend to be an educated fabrication by Snorri, perhaps a reformation of the Kronos myth. On possible religious-historical contexts of the Aunn legend, which religious historians locate in a periodic ritual king’s sacrifice, see ARG II, 421-2, 456.

References

  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 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. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  6. Krag, Claus. 1991. Ynglingatal og Ynglingesaga. En studie i historiske Kilder. Studia Humaniora 2. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
  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. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  14. ARG = Vries, Jan de. 1956-7. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte. 2 vols. 2nd edn. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  15. Konráð Gíslason. 1881. ‘Nogle bemærkninger angående Ynglingatal’. ÅNOH, 185-251.
  16. Yng 2000 = Jørgensen, Jon Gunnar, ed. 2000b. Ynglinga saga etter Kringla (AM 35 fol). Series of Dissertations submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of Oslo 80. Oslo: Unipub forlag.
  17. Yt 1914 = Grape, Anders and Birger Nerman, eds. 1914. Ynglingatal I-IV. Meddelanden från Nordiska Seminariet 3. Uppsala: Berling.
  18. Yng 1912 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912. Ynglingasaga. Copenhagen: Gad.
  19. Yt 1925 = Noreen, Adolf, ed. 1925. Ynglingatal: Text, översättning och kommentar. Stockholm: Lagerström.
  20. Beyschlag, Siegfried. 1950. Konungasögur: Untersuchungen zur Königssaga bis Snorri. Die älteren Übersichtswerke samt Ynglingasaga. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  21. Brüning, Hermann. 1908. Geschichte der Methodik der künstlichen Säuglingsernährung. Nach medizin-, kultur- und kunstgeschichtlichen Studien. Stuttgart: Enke.
  22. Eitrem, Sam. 1927. ‘König Aun in Upsala und Kronos’. In Festskrift til Hjalmar Falk, 30. desember 1927 fra elever, venner og kolleger. Oslo: Aschehoug, 245-61.
  23. Läffler, Leopold Frederik. 1886a. ‘Ána-sótt’. ANF 3, 188-9.
  24. Läffler, Leopold Frederik. 1886b. ‘Ytterligare om ánasótt’. ANF 3, 287-8.
  25. Ranke, Kurt. 1978. ‘Blut: §2. Volkskundliches’. In RGA, 2, 78-80.
  26. Rosenfeld, Hans-Friedrich. 1955-6. ‘Zu Thjódólfs Ynglingatal 15 und 16’. ZDA 86, 53-5.
  27. Schück, Henrik. 1905-10. Studier i Ynglingatal. Uppsala: Berling; Almqvist & Wiksell.
  28. Internal references
  29. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  30. Not published: do not cite (YngII)
  31. Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal’ 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. 3.
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