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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 19I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 19’ 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. 42.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal
181920

Jónakrs ‘of Jónakr’

Jónakr (noun m.): Jónakr

kennings

harmi bura Jónakrs
‘by the pain of the sons of Jónakr ’
   = STONES

by the pain of the sons of Jónakr → STONES

notes

[2-3] harmi bura Jónakrs ‘by the pain of the sons of Jónakr [STONES]’: The kenning alludes to the heroic legend of Hamðir and Sǫrli, sons of Guðrún and her third husband Jónakr. Guðrún dispatches the brothers to take revenge against Jǫrmunrekkr for a brutal injustice against their half-sister, but their revenge fails because they refuse the aid of their half-brother Erpr, and kill him. Because they are impervious to metal weapons, they are killed with stones by Jǫrmunrekkr’s men (Bragi Rdr 5-6III; Hamð 25).

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bura ‘of the sons’

burr (noun m.; °; -ir): son

kennings

harmi bura Jónakrs
‘by the pain of the sons of Jónakr ’
   = STONES

by the pain of the sons of Jónakr → STONES

notes

[2-3] harmi bura Jónakrs ‘by the pain of the sons of Jónakr [STONES]’: The kenning alludes to the heroic legend of Hamðir and Sǫrli, sons of Guðrún and her third husband Jónakr. Guðrún dispatches the brothers to take revenge against Jǫrmunrekkr for a brutal injustice against their half-sister, but their revenge fails because they refuse the aid of their half-brother Erpr, and kill him. Because they are impervious to metal weapons, they are killed with stones by Jǫrmunrekkr’s men (Bragi Rdr 5-6III; Hamð 25).

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harmi ‘by the pain’

1. harmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sorrow, grief

kennings

harmi bura Jónakrs
‘by the pain of the sons of Jónakr ’
   = STONES

by the pain of the sons of Jónakr → STONES

notes

[2-3] harmi bura Jónakrs ‘by the pain of the sons of Jónakr [STONES]’: The kenning alludes to the heroic legend of Hamðir and Sǫrli, sons of Guðrún and her third husband Jónakr. Guðrún dispatches the brothers to take revenge against Jǫrmunrekkr for a brutal injustice against their half-sister, but their revenge fails because they refuse the aid of their half-brother Erpr, and kill him. Because they are impervious to metal weapons, they are killed with stones by Jǫrmunrekkr’s men (Bragi Rdr 5-6III; Hamð 25).

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heptr ‘killed’

hefna (verb): avenge

notes

[3] heptr ‘killed’: The word heptr really means ‘detained, thwarted’; here ‘in the course of his life’ or similar seems to be understood.

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unkr ‘’

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und ‘beneath’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

[4] und: undir J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ‘uncr’ R685ˣ

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Himin ‘Himin’

himinn (noun m.; °himins, dat. himni; himnar): heaven, sky < himinfjall (noun n.)

[4] Himin‑: himins‑ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

notes

[4] Himinfjǫllum ‘Himinfjǫll’: Meaning ‘Mountains of Heaven’, this is interpreted here, as by most commentators, as a p. n. related to the p. n. Himinheiðr in Yng (see Context above) and Himinheithy (emended from ‘Himinherthy’) in HN (2003, 78). ÍF 26 and Wessén (Yng 1952, 71), however, reject the idea that it is a p. n. Noreen (1892, 200 n.; Noreen 1912b, 132; Yt 1925) interprets himinsfjǫll as a periphrasis for ‘cloud’ and takes the passage to mean that Ǫnundr died in the open. The interpretation is presumably inspired by HHund I 1/3-4 (NK 130) hnigo heilog vǫtn af Himinfiollom ‘holy waters fell from the mountains of heaven’, where the cpd has been interpreted as ‘cloud’ (see Fritzner: himinfjall; LP: himinfjǫll), as a p. n. (S-G II, 69) or, more recently, as mythical scenery (Kommentar IV, 167).

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fjǫllum ‘fjǫll’

1. fjall (noun n.): mountain < himinfjall (noun n.)1. fjall (noun n.): mountain < himinsfjall (noun n.)

notes

[4] Himinfjǫllum ‘Himinfjǫll’: Meaning ‘Mountains of Heaven’, this is interpreted here, as by most commentators, as a p. n. related to the p. n. Himinheiðr in Yng (see Context above) and Himinheithy (emended from ‘Himinherthy’) in HN (2003, 78). ÍF 26 and Wessén (Yng 1952, 71), however, reject the idea that it is a p. n. Noreen (1892, 200 n.; Noreen 1912b, 132; Yt 1925) interprets himinsfjǫll as a periphrasis for ‘cloud’ and takes the passage to mean that Ǫnundr died in the open. The interpretation is presumably inspired by HHund I 1/3-4 (NK 130) hnigo heilog vǫtn af Himinfiollom ‘holy waters fell from the mountains of heaven’, where the cpd has been interpreted as ‘cloud’ (see Fritzner: himinfjall; LP: himinfjǫll), as a p. n. (S-G II, 69) or, more recently, as mythical scenery (Kommentar IV, 167).

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ofveig ‘’

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ofvæg ‘the crushing’

ofvægr (adj.): invincible, overwhelming

[5] ofvæg: ofvægr F, ‘ofveig’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ

kennings

ofvæg heipt hrísungs
‘the crushing hatred of the bastard ’
   = STONES

the crushing hatred of the bastard → STONES
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Eistrar ‘’

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Eistra ‘of the Estonians’

eistr (noun m.; °; eistr/eistir/eistrir(poet.) (cf. [$1575$])): [Estonians]

[6] Eistra: Eistrar F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

dolgi Eistra.
‘the enemy of the Estonians. ’
   = Ǫnundr

the enemy of the Estonians. → Ǫnundr

notes

[6] Eistra ‘of the Estonians’: Most eds (Hkr 1893-1901; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991; Yng 1912; Yt 1925; Åkerlund 1939, 106) have retained Eistra as it appears in , but Skj B and Skald present a conjectural Eista, supposed to be the older form, cf. Aestii in Tacitus, Germania 1967, 504, 508-10.

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dolgi ‘the enemy’

dolgr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ar): enemy, battle

kennings

dolgi Eistra.
‘the enemy of the Estonians. ’
   = Ǫnundr

the enemy of the Estonians. → Ǫnundr
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heipt ‘hatred’

heift (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): hatred, enmity

kennings

ofvæg heipt hrísungs
‘the crushing hatred of the bastard ’
   = STONES

the crushing hatred of the bastard → STONES

notes

[7] heipt hrísungs ‘the hatred of the bastard [STONES]’: (a) Because it is characteristic of Yt that the same circumstance is represented variously in two or three four-line units within a single stanza (see sts 4, 5, 7, 13, 16, 17), one would expect an expression meaning ‘stone-fall, stones’. This is supported by the adj. ofvæg ‘crushing’ which qualifies heipt hrísungs. The kenning is likely to allude, like the stone-kenning in the first helmingr, to the legend of Hamðir and Sǫrli (see Note to ll. 2-3). The brothers consider Erpr a bastard (cf. Hamð 14/7-8) because he is not a son of their mother. Since their murder of Erpr leads to their failure and stoning, the stones can represent ‘the hatred of the bastard’, the half-brother’s revenge. (b) According to HN (2003, 78), Ǫnundr was killed by his half-brother Siwardus (Sigurðr). Some eds (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yt 1925; ÍF 26) have therefore taken heipt hrísungs as a literal reference to human agency, rather than as a kenning.

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hrisings ‘’

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hrísungs ‘of the bastard’

hrísungr (noun m.; °dat. -i): [bastard]

[7] hrísungs: ‘hrisings’ J1ˣ

kennings

ofvæg heipt hrísungs
‘the crushing hatred of the bastard ’
   = STONES

the crushing hatred of the bastard → STONES

notes

[7] heipt hrísungs ‘the hatred of the bastard [STONES]’: (a) Because it is characteristic of Yt that the same circumstance is represented variously in two or three four-line units within a single stanza (see sts 4, 5, 7, 13, 16, 17), one would expect an expression meaning ‘stone-fall, stones’. This is supported by the adj. ofvæg ‘crushing’ which qualifies heipt hrísungs. The kenning is likely to allude, like the stone-kenning in the first helmingr, to the legend of Hamðir and Sǫrli (see Note to ll. 2-3). The brothers consider Erpr a bastard (cf. Hamð 14/7-8) because he is not a son of their mother. Since their murder of Erpr leads to their failure and stoning, the stones can represent ‘the hatred of the bastard’, the half-brother’s revenge. (b) According to HN (2003, 78), Ǫnundr was killed by his half-brother Siwardus (Sigurðr). Some eds (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yt 1925; ÍF 26) have therefore taken heipt hrísungs as a literal reference to human agency, rather than as a kenning.

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‘that’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

kennings

sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna
‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni ’
   = WARRIOR

the reed of Hǫgni → SWORD
that wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[9, 11] sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna ‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The ms. readings underlying *reyrs present serious interpretive problems and have given rise to numerous suggestions. (a) This edn follows Kock’s suggestion (NN §77) of emending hreyrs to reyrs ‘of the reed’. This is a common base-word of sword-kennings (Meissner 152), and Hǫgni <legendary hero> is a fitting determinant. Together with frǫmuðr ‘wielder, promoter’ this produces a normal warrior-kenning; cf. st. 8/5, 7. (b) An alternative emendation is to hrør ‘corpse, death’. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B) and subsequently ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 take frǫmuðr hrørs Hǫgna to be a kenning for Ǫnundr. They render it as ‘producer of the death of Hǫgni’, i.e. the killer of Hǫgni. (c) Most others assume the reading hreyrs, translated as ‘of the cairn’, but their interpretations diverge considerably. Noreen (Yt 1925) and Lindquist (1929, 69) focus on Ǫnundr’s road-building activities, as described in Yng, reading hogna, which they take as gen. pl. of a postulated ON *hogn ‘large, steep cliff’. Åkerlund (1939, 107) returns to taking Hǫgna as a pers. n. and interprets frǫmuðr hreyrs Hǫgna as ‘producer of the cairn of Hǫgni’ (cf. also Beyschlag 1950, 29-30; Norr 1998, 138).

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frǫmuðr ‘wielder’

frǫmuðr (noun m.): promoter

kennings

sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna
‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni ’
   = WARRIOR

the reed of Hǫgni → SWORD
that wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[9, 11] sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna ‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The ms. readings underlying *reyrs present serious interpretive problems and have given rise to numerous suggestions. (a) This edn follows Kock’s suggestion (NN §77) of emending hreyrs to reyrs ‘of the reed’. This is a common base-word of sword-kennings (Meissner 152), and Hǫgni <legendary hero> is a fitting determinant. Together with frǫmuðr ‘wielder, promoter’ this produces a normal warrior-kenning; cf. st. 8/5, 7. (b) An alternative emendation is to hrør ‘corpse, death’. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B) and subsequently ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 take frǫmuðr hrørs Hǫgna to be a kenning for Ǫnundr. They render it as ‘producer of the death of Hǫgni’, i.e. the killer of Hǫgni. (c) Most others assume the reading hreyrs, translated as ‘of the cairn’, but their interpretations diverge considerably. Noreen (Yt 1925) and Lindquist (1929, 69) focus on Ǫnundr’s road-building activities, as described in Yng, reading hogna, which they take as gen. pl. of a postulated ON *hogn ‘large, steep cliff’. Åkerlund (1939, 107) returns to taking Hǫgna as a pers. n. and interprets frǫmuðr hreyrs Hǫgna as ‘producer of the cairn of Hǫgni’ (cf. also Beyschlag 1950, 29-30; Norr 1998, 138).

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foldar ‘of the earth’

fold (noun f.): land

kennings

beinum foldar.
‘by the bones of the earth. ’
   = STONES

by the bones of the earth. → STONES
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beinum ‘by the bones’

bein (noun n.; °-s; -): bone

kennings

beinum foldar.
‘by the bones of the earth. ’
   = STONES

by the bones of the earth. → STONES
Close

Hǫgna ‘of Hǫgni’

Hǫgni (noun m.): [Hǫgni, Högni]

kennings

sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna
‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni ’
   = WARRIOR

the reed of Hǫgni → SWORD
that wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[9, 11] sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna ‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The ms. readings underlying *reyrs present serious interpretive problems and have given rise to numerous suggestions. (a) This edn follows Kock’s suggestion (NN §77) of emending hreyrs to reyrs ‘of the reed’. This is a common base-word of sword-kennings (Meissner 152), and Hǫgni <legendary hero> is a fitting determinant. Together with frǫmuðr ‘wielder, promoter’ this produces a normal warrior-kenning; cf. st. 8/5, 7. (b) An alternative emendation is to hrør ‘corpse, death’. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B) and subsequently ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 take frǫmuðr hrørs Hǫgna to be a kenning for Ǫnundr. They render it as ‘producer of the death of Hǫgni’, i.e. the killer of Hǫgni. (c) Most others assume the reading hreyrs, translated as ‘of the cairn’, but their interpretations diverge considerably. Noreen (Yt 1925) and Lindquist (1929, 69) focus on Ǫnundr’s road-building activities, as described in Yng, reading hogna, which they take as gen. pl. of a postulated ON *hogn ‘large, steep cliff’. Åkerlund (1939, 107) returns to taking Hǫgna as a pers. n. and interprets frǫmuðr hreyrs Hǫgna as ‘producer of the cairn of Hǫgni’ (cf. also Beyschlag 1950, 29-30; Norr 1998, 138).

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Hǫgna ‘of Hǫgni’

Hǫgni (noun m.): [Hǫgni, Högni]

kennings

sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna
‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni ’
   = WARRIOR

the reed of Hǫgni → SWORD
that wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[9, 11] sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna ‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The ms. readings underlying *reyrs present serious interpretive problems and have given rise to numerous suggestions. (a) This edn follows Kock’s suggestion (NN §77) of emending hreyrs to reyrs ‘of the reed’. This is a common base-word of sword-kennings (Meissner 152), and Hǫgni <legendary hero> is a fitting determinant. Together with frǫmuðr ‘wielder, promoter’ this produces a normal warrior-kenning; cf. st. 8/5, 7. (b) An alternative emendation is to hrør ‘corpse, death’. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B) and subsequently ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 take frǫmuðr hrørs Hǫgna to be a kenning for Ǫnundr. They render it as ‘producer of the death of Hǫgni’, i.e. the killer of Hǫgni. (c) Most others assume the reading hreyrs, translated as ‘of the cairn’, but their interpretations diverge considerably. Noreen (Yt 1925) and Lindquist (1929, 69) focus on Ǫnundr’s road-building activities, as described in Yng, reading hogna, which they take as gen. pl. of a postulated ON *hogn ‘large, steep cliff’. Åkerlund (1939, 107) returns to taking Hǫgna as a pers. n. and interprets frǫmuðr hreyrs Hǫgna as ‘producer of the cairn of Hǫgni’ (cf. also Beyschlag 1950, 29-30; Norr 1998, 138).

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hrors ‘’

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*reyrs ‘of the reed’

2. reyr (noun n.): reed

[11] *reyrs: hrørs Kˣ, 761aˣ, hræs papp18ˣ, ‘hrors’ 521ˣ, hreyrs F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna
‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni ’
   = WARRIOR

the reed of Hǫgni → SWORD
that wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[9, 11] sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna ‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The ms. readings underlying *reyrs present serious interpretive problems and have given rise to numerous suggestions. (a) This edn follows Kock’s suggestion (NN §77) of emending hreyrs to reyrs ‘of the reed’. This is a common base-word of sword-kennings (Meissner 152), and Hǫgni <legendary hero> is a fitting determinant. Together with frǫmuðr ‘wielder, promoter’ this produces a normal warrior-kenning; cf. st. 8/5, 7. (b) An alternative emendation is to hrør ‘corpse, death’. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B) and subsequently ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 take frǫmuðr hrørs Hǫgna to be a kenning for Ǫnundr. They render it as ‘producer of the death of Hǫgni’, i.e. the killer of Hǫgni. (c) Most others assume the reading hreyrs, translated as ‘of the cairn’, but their interpretations diverge considerably. Noreen (Yt 1925) and Lindquist (1929, 69) focus on Ǫnundr’s road-building activities, as described in Yng, reading hogna, which they take as gen. pl. of a postulated ON *hogn ‘large, steep cliff’. Åkerlund (1939, 107) returns to taking Hǫgna as a pers. n. and interprets frǫmuðr hreyrs Hǫgna as ‘producer of the cairn of Hǫgni’ (cf. also Beyschlag 1950, 29-30; Norr 1998, 138).

Close

*reyrs ‘of the reed’

2. reyr (noun n.): reed

[11] *reyrs: hrørs Kˣ, 761aˣ, hræs papp18ˣ, ‘hrors’ 521ˣ, hreyrs F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna
‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni ’
   = WARRIOR

the reed of Hǫgni → SWORD
that wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[9, 11] sá frǫmuðr *reyrs Hǫgna ‘that wielder of the reed of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The ms. readings underlying *reyrs present serious interpretive problems and have given rise to numerous suggestions. (a) This edn follows Kock’s suggestion (NN §77) of emending hreyrs to reyrs ‘of the reed’. This is a common base-word of sword-kennings (Meissner 152), and Hǫgni <legendary hero> is a fitting determinant. Together with frǫmuðr ‘wielder, promoter’ this produces a normal warrior-kenning; cf. st. 8/5, 7. (b) An alternative emendation is to hrør ‘corpse, death’. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B) and subsequently ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 take frǫmuðr hrørs Hǫgna to be a kenning for Ǫnundr. They render it as ‘producer of the death of Hǫgni’, i.e. the killer of Hǫgni. (c) Most others assume the reading hreyrs, translated as ‘of the cairn’, but their interpretations diverge considerably. Noreen (Yt 1925) and Lindquist (1929, 69) focus on Ǫnundr’s road-building activities, as described in Yng, reading hogna, which they take as gen. pl. of a postulated ON *hogn ‘large, steep cliff’. Åkerlund (1939, 107) returns to taking Hǫgna as a pers. n. and interprets frǫmuðr hreyrs Hǫgna as ‘producer of the cairn of Hǫgni’ (cf. also Beyschlag 1950, 29-30; Norr 1998, 138).

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horfinn ‘surrounded’

2. horfa (verb): face, look at

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Ǫnundr, son of Yngvarr, is nicknamed Braut-Ǫnundr ‘Road-Ǫnundr’, having built numerous roads through the desolate forested parts of Sweden. He and his men are crushed in a landslide on Himinheiðr.

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