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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 21I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 21’ 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. 46.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal

text and translation

Ok við vág
†hinn es viðjar†
hræ Ôleifs
hofgylðir svalg.
Ok glóðfjalgr
gǫrvar leysti
sonr Fornjóts
af Svía jǫfri.
Sá áttkonr
frá Uppsǫlum
lofða kyns
fyr lǫngu hvarf.

Ok {hofgylðir} svalg hræ Ôleifs við vág, †hinn es viðjar†. Ok {glóðfjalgr sonr Fornjóts} leysti gǫrvar af jǫfri Svía. {Sá áttkonr {kyns lofða}} hvarf frá Uppsǫlum fyr lǫngu.
‘And the temple-wolf [FIRE] swallowed the corpse of Óláfr near the bay, †...†. And the ember-hot son of Fornjótr <giant> [FIRE] loosed the clothes from the ruler of the Swedes. That descendant of the kindred of rulers [KINGS > KING] disappeared from Uppsala long ago.

notes and context

After the death of Ingjaldr illráði, his son Óláfr flees to Vermaland (Värmland) and begins clearing land. Great numbers of Swedes join him, putting pressure on the land, and when harvests fail, this is blamed on Óláfr, who is not given to performing sacrifices. He is burned alive in his house by Vænir (Lake Vänern) by his own people in sacrifice to Óðinn.

As father to the Norwegian Yngling king Hálfdan hvítbeinn ‘White-bone’, Óláfr trételgja ‘Wood-cutter’ ushers in the transition from the Swedish to the Norwegian Ynglingar. His nickname trételgja also appears in HN (2003, 78): Eius filius Olauus cognomento Tretelgia … ‘His son Óláfr nicknamed Tretelgia …’. According to Snorri (Context above) and Saxo (Saxo 2005, I, 7, 11, 7, p. 502-3) he ruled in Värmland, to where he had emigrated after the death of his father. Värmland was presumably regarded as part of Sweden by Þjóðólfr, who refers to Óláfr trételgja as a ruler of the Swedes (jǫfri Svía, l. 8), and also in HN (2003, 78), which reports that Óláfr died in Sweden. Snorri’s interpretation of Óláfr’s cremation as a sacrifice to Óðinn and as a brenna, in which a building is set on fire so that its occupants burn to death, is not matched in the other prose sources.



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 29: AI, 13, BI, 12, Skald I, 8, FF §52; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 76, IV, 21, ÍF 26, 74, Hkr 1991, I, 43 (Yng ch. 43), F 1871, 29; Yng 1912, 49, 67-8, Yng 2000, 62, Yt 1914, 14, Yt 1925, 206, 244-6.


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