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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 23I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 23’ 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. 50.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal
222324

Eysteinn ‘Eysteinn’

Eysteinn (noun m.): Eysteinn

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fyr ‘because of’

fyr (prep.): for, over, because of, etc.

[2] fyr: om. J1ˣ

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býlests ‘’

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blýlests ‘’

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býleistis ‘’

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Býleists ‘of Býleistr’

býleistr (noun m.): býleistr

[3] Býleists: so F, ‘byleistiz’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, ‘blylestz’ J1ˣ, R685ˣ, ‘bylestz’ J2ˣ

kennings

meyjar bróður Býleists.
‘the maiden of the brother of Býleistr. ’
   = Hel

the brother of Býleistr. → Loki
the maiden of LOKI → Hel

notes

[3] Býleists ‘of Býleistr <mythological being>’: Because the reading ‘byleistiz’ of the Kringla transcripts is metrically unacceptable, the reading of F, which corresponds to most other attested forms of the name, is chosen. Býleistr is recorded only within periphrases referring to Loki as his brother, as in Vsp 51/8, Hyndl 40/8 and Grett Ævkv I 2/5V, and in Gylf (SnE 2005, 26) and Skm (SnE 1998, I, 19). Neither the form of the name nor its origin has been clarified fully, since the ms. spellings in the Poetic Edda and SnE point to either Býleistr or Býleiptr; see Wadstein (1895a, 77-8) and Hkr 1893-1901, IV for discussion of which of the two forms is the original. Etymological derivations of the word are assembled in S-G I, 66.

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Býleists ‘of Býleistr’

býleistr (noun m.): býleistr

[3] Býleists: so F, ‘byleistiz’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, ‘blylestz’ J1ˣ, R685ˣ, ‘bylestz’ J2ˣ

kennings

meyjar bróður Býleists.
‘the maiden of the brother of Býleistr. ’
   = Hel

the brother of Býleistr. → Loki
the maiden of LOKI → Hel

notes

[3] Býleists ‘of Býleistr <mythological being>’: Because the reading ‘byleistiz’ of the Kringla transcripts is metrically unacceptable, the reading of F, which corresponds to most other attested forms of the name, is chosen. Býleistr is recorded only within periphrases referring to Loki as his brother, as in Vsp 51/8, Hyndl 40/8 and Grett Ævkv I 2/5V, and in Gylf (SnE 2005, 26) and Skm (SnE 1998, I, 19). Neither the form of the name nor its origin has been clarified fully, since the ms. spellings in the Poetic Edda and SnE point to either Býleistr or Býleiptr; see Wadstein (1895a, 77-8) and Hkr 1893-1901, IV for discussion of which of the two forms is the original. Etymological derivations of the word are assembled in S-G I, 66.

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bróður ‘of the brother’

bróðir (noun m.; °bróður/brǿðr/bróðurs, dat. bróður/brǿðr/breðr, acc. bróður/brǿðr; brǿðr/bróðr/breðr (brǿðrirnir Jvs291 75¹⁴), gen. brǿ---): brother

kennings

meyjar bróður Býleists.
‘the maiden of the brother of Býleistr. ’
   = Hel

the brother of Býleistr. → Loki
the maiden of LOKI → Hel
Close

bróður ‘of the brother’

bróðir (noun m.; °bróður/brǿðr/bróðurs, dat. bróður/brǿðr/breðr, acc. bróður/brǿðr; brǿðr/bróðr/breðr (brǿðrirnir Jvs291 75¹⁴), gen. brǿ---): brother

kennings

meyjar bróður Býleists.
‘the maiden of the brother of Býleistr. ’
   = Hel

the brother of Býleistr. → Loki
the maiden of LOKI → Hel
Close

meyir ‘’

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meyjar ‘the maiden’

mær (noun f.; °meyjar, dat. meyju; meyjar): maiden

[4] meyjar: ‘meyir’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

meyjar bróður Býleists.
‘the maiden of the brother of Býleistr. ’
   = Hel

the brother of Býleistr. → Loki
the maiden of LOKI → Hel
Close

Ok ‘And’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[5] Ok: en J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

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‘now’

nú (adv.): now

[5] nú: ný J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ

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liggr ‘lies’

liggja (verb): lie

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und ‘under’

3. und (prep.): under, underneath

notes

[6] und beinum lagar ‘under the bones of the sea [STONES]’: The stone-kenning refers here to a burial mound.

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lagar ‘of the sea’

lǫgr (noun m.; °lagar, dat. legi): sea

kennings

beinum lagar
‘the bones of the sea ’
   = STONES

the bones of the sea → STONES

notes

[6] und beinum lagar ‘under the bones of the sea [STONES]’: The stone-kenning refers here to a burial mound.

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beinum ‘the bones’

bein (noun n.; °-s; -): bone

[6] beinum: beinum corrected from benjum J2ˣ

kennings

beinum lagar
‘the bones of the sea ’
   = STONES

the bones of the sea → STONES

notes

[6] und beinum lagar ‘under the bones of the sea [STONES]’: The stone-kenning refers here to a burial mound.

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rekks ‘of the warrior’

rekkr (noun m.; °; -ar): man, champion

[7] rekks: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, reiks Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, F, 761aˣ

kennings

lǫðuðr rekks
‘the inviter of the warrior ’
   = RULER

the inviter of the warrior → RULER
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lǫðuðr ‘the inviter’

lǫðuðr (noun m.): [inviter]

kennings

lǫðuðr rekks
‘the inviter of the warrior ’
   = RULER

the inviter of the warrior → RULER
Close

á ‘at’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[8] á braddi ‘at the edge’: The mss offer two possibilities: broddi ‘point’ () and braddi (J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ). *Bradd n. ‘edge’ is a word not attested in OIcel., but it is still found in Swed. and Norw. dialects, and it has cognates in OE brerd, breord ‘brim, margin’ and OHG brart ‘bent-back edge’; see Bugge (1894, 143 n. 2) and Yt 1925. This reading, which can be designated the lectio difficilior, is chosen by Yt 1925, ÍF 26, Åkerlund (1939, 113) and by this edn. The variants ‘broddi’ in and ‘brandi’ in F should be regarded as attempts to improve the unknown word. — [8] á braddi raðar ‘at the edge of the ridge’: Rǫð (gen. raðar) is the long glacial moraine running along the coast south-west of Borre towards Brunlanes, today called ra’et (Bugge 1894, 144; Storm 1899, 114-15; ÍF 26; on Borre, see Note to st. 24/10). Snorri locates Eysteinn’s burial mound in Borre, eptir á rǫðinni út við sjá við Vǫðlu ‘along the ridge out by the sea by the Vaðla’. But there is no river near Borre that could correspond to the Vaðla. Storm (1899, 116) suggests therefore that the mound lay at the southern end of the moraine because a river running between Farrisvannet and Larvik empties into the sea there, which could correspond to the stanza’s Vaðla (see Note to l. 11).

Close

á ‘at’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[8] á braddi ‘at the edge’: The mss offer two possibilities: broddi ‘point’ () and braddi (J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ). *Bradd n. ‘edge’ is a word not attested in OIcel., but it is still found in Swed. and Norw. dialects, and it has cognates in OE brerd, breord ‘brim, margin’ and OHG brart ‘bent-back edge’; see Bugge (1894, 143 n. 2) and Yt 1925. This reading, which can be designated the lectio difficilior, is chosen by Yt 1925, ÍF 26, Åkerlund (1939, 113) and by this edn. The variants ‘broddi’ in and ‘brandi’ in F should be regarded as attempts to improve the unknown word. — [8] á braddi raðar ‘at the edge of the ridge’: Rǫð (gen. raðar) is the long glacial moraine running along the coast south-west of Borre towards Brunlanes, today called ra’et (Bugge 1894, 144; Storm 1899, 114-15; ÍF 26; on Borre, see Note to st. 24/10). Snorri locates Eysteinn’s burial mound in Borre, eptir á rǫðinni út við sjá við Vǫðlu ‘along the ridge out by the sea by the Vaðla’. But there is no river near Borre that could correspond to the Vaðla. Storm (1899, 116) suggests therefore that the mound lay at the southern end of the moraine because a river running between Farrisvannet and Larvik empties into the sea there, which could correspond to the stanza’s Vaðla (see Note to l. 11).

Close

raðar ‘of the ridge’

rǫð (noun f.; °; -ir): ridge

notes

[8] á braddi raðar ‘at the edge of the ridge’: Rǫð (gen. raðar) is the long glacial moraine running along the coast south-west of Borre towards Brunlanes, today called ra’et (Bugge 1894, 144; Storm 1899, 114-15; ÍF 26; on Borre, see Note to st. 24/10). Snorri locates Eysteinn’s burial mound in Borre, eptir á rǫðinni út við sjá við Vǫðlu ‘along the ridge out by the sea by the Vaðla’. But there is no river near Borre that could correspond to the Vaðla. Storm (1899, 116) suggests therefore that the mound lay at the southern end of the moraine because a river running between Farrisvannet and Larvik empties into the sea there, which could correspond to the stanza’s Vaðla (see Note to l. 11).

Close

braddi ‘the edge’

broddr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): point of spear or arrow

[8] braddi: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, broddi Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, brandi F

notes

[8] á braddi ‘at the edge’: The mss offer two possibilities: broddi ‘point’ () and braddi (J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ). *Bradd n. ‘edge’ is a word not attested in OIcel., but it is still found in Swed. and Norw. dialects, and it has cognates in OE brerd, breord ‘brim, margin’ and OHG brart ‘bent-back edge’; see Bugge (1894, 143 n. 2) and Yt 1925. This reading, which can be designated the lectio difficilior, is chosen by Yt 1925, ÍF 26, Åkerlund (1939, 113) and by this edn. The variants ‘broddi’ in and ‘brandi’ in F should be regarded as attempts to improve the unknown word. — [8] á braddi raðar ‘at the edge of the ridge’: Rǫð (gen. raðar) is the long glacial moraine running along the coast south-west of Borre towards Brunlanes, today called ra’et (Bugge 1894, 144; Storm 1899, 114-15; ÍF 26; on Borre, see Note to st. 24/10). Snorri locates Eysteinn’s burial mound in Borre, eptir á rǫðinni út við sjá við Vǫðlu ‘along the ridge out by the sea by the Vaðla’. But there is no river near Borre that could correspond to the Vaðla. Storm (1899, 116) suggests therefore that the mound lay at the southern end of the moraine because a river running between Farrisvannet and Larvik empties into the sea there, which could correspond to the stanza’s Vaðla (see Note to l. 11).

Close

braddi ‘the edge’

broddr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): point of spear or arrow

[8] braddi: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ, broddi Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, brandi F

notes

[8] á braddi ‘at the edge’: The mss offer two possibilities: broddi ‘point’ () and braddi (J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ). *Bradd n. ‘edge’ is a word not attested in OIcel., but it is still found in Swed. and Norw. dialects, and it has cognates in OE brerd, breord ‘brim, margin’ and OHG brart ‘bent-back edge’; see Bugge (1894, 143 n. 2) and Yt 1925. This reading, which can be designated the lectio difficilior, is chosen by Yt 1925, ÍF 26, Åkerlund (1939, 113) and by this edn. The variants ‘broddi’ in and ‘brandi’ in F should be regarded as attempts to improve the unknown word. — [8] á braddi raðar ‘at the edge of the ridge’: Rǫð (gen. raðar) is the long glacial moraine running along the coast south-west of Borre towards Brunlanes, today called ra’et (Bugge 1894, 144; Storm 1899, 114-15; ÍF 26; on Borre, see Note to st. 24/10). Snorri locates Eysteinn’s burial mound in Borre, eptir á rǫðinni út við sjá við Vǫðlu ‘along the ridge out by the sea by the Vaðla’. But there is no river near Borre that could correspond to the Vaðla. Storm (1899, 116) suggests therefore that the mound lay at the southern end of the moraine because a river running between Farrisvannet and Larvik empties into the sea there, which could correspond to the stanza’s Vaðla (see Note to l. 11).

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þars ‘where’

þars (conj.): where

[9] þars (‘þar er’): þá er F

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hjá ‘near’

hjá (prep.): beside, with

notes

[10] hjá gauzkum jǫfur ‘near the Gautish prince’: Gauzkum has been combined either with jǫfur ‘prince’ or with at vági ‘into the bay’ (see overview in Åkerlund 1939, 113-14). (a) The combination with at vági is contra-indicated both by Yt’s characteristic style of maintaining maximally unitary lines and by the fact that any body of water which might have been called the ‘Gautish Sea’ would be unlikely to be located elsewhere than off Sweden’s west coast, perhaps near the mouth of the Götaälv. (b) Gauzkum must therefore qualify jǫfur, despite difficulties. The prep. hjá ‘near’ governs the dat. case (Fritzner: hjá), which would normally be jǫfri (attested several times in Þjóðólfr’s poetry). It has therefore been suggested (Åkerlund 1939, 114) that this is an alternative dat. form with no ending (see ANG §358.3). As Åkerlund notes, this also fits the metrical scheme better, since jǫfur makes for a flawless Type C2-line. It is unclear why the poet calls the king ‘Gautish’.

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jǫfur ‘prince’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

notes

[10] hjá gauzkum jǫfur ‘near the Gautish prince’: Gauzkum has been combined either with jǫfur ‘prince’ or with at vági ‘into the bay’ (see overview in Åkerlund 1939, 113-14). (a) The combination with at vági is contra-indicated both by Yt’s characteristic style of maintaining maximally unitary lines and by the fact that any body of water which might have been called the ‘Gautish Sea’ would be unlikely to be located elsewhere than off Sweden’s west coast, perhaps near the mouth of the Götaälv. (b) Gauzkum must therefore qualify jǫfur, despite difficulties. The prep. hjá ‘near’ governs the dat. case (Fritzner: hjá), which would normally be jǫfri (attested several times in Þjóðólfr’s poetry). It has therefore been suggested (Åkerlund 1939, 114) that this is an alternative dat. form with no ending (see ANG §358.3). As Åkerlund notes, this also fits the metrical scheme better, since jǫfur makes for a flawless Type C2-line. It is unclear why the poet calls the king ‘Gautish’.

Close

gauzkum ‘the Gautish’

gauzkr (adj.): Gautish

notes

[10] hjá gauzkum jǫfur ‘near the Gautish prince’: Gauzkum has been combined either with jǫfur ‘prince’ or with at vági ‘into the bay’ (see overview in Åkerlund 1939, 113-14). (a) The combination with at vági is contra-indicated both by Yt’s characteristic style of maintaining maximally unitary lines and by the fact that any body of water which might have been called the ‘Gautish Sea’ would be unlikely to be located elsewhere than off Sweden’s west coast, perhaps near the mouth of the Götaälv. (b) Gauzkum must therefore qualify jǫfur, despite difficulties. The prep. hjá ‘near’ governs the dat. case (Fritzner: hjá), which would normally be jǫfri (attested several times in Þjóðólfr’s poetry). It has therefore been suggested (Åkerlund 1939, 114) that this is an alternative dat. form with no ending (see ANG §358.3). As Åkerlund notes, this also fits the metrical scheme better, since jǫfur makes for a flawless Type C2-line. It is unclear why the poet calls the king ‘Gautish’.

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Vǫðlu ‘of the Vaðla’

Vaðla (noun f.): Vaðla

notes

[11] Vǫðlu ‘of the Vaðla’: Several suggestions have been made about the identity of the Vaðla. Most likely it is the name of a river running from Farrisvannet to the coast at Larvik (Storm 1899, 116). It could alternatively be the name of the sea current in Oslofjorden between Borre and the island Bastøy (Brøgger 1924-6, 94), or a noun meaning ‘ford’ (cf. OIcel. vaðill) (Johnsen 1928, 132‑3).

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Eysteinn, son of Haraldr hvítbeinn, is the ruler of Vestfold. On the return journey from a plundering expedition to Varna (in Østfold), he is killed when Skjǫldr, the ruler of the region he has just plundered, uses magic to stir up heavy seas. While seated at the helm, Eysteinn is struck by the sail-yard of another ship and knocked overboard. He is buried in a mound near the mouth of the Vaðla in Borró (Borre).

This death by vengeful magic, presumably a local legend, is recorded only in Yng; the other prose sources know nothing of it (Beyschlag 1950, 87-8).

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