Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 26I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 26’ 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. 55.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal

text and translation

Ok niðkvísl
í Nóregi
þróttar Þrós
of þróazk hafði.
Réð Ôleifr
ofsa forðum
víðri grund
of Vestmari,
unz fótverkr
við Foldar þrǫm
of viða skyldi.
Nú liggr gunndjarfr
á Geirstǫðum
haugi ausinn.

Ok niðkvísl Þrós þróttar hafði of þróazk í Nóregi. Ôleifr réð forðum ofsa víðri grund of Vestmari, unz fótverkr skyldi of viða {vígmiðlung} við þrǫm Foldar. Gunndjarfr herkonungr liggr nú ausinn haugi á Geirstǫðum.
‘And the descendants of the Þrór <god> of strength had flourished in Norway. Óláfr once ruled powerfully over a wide area across Vestmarir, until a foot disease was to destroy the battle-dealer [WARRIOR] at the edge of Fold. The war-daring king of the host now lies surrounded by a mound in Geirstaðir.

notes and context

In Hkr, Óláfr and Hálfdan, sons of Guðrøðr, lose part of their father’s territory but manage to hold on to Vestfold. Óláfr resides in Geirstaðir (see Note to l. 14 below), where he suffers a foot disease, dies and is buried. In the different versions of Flat and ÓGeir, the stanza is quoted in the context of a short introduction of the king.

On the rather complicated ms. transmission of the stanza see the Introduction. — As has been frequently noted (Schück 1908, 27-8; S. Bugge 1910, 242-4; Åkerlund 1939, 121-2), ll. 5-8 and 13-16 of this stanza resemble the stanza on the Swedish rune stone of Rök (Run Ög136VI) in creating a contrast between a past reign and the ruler’s situation after death. Åkerlund presumes the Rök stanza to have been the model for the Óláfr stanza. — [1-4]: Scholars have extensively debated the placement of these lines because, in opening the stanza with a general statement about the success of the lineage, they seem inconsistent with the poem’s overall concept. For this reason Schück (1905-10, 39) sought to link them to Óláfr trételgja (on whom, see Note to st. 21 [All]) because, in his view, it was this ruler with whom the Norwegian lineage began. Noreen (1912b, 135) moves them to the end of the poem, but in Yt 1925 he retains the stanza as it is transmitted in Hkr and offers a different explanation. He points out that the Yngling lineage splits after Guðrøðr into that of Óláfr Geirstaðaálfr ‘Elf of Geirstaðir’ and that of Hálfdan svarti ‘the Black’ (and similarly Åkerlund 1939, 116). While the arguments carry some weight, the present edn maintains the distribution as in the Hkr mss. — [5-12]: The mss of ÓH and ÓGeir lack ll. 9-10 of the version in Flat (see variant to l. 8 in Readings above). All scholars recognize that they are a later addition in Flat (see Hkr 1893-1901, I; Skj A; Yt 1925; NN §1014A; ÍF 26) and omit them in their eds (except Skj B).



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 35-36: AI, 14-15, BI, 13, Skald I, 9, FF §55, NN §§296, 1009B, 1014A; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 84-5, IV, 26-7, ÍF 26, 82, Hkr 1991, I, 48 (Yng ch. 49), F 1871, 32-3; Yng 1912, 54, 69-70, Yng 2000, 70-1; Yt 1914, 17-18, Yt 1925, 208, 251-2; Fms 10, 209-10, Fms 12, 227, Flat 1860-8, II, 6 (ÓGeir); Fms 4, 29-30, Fms 12, 71-2, ÓH 1941, II, 715, 719, 724, 727, 729 (ÓGeir).


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