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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóðólfr Frag 1III

Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjóðólfr, Fragment 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 465.


text and translation

þars heiðsæi,
á Fjǫrnis
fjǫllum, drýgði.

… hǫfuðbaðm á {fjǫllum Fjǫrnis}, þars drýgði heiðsæi.
‘… chief kinsman on the mountains of Fjǫrnir <sea-king> [WAVES], where he showed his reverence.

notes and context

TGT gives this stanza as an example of reciprocal metaphor (metaphora aptrbeiðilig). Metaphors of this type are based on an analogy between two domains (in this case, land and sea). Óláfr Þórðarson illustrates this by one example each of the sea-kennings ‘land of ships’, ‘land of fish’ and ‘land of sea-kings’. After giving another example of a sea-kenning Óláfr Þórðarson states (TGT 1927, 77): en í fyrri vísu var hafit kallat fjǫll sækonungs ‘but in the former stanza the sea was called mountains of a sea-king’.

The stanza is fragmentary because the first helmingr, which must have contained the subject and the verb of the main clause, is missing (TGT 1884, 218). No definite interpretation is possible.



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 38(?): AI, 15, BI, 14, NN §1014B; SnE 1848-87, II, 162-3, III, 399; TGT 1884, 28, 104, 217-19, TGT 1927, 77, 105.


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