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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 6I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 6’ 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. 17.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal

Ok þess opt
of yngva hreyr
fróða menn
of fregit hafðak,
hvar Dómarr
á dynjanda
bana Hôalfs
of borinn væri.
Núk þat veit,
at verkbitinn
Fjǫlnis niðr
við Fýri brann.

Ok hafðak opt of fregit fróða menn þess of hreyr yngva, hvar Dómarr væri of borinn á {dynjanda bana Hôalfs}. Núk veit þat, at {verkbitinn niðr Fjǫlnis} brann við Fýri.

And I had often asked learned men about the burial place of the prince, where Dómarr was carried onto {the resounding slayer of Hálfr <legendary king>} [FIRE]. Now I know that {the pain-bitten descendant of Fjǫlnir <ancestor of the Ynglingar>} [= Dómarr] burned near Fyrisån.

Mss: (18v-19r), papp18ˣ(5v), 521ˣ(17-18), F(3va), J2ˣ(9v-10r), R685ˣ(11v) (Hkr); 761aˣ(56r-v)

Readings: [1] Ok: ok er 521ˣ    [2] hreyr: so J2ˣ, R685ˣ, hrør Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, reyr F    [4] fregit: fregin R685ˣ;    hafðak (‘ec hafða’): ‘hafða[...]’ papp18ˣ, hafða 521ˣ, haf þat R685ˣ    [5] Dómarr: ‘domrar’ F    [7] Hôalfs: hafs F

Editions: Skj AI, 8, Skj BI, 8, Skald I, 5; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 31, IV, 7-8, ÍF 26, 33, Hkr 1991, I, 18-19 (Yng ch. 16), F 1871, 12; Yng 1912, 22-3, 59, Yng 2000, 21; Yt 1914, 4, Yt 1925, 200, 220‑1.

Context: After a long reign, a time of peace and well-being for the country, King Dómarr, son of Dómaldi, succumbs to an illness and is brought to Fýrisvellir and cremated on the banks of the river. He is said to be commemorated by memorial stones (bautasteinar; on these see Holmqvist 1976).

Notes: [1]: The first line reads Ok ek þess opt in the mss, which, with four syllables rather than three, is unmetrical. Thus Sievers (1879, 294) and most subsequent eds delete ek, which is duplicated in hafðak ‘I had’, as does the present edn (see ‘Normalisation on metrical grounds’ in the General Introduction for the deletion of superfluous pronouns as part of the normalisation process). Schück (1905-10, 28-9) on the other hand dispenses with ok ‘and’, hence Ek þess opt. Nerman (Yt 1914, 122) retains the ms. reading and interprets it as as a Type A-line with resolution in metrical position 1. — [1] þess: Lit. ‘that’. The gen. sg. pron. is the object of hafðak fregit, hence lit. ‘I had often asked about that’. ‘That’ is then explained, using an alternative construction, as of hreyr yngva ‘about the burial place of the prince’. Þess could be construed grammatically with yngva, hence ‘of that prince’, but combining words from different lines in such a way would go against the stylistic practice of Yt. — [2] yngva ‘of the prince’: On the word yngvi, see Introduction. — [2] hreyr (m. acc. sg.) ‘the burial place’: The mss offer both hrør ‘corpse’ (adopted in Skj B, Hkr 1893-1901 and ÍF 26) and hreyr ‘burial place, cairn’ (adopted in Yt 1925, Skald, Hkr 1991 and this edn). Noreen (1912a, 3-5) argues convincingly that the mss’ hreyr might be an older form of OIcel. reyrr ‘cairn’, and this may also occur as a variant reading in Eyv Hál 5/6. The remainder of the stanza also favours ‘burial place, cairn’ rather than ‘corpse’, since the opening question solicits the location Fýrisvellir as its answer. — [5] Dómarr: For the first element of this name see Note to st. 5/8. The second element of the name, -arr, can be traced to *-harjaz ‘warrior’, as in Hávarr and Óttarr (Turville-Petre 1978-9, 64). — [6-7] dynjanda bana Hôalfs ‘the resounding slayer of Hálfr <legendary king> [FIRE]’: This kenning originates from the legend of Hálfr, who is burned alive inside a house along with his men (Hálf, FSGJ 2, 93-134). — [7] Hôalfs ‘of Hálfr <legendary king>’: The mss (exept F) have ‘halfs’, but for metrical reasons most eds have printed a presumed older, etymological form, Hôalfs, deriving from *Hô-alfr (Yng 1912) or Haþuwulafʀ (Noreen 1890, 315-16). The name remains bisyllabic even in later poetry, for vowel contraction was a late development which took place primarily after 1100 (see Finnur Jónsson 1921a, 261). — [9] núk veit þat ‘now I know’: Lit. ‘now I know it’. As with l. 1 (see Note), the mss contain an extra syllable, ek, which Sievers (1879, 294) eliminated by presenting it as a clitic attached to the verb, hence Nú þat veitk. Åkerlund (1939, 86) and this edn, on the other hand, treat ek as a clitic attached to the adv. . — [11] Fjǫlnis ‘of Fjǫlnir <ancestor of the Ynglingar>’: See st. 1. — [12] við Fýri ‘near Fyrisån’: The river Fyrisån, which runs through Uppsala, Sweden. The form of the name, with its long ý, was suggested by Sievers (1879, 291) and has been retained by all subsequent eds except for Noreen (Yt 1925), who reads Fyrue (normalised Fyrvi).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  5. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  7. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  9. Sievers, Eduard. 1879. ‘Beiträge zur Skaldenmetrik II’. BGDSL 6, 264-376.
  10. Yng 2000 = Jørgensen, Jon Gunnar, ed. 2000b. Ynglinga saga etter Kringla (AM 35 fol). Series of Dissertations submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of Oslo 80. Oslo: Unipub forlag.
  11. Yt 1914 = Grape, Anders and Birger Nerman, eds. 1914. Ynglingatal I-IV. Meddelanden från Nordiska Seminariet 3. Uppsala: Berling.
  12. Yng 1912 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912. Ynglingasaga. Copenhagen: Gad.
  13. Yt 1925 = Noreen, Adolf, ed. 1925. Ynglingatal: Text, översättning och kommentar. Stockholm: Lagerström.
  14. Finnur Jónsson. 1921a. Norsk-islandske kultur- og sprogforhold i 9. og 10. årh. Historisk-filologiske meddelelser 3.2. Copenhagen: Høst.
  15. Noreen, Adolf. 1890. ‘Några fornnordiska judlagar. I-V’. ANF 6, 303-39.
  16. Noreen, Adolf. 1912a. ‘Till Ynglingatal’. In Xenia Lideniana: Festskrift tillägnad Prof. Evald Lidén på hans femtioårsdag, den 3 oktober 1912. Stockholm: Norstedt, 1-15.
  17. Schück, Henrik. 1905-10. Studier i Ynglingatal. Uppsala: Berling; Almqvist & Wiksell.
  18. Turville-Petre, Joan. 1978-9. ‘On Ynglingatal’. MS 11, 48-67.
  19. Åkerlund, Walter. 1939. Studier över Ynglingatal. Skrifta utgivna av Vetenskaps-Societeten i Lund 23. Lund: Gleerup.
  20. Holmqvist, Wilhelm. 1976. ‘Bautastein. §3 Archäologisches’. In RGA, 2, 113.
  21. Internal references
  22. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 303.
  23. Not published: do not cite (YngII)
  24. Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal’ 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. 3.
  25. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 5’ 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. 203.

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