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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 8I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 8’ 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. 21.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal
789

Frák ‘I learned’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

Close

at ‘that’

4. at (conj.): that

[1] at: om. F

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dauða ‘of death’

dauði (noun m.; °-a; -ar): death

notes

[2] orði dauða ‘by the word of death’: Cf. feigðarorð ‘word of doom’ in st. 1/3.

Close

orði ‘by the word’

orð (noun n.; °-s; -): word

[2] orði: yrði J2ˣ, R685ˣ

notes

[2] orði dauða ‘by the word of death’: Cf. feigðarorð ‘word of doom’ in st. 1/3.

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frægðar ‘for fame’

frægð (noun f.): fame

[3] frægðar: fremðar J2ˣ, R685ˣ

Close

þás ‘when’

þás (conj.): when

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vakins ‘’

vakinn (adj.)

Close

val ‘of the slain’

1. valr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ir): corpse, the slain < valteinn (noun m.)

[5] valteins: vakins J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

spakfrǫmuðr valteins
‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain ’
   = WARRIOR

the twig of the slain → SWORD
the wise wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 7] spakfrǫmuðr valteins ‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: (a) This is the interpretation offered by most eds (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; Yng 1912; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991), and indeed valteinn is best regarded as ‘twig of the slain’, a variation on the common kenning pattern ‘twig or rod of wounds [SWORD]’ (Meissner 152). (b) Some commentators, in light of the report in Yng that Dagr learns of the death of his sparrow through a sonarblót ‘sacrifice of a boar’, see in valteinn a reference to a sacrificial twig used for divining or casting lots, cf. hlautteinn ‘sacrificial twig’ in Þvíðf Lv 1/4IV (see, e.g., Yt 1925; Turville-Petre 1978-9, 53; Sundqvist 2005a, 108). King Dagr would then potentially figure as a priest or seer. Yet such interpretations require val to have the sense ‘blood of the sacrificed’ (cf. valr m. ‘the slain’) or ‘casting of lots’ (cf. val n. ‘choice’), and neither these, nor the casting of lots with sacrificial blood, can be proven.

Close

val ‘of the slain’

1. valr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ir): corpse, the slain < valteinn (noun m.)

[5] valteins: vakins J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

spakfrǫmuðr valteins
‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain ’
   = WARRIOR

the twig of the slain → SWORD
the wise wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 7] spakfrǫmuðr valteins ‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: (a) This is the interpretation offered by most eds (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; Yng 1912; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991), and indeed valteinn is best regarded as ‘twig of the slain’, a variation on the common kenning pattern ‘twig or rod of wounds [SWORD]’ (Meissner 152). (b) Some commentators, in light of the report in Yng that Dagr learns of the death of his sparrow through a sonarblót ‘sacrifice of a boar’, see in valteinn a reference to a sacrificial twig used for divining or casting lots, cf. hlautteinn ‘sacrificial twig’ in Þvíðf Lv 1/4IV (see, e.g., Yt 1925; Turville-Petre 1978-9, 53; Sundqvist 2005a, 108). King Dagr would then potentially figure as a priest or seer. Yet such interpretations require val to have the sense ‘blood of the sacrificed’ (cf. valr m. ‘the slain’) or ‘casting of lots’ (cf. val n. ‘choice’), and neither these, nor the casting of lots with sacrificial blood, can be proven.

Close

teins ‘of the twig’

teinn (noun m.; °dat. teini; teinar): twig, rod < valteinn (noun m.)

[5] valteins: vakins J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

spakfrǫmuðr valteins
‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain ’
   = WARRIOR

the twig of the slain → SWORD
the wise wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 7] spakfrǫmuðr valteins ‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: (a) This is the interpretation offered by most eds (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; Yng 1912; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991), and indeed valteinn is best regarded as ‘twig of the slain’, a variation on the common kenning pattern ‘twig or rod of wounds [SWORD]’ (Meissner 152). (b) Some commentators, in light of the report in Yng that Dagr learns of the death of his sparrow through a sonarblót ‘sacrifice of a boar’, see in valteinn a reference to a sacrificial twig used for divining or casting lots, cf. hlautteinn ‘sacrificial twig’ in Þvíðf Lv 1/4IV (see, e.g., Yt 1925; Turville-Petre 1978-9, 53; Sundqvist 2005a, 108). King Dagr would then potentially figure as a priest or seer. Yet such interpretations require val to have the sense ‘blood of the sacrificed’ (cf. valr m. ‘the slain’) or ‘casting of lots’ (cf. val n. ‘choice’), and neither these, nor the casting of lots with sacrificial blood, can be proven.

Close

teins ‘of the twig’

teinn (noun m.; °dat. teini; teinar): twig, rod < valteinn (noun m.)

[5] valteins: vakins J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

spakfrǫmuðr valteins
‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain ’
   = WARRIOR

the twig of the slain → SWORD
the wise wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 7] spakfrǫmuðr valteins ‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: (a) This is the interpretation offered by most eds (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; Yng 1912; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991), and indeed valteinn is best regarded as ‘twig of the slain’, a variation on the common kenning pattern ‘twig or rod of wounds [SWORD]’ (Meissner 152). (b) Some commentators, in light of the report in Yng that Dagr learns of the death of his sparrow through a sonarblót ‘sacrifice of a boar’, see in valteinn a reference to a sacrificial twig used for divining or casting lots, cf. hlautteinn ‘sacrificial twig’ in Þvíðf Lv 1/4IV (see, e.g., Yt 1925; Turville-Petre 1978-9, 53; Sundqvist 2005a, 108). King Dagr would then potentially figure as a priest or seer. Yet such interpretations require val to have the sense ‘blood of the sacrificed’ (cf. valr m. ‘the slain’) or ‘casting of lots’ (cf. val n. ‘choice’), and neither these, nor the casting of lots with sacrificial blood, can be proven.

Close

til ‘to’

til (prep.): to

notes

[6] til Vǫrva ‘to Vǫrvi’: Snorri in Yng treats Vǫrvi as a p. n., but no location has been discovered for it, with the exception of an uncertain attempt to identify it with the former Ger. p. n. Worwegen in the region south of the Vistula Lagoon (Zalew Wiślany) in Poland (Beckman 1960, 6). Noreen (1912a, 5-6) thinks it is a common noun, the gen. pl. of *vǫr (cf. OE w(e)aroþ ‘shore’), and he translates it as ‘of the beaches’ (cf. also McKinnell 2005, 72).

Close

Vǫrva ‘Vǫrvi’

Vǫrvi (noun m.): Vǫrvi

notes

[6] til Vǫrva ‘to Vǫrvi’: Snorri in Yng treats Vǫrvi as a p. n., but no location has been discovered for it, with the exception of an uncertain attempt to identify it with the former Ger. p. n. Worwegen in the region south of the Vistula Lagoon (Zalew Wiślany) in Poland (Beckman 1960, 6). Noreen (1912a, 5-6) thinks it is a common noun, the gen. pl. of *vǫr (cf. OE w(e)aroþ ‘shore’), and he translates it as ‘of the beaches’ (cf. also McKinnell 2005, 72).

Close

spak ‘the wise’

spakr (adj.): quiet, gentle, wise < spakfrǫmuðr (noun m.)spakr (adj.): quiet, gentle, wise

kennings

spakfrǫmuðr valteins
‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain ’
   = WARRIOR

the twig of the slain → SWORD
the wise wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 7] spakfrǫmuðr valteins ‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: (a) This is the interpretation offered by most eds (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; Yng 1912; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991), and indeed valteinn is best regarded as ‘twig of the slain’, a variation on the common kenning pattern ‘twig or rod of wounds [SWORD]’ (Meissner 152). (b) Some commentators, in light of the report in Yng that Dagr learns of the death of his sparrow through a sonarblót ‘sacrifice of a boar’, see in valteinn a reference to a sacrificial twig used for divining or casting lots, cf. hlautteinn ‘sacrificial twig’ in Þvíðf Lv 1/4IV (see, e.g., Yt 1925; Turville-Petre 1978-9, 53; Sundqvist 2005a, 108). King Dagr would then potentially figure as a priest or seer. Yet such interpretations require val to have the sense ‘blood of the sacrificed’ (cf. valr m. ‘the slain’) or ‘casting of lots’ (cf. val n. ‘choice’), and neither these, nor the casting of lots with sacrificial blood, can be proven.

Close

fꜹmuðr ‘’

Close

frǫmuðr ‘wielder’

frǫmuðr (noun m.): promoter < spakfrǫmuðr (noun m.)

[7] ‑frǫmuðr: ‘‑fꜹmuðr’ 521ˣ

kennings

spakfrǫmuðr valteins
‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain ’
   = WARRIOR

the twig of the slain → SWORD
the wise wielder of the SWORD → WARRIOR

notes

[5, 7] spakfrǫmuðr valteins ‘the wise wielder of the twig of the slain [SWORD > WARRIOR]’: (a) This is the interpretation offered by most eds (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; Yng 1912; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991), and indeed valteinn is best regarded as ‘twig of the slain’, a variation on the common kenning pattern ‘twig or rod of wounds [SWORD]’ (Meissner 152). (b) Some commentators, in light of the report in Yng that Dagr learns of the death of his sparrow through a sonarblót ‘sacrifice of a boar’, see in valteinn a reference to a sacrificial twig used for divining or casting lots, cf. hlautteinn ‘sacrificial twig’ in Þvíðf Lv 1/4IV (see, e.g., Yt 1925; Turville-Petre 1978-9, 53; Sundqvist 2005a, 108). King Dagr would then potentially figure as a priest or seer. Yet such interpretations require val to have the sense ‘blood of the sacrificed’ (cf. valr m. ‘the slain’) or ‘casting of lots’ (cf. val n. ‘choice’), and neither these, nor the casting of lots with sacrificial blood, can be proven.

Close

spauts ‘’

Close

Spǫrs ‘Spǫrr’

2. Spǫrr (noun m.): Spǫrr

[8] Spǫrs: ‘spauts’ R685ˣ

notes

[8] at hefna Spǫrs ‘to avenge Spǫrr’: (a) Spǫrr is tentatively taken in this edn as a pers. n., rather than the common noun spǫrr ‘sparrow’. A corresponding name, sbauṛ, is found on an C11th Danish rune stone (Randers 1, DR 115) and appears in Denmark later as Sporgh (Beckman 1960, 5; cf. also Peterson 2007, 203). Müller (1970, 88) also points to an OWN name Spǫrr (Lind 1905-15, 943), and to OE Sperflinc and Sperlinc, names of royal moneyers on C10th Anglo-Saxon coins. These names are thought to be based on Nordic models, as no corresponding names exist elsewhere in Gmc. (b) According to Snorri’s Yng (see Context), Dagr had a soothsaying sparrow which was killed in the east, and for this Dagr undertook a campaign of vengeance during which he too was killed. But although tales in which birds can prophesy do exist, e.g. the crows in Anon (Ólkyrr) 2II or the titmice in Fáfn 32-44, it is more likely that the story was modelled on Óðinn’s ravens Huginn and Muninn (cf. Schück 1904, II, 146-7). Even if the stanza tells of avenging a spǫrr ‘sparrow’, it gives no indication that this bird could tell the future, so the detail in Yng likely came from Snorri himself.

Close

at ‘to’

5. at (nota): to (with infinitive)

notes

[8] at hefna Spǫrs ‘to avenge Spǫrr’: (a) Spǫrr is tentatively taken in this edn as a pers. n., rather than the common noun spǫrr ‘sparrow’. A corresponding name, sbauṛ, is found on an C11th Danish rune stone (Randers 1, DR 115) and appears in Denmark later as Sporgh (Beckman 1960, 5; cf. also Peterson 2007, 203). Müller (1970, 88) also points to an OWN name Spǫrr (Lind 1905-15, 943), and to OE Sperflinc and Sperlinc, names of royal moneyers on C10th Anglo-Saxon coins. These names are thought to be based on Nordic models, as no corresponding names exist elsewhere in Gmc. (b) According to Snorri’s Yng (see Context), Dagr had a soothsaying sparrow which was killed in the east, and for this Dagr undertook a campaign of vengeance during which he too was killed. But although tales in which birds can prophesy do exist, e.g. the crows in Anon (Ólkyrr) 2II or the titmice in Fáfn 32-44, it is more likely that the story was modelled on Óðinn’s ravens Huginn and Muninn (cf. Schück 1904, II, 146-7). Even if the stanza tells of avenging a spǫrr ‘sparrow’, it gives no indication that this bird could tell the future, so the detail in Yng likely came from Snorri himself.

Close

hefna ‘avenge’

hefna (verb): avenge

notes

[8] at hefna Spǫrs ‘to avenge Spǫrr’: (a) Spǫrr is tentatively taken in this edn as a pers. n., rather than the common noun spǫrr ‘sparrow’. A corresponding name, sbauṛ, is found on an C11th Danish rune stone (Randers 1, DR 115) and appears in Denmark later as Sporgh (Beckman 1960, 5; cf. also Peterson 2007, 203). Müller (1970, 88) also points to an OWN name Spǫrr (Lind 1905-15, 943), and to OE Sperflinc and Sperlinc, names of royal moneyers on C10th Anglo-Saxon coins. These names are thought to be based on Nordic models, as no corresponding names exist elsewhere in Gmc. (b) According to Snorri’s Yng (see Context), Dagr had a soothsaying sparrow which was killed in the east, and for this Dagr undertook a campaign of vengeance during which he too was killed. But although tales in which birds can prophesy do exist, e.g. the crows in Anon (Ólkyrr) 2II or the titmice in Fáfn 32-44, it is more likely that the story was modelled on Óðinn’s ravens Huginn and Muninn (cf. Schück 1904, II, 146-7). Even if the stanza tells of avenging a spǫrr ‘sparrow’, it gives no indication that this bird could tell the future, so the detail in Yng likely came from Snorri himself.

Close

á ‘to’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[10] á: í F

Close

austr ‘the east’

Close

vega ‘’

Close

vísa ‘of the leader’

vísi (noun m.; °-a): leader

Close

geita ‘’

Close

geta ‘get’

2. geta (verb): to beget, give birth to, mention, speak of; to think well of, like, love

[14] geta: gæta F, ‘getta’ J2ˣ, geita R685ˣ

Close

sleyngu ‘’

Close

slyngu ‘’

Close

þrefs ‘’

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slǫngu ‘the flung’

slanga (noun f.; °*-u; *-ur): [flung] < sløngviþref (noun n.)

[15] slǫngu‑ (‘slongv’): so F, ‘sleyngo’ Kˣ, papp18ˣ, 521ˣ, 761aˣ, ‘slyngu‑’ J2ˣ, R685ˣ

kennings

slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis
‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir ’
   = PITCHFORK

the meal of Sleipnir → HAY
the flung grasper of the HAY → PITCHFORK

notes

[15-16] slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis ‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir <horse> [HAY > PITCHFORK]’: Following Noreen (Yt 1925), þref is understood here as an agentive noun based on þrífa ‘grasp’, i.e. as ‘the grasper’, and slǫngu- interpreted as ‘flung’, cf. slǫngusteinn ‘stone flung with the help of a sling’ (Fritzner: slǫngusteinn). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: sløngviþref) emends slǫngu- to sløngvi, but this is unnecessary (cf. Noreen 1921, 36).

Close

slefnis ‘’

Close

slepn[…] ‘’

Close

þref ‘grasper’

1. þref (noun n.): [grasper] < sløngviþref (noun n.)1. þref (noun n.): [grasper]1. þref (noun n.): [grasper]

[15] ‑þref: ‑þrefs F

kennings

slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis
‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir ’
   = PITCHFORK

the meal of Sleipnir → HAY
the flung grasper of the HAY → PITCHFORK

notes

[15-16] slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis ‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir <horse> [HAY > PITCHFORK]’: Following Noreen (Yt 1925), þref is understood here as an agentive noun based on þrífa ‘grasp’, i.e. as ‘the grasper’, and slǫngu- interpreted as ‘flung’, cf. slǫngusteinn ‘stone flung with the help of a sling’ (Fritzner: slǫngusteinn). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: sløngviþref) emends slǫngu- to sløngvi, but this is unnecessary (cf. Noreen 1921, 36).

Close

Sleipnis ‘of Sleipnir’

Sleipnir (noun m.): Sleipnir

[16] Sleipnis: ‘slepn[…]’ corrected from ‘slefn[…]’ J2ˣ, ‘slefnis’ corrected from ‘slepnis’ in another hand R685ˣ

kennings

slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis
‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir ’
   = PITCHFORK

the meal of Sleipnir → HAY
the flung grasper of the HAY → PITCHFORK

notes

[15-16] slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis ‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir <horse> [HAY > PITCHFORK]’: Following Noreen (Yt 1925), þref is understood here as an agentive noun based on þrífa ‘grasp’, i.e. as ‘the grasper’, and slǫngu- interpreted as ‘flung’, cf. slǫngusteinn ‘stone flung with the help of a sling’ (Fritzner: slǫngusteinn). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: sløngviþref) emends slǫngu- to sløngvi, but this is unnecessary (cf. Noreen 1921, 36).

Close

Sleipnis ‘of Sleipnir’

Sleipnir (noun m.): Sleipnir

[16] Sleipnis: ‘slepn[…]’ corrected from ‘slefn[…]’ J2ˣ, ‘slefnis’ corrected from ‘slepnis’ in another hand R685ˣ

kennings

slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis
‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir ’
   = PITCHFORK

the meal of Sleipnir → HAY
the flung grasper of the HAY → PITCHFORK

notes

[15-16] slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis ‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir <horse> [HAY > PITCHFORK]’: Following Noreen (Yt 1925), þref is understood here as an agentive noun based on þrífa ‘grasp’, i.e. as ‘the grasper’, and slǫngu- interpreted as ‘flung’, cf. slǫngusteinn ‘stone flung with the help of a sling’ (Fritzner: slǫngusteinn). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: sløngviþref) emends slǫngu- to sløngvi, but this is unnecessary (cf. Noreen 1921, 36).

Close

verðar ‘of the meal’

1. verðr (noun m.; °dat. -i): food

kennings

slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis
‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir ’
   = PITCHFORK

the meal of Sleipnir → HAY
the flung grasper of the HAY → PITCHFORK

notes

[15-16] slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis ‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir <horse> [HAY > PITCHFORK]’: Following Noreen (Yt 1925), þref is understood here as an agentive noun based on þrífa ‘grasp’, i.e. as ‘the grasper’, and slǫngu- interpreted as ‘flung’, cf. slǫngusteinn ‘stone flung with the help of a sling’ (Fritzner: slǫngusteinn). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: sløngviþref) emends slǫngu- to sløngvi, but this is unnecessary (cf. Noreen 1921, 36).

Close

verðar ‘of the meal’

1. verðr (noun m.; °dat. -i): food

kennings

slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis
‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir ’
   = PITCHFORK

the meal of Sleipnir → HAY
the flung grasper of the HAY → PITCHFORK

notes

[15-16] slǫnguþref verðar Sleipnis ‘the flung grasper of the meal of Sleipnir <horse> [HAY > PITCHFORK]’: Following Noreen (Yt 1925), þref is understood here as an agentive noun based on þrífa ‘grasp’, i.e. as ‘the grasper’, and slǫngu- interpreted as ‘flung’, cf. slǫngusteinn ‘stone flung with the help of a sling’ (Fritzner: slǫngusteinn). Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: sløngviþref) emends slǫngu- to sløngvi, but this is unnecessary (cf. Noreen 1921, 36).

Close

Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

King Dagr, son of Dyggvi, has a sparrow of which he is very fond and whose language he can understand. This bird is killed by a farmer in Vǫrvi in Reiðgotaland, whereupon the king, learning of its fate through sacrificing a boar, takes an army there. He avenges the killing bitterly, only to be killed by a pitchfork flung at him as he returns to his ships.

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