Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Run 3II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Runhent poem about Haraldr 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 106.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonRunhent poem about Haraldr

Jarizleifr of sá,
hvert jǫfri brá;
hófsk hlýri frams
ins helga grams.

Jarizleifr of sá, hvert jǫfri brá; {hlýri ins helga, frams grams} hófsk.

Jaroslav saw in what direction the prince developed; {the brother of the holy, outstanding king} [= Óláfr > = Haraldr] distinguished himself.

Mss: R(36v), Tˣ(38r), W(82), U(35v) (SnE)

Readings: [2] hvert: hvat U;    jǫfri: jǫfurr U    [3] hófsk: ‘hofs’ U

Editions: Skj AI, 368, Skj BI, 338-9, Skald I, 171, NN §1154 anm.; SnE 1848-87, I, 462-3, II, 338, SnE 1931, 164, SnE 1998, I, 82, 205-6.

Context: This follows st. 2, with the words, Ok enn svá ‘And also thus’.

Notes: [1] Jarizleifr ‘Jaroslav’: See Context to st. 1. — [2] hvert jǫfri brá ‘in what direction the prince developed’: The translation is indebted to Faulkes 1987, 131. Brá is clearly the 3rd pers. pret. sg. of bregða, and, combined with dat. sg. jǫfri ‘prince’ and hvert ‘(to) where’ which implies direction, it forms a construction equivalent to e-m bregðr til e-s ‘sby turns out like another person’, often used of family resemblances. The second couplet confirms this as the theme. — [3, 4] ins helga, frams grams ‘of the holy, outstanding king’: Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson, half-brother of Haraldr. The phrase mixes a strong adj. form (frams ‘outstanding’) with a weak one (helga ‘holy’). The strong form is justified by its position before the rest of the noun phrase, while the weak form is required after the def. art. ins.


  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Faulkes, Anthony, trans. 1987. Snorri Sturluson. Edda. Everyman’s Library. London and Rutland, Vermont: J. M. Dent & Sons and Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc. Rpt. with new chronology and synopsis 2005.
  6. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  7. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. Internal references
  9. Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson’ 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. 515.

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