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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þul Konunga 1III

Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Konunga heiti 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. 687.

Anonymous ÞulurKonunga heiti

Mank haukstalda         heiti segja:
allvaldr, fylkir         ok afraki,
bragningr, ǫðlingr,         buðlungr, dǫglingr,
ǫðlingr ok gramr,         jǫfurr ok tyggi.

Mank segja heiti haukstalda: allvaldr, fylkir ok afraki, bragningr, ǫðlingr, buðlungr, dǫglingr, ǫðlingr ok gramr, jǫfurr ok tyggi.

I shall say the names of noblemen: all-powerful one, leader and prince, ruler, nobleman, descendant of Buðli, descendant of Dagr, nobleman and fierce one, prince and chieftain.

Mss: A(17r), B(8r), 744ˣ(53r) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Mank (‘Man æc’): ‘[…]an ek’ B, Man ek 744ˣ;    haukstalda: ‘h[…]kstallda’ B, ‘haukstallda’ 744ˣ    [3] allvaldr: ‘[…]ualldr’ B, ‘allualdr’ 744ˣ;    fylkir: ‘[…]y᷎lker’ B, ‘fýlkir’ 744ˣ    [5] bragningr: ‘bragning[…]’ B, bragningr 744ˣ    [6] dǫglingr: ‘do᷎g[…]inngr’ B, ‘do᷎gglinngr’ 744ˣ    [7] ǫðlingr: om. B

Editions: Skj AI, 679, Skj BI, 671, Skald I, 336, NN §2160; SnE 1848-87, II, 469, 551.

Notes: [1] haukstalda (m. gen. pl.) ‘of noblemen’: From Gmc *haga-, *hagi-, *hagu- ‘small plot of fenced-in land’ and *-staldaz (cf. Goth. gastaldan ‘receive, obtain’). In Old Norse, the word is attested in the gen. pl. only. ON haukstalda must be cognate with OHG hagustalt and OE hagosteald ‘one living in the lord’s house, an unmarried person, young warrior’ (cf. the runic name Hagustaldaʀ in the Norwegian Valsfjord inscription, c. 400 (RäF 55)). Because the expected Old Norse form is *hǫgstaldr, it is likely that the first element of the cpd, hagu-, was at some point confused with haukr m. ‘hawk, valiant man’ (AEW: haukstaldr, haukstallr). On the use of haukr to refer to warriors or noblemen, see Note to Arn Hryn 3/5II. — [4] afraki (m.) ‘prince’: The word is found only in this þula and its origin is obscure; cf. also ‑rekr (in folkrekr ‘folk-ruler’) and ‑reki (in landreki ‘land-ruler’, st. 2/6). According to de Vries, ‑raki is related to the weak verb rekja ‘straighten out’ (for other possible explanations, see AEW: raki 2 and ÍO: ‑raki). — [5] bragningr (m.) ‘ruler’: The word may mean ‘descendant of a chieftain’ (SnE 1998, II, 249); cf. bragnar m. pl. ‘men’ (see Note to Þul Manna 2/1), but in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 103), the heiti is explained as derived from the pers. n. Bragi, a son of Hálfdan gamli (see Introduction above). — [5, 7] ǫðlingr (m.) ‘nobleman’: A prince or a leader; from Gmc *aðulingaz (cf. aðal ‘nature’ and ‘chief’ (in compounds); AEW: ǫðlingr). According to Skm (SnE 1998, I, 103), the Ǫðlingar were descendants of Auði, a son of Hálfdan gamli (see Introduction above), but the words Auði and ǫðlingr are not etymologically related. Because ǫðlingr is mentioned twice in this stanza, Kock (NN §2160; Skald) suggests the reading auðlingr in l. 7, but that reading has no support in the ms. witnesses. Ms. A has identical readings in both lines (‘ø̨ðlingr’); the word is omitted in l. 7 in ms. B. — [6] buðlungr, dǫglingr ‘descendant of Buðli, descendant of Dagr’: Poetic designations for ‘prince’ from Buðlungar ‘descendants of Buðli’ and Daglingar ‘descendants of Dagr’. Both Dagr and Buðli are legendary kings, sons of Hálfdan gamli ‘the Old’ (Skm, SnE 1998, I, 103; see also Ættartölur in Flat 1860-8, I, 25 and Introduction above). Buðli could be the father of the legendary king Atli Buðlason (see Akv and Am), and there are also several kings of the name Dagr. — [7] gramr (m.) ‘fierce one’: Also listed as a heiti for ‘sword’ (Þul Sverða 1/5). In Skm (SnE 1998, I, 101), this and the following two heiti for ‘king’, jǫfurr ‘prince’ and tyggi ‘chieftain’ (l. 8), along with harri ‘lord’ (st. 2/1), hilmir ‘helmet-provider’ (st. 2/3), þengill ‘chieftain’ (st. 2/7), ræsir ‘impeller’ (st. 3/2) and skyli ‘protector’ (st. 3/4), are given as the names of the sons of Hálfdan gamli (see also Ættartölur in Flat 1860-8, I, 24-5 and Introduction above). — [8] jǫfurr (m.) ‘prince’: A poetic term for ‘ruler’ from Gmc *eburaz ‘wild boar’ (see AEW: jǫfurr). In Skm (SnE 1998, I, 103), this is a son of Hálfdan gamli (see Introduction above). In North Germanic, the later forms of Gmc *eburaz occur only in personal names and poetic designations for ‘ruler’, whereas in West Germanic the word denotes the animal itself (‘wild boar’) as well. OE Eofor is also attested as a pers. n. (see Beowulf 2008, 466). — [8] tyggi (m.) ‘chieftain’: A poetic word for ‘ruler’, derived from a weak verb *tugja- (AEW: tyggi) and etymologically related to ‑togi in hertogi ‘army-leader’, st. 2/2 below, ultimately derived from the strong verb *teuhan (cf. Goth. tiuhan ‘pull, tear’, etc.). The spelling of this word in most later mss (including mss A, B of the present stanza) is ‘tiggi’, while tyggi is the form secured by internal rhyme. Tiggi rhyming with ‑igg- is first attested in SnSt Ht 74/2, and that form becomes regular after 1200 (see LP: tyggi). Tiggi is also the name of a son of Hálfdan gamli (see Introduction above, Flat 1860-8, I, 25), and that may be an etymologically different word which is most likely related to tiginn m. ‘high-born’, tign f. ‘highness, honour’ (see ÍO: tyggi).


  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. RäF = Krause, Wolfgang and Herbert Jankuhn. 1966. Die Runeninschriften im älteren Futhark. Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Phil.-Hist. Kl., Dritte Folge 65. 2 vols. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  6. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  10. Beowulf 2008 = Fulk, Robert D., Robert E. Bjork and John D. Niles, eds. 2008. Klaeber’s Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg. 4th rev. edn of Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, ed. Fr. Klaeber. Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press.
  11. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  12. Internal references
  13. (forthcoming), ‘ Snorri Sturluson, Skáldskaparmál’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 21 September 2021)
  14. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Manna heiti 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 776.
  15. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Sverða heiti 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. 790.
  16. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 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, pp. 185-6.
  17. Not published: do not cite ()
  18. Not published: do not cite ()
  19. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 74’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1185.
  20. Not published: do not cite ()

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