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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 16I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 16’ 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. 36.

Þjóðólfr ór HviniYnglingatal
151617

Þat frák enn,
at Aðils fjǫrvi
vitta véttr
of viða skyldi.
Ok dáðgjarn
af drasils bógum
Freys ôttungr
falla skyldi.
Ok við aur
ægir hjarna
bragnings burs
of blandinn varð.
Ok dáðsæll
deyja skyldi
Ála dolgr
at Uppsǫlum.

Þat frák enn, at {véttr vitta} skyldi of viða fjǫrvi Aðils. Ok {dáðgjarn ôttungr Freys} skyldi falla af bógum drasils. Ok ægir hjarna {burs bragnings} varð of blandinn við aur. Ok {dáðsæll dolgr Ála} skyldi deyja at Uppsǫlum.

I have learned, further, that {the creature of charms} [SORCERESS] had to destroy the life of Aðils. And {the deed-eager descendant of Freyr} [= Swedish king] had to fall off the back of the steed. And the sea [fluid] of the brains {of the son of the ruler} [RULER] was blended with mud. And {the deed-fortunate enemy of Áli had to die at Uppsala.

Mss: (31r-v), papp18ˣ(8v), 521ˣ(36), F(5rb-va) (ll. 1-4, 9-16), J1ˣ(13v), J2ˣ(17r), R685ˣ(17r) (Hkr); 761aˣ(60r)

Readings: [3] vitta: vitra F, vita J1ˣ, J2ˣ;    véttr: vætr F    [4] viða: við J1ˣ, J2ˣ    [6] drasils: ‘dralls’ J1ˣ, R685ˣ    [10] ægir: so F, ægis Kˣ, 521ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 761aˣ, ægis corrected from ægir papp18ˣ, ‘ægist’ R685ˣ    [11] bragnings: bragning J1ˣ, J2ˣ    [13] dáð‑: dag‑ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, R685ˣ    [15] dolgr: drengr F

Editions: Skj AI, 11-12, Skj BI, 11, Skald I, 7, NN §§1012 Anm. 2, 2206B; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 57, IV, 17, ÍF 26, 59, Hkr 1991, 33 (Yng ch. 29), F 1871, 22; Yng 1912, 37-8, 64-5, Yng 2000, 45-6; Yt 1914, 10-11, Yt 1925, 204, 238-9.

Context: At a sacrificial feast for the dísir (minor female deities), while riding around the dísarsalr (the hall (or temple?) of the dís), King Aðils, son of Óttarr falls from his horse. He hits his head on a stone, shattering his skull so that his brains spill out onto the ground. He is buried in a mound in Uppsala.

Notes: [All]: This stanza contains a series of correspondences with other stanzas of Yt: véttr vitta ‘the creature of charms’ in l. 3 corresponds with st. 3/3, of viða skyldi ‘had to destroy’ in l. 4 with sts 1/8 and 26/14, and at Uppsǫlum ‘at Uppsala’ in l. 16 with st. 13/2. This is remarkable, because Yt as a whole contains few such repetitions (ok sikling ‘and the ruler’ in sts 1/5 and 17/5 and ok allvald ‘and the almighty’ in sts 4/9 and 7/9). — [2] Aðils ‘of Aðils’: The Swedish king Aðils appears in several Scandinavian legends. In Beowulf he (Ēadgils, son of Ōhthere) vies with his uncle Onela for control of Sweden and is able to prevail with Beowulf’s help. Scandinavian prose sources (SnE 1998, I, 58; Yng, ÍF 26, 57; Skjǫldunga saga, ÍF 35, 29) report violent conflicts between Aðils and a Norwegian king, Áli inn upplenzki, whom he conquers in a battle on the frozen Lake Vänern (on this cf. also Anon Kálfv 3III). Áli inn upplenzki and Onela might be one and the same person, because the nickname upplenzki could mean ‘the one from Uppland’ (Olrik 1903-10, I, 203; Schneider 1933, 116-17). A prominent motif of the legend is the humiliation of Aðils by Hrólfr kraki by strewing gold on the plains of Fýrisvellir (see Note to Eyv Lv 8/3-4). Also, a fragment of a stanza from Hrólfs saga kraka (Anon Hrólf 1VIII) alludes to the fight between the two parties by the fire in the hall of Aðils. On Aðils cf. also Anon Bjark 1/8III. — [3] véttr vitta ‘the creature of charms [SORCERESS]’: See Note to st. 3/3. Yt gives no indication of the identity of this sorceress, nor of how and why she causes Aðils’s death. HN and later prose sources contain various accounts of the circumstances of his death, but the cause of the fatal fall remains unclear. — [6] bógum drasils ‘the back of the steed’: Lit. ‘shoulders of the steed’. — [10] ægir hjarna ‘the sea [fluid] of the brains’: The mss give either ægis (, J1ˣ, J2ˣ) or ‘ø̨ger’ (normalised ægir) (F). Most eds have selected the F reading and conjoined ægir ‘sea’ and hjarna, as a gen. attribute, to form a kenning in which hjarna is taken to mean ‘skull’ and the kenning referent as ‘brain’, although hjarni itself normally means ‘brains’ and the kenning is unparalleled. Meissner suggests regarding it instead as a free composition (Meissner 129), and this is the solution tentatively adopted here. — [13] dáðsæll ‘deed-fortunate’: ÍF 26 selects the J reading dagsæll ‘having fortunate days’, as Wadstein (1895a, 70-1) had suggested, and notes that dáðsæll could have been influenced by the preceding dáðgjarn ‘deed-eager’. However, there is no necessity to depart from the main ms.  here. — [15] Ála ‘of Áli’: On Áli, see Note to l. 2 above.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. ÍF 35 = Danakonunga sǫgur. Ed. Bjarni Guðnason. 1982.
  7. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  9. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  10. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  11. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  12. Wadstein, Elis. 1895a. ‘Bidrag till tolkning och belysning av skalde- ock Edda-dikter. I. Till tolkningen av Ynglingatal’. ANF 11, 64-92.
  13. Olrik, Axel. 1903-10. Danmarks heltedigtning: En oldtidsstudie. 2 vols. I: Rolf Krake og den ældre Skjoldungrække. II: Starkad den Gamle og den yngre Skjoldungrække. Copenhagen: Gad.
  14. 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.
  15. Yt 1914 = Grape, Anders and Birger Nerman, eds. 1914. Ynglingatal I-IV. Meddelanden från Nordiska Seminariet 3. Uppsala: Berling.
  16. Yng 1912 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912. Ynglingasaga. Copenhagen: Gad.
  17. Yt 1925 = Noreen, Adolf, ed. 1925. Ynglingatal: Text, översättning och kommentar. Stockholm: Lagerström.
  18. Schneider, Hermann. 1933. Nordgermanische Heldensage. Germanische Heldensage II:2. Grundriss der germanischen Philologie 10:2. Berlin and Leipzig: de Gruyter.
  19. Internal references
  20. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Bjarkamál in fornu 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. 497.
  21. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Hrólfs saga kraka’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 539.
  22. Not published: do not cite (YngII)
  23. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Kálfsvísa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 667.
  24. †Desmond Slay and Margaret Clunies Ross (eds) 2017, ‘Hrólfs saga kraka 10 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Hrólfs saga kraka 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 547.
  25. 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.
  26. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 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. 226.
  27. Not published: do not cite ()
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