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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 14I/3 — Týs ‘of Týr’

Ok lofsæll
ór landi fló
Týs ôttungr
Tunna ríki.
En flæmingr
farra trjónu
jǫtuns eykr
á Agli rauð,
sás of austmǫrk
áðan hafði
brúna hǫrg
of borinn lengi.
En skíðlauss
Skilfinga nið
hœfis hjǫrr
til hjarta stóð.

Ok lofsæll ôttungr Týs fló ór landi ríki Tunna. En flæmingr, eykr jǫtuns, sás áðan hafði of borinn hǫrg brúna lengi of austmǫrk, rauð trjónu farra á Agli. En skíðlauss hjǫrr hœfis stóð til hjarta nið Skilfinga.

And the famous descendant of Týr <god> [= Swedish king] fled the country before the power of Tunni. And the roamer, the draught-animal of the giant [BULL], which before had long borne the cairn of the brows [HEAD] about the eastern forest, reddened its weapon of the bull [HORN] upon Egill. And the sheathless sword of the bull [HORN] stuck in the heart of the descendant of the Skilfingar [= Swedish king].


[3] Týs: ‘tyrs’ F


[1, 3] lofsæll ôttungr Týs ‘the famous descendant of Týr <god> [= Swedish king]’: It is uncertain whether this refers to Týr, the god, or is simply the common noun týr ‘god’. All eds except for Noreen (1912b and Yt 1925) indicate, through capitalisation, that they think it refers to the god Týr. One argument for this might be that such periphrases referring to rulers occur in both Eyv Hál and Yt, e.g. ttungr Freys ‘Freyr’s kinsman’ (Eyv Hál 7/7, Yt 16/7), afspring Freys ‘Freyr’s offspring’ (Yt 10/11) or ttungr Týs ‘Týr’s kinsman’ (Eyv Hál 10/7, Yt 14/3). Baetke (1964, 122) takes Týr as a proper name, but thinks the phrase is just a variation on the device that refers to a ruler as ‘descendant of a god’, and in the light of Ingjaldr being called goðkynningr ‘the one descended from gods’ in Yt 20/7, this may be correct. It may also be possible to understand týs as gen. sg. of the appellative týr ‘god’ (Noreen 1912b; Yt 1925; Sundqvist 2005a, 102). Yet this remains doubtful because kennings referring to a ruler’s divine ancestry, except for goðkynningr, always name an individual god, as in the examples above or, e.g., niðr Yggs ‘descendant of Yggr <= Óðinn>’ (Eskál Vell 19/8).




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