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Hlöðskviða or The Battle of the Goths and Huns is sometimes counted among the Eddic Poems. It has been preserved as separate stanzas interspersed among the text in Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (chapters 13 and 14, the stanzas are numbered 1 to 32, after their arrangement within the prose). It is generally agreed that it was originally a poetic whole. The length of the preserved text amounts to 233 lines, constituting a fragment of a longer poem.
Heiðrekr, king of the Goths, had two sons, Angantýr and Hlöðr. Only Angantýr was legitimate, so he inherited his father's kingdom. Hlöðr, whose mother was the daughter of Humli, king of the Huns, and who was born and raised among the Huns, claimed half the inheritance, Angantýr refused to split evenly and war ensued, claiming first Hervör, their sister, then Hlöðr himself as casualties.
Stanza 1 lists peoples and their rulers:
Ár kváðu Humla
en Völum Kíarr,
Alrekr inn frækni
After Heidrek's death, Hlod travels to Arheimar to claim half of the Gothic realm as his inheritance. In Hlod's demand (stanza 10) the forest on the boundary separating the Goths and the Huns, and a "holy grave" is referred to, apparently an important sanctuary of the Goths, but its background is unknown.
Hrís þat it mæra,
er Myrkvið heita,
gröf þá ina helgu,
er stendr á Goðþjóðu,
stein þann inn fagra,
er stendr á stöðum Danpar,
þær er Heiðrekr átti,
lönd ok lýða
ok ljósa bauga.
Angatyr offers Hlod a third of his realm, and Gizur, the old foster-father of Heidrek's says that this is more than enough for the son of a slave. On Hlod's return to the Hunnic realm, his grandfather Humli is enraged at the insult and gathers the army of the Huns.
The poem ends with Angantýr finding his brother dead (stanza 32):
Bölvat es okkr, bróðir,
bani em ek þinn orðinn;
þat mun æ uppi;
illr er dómr norna.
We are cursed, brother,
I am become your slayer
it is yet again true
cruel is the decree of the Norns (Fates).
- Widsith, the 9th century Anglo-Saxon poem, contains some names that align with the names given in the Hlöðskviða
- Oium, the Gothic realm in Scythia, overrun by the Huns in the 370s
- Battle of Nedao, the historical battle where the Goths defeated the Huns in 454
- The Battle of the Goths and the Huns. Christopher Tolkien, in Saga-Book (University College, London, for the Viking Society for Northern Research) 14, part 3 (1955-6), pp. -63.