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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 38. Óttarr svarti, 2. Knútsdrápa, 11 [Vol. 1, 781]

[3] Ô in helga ‘Helgeå’: The battle here took place in (probably) 1026, when the Swedish and Norwegian forces of Ǫnundr Óláfsson and Óláfr Haraldsson launched an attack on Knútr’s Denmark. The site of the battle has traditionally been identified as Helgeå, in the eastern part of Skåne, but a site in Uppland has also been suggested (Gräslund 1986). The outcome of the battle is also somewhat unclear. From one point of view, since the attack on Denmark was unsuccessful, Knútr was clearly the ‘victor’; but the battle itself may well have been inconclusive, and the ASC (‘E’) s. a. 1025 even reports a Swedish victory. See further Moberg (1941, 148-78); Moberg (1987); Moberg (1989); Lawson (1993, 96-100); P. Sawyer (1994, 18-19).


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