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Runic Dictionary

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Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

2. Lausavísur (Lv) - 15

See ‘Royal Biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 5. Biographies > 1. Royal Biographies > 1. Kings of Norway > g. Haraldr III harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð) (r. 1046-66)

Sagas: ÓH, MH, HSig (Ágr, Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson was the son of Sigurðr sýr ‘Sow’ and Ásta Guðbrandsdóttir (see Genealogy II.2.f in ÍF 28). He fought alongside his half-brother, Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr), at the battle of Stiklestad (29 July 1030) and escaped wounded from the battlefield to seek refuge in Russia. After spending some years in the service of Jaroslav of Novgorod, he proceeded from Russia to Byzantium, where he served as a mercenary in the Varangian army before his return to Norway via Russia and Sweden in 1045/46. From 1046 he ruled jointly with his nephew, Magnús inn góði, and after Magnús’s death (25 October 1047) Haraldr was the sole ruler of Norway until he fell at the battle of Stamford Bridge (on 25 September 1066). See Anon Nkt 38-9, Theodoricus (MHN 50-1, 54-7; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 38-9, 43-46), Ágr (ÍF 29, 36-40; Ágr 1995, 52-9), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 55-281; Andersson and Gade 2000, 129-274), Fsk (ÍF 29, 227-90; Finlay 2004, 181-232), ÓHHkr (ÍF 27, 107-8, 347-8, 364; Hollander 1991, 314-15, 488-9, 500-1), HSigHkr (ÍF 28, 68-202; Hollander 1991, 577-663), Flat (Flat 1860-8, III, 287-432), H-Hr (Fms 6, 127-432). See also Hem (Hb 1892-6, 331-49; Fellows-Jensen 1962, 1-64), , Knýtl (ÍF 35, 132-3, 151; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 46-7, 60), Orkn (ÍF 34, 53-4, 75-8, 80, 86-7, 339; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 56-7, 71-4, 77-8).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Stiklestad (1030) and Haraldr’s escape to Sweden (Hharð Gamv 1; Hharð Lv 1, 2a-2b; ÞjóðA Sex 1); his journey to Russia and his Russian campaigns 1031-3 (ÞjóðA Run 1, 3; Bǫlv Hardr 1); his journey to Constantinople and his campaigns as a mercenary in the Varangian army 1034-42 (Hharð Gamv 2, 4; Hharð Lv 10-11; Þjóð Sex 2-8; ÞjóðA Lv 4; Ill Har 2-4; Bǫlv Hardr 2-6; ÞSkegg Hardr; Valg Hardr 1-4; Þfisk Lv 2-3; Stúfr Stúfdr 2-3); his return to Russia and marriage to Ellisif (Stúfr Stúfdr 4); his journey to Sweden and his harrying in Denmark with Sveinn Úlfsson (ÞjóðA Sex 9; Valg Hardr 5-9); his meeting and reconciliation with Magnús inn góði (ÞjóðA Sex 10; ÞjóðA Frag 1; Bǫlv Hardr 7); his dealings with Magnús (Mgóð Lv 1; Hharð Lv 3); his return to Norway after Magnús’s death in Denmark in 1047 (Valg Hardr 10-11); his first naval campaign against Sveinn Úlfsson and the Danes in 1048 (Hharð Lv 4; ÞjóðA Lv 2; Bǫlv Hardr 8; Grani Har 1-2; Anon (HSig) 1); subsequent campaigns in Denmark against Sveinn (Hharð Lv 5, 10; ÞjóðA Lv 3-4; Arn Hardr 1; Þfagr Sveinn 2-9; Stúfr Stúfdr 5-6; Anon (HSig) 2, 5); the slaying of Einarr þambarskelfir and other enemies (Hharð Lv 6-8; Arn Hardr 1); the desertion of Norwegian magnates to Sveinn in Denmark (ÞjóðA Sex 12); the battle of the Nissan against Sveinn in 1062 (ÞjóðA Sex 13-18; ÞjóðA Har 1-7; Arn Hardr 2-4; Stúfr Stúfdr 7; Steinn Nizv; Steinn Úlffl); the peace treaty between Haraldr and Sveinn in 1064 (ÞjóðA Sex 23; Halli XI Fl); Haraldr’s campaign against Hákon Ívarsson (ÞjóðA Lv 9); his dealing with Norwegian insurrection (ÞjóðA Sex 19-22; Arn Hardr 5-6); the events leading up to the English campaign in 1066 (Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3; Úlfr Lv; Anon (HSig 6-9); the battles of Fulford and Stamford Bridge (Hharð Lv 13-14; ÞjóðA Lv 10-11; Arn Hardr 7-16; Stúfr Stúfdr 8; Steinn Óldr 1-3; Anon Harst). For þættir and smaller anecdotes involving Haraldr and other poets, see Haraldr Lv 9, 12; ÞjóðA Lv 4-8; SnH Lv; Þfisk Lv; Anon (HSig) 3-4.

Lausavísur — Hharð LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur’ 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. 42-6.

stanzas:  1   2a   2b   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14 

Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði: Lausavísur (AI, 356-61, BI, 328-32); stanzas (if different): 2/1-4 | 2/5-8 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19

SkP info: II, 43-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2a — Hharð Lv 2aII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 2a’ 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. 43-4.

Lv 2a (Hharð Lv 2a) is recorded in 972ˣ and it is also printed in vol. II of Peringskiöld’s 1697 edn of Hkr. The half-st. is of unknown provenance, but it apparently derives from the lost Uppsala ms. (*U) of ÓH. In 972ˣ and Hkr 1697 II, the helmingr directly precedes Lv 2b (Hharð Lv 2b) (written as one st.). Lv 2b is preserved in Hkr (, 39, F, E), ÓH (Holm2, J2ˣ, 972ˣ, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4, 325VII (ll. 1-2), 325V, 61, Flat, Tóm, Bb), in H-Hr (H, Hr) and Flat (Flat; Mork redaction) as well in Orkn (332ˣ, 325III β, Flat). Because the variant readings belong to different ms. traditions, the two half-sts have been printed separately here (they are given as one st. in Skj and Skald).

Réðk, en benjar blœða,
— búþegna sák megna
lið; fekk lindar váði
lífs grand — í bǫð standa.

Réðk standa í bǫð, en benjar blœða; sák búþegna megna lið; {váði lindar} fekk grand lífs.

I stood in battle, and the wounds bled; I saw farmers strengthen their host; {the distress of the linden-shield} [SWORD] dealt death.

Mss: 972ˣ(537va) (ÓH); Hkr 1697 II(55)

Readings: [1] Réðk: Reið ek both    [4] standa: stranda Hkr 1697 II

Editions: Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Lausavísur 2/1-4: AI, 356, BI, 328, Skald I, 166, NN §§1137, 3227; Hkr 1697, II, 55, ÓH 1941, II, 1086-7.

Context: With the help of Jarl Rǫgnvaldr Brúsason of Orkney, Haraldr escapes wounded from the battle of Stiklestad, and takes shelter with a farmer who heals him. The farmer’s son accompanies Haraldr on his way from Norway to Sweden, when Haraldr recites this and the following helmingr (Lv 2b).

Notes: [1, 4] réðk standa ‘I stood’: Lit. ‘I decided to stand’. Reiðk ‘I rode’ has been emended to réðk to provide an auxiliary for the inf. standa ‘to stand’ (so also Skj B; Skald). — [1] en benjar blœða ‘and the wounds bled’: Lit. ‘and the wounds bleed’. Skj B connects this cl. with the following cl. and translates blœða as an inf.: sáken benjar blœða ‘I saw … and (I saw) the wounds bleed’. That construction creates an impossible cl. arrangement (see Kuhn 1983, 190). Kock (NN §3227) suggests that the pres. tense of the verb was caused by the internal rhyme and should be translated as a pret. That suggestion has been adopted in the present edn. — [2] megna ‘strengthen’: For this verb, see LP: megna. The host of farmers from Trøndelag opposed and outnumbered Haraldr and Óláfr at Stiklestad (see also Hharð Lv 1, Hharð Gamv 1, ÞjóðA Sex 1 and Bǫlv Hardr 1/1-4). Earlier eds emend to vegna (m. acc. pl.) ‘slain’ (‘I saw the host of slain farmers’), which is not supported by the ms. witnesses. — [3] váði lindar ‘the distress of the linden-shield [SWORD]’: Skj B emends váði (m. nom. sg.) ‘distress’ to váða (m. dat. sg.) and treats it as an instr.: lið fekk lífs-grand lindar váða ‘the company received death by the sword’. Kock (NN §1137) rejected that emendation and chose rather to take váði lindar as the subject: váði lindar fekk lið lífs grand ‘the sword gave death to the company’. However, the verb ‘give, receive’ (fekk 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) takes the dat. of the recipient, and lið ‘company’ cannot be be construed as a dat. (see ANG §361 Anm. 2). In the present edn, lið is taken with the preceding cl., which obviates the need for emendation. For ‘provide sth.’ with an acc. object but without a dat. recipient, see Fritzner: 7. — [8] grand lífs ‘death’: Lit. ‘life’s damage’.

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