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Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð)

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

1. Gamanvísur (Gamv) - 6

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.

Gamanvísur — Hharð GamvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Gamanvísur’ 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. 35-41.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

SkP info: II, 38

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Hharð Gamv 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Gamanvísur 3’ 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, p. 38.

Senn jósum vér, svanni,
sextán, þás brim vexti,
— dreif á hlaðna húfa
húm — í fjórum rúmum.
Vættik miðr, at motti
myni enn þinig nenna;
þó lætr Gerðr í Gǫrðum
gollhrings við mér skolla.

Vér jósum, svanni, sextán senn í fjórum rúmum, þás brim vexti; húm dreif á hlaðna húfa. Vættik miðr, at motti myni enn nenna þinig; þó lætr {Gerðr gollhrings} í Gǫrðum skolla við mér.

We bailed, woman, sixteen at a time in four rowing-stations, when the surf increased; sea-spray battered the loaded hull. I hardly think a sluggard will ever head there; yet {the Gerðr <goddess> of the gold ring} [WOMAN] in Russia ridicules me.

Mss: Mork(3r) (Mork); H(28v) (H-Hr); R(38r), Tˣ(40r), A(13r), C(7v) (SnE, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [1] jósum: jósu R, Tˣ, A, vissu C;    svanni: svanna H    [2] þás (‘þa er’): en R, Tˣ, A, at C;    vexti: fexti Tˣ, A    [3] hlaðna: hafskips R, A, C, hafsskips Tˣ    [5] miðr: minnr H    [6] myni: muni H;    þinig: þinnig H    [7] þó lætr Gerðr í Gǫrðum: abbrev. as ‘þ. l. ger.’ Mork, ‘þo lætr ger. i. g’ H    [8] gollhrings við mér skolla: om. Mork, abbrev. as ‘g. við mer sk’ H

Editions: Skj: Brennu-Njáll Þórgeirsson, Lausavísa: AI, 139 (ll. 1-4), 357 (ll. 5-8), BI, 130 (ll. 1-4), 329 (ll. 5-8), Skald I, 72 (ll. 1-4), 166 (ll. 5-8); Mork 1867, 15, Mork 1928-32, 86, Andersson and Gade 2000, 148, 472-3 (MH); Fms 6, 170 (HSig ch. 15); SnE 1848-87, I, 498-9, II, 451, 600, SnE 1931, 175, SnE 1998, I, 94.

Context: In SnE (Skm), húmr ‘sea-spray’ is given as one of several heiti for ‘sea’.

Notes: [1-4]: In SnE (Skm), this helmingr is attributed to Brennu-Njáll Þorgeirsson (see Introduction above). — [1] svanni ‘woman’: The identity of this woman is unknown. For apostrophes to fictitious women in skaldic poetry, see Fidjestøl 1976 and Frank 1990. — [2] þás ‘when’: En ‘and’ (so R, , A), is also a possible reading. The C variant, vissu vér … at ‘we knew … that’ (ll. 1, 2), must be an independent innovation. — [2] vexti ‘increased’: This is 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. of the weak verb vexa lit. ‘cause to increase’ used impersonally with brim ‘surf’ as the object. Fexti ‘crested’ (so , A) is possible (and adopted in Skj B, Skald), but the ms. witnesses show that it hardly represents the original reading. — [3] hlaðna húfa ‘the loaded hull’: Both Skj B and Skald adopt the SnE variant húfa hafskips ‘the hull of the ocean-ship’. A hafskip was a cargo ship manned by a smaller crew (here sixteen). See Falk 1912, 108. — [3] húfa ‘hull’: Lit. ‘hulls’. For this word, see Note to Mberf Lv 1/3. — [4] í fjórum rúmum ‘in four rowing-stations’: Rúm were partitioned rooms between the thwarts of the ship (see Falk 1912, 82-4). — [5-8]: Echo st. 2/5-8 above.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated