This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

3. Róðudrápa (Róðdr) - 1

Skj info: Þórðr Særeksson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 327-30, BI, 302-4).

Skj poems:
1. Et digt om Klœingr Brúsason
2. Þórolfs drápa Skolmssonar
3. Róðudrápa
4. Lausavísur og ubestemmelige brudstykker

Very little is known about Þórðr Særeksson (or, in a later form, Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 257, 274, 281) lists him among the poets of Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson (r. c. 1000-c. 1014) and King Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr, d. 1030). According to ÓT (1958-2000, II, 322-3) Þórðr went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the reign of Óláfr Haraldsson, and, arriving in Syria, met Óláfr Tryggvason, who is said to have escaped from the battle of Svǫlðr (c. 1000). Óláfr greeted Þórðr warmly and sent his regards to Þórðr’s kinsman-in-law (mágr), the famous Icelander Hjalti Skeggjason. In some mss Þórðr is referred to as Svartsson or svartaskáld, probably from a misreading of his patronymic (see LH I, 603-5 and Introduction to ðudrápa (Róðdr) below). In addition to the poems edited here (Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar (Þórdr), Flokkr about Klœingr Brúsason (Klœingr) and Róðdr), three fragments of Þórðr’s poetry are preserved in SnE and one in LaufE (ÞSjár Frag 1-4III); these fragments are edited in SkP III. Þórðr’s oeuvre presents difficulties in that the people and events commemorated there span some sixty-five years, from c. 961 (Þórdr) to c. 1026 (Róðdr), so that it must be assumed either that he was exceptionally long-lived or that Þórdr was composed after a lapse of several years or decades; see further Introduction to that poem.

LP: ÞSjár(Sær)

Róðudrápa — ÞSjár RóðdrI

Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘ Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Róðudrápa’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 242. <> (accessed 8 December 2021)


Skj: Þórðr Særeksson: 3. Róðudrápa, o. 1031 (AI, 329, BI, 303); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: Flat, Fsk, Hkr, ÓH, ÓHHkr, ÓHLeg

SkP info: I, 242

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


This is the only remaining stanza of Róðudrápa ‘Cross Drápa’ (ÞSjár Róðdr), which Þórðr composed in memory of King Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr, d. 1030), although Finnur Jónsson (LH I, 604) tentatively suggests that ÞSjár Frag 1III may also have belonged to that poem. The name of the poet is given as Þórðr Sjáreksson or Særeksson (K, , 325IX 2, 325XI 1, Holm2, J2ˣ, Holm4, FskAˣ), Þórðr Háreksson (DG8), Þóroddr Sjáreksson (68), Þórðr svartaskáld (61, 325V) and Þórðr Svartsson (75c, Flat, Bb). The title of the poem is transmitted as Róðadrápa (Hkr and most of the mss of ÓH) or Róðudrápa (61, 325V; Flat has Hróðudrápa). The ON noun róða ‘cross’ (< OE rōd ‘rood, cross’) is a weak f., hence we should expect róðu- rather than róða-. The stanza commemorates the battle of Á in helga (Helgeå) c. 1026, where the allies Óláfr Haraldsson and the Swedish king Ǫnundr Óláfsson fought against King Knútr inn ríki Sveinsson (Cnut the Great) of Denmark and England. The stanza is preserved on the surviving leaf of the K vellum, which has been chosen as the main ms. Ms. is copied at this point from J (= J2ˣ, which is an ÓH ms. here), with marginal variants from K in the hand of Árni Magnússon. The stanza is also transmitted in the ÓH mss listed below, in FskAˣ (Fsk) and in DG8 (ÓHLeg, ll. 5-8 only).
© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.