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Runic Dictionary

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Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár)

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

1. Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar (Þórdr) - 4

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)

Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar — ÞSjár ÞórdrI

Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘ Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar’ 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. 236. <> (accessed 6 July 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4 

Skj: Þórðr Særeksson: 2. Þórolfs drápa Skolmssonar (AI, 328-9, BI, 302-3); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4

in texts: Flat, Fsk, HákGóð, Hkr, ÓT

SkP info: I, 236

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


Þórálfs drápa SkólmssonarDrápa about Þórálfr Skólmsson’ (ÞSjár Þórdr) commemorates the bravery of the Icelander Þórálfr inn sterki ‘the Strong’ Skólmsson who fought alongside the Norwegian king Hákon inn góði ‘the good’ Haraldsson at the battle of Fitjar c. 961 (for this battle, see also Eyv Lv 1-5, Eyv Hák 2-7 and Glúmr Lv; for Hákon and the battle, see ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume). Þórálfr lived at Myrká in Iceland and is also mentioned in HaukrV Ísldr 13IV as well as in Ldn (ÍF 1, 257), Grettis saga (ÍF 7, 187) and Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar (Flat 1860-8, I, 524). The name of the poet is given in Hkr, Fsk, and ÓT, and both Hkr and ÓT indicate that the stanzas belonged to a drápa: Þess getr Þórðr Sjáreksson í drápu þeiri, er hann orti um Þórálf ‘Þórðr relates this in the drápa that he composed about Þórálfr’ (introduction to st. 1, ÍF 26, 187). Because the other encomia attributed to Þórðr commemorate events from the time of Óláfr Haraldsson (Klœingr c. 1014 and Róðdr c. 1026 below) it appears hardly likely that he could have been a contemporary of Þórálfr Skólmsson. Hence the present drápa may have been composed well after the event, whether by Þórðr or another poet. Only Fsk (FskBˣ, FskAˣ) contains all four stanzas, in the order presented below. Hkr (, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ) and ÓT (61, 325IX 1a, Bb) have sts 1, 2, 3/1-4, and 4, and the Flat text of ÓT has sts 1, 2; in both Hkr and ÓT st. 4 is given as ll. 5-8 of st. 3. is the main ms. for sts 1, 2 and 4, while FskBˣ is the main ms. for st. 3. In Skj Finnur Jónsson (followed by Kock in Skald) rearranges the stanzas and places our st. 4 after st. 1. Because st. 4 forms the conclusion of the poem in all sagas, however, the order of stanzas in Fsk has been retained here. The extant stanzas and helmingar fit loosely together, which leads to the suspicion that they may have been excised out of order from the poem to document the events described in the prose.

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