Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bǫlverkr Arnórsson (Bǫlv)

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

Drápa about Haraldr harðráði (Hardr) - 8

Skj info: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 385-7, BI, 355-7).

Skj poems:
Drape om Harald hårdråde

Nothing is known about Bǫlverkr except that, according to Fsk (ÍF 29, 245) and Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275), he was the brother of the skald Þjóðólfr Arnórsson (ÞjóðA). See also Finnur Jónsson in SnE 1848-87, III, 590-1.

Drápa about Haraldr harðráði — Bǫlv HardrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði’ 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. 286-93.

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Skj: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson: Drape om Harald hårdråde (AI, 385-7, BI, 355-7)

SkP info: II, 289

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Bǫlv Hardr 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 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. 289.

Snjallr rauð í styr stillir
stôl ok gekk á mála;
háðisk hvert ár síðan
hildr, sem sjalfir vilduð.

Snjallr stillir rauð stôl í styr ok gekk á mála; hildr háðisk hvert ár síðan, sem sjalfir vilduð.

The valiant ruler reddened swords in battle and entered paid service; war was waged every year thereafter, as you yourself wanted.

Mss: H(21v), Hr(16va) (H-Hr); Flat(192vb) (Flat)

Readings: [1] Snjallr: snjall Flat;    styr: ‘stor’ Flat    [4] sjalfir vilduð: sjalfr vildi Hr, sjalfir vildu Flat

Editions: Skj: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drape om Harald hårdråde 3: AI, 385, BI, 355, Skald I, 178, NN §2036; Fms 6, 135 (HSig ch. 3); Flat 1860-8, III, 292, Mork 1928-32, 62, Andersson and Gade 2000, 134, 472 (MH).

Context: Haraldr entered the service of the Byzantine emperor as a mercenary and campaigned in Greece as commander of the Varangian army.

Notes: [2] gekk á mála ‘entered paid service’: Kock (NN §2036) translates ganga á mála as bryta fredsfördraget ‘break the peace settlement’. However, both Fms (6, 134) and Flat (1860-8, III, 290) paraphrase the st. in the prose and state explicitly that Haraldr entered the service (gekk á mála) of the emperor: Geck Haralldr þegar med o᷎llu ꜳ konungs mala ‘Haraldr at once entered the paid service of the king eagerly’ (Flat 1860-8, III, 290). For máli ‘payment, remuneration’, see Fritzner: máli 2 and Jesch 2001a, 194. For Haraldr’s service in the Greek army, see Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 56-102.

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