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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, 49-50

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

8 — Hharð Lv 8II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 8’ 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. 49-50.

This st. (Hharð Lv 8) is recorded only in Hkr (, 39, F, E J2ˣ) and H-Hr (H, Hr). It is not found in Mork, Fsk or Flat, and was likely not part of the ‘Oldest Mork’ (*ÆMork); rather, it was an independent addition to Hkr. is the main ms.

Nú emk ellifu allra
— eggjumk vígs — ok tveggja
— þau ’ro enn, svát mank, manna
morð — ráðbani orðinn.
Ginn en gráleik inna,
(golls) es ferr með skolli,
(lýtendr kveða lítit
lauki gæft til auka).

Nú emk orðinn ráðbani allra ellifu ok tveggja; eggjumk vígs; þau morð manna ’ro, svát mank enn. En ginn inna gráleik, es ferr með skolli; {lýtendr golls} kveða lauki lítit gæft til auka.

Now I have become the death-instigator of altogether eleven and two; I am stirred to strife; those slayings of men are such that I still remember. But deceits yield ill will, which is accompanied by trickery; {spoilers of gold} [MEN] say that the leek needs little to grow strong.

Mss: (553v-554r), 39(26vb), F(48ra), E(19v), J2ˣ(278r-v) (Hkr); H(52r), Hr(38ra) (H-Hr)

Readings: [3] svát (‘sva at’): svá Hr;    mank (‘ec man’): man 39;    manna: inna H, Hr    [4] orðinn: orðit F    [5] Ginn en: ginnir Hr    [6] es (‘er’): enn J2ˣ, ok H, Hr    [7] kveða: kveði 39    [8] til: at H, Hr

Editions: Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Lausavísur 13: AI, 359, BI, 330-1, Skald I, 167, NN §2025; ÍF 28, 134 (HSig ch. 53), F 1871, 224, E 1916, 69; Fms 6, 295 (HSig ch. 70).

Context: After the death of Haraldr’s former enemy Kálfr Árnason, Kálfr’s brother, Finnr, accuses Haraldr of having plotted his brother’s death because he had sent him into battle without sufficient backup. Haraldr neither denies nor confirms the allegation, and people feel that, on earlier occasions, he had been eager to avenge smaller transgressions than those which Kálfr had been guilty of.

Notes: [All]: For Kálfr’s death, see also Arn Hardr 1. — [5-8]: The present edn follows Kock in taking lýtendr golls ‘spoilers of gold’ (ll. 6, 7) as the subject of kveða ‘say’ (l. 7), and ginn ‘deceits’ (l. 5) as the subject (pl.) of inna ‘yield’ (l. 5). Skj B construes lýtendr golls ‘spoilers of gold’ as the subject of inna ‘yield, pay, repay’, ginn (n. acc. sg./pl.) ‘deceit(s)’ as the acc. object, and gráleik ‘enmity’ as a dat. instr.: men mænd gengælder det sind, der farer frem med svig, med fjendskab ‘but men repay that disposition which is engaged in deceit with enmity’. Inna is not otherwise attested with an acc. and a dat. instr. Furthermore, -leikr is a m. a-stem, and the regular dat. ending is -i (-leiki), unless it is either an a-stem without a dat. ending (ANG §358.3), or an earlier i-stem (cf. Goth. laikins m. acc. pl., i-stem). Kock (NN §2025) also points out that ginn ‘deceit(s)’ cannot mean ‘disposition’. — [5, 6] ginn inna gráleik, es ferr með skolli ‘deceits yield ill will, which is accompanied by trickery’: Recalls Hávm 45/6 (NK 24): oc gialda lausung við lygi ‘and repay a lie with falsehood’ (see also ÍF 28, 134 n.). — [5] en ‘but’: ÍF 28 renders this as the adv. enn ‘still’, which violates the w. o. in an independent cl. (the verb needs to come in syntactic position 1 or 2). — [7, 8] lauki lítit gæft til auka ‘the leek needs little to grow strong’: Lit. ‘to the leek little needs to be given to increase’. This must refer to Haraldr’s enemies (as paraphrased in the preceding prose); i.e. unless nipped in the bud, small transgressions will increase and become a real threat.

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