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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, 52-3

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Hharð Lv 11II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 11’ 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. 52-3.

Hlautk af hrauðung skjóta
hlýri, mær in skýra;
súð gekk feld á flœði
framm; vas þat fyr skǫmmu.
Enn fyr England sunnan
óð borð und mér norðan;
ristin skalf í rǫstum
rǫng; en þat vas lǫngu.

Hlautk skjóta hlýri af hrauðung, in skýra mær; feld súð gekk framm á flœði; þat vas fyr skǫmmu. Enn fyr sunnan England óð borð und mér norðan; ristin rǫng skalf í rǫstum; en þat vas lǫngu.

I got to push the prow away from the empty fleet, bright lady; the jointed ship went forth on the ocean; that was recently. And, south of England, the planking advanced beneath me from the north; the carved frame shook in the currents; but that was long ago.

Mss: Mork(17r) (Mork); Flat(202ra) (Flat); H(70r), Hr(50vb) (H-Hr); F(54vb) (ll. 5-8)

Readings: [1] af: á Flat    [3] súð: suðr Flat    [4] vas þat (‘var þat’): en þat var Hr    [5] Enn: ok Flat    [6] borð: hestr F;    und mér: ‘uimer’ Flat;    norðan: festa F    [7] ristin: ristan Hr;    skalf: skal Flat, skafl Hr;    í rǫstum: með rausnum Flat, í rostu F    [8] en þat vas (‘en þat var’): var þat fyr Flat, en þat var fyr Hr

Editions: Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Lausavísur 16: AI, 360, BI, 331, Skald I, 167, NN §§847B, 2026; Mork 1867, 102, Mork 1928-32, 249, Andersson and Gade 2000, 254, 480 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 378 (MH); Fms 6, 387 (HSig ch. 108); F 1871, 256 (HSig).

Context: As Lv 10 above.

Notes: [1] hrauðung ‘empty fleet’: The translation is conjectural. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) translates af hrauðung as skyndsomt ‘in haste’ or (LP: hrauðung) as skynding ‘haste’. Kock connects the word with OE hrēodan ‘adorn, cover’ and translates it as ‘boat house’ (NN §847B). Hrauðung must be derived from hrjóða (strong verb class 2) whose most common meaning is ‘empty, clear out’. LP: hrauðung adds: ordet betyder vel egl. ‘rydning’ ‘the literal meaning of the word is most likely “clearing”’. The phrase hrjóða skip ‘clear a ship by killing or driving away the crew’ is especially common in both prose and poetry (see Fritzner: hrjóða 1; LP: hrjóða 1). Because three of the six sts recited in this episode describe Haraldr’s recent campaigns in Denmark in the first helmingar, it is reasonable to assume that this half-st. also refers to his naval battles against the Danes (see, e.g., ÞjóðA Sex 17; see also Jesch 2001a, 211 and n. 33). Hrauðungr is otherwise recorded as the name of a sea-king, a giant, and a legendary person (LP: Hrauðungr), and hrauð is a heiti for a coat of mail and a ship (SnE 1998, I, 123, 128, II, 317). — [2] hlýri ‘prow’: Lit. ‘the curve of a ship-side towards the prow’ (see Falk 1912, 52; Jesch 2001a, 147). — [2] in skýra mær ‘bright lady’: No woman is present in the episode, and it is unclear whom Haraldr is addressing. For skaldic apostrophes to fictitious women, see also Úlfr Lv and Note to Hharð Gamv 3/1. Kock (NN §2026) emends mær to meir ‘more’ as an intensifier to framm ‘forth, forwards’ (l. 4) and takes in skýra ‘bright, clear’ as a qualifier to súð ‘ship-side’ (l. 3). Skj B treats both mær (taken as the adj. ‘splendid’) and in skýra as adjectives qualifying súð: in skýra, mær súð ‘the shining, splendid ship’ (det blanke, herlige skib). — [3] súð ‘ship’: Lit. ‘ship-side’: Used here as pars pro toto for ‘ship’. See Note to Hharð Gamv 2/2. — [5-8]: For this helmingr, see also Anon (HSig) 4/5-8. — [7, 8] ristin rǫng ‘carved frame’: Rǫng (pl. rengr) was a cross-piece that held together the bottom-boards in a ship (see Falk 1912, 46-7; Jesch 2001a, 151). See also Kali Lv 1/3.

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