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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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 16 May 2022)

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, 55-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

14 — Hharð Lv 14II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 14’ 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. 55-6.

Krjúpum vér fyr vápna
(valteigs) brǫkun eigi
(svá bauð Hildr) at hjaldri
(haldorð) í bug skjaldar.
Hôtt bað mik, þars mœttusk,
menskorð bera forðum,
Hlakkar íss ok hausar,
hjalmstall í gný malma.

Vér krjúpum eigi í bug skjaldar at hjaldri fyr brǫkun vápna; svá bauð {haldorð Hildr {valteigs}}. {Menskorð} bað mik forðum bera {hjalmstall} hôtt í {gný malma}, þars {íss Hlakkar} ok hausar mœttusk.

We [I] do not creep into the hollow of the shield in battle because of the crash of weapons; thus {the faithful Hildr <valkyrie> {of the falcon-field}} [ARM > WOMAN] commanded. {The necklace-pole} [WOMAN] told me earlier to hold the {helmet-support} [HEAD] high in {the clamour of swords} [BATTLE] where {Hlǫkk’s <valkyrie’s> ice} [SWORD] and skulls met.

Mss: Mork(19r) (Mork); Flat(204ra) (Flat); FskAˣ(305) (Fsk); Kˣ(581v), F(53rb), E(27v), J2ˣ(297r) (Hkr); H(75v), Hr(53vb) (H-Hr); Hb(70v) (Hb)

Readings: [1] Krjúpum: Krjúpu E, J2ˣ, Hb;    fyr: við E;    vápna: vápni FskAˣ    [2] brǫkun: ‘braukum’ Flat, ‘brokom’ FskAˣ, brakan Kˣ, H, braka Hr    [3] bauð: bað Flat    [4] haldorð: ‘hallorð’ E, J2ˣ    [5] Hôtt: hitt Flat;    bað mik: bauð mér Flat;    þars (‘þar er’): þá er Flat;    mœttusk: mœttumsk Flat, mœttisk H    [6] menskorð: ‘mennskurð’ FskAˣ, menspǫng Hb;    forðum: lǫngum Hb    [7] íss: ís FskAˣ, Kˣ, F, E, J2ˣ, Hr, Hb;    ok hausar: at hausum FskAˣ, um hausa Hb    [8] ‑stall: ‘stal’ FskAˣ, ‑stofn Kˣ, F, Hb

Editions: Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Lausavísur 19: AI, 360-1, BI, 332, Skald I, 167-8, NN §2027; Mork 1867, 118, Mork 1928-32, 276, Andersson and Gade 2000, 271, 481 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 395 (MH); ÍF 29, 284-5 (ch. 68); ÍF 28, 188 (HSig ch. 91), F 1871, 248, E 1916, 97; Fms 6, 416 (HSig ch. 118); Hb 1892-6, 343, Fellows Jensen 1962, 51 (Hem).

Context: Haraldr recites this st. on the same occasion as Lv 13 above, because he considers the former st. to be inferior (it was composed in fornyrðislag rather than in the prestigious dróttkvætt metre).

Notes: [2, 3] Hildr valteigs ‘Hildr <valkyrie> of the falcon-field [ARM > WOMAN]’: This could refer to Haraldr’s mother, Ásta (see Hharð Lv 1 above). If that is the case, Haraldr, during his last stand at Stamford Bridge, fittingly recalls his first battle, the battle of Stiklestad in 1030 (see also Hharð Gamv 5/1). The earlier allusions to ‘the widow’ (Hharð Lv 1/2 and Hharð Gamv 5/1) and to ‘the woman’ in the present st. differ from the apostrophe to the fictitious women in Hharð Lv 11/2 and Hharð Gamv 3/1 above, because the former seems to refer to a specific woman giving advice to Haraldr prior to the battle of Stiklestad. — [4] í bug skjaldar ‘into the hollow of the shield’: For curved shields, see Falk 1912, 135-7. — [5] mœttusk (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘met’: Skj B adopts the H variant mættisk (3rd pers. pl. pret. subj.), probably because of the indirect speech. That form is warranted neither by the syntax nor by the ms. witnesses (see NN §2027). — [8] hjalmstall ‘helmet-support [HEAD]’: The variant reading hjalmstofn ‘helmet-stump’ (i.e. ‘head’; so , F, Hb) is acceptable, but secondary according to the ms. witnesses.

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