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Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð)

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

1. Gamanvísur (Gamv) - 6

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.

Gamanvísur — Hharð GamvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Gamanvísur’ 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. 35-41.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

SkP info: II, 41

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Hharð Gamv 6II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Gamanvísur 6’ 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. 41.

Fœddr vas ek, þars alma
Upplendingar bendu;
nú lætk við sker skolla
skeiðr búmǫnnum leiðar.
Vítt hef ek, sízt ýttum,
eygarð skotit barði;
þó lætr Gerðr í Gǫrðum
gollhrings við mér skolla.

Ek vas fœddr, þars Upplendingar bendu alma; nú lætk skeiðr, leiðar búmǫnnum, skolla við sker. Vítt hef ek skotit barði {eygarð}, sízt ýttum; þó lætr {Gerðr gollhrings} í Gǫrðum skolla við mér.

I was born where the Upplendingar bent the elm-bows; now I let my warships, loathsome to farmers, rock among skerries. Far and wide I have thrust the prow across {the island-enclosure} [SEA] since we [I] set out; yet {the Gerðr <goddess> of the gold ring} [WOMAN] in Russia ridicules me.

Mss: Mork(3r) (Mork); H(28v), Hr(21ra) (H-Hr); N B88(1) (ll. 1-3)

Readings: [1] Fœddr: alinn N B88;    þars: þar H, Hr;    alma: ‘amær’ N B88    [2] Upplendingar: ‘uplendkær’ N B88    [3] lætk (‘let ec’): verðk N B88;    sker skolla: ‘[…]’ N B88    [5] ýttum: ‘ytum’ H    [7] þó lætr Gerðr í Gǫrðum: abbrev. as ‘þ. l.’ Mork, ‘þo læ. ger. ig.’ H, ‘þo lætr .g. i. g.’ Hr    [8] gollhrings við mér skolla: om. Mork, abbrev. as ‘goll við mer sk.’ H, ‘g. við mer skolla’ Hr

Editions: Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Lausavísur 7: AI, 358, BI, 329, Skald I, 166, NN §2024A; Mork 1867, 16, Mork 1928-32, 86, Andersson and Gade 2000, 149, 473 (MH); Fms 6, 171 (HSig ch. 15).

Notes: [1-3]: The first three ll. are also recorded on the rune stick N B88, which is edited separately in SkP VI (Run B88VI). The variant readings are given in the present edn, because they have some bearing on the possible interpretations of the st. See also Note to Hharð Lv 2b/4. — [1]: The l. lacks internal rhyme (see st. 5/1 above), and Kock (NN §2024A) attempts to restore the rhyme by emending fœddr ‘born’ to alinn ‘born, raised’ or alma ‘bows’ to odda ‘spear- or sword-points’. The first emendation results in an unmetrical l. with three alliterative staves: alinn ‘born, raised’, ek ‘I’, alma ‘elm-bows’ (cf. Skald: Alinn vas ek, þars alma) and the second in a nonsensical construction (‘where the Upplendingar bent the spear- or sword-points’). However, N B88 also gives the reading alinn, and the only way to restore the metre would be to construe the l. as follows: Alinn vask þar, es alma lit. ‘I was raised [or: born] there, where the elm-bows’. The internal rhyme (al- : alm-) leads to the suspicion that this reading is secondary. — [2] Upplendingar ‘the Upplendingar’: Opplandene (Upplǫnd) comprised present-day Hedmark, Hadeland, Romerike, Gudbrandsdalen and Østerdalen in Norway. Haraldr’s father, Sigurðr sýr, was a petty king of that district. — [5] ýttum ‘set out’: For ýta in this intransitive meaning (‘set out, embark on a sea-voyage’), see Fritzner: ýta 2. — [6] eygarð (m. acc. sg.) ‘the island-enclosure [SEA]’: An acc. of place.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated