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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, 46-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Hharð Lv 4II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 4’ 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. 46-7.

According to Hkr (, 39, F, E, J2ˣ), H-Hr (H, Hr) and FskAˣ, Þjóðólfr Arnórsson completed the half-st. below (Hharð Lv 4) by composing a second helmingr (see ÞjóðA Lv 2). FskBˣ attributes the entire st. (Hharð Lv 4, ÞjóðA Lv 2) to Þjóðólfr, whereas Mork (Mork) and Flat (Flat) name Haraldr as the sole composer of both half-sts. is the main ms.

Lôtum vér, meðan lirlar
líneik veri sínum
Gerðr, í Goðnarfirði,
galdrs, akkeri halda.

Lôtum vér akkeri halda í Goðnarfirði, meðan {líneik}, {Gerðr galdrs}, lirlar veri sínum.

We shall let the anchor hold [us] in Randersfjord while {the linen-oak} [WOMAN], {the Gerðr <goddess> of incantation} [WOMAN], lulls her husband to sleep.

Mss: (541r), 39(23rb), F(45va), E(15v), J2ˣ(269r-v) (Hkr); FskBˣ(69v-70r), FskAˣ(261) (Fsk); Mork(8v) (Mork); Flat(197va) (Flat); H(44r), Hr(31vb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] lirlar: ‘lillar’ E, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, lítar Hr    [2] veri: ver Hr    [4] galdrs: ‘galldus’ Hr;    akkeri: akkerinn FskBˣ, FskAˣ, akkerum Mork, Flat, H, Hr;    halda: haldit Mork, Flat, H, Hr

Editions: Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Lausavísur 9: AI, 358, BI, 330, Skald I, 166, NN §§846, 1854B, 3086; ÍF 28, 109 (HSig ch. 32), F 1871, 211, E 1916, 54; ÍF 29, 250-1 (ch. 55); Mork 1867, 51, Mork 1928-32, 156, Andersson and Gade 2000, 194-5, 475 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 335 (MH); Fms 6, 251-2 (HSig ch. 47).

Context: In the summer of 1048, Haraldr sets out with his fleet south to Jylland, Denmark. He harries far and wide and lies at anchor in Randersfjord when he composes this half-st.

Notes: [All]: The present edn follows NN §846 (so also ÍF 28; ÍF 29). Skj B reads as follows: Vér ltum akkeri halda eik í Goðnarfirði, meðan lín-Gerðr lirlar veri sínum galdr ‘We let the anchor hold the oaken ship in Randersfjord while the linen-Gerðr (woman) lulls her husband to sleep with a song’. That version requires an unprecedented tripartite division of l. 2 as well as an emendation (galdrs m. gen. sg. ‘of incantation’ (l. 4) to galdr m. dat. sg. ‘with a song’). — [All]: For this campaign, see also Grani Har 1-2, Bǫlv Hardr 8 and Anon (HSig) 1. — [1, 4] lôtum vér akkeri halda ‘we shall let the anchor hold [us]’: Lit. ‘we shall let the anchor hold’. This is synonymous with ‘ride at anchor’. The Mork (H, Hr, Flat) variant ltum vér akkerum halda (lit. ‘we shall let [it] be held by the anchors’) has the same meaning. — [2] líneik ‘the linen-oak [WOMAN]’: This could also be an apostrophe to an unknown woman (see Note to Hharð Gamv 3/1), which would obviate the repetition of the two kennings functioning as the subject of one cl. — [3, 4] Gerðr galdrs ‘the Gerðr <goddess> of incantation [WOMAN]’: This is a very unorthodox kenning for ‘woman’ (see Meissner 413-20), which could have been prompted by the verb lirla ‘lull to sleep’.

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