This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

3. Róðudrápa (Róðdr) - 1

Skj info: Þórðr Særeksson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 327-30, BI, 302-4).

Skj poems:
1. Et digt om Klœingr Brúsason
2. Þórolfs drápa Skolmssonar
3. Róðudrápa
4. Lausavísur og ubestemmelige brudstykker

Very little is known about Þórðr Særeksson (or, in a later form, Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 257, 274, 281) lists him among the poets of Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson (r. c. 1000-c. 1014) and King Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr, d. 1030). According to ÓT (1958-2000, II, 322-3) Þórðr went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the reign of Óláfr Haraldsson, and, arriving in Syria, met Óláfr Tryggvason, who is said to have escaped from the battle of Svǫlðr (c. 1000). Óláfr greeted Þórðr warmly and sent his regards to Þórðr’s kinsman-in-law (mágr), the famous Icelander Hjalti Skeggjason. In some mss Þórðr is referred to as Svartsson or svartaskáld, probably from a misreading of his patronymic (see LH I, 603-5 and Introduction to ðudrápa (Róðdr) below). In addition to the poems edited here (Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar (Þórdr), Flokkr about Klœingr Brúsason (Klœingr) and Róðdr), three fragments of Þórðr’s poetry are preserved in SnE and one in LaufE (ÞSjár Frag 1-4III); these fragments are edited in SkP III. Þórðr’s oeuvre presents difficulties in that the people and events commemorated there span some sixty-five years, from c. 961 (Þórdr) to c. 1026 (Róðdr), so that it must be assumed either that he was exceptionally long-lived or that Þórdr was composed after a lapse of several years or decades; see further Introduction to that poem.

LP: ÞSjár(Sær)

Róðudrápa — ÞSjár RóðdrI

Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Róðudrápa’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 242.


Skj: Þórðr Særeksson: 3. Róðudrápa, o. 1031 (AI, 329, BI, 303); stanzas (if different): [v]

SkP info: I, 243

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — ÞSjár Róðdr 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Róðudrápa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 243.

Átti Egða dróttinn
Ôleifr þrimu stála
við ágætan Jóta
ǫðling, þanns klýfr hringa.
Skaut nær skarpt at móti
Skônunga gramr hônum;
Sveins vasa sonr at reyna
slær; þaut ulfr of hrævi.

Ôleifr, {dróttinn Egða}, átti {þrimu stála} við {ágætan ǫðling Jóta}, þanns klýfr hringa. {Gramr Skônunga} skaut nær skarpt at móti hônum; {sonr Sveins} vasa slær at reyna; ulfr þaut of hrævi.

Óláfr, {lord of the Egðir} [NORWEGIAN KING], had {a clash of swords} [BATTLE] with {the splendid ruler of the Jótar} [DANISH KING = Knútr], who cleaves rings. {The sovereign of the Skônungar} [DANISH KING = Knútr] shot rather sharply against him; {the son of Sveinn} [= Knútr] was not weak to test; the wolf howled over carrion.

Mss: K(1ra) (Hkr); Holm2(52v), 972ˣ(381va), J2ˣ(198r), Kˣ(411v-412r), 321ˣ(186), 73aˣ(161r), 68(50r), Holm4(46vb), 61(112rb), 75c(31v), 325V(59ra-b), 325VII(30r), Bb(182ra), Flat(115rb), Tóm(138v), 325IX 2(4vb), 325XI 1(4rb) (ÓH); DG8(92v) (ÓHLeg, ll. 5-8); FskAˣ(173-174) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] Egða: engla 68;    dróttinn: om. Tóm    [2] þrimu: þrumu Kˣ, Flat, Tóm, þrymu 73aˣ, 61, ‘hrimu’ Bb    [3] ágætan: ágæta Bb    [4] ǫðling: ǫðlingr 75c;    klýfr: klauf Holm2, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, 61, 75c, 325V, Bb, Tóm, 325IX 2, 325XI 1, FskAˣ, klauf corrected in the margin to klýfr Kˣ, gaf Flat    [5] Skaut nær: ‘scꜹ(r)t ner’(?) Holm2, skautat 75c, skaut at Bb, Flat, skaut náir Tóm;    skarpt: ‘skarft’ 321ˣ, 325VII, Flat, skart 61, ‘sk[...]t’ 325XI 1, skapt DG8, FskAˣ;    at: á 61, DG8, í 75c, ‘[...]’ 325XI 1    [6] Skônunga: ‘skanvga’ Bb    [7] vasa (‘vara’): varð 972ˣ, varat 73aˣ, 61, 325V, 325VII, Tóm, FskAˣ, var 75c, Flat, DG8, ‘[...]’ 325XI 1;    sonr: son Tóm, ‘s[…]nr’ 325XI 1    [8] slær: slægr Flat, ‘slæfr’ Tóm, ‘slækr’ DG8;    of: í 972ˣ, 325IX 2, DG8;    hrævi: ‘hręði’ 75c, ‘h[...]’ 325XI 1

Editions: Skj: Þórðr Særeksson, 3. Róðudrápa: AI, 329, BI, 303, Skald I, 154; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 366, ÍF 27, 281 (ÓHHkr ch. 150); ÓH 1941, I, 438 (ch. 140), Flat 1860-8, II, 281; ÓHLeg 1922, 61, ÓHLeg 1982, 146-7; Fsk 1902-3, 165 (ch. 27), ÍF 29, 187 (ch. 32).

Notes: [All]: This battle is also commemorated in Ótt Knútdr 11 and (probably) Sigv Knútdr 9; on the location, see Note to Ótt Knútdr 11/3. — [1] dróttinn Egða ‘lord of the Egðir [NORWEGIAN KING]’: The 68 variant dróttinn Engla ‘lord of the English’ must have been introduced because the scribe mistakenly thought that the poem was composed in honour of Knútr rather than Óláfr: Þoroddr scald Siarecsson orti drapo eptir knut konung ‘the poet Þóroddr [sic] Sjáreksson composed a drápa in memory of King Knútr’. — [4] klýfr (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic.) ‘cleaves’: The pres. tense of the verb has been retained because Knútr Sveinsson died on 12 November 1035, and was most likely alive when the poem was composed. The designation of Knútr as one who klýfr hringa ‘cleaves rings’ is a stereotypical reference to princely generosity. — [5] nær ‘rather’: The word is taken as an adv. modifying skarpt ‘sharply’ (so also Skj B, Skald and ÍF 27; see also Fritzner: nær 9). Bjarni Einarsson (ÍF 29) treats it as a prep. with hnum, hence ‘near him’ (l. 6). That reading is not possible, however, because monosyllabic proclitic prepositions are never separated from the nouns they modify.

© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.