Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Illugi bryndœlaskáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði, 3 [Vol. 2, 284]

[1] Frakka ‘of the Normans’: Lit. ‘of the Franks’. The Greeks referred to the Normans as ‘Franks’ (See ÍF 28, 81-2 n. 1). According to the prose of Flat and H-Hr, Haraldr harried in France and Lombardy on his way to Constantinople. This information seems to have been caused by a misunderstanding of Frakkar in the present st. and of land Langbarða ‘land of the Lombards’ in ÞjóðA Sex 5/1-2. The Frakkar were the Norman inhabitants of the kingdom of Sicily and southern Italy. The Varangian commander Georgios Maniakes (ON Gyrgir) was in alliance with the Normans from Salerno under the leadership of the two sons of Tancred de Hauteville, William and Drogo, and the Longobard Ardouin. Later, in the spring of 1041, the Normans defected, and this is the only time Haraldr could have fought against his former allies. The Langbarðaland ‘land of the Lombards’ mentioned in the prose was not present-day Lombardy in northern Italy; rather, it was the Byzantine province of Longobardia in southern Italy (see ÍF 28, 81-2 n. 1; Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 56, 65-71; Jesch 2001a, 87).

references

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