Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 12. Lausavísur, 19 [Vol. 1, 724]

[8] bróðir Haralds ‘brother of Haraldr [= Óláfr]’: Óláfr was the half-brother of Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson. But if, as Finnur Jónsson supposes (Skj), this lausavísa dates to the period 1020-7, Haraldr would have been a young boy at the time, and it seems unlikely that Óláfr should be praised as the brother of a child. Such a phrase would be more appropriate after Haraldr, aged fifteen, had fought by Óláfr’s side in the autumn of 1030 at the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad), where Óláfr died. Accordingly, Olsen (1954, 189-92; so earlier Konráð Gíslason 1892, 203) takes Dróttinn, hjalp þeim ‘Lord, help him’ (l. 1) to be a plea for the repose of Óláfr’s soul, and this would date the stanza between the autumn of 1030 and 3 August 1031, when Óláfr was declared a saint. (See Edwards 1982-3, 38-9 for petitions containing hjalp in skaldic and runic contexts.) This would put the composition of the stanza into the same period as that of Lv 18, to which Olsen sees it as a companion.

references

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