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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 4. Sexstefja, 7 [Vol. 2, 118-19]

[1] stólþengils ‘of the emperor’: Lit. ‘throne-lord’s’. Frank (1978, 134) notes that this term encapsulates awe at the magnificence of the Byzantine imperial throne, of which there is an account from c. 950 (see also Note to ÞSkegg Hardr l. 3). The victim here seems to be to Michael Kalaphates (Michael V), and if so, the reference to Constantine in the ON prose sources is incorrect (although Michael’s uncle and counsellor, Constantine, was also blinded on the same occasion; see Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 94). Michael’s brief reign in Constantinople in spring 1042 ended with accusations of treachery and tyranny, and a bloody uprising in which he was blinded. The order for this was given, with the authority of the city prefect, by the leader of the military rebels, who could well have been Haraldr Sigurðarson (Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 93-4; see also Note to Valg Har 4 [All]).

references

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