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Runic Dictionary

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(subheadings only)

4.1. Ruler biographies

4.1.a. Kings and jarls of Norway
4.1.b. Kings of Denmark
4.1.c. Kings of Sweden

4.2. Biographies of other dignitaries

Ástríðr Óláfsdóttir

See Biography of Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson above.

Búi inn digri ‘the Stout’ Vésetason (d. c. 985)

Búi was one of the leaders of the force later known as the Jómsvíkingar who were defeated by the Norwegian jarls in the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen), c. 985; on the battle and poetry relating to it and the Jómsvíkingar, see Biography of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson above. Búi was fatally wounded in the battle and was portrayed in later legend leaping from his ship with two treasure-chests. See further Introduction to ÞGísl Búdr.

Events documented in poetry: Prelude to the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (the non-contemporary Bjbp Jóms 6-17); the battle (ESkál Vell 33; Tindr Hákdr 2, 10; Þskúm Lv 1; Vagn Lv 1; and the non-contemporary ÞGísl Búdr; Bjbp Jóms 18-38).

Erlingr Skjálgsson (d. c. 1028)

Erlingr, born of a powerful family and endowed with wealth, good looks, ability and popularity, was the effective ruler of south-western Norway at the beginning of the eleventh century. He married Ástríðr, sister of Óláfr Tryggvason (q. v.), and fought on Óláfr’s side at Svǫlðr c. 1000. He successfully co-existed with the jarls of Hlaðir (Lade) and according to Hkr fought with Sveinn jarl Hákonarson (q. v.) against Óláfr Haraldsson (q. v.) at Nesjar c. 1016. Erlingr’s relations with Óláfr were complex and troubled, and in the later 1020s he was among the Norwegian magnates who allied themselves with King Knútr (q. v.). He engaged in battle against Óláfr at Bókn (Bokn, Rogaland) in 1027 or 1028 and was killed by Óláfr’s henchman Áslákr fitjaskalli ‘Fitjar-Baldhead’. Erlingr is named in the U redaction of Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 269), with Sigvatr (Sigv) as his sole poet. See Theodoricus (MHN 21, 30; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 16, 22); Ágr (ÍF 29, 26; Ágr 2008, 38-9); Fsk (ÍF 29, 145, 149, 166, 182, 193-6; Finlay 2004, 115, 119, 132, 146, 154-7); Hkr (ÍF 27, 458 (index); Hollander 1964a, 832 (index)).

Events mentioned in poetry: Erlingr’s power as chieftain equalled only by Dala-Guðbrandr (Sigv Erl); his power and prowess (Sigv Erlfl 9-10); his marriage-alliance with Óláfr Tryggvason (Sigv Erlfl 9); his naval battle against Óláfr Haraldsson at Bókn (Bokn) c. 1027 (Sigv Erlfl 1-5; BjHall Kálffl 1-2); his death at the hands of Áslákr (Ólhelg Lv 6-7; Sigv Erlfl 6-8); his military exploits in general (Sigv Erlfl 10); incident involving Erlingr’s daughter (Eindr Lv).

Kálfr Árnason (d. c. 1050-1)

See Introduction to BjHall Kálffl. Kálfr is named in the U redaction of Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 269), with Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson as his sole poet.

Events documented in poetry: Battle of Bókn (Bokn) and death of Erlingr Skjálgsson c. 1027 (BjHall Kálffl 1-2); Kálfr’s service of King Knútr in England (BjHall Kálffl 3-4); the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad) in 1030 (BjHall Kálffl 5); Kálfr accompanies the young Magnús Óláfsson back to Norway (BjHall Kálffl 6); discord stirred up between them (BjHall Kálffl 7); Kálfr fights for Þorfinnr jarl of Orkney (BjHall Kálffl 8).

Tryggvi Óláfsson (d. c. 1032)

See Introduction to Sigv Tryggfl.

Þórálfr inn sterki Skólmsson (late tenth – early eleventh century)

See Introduction to ÞSjár Þórdr 1-4.

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