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Runic Dictionary

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Hárekr í Þjóttu (Hár)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

Hárekr (Hár) was a Norwegian chieftain from Þjótta (Tjøtta, Nordland), a son of the poet Eyvindr skáldaspillir (‘Plagiarist’ (?)) and otherwise well connected. According to Hkr and other sources, he enjoyed fluctuating relations with Óláfr Haraldsson (r. c. 1015-30) and other rulers, in a long career which terminated in a revenge killing, c. 1035, by Ásmundr Grankelsson, using Magnús góði’s axe. As well as being credited with two extant lausavísur, Hárekr is among the magnates listed in the U redaction of Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 269), with (Hofgarða-)Refr Gestsson as his skald. None of Hofgarða-Refr’s surviving poetry certainly concerns Hárekr, but his Frags 4, 5III could be from poems about Hárekr or his son Einarr (so LH I, 598).

Lausavísur — Hár LvI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Hárekr í Þjóttu, Lausavísur’ 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. 808.

stanzas:  1   2 

Skj: Hárekr Eyvindarson í Þjóttu: Lausavísur, 1027 (AI, 308-9, BI, 286)

in texts: Flat, Fsk, Gramm, Hkr, ÓH, ÓHHkr, ÓHLeg, ÓHÆ, TGT

SkP info: I, 808

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


The two stanzas below (Hár Lv 1-2) are dated to c. 1027 by Finnur Jónsson (LH I, 460), who also considered them authentic and very good; certainly they are fine expressions of defiance from a seasoned seafarer and warrior. They are preserved in Snorri Sturluson’s Óláfs saga helga, in both the Separate version (ÓH, mss listed below) and the Hkr version (ÓHHkr, as main ms.), jointly designated ÓH-Hkr below. The text in J2ˣ was copied from K and hence belongs to the Hkr redaction, unlike most stanzas from Óláfs saga helga in J2ˣ, which belong to the ÓH redaction. Further sources are ÓHLeg (DG8) and Fsk (FskBˣ for Lv 2 only, FskAˣ for both), and Lv 1/1-2 is also preserved in TGT (mss A, W, B, with 744ˣ supplementing B where defective).

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