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Þjóðólfr Arnórsson (ÞjóðA)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Diana Whaley;

4. Sexstefja (Sex) - 32

Þjóðólfr Arnórsson (ÞjóðA) is listed in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262) among the poets of Magnús inn góði ‘the Good’ Óláfsson and Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson, and virtually all his extant poetry seems to have been composed in honour of them, or in association with them; hence it dates from the period 1035-1066. The text of Skáldatal in AM 761 a 4°ˣ (SnE 1848-87, III, 259) also credits Þjóðólfr with poetry for Haraldr Þorkelsson, son of Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ and one of the Dan. magnates present in Norway during the reign of Sveinn Álfífuson (1030-35). No identifiable fragments of this remain, but if true the tradition would suggest that Þjóðólfr was born not much later than 1010. Hemings þáttr Áslákssonar (Hem) has him die at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, and there is no record of him after that date, though Lv 11 has the air of being composed after the battle. Þjóðólfr was, according to Skáldatal and Fsk (ÍF 29, 245), the brother of another skald, Bǫlverkr Arnórsson (Bǫlv), and according to Sneglu-Halla þáttr (Snegl) in Flat (1860-8, III, 415), was from an undistinguished family in Svarfaðardalur, northern Iceland. The same þáttr (p. 421) names his father not as Arnórr but as Þorljótr, in the context of a scurrilous anecdote told against Þjóðólfr by Sneglu-Halli (SnH), who also taunts him with having composed the otherwise unknown Sorptrogsvísur ‘Dustbin Vísur’. The þáttr nevertheless describes him as accomplished (menntr vel) and courteous (kurteis maðr), highly favoured by King Haraldr and chief of his poets (haufutskꜳlld sitt, p. 415). Þjóðólfr’s poetry, rich in allusion and imagery, has continued to be widely admired, and it gains colour and vigour from the fact that he participated in many of the campaigns he depicts. It undoubtedly also reflects the fact that he was one of an exceptional circle of poets patronised by Haraldr (see Turville-Petre 1968), and much of his poetry shares topics and imagery with that of his contemporary Arnórr jarlaskáld (Arn), though there is no account of the dealings between these two. Þjóðólfr figures in several anecdotes centring on poetic composition: see Contexts to Lv 2-6, though we have no way of knowing whether he was so touchy about his reputation as the Context to Lv 4, and Snegl, would suggest; he also features as a go-between figure in Brands þáttr ǫrva, which cites no poetry. For brief biographies of Þjóðólfr see, e.g. SnE 1848-87, III, 578-9; LH 1894-1901, I, 627-32; Hollander 1945, 189-96.

In addition to the works edited here as Þjóðólfr’s, there have been further attributions to him. Þfagr Sveinn 7 is attributed to Þjóðólfr in Mork (1928-32, 165-6) and Flat (1860-8, III, 341), but to Þorleikr fagri in other sources; ÞKolb Eirdr 17I is attributed to Þjóðólfr in the U ms. alone, and Þfisk Lv 3 is attributed to him in F. Further, Flat, by citing Okík Magn 1 after ÞjóðA Magnfl 18 without announcing a change of skald implicitly assigns the latter to Þjóðólfr. We might perhaps also imagine Þjóðólfr having a hand in Anon (HSig) 2, the st. collaboratively composed by Haraldr’s men. A further set of six sts presented are anonymous in the medieval sources but are presented in this edn as Halli XI Fl (for reasons explained in Halli Biography below). These are printed among Þjóðólfr’s works in CPB II, 210-11 and listed under his name in SnE 1848-87, III, 583-4; Poole also finds ‘the ascription to Þjóðólfr Arnórsson … tempting, on stylistic grounds’ (1991, 75).

Preserved mainly in the kings’ sagas, above all in Hkr, Þjóðólfr’s oeuvre presents exceptional problems of reconstruction, which are discussed at some length in the Introductions to the individual poems or sets of sts. The chief problem is that Þjóðólfr certainly composed a major dróttkvætt poem for each of his patrons Magnús (Magnússflokkr, Magnfl) and Haraldr (Sexstefja, Sex), but that in each case there is also a set of sts that may or may not belong in the main encomium. The decision has been taken here to print them separately: fourteen sts depicting the aftermaths of Magnús’s major battles at Århus (Áróss) and Helgenæs (Helganes) are presented as ‘Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi’ (Magn), and seven describing the launch of Haraldr’s great levied fleet from Nidelven (the river Nið) as ‘Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr’ (Har). As a reference aid, the arrangement of Þjóðólfr’s oeuvre in SkP and Skj is shown here.

Magnússflokkr (ÞjóðA Magnfl)
SkP Skj
15Náði jarl at eyða 19
16Rǫnn lézt, ræsir Þrœnda,20
17Hizig laut, es heitir 21
18Flýði jarl af auðu, 22
19Háðisk heilli góðu25
Stanzas about Magnús Óláfsson in Danaveldi (ÞjóðA Magn)
1Hrauð leifs mǫgr áðan Magnfl 15
2Misst hafa Sveins at sýnu, Magnfl 16
3Gær sák grjóti stóru Lv 1
4Spurði einu orði Magnfl 17
5Saurstokkinn bar svíra Magnfl 18
6Hrindr af hrókalandi Lv 2
7Menn eigu þess minnask, Lv 3
8Skjǫld bark heim frá hjaldri Magnfl 23
9Bauð leifs sonr áðan Magnfl 24
10Nú taka Norðmenn knýja,Lv 4
11Brum jǫrn at œrnuLv 5
12Svíðr of seggja búðirLv 6
13Fjǫrð lét fylkir verðaLv 7
14Ek hef ekki at drekkaLv 8
Runhent poem about Haraldr (ÞjóðA Run)
Sexstefja (ÞjóðA Sex)
6Þjóð veit, at hefr háðar7
7Stólþengils lét stinga6
8Ok hertoga hneykir25
9Reist eikikjǫlr austan8
10Vatn lézt, vísi, slitna,9
11Gegn skyli herr, sem hugnar10
12Frn hefr sveit við Sveini11
13Lét vingjafa veitir12
14Fast bað fylking hrausta13
15Alm dró upplenzkr hilmir14
16Flest vas hirð, sús hraustum15
17Sogns kvðu gram gegnan16
18Sveinn át sigr at launa17
19Nús of verk, þaus vísi,18
20Létu lystir sleitu19
21Tók Holmbúa hneykir20
22Gagn brann greypra þegna; 21
23Fœrði fylkir Hǫrða,22
24Áræðis naut eyðir23
25Refsir reyndan ofsa24
26Mǫrk lét veitt fyr verka26
27Ǫrð sær Yrsu burðar27
28Lét hræteina hveiti32
29Blóðorra lætr barri30a
30Geirs oddum lætr greddir30b
31Gera vas gisting byrjuð29
32Hár skyli hirðar stjóri35
Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr (ÞjóðA Har)
1Skeið sák framm at flœði, Lv 18
2Slyngr laugardag lǫngu Lv 19
3Rétt kann rœði slíta Lv 20
4Sorgar veit, áðr slíti Lv 21
5Eigu skjól und skógi Lv 22
6Hléseyjar lemr hvan Lv 23
7Haraldr þeysti nú hraustla Lv 24
Fragments (ÞjóðA Frag )
1 Nús valmeiðum víðisLv 9
2Jarl/Ǫrr lætr, odda skúrar Sex 28
3Ganga él of Yngva Sex 31
4Snart við sæþráð kyrtat Sex 33
5Útan bindr við enda Sex 34
Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur (ÞjóðA Lv)
1Leiða langar dauða Lv 10
2Sumar annat skal sunnar Lv 11
3[Logit hefr Baldr at Baldri]
brynþings fetilstingar
Lv 12
4Mildingr rauð í móðu Lv 13
5Varp ór þrætu þorpi Lv 14
6Sigurðr eggjaði sleggju Lv 15
7Haddan skall, en Halli Lv 16
8Út stendr undan báti Lv 17
9Ǫld es, sús jarli skyldi Lv 25
10Skalka frá, þótt fylkir Lv 26
11Ǫld hefr afráð goldit Lv 27

Reconstructions of the Þjóðólfr corpus are offered by Finnur Jónsson in SnE 1848-87, III, 579-90, which is the basis (almost unchanged) for Skj (AI, 361-83, BI, 332-53), and the Skj ordering is retained in Skald (I, 168-77); other major contributions are by Guðbrandur Vigfússon in CPB (II, 198-212) and by Fidjestøl (1982, 133-43, 172).

The principal eds consulted in the course of re-editing Þjóðólfr’s poetry for SkP are listed for each st., and are of two main types: eds of the skaldic corpus (Finnur Jónsson’s in Skj AI, 361-83; BI, 332-53 and Ernst Albin Kock’s in Skald I, 168-77, supported by numerous NN) and eds of the various prose works in which the poetry is preserved. Extracts are also included in anthologies, articles and other works including (with ten or more sts): CPB II, 198-212; Kock and Meissner 1931, I, 57-60; Hollander 1945,190-6 (annotated translations only), Poole 1991, 59-63; and (with seven sts) Turville-Petre 1976, 97-102. Such works as these, together with others containing comment on the poetry, are cited as appropriate in the Notes.


Sexstefja — ÞjóðA SexII

Diana Whaley 2009, ‘ Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 108-47. <> (accessed 5 July 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32 

Skj: Þjóðolfr Arnórsson: 3. Sexstefja, o. 1065 (AI, 369-77, BI, 339-46); stanzas (if different): 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 28 | 29 | 30/1-4 | 30/5-8 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35

in texts: Flat, Fsk, Gramm, H-Hr, H-Hr, , Hkr, HSig, LaufE, LaufE, MH, Mork, ÓH, Skm, SnE, TGT

SkP info: II, 108-47

notes: Reallocated - only 10 short stanzas in SnE

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


The thirty-two sts presented here as Sexstefja ‘Six-Refrains’ (ÞjóðA Sex) offer a grand survey of the career of Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson, from his début, aged fifteen, at the battle of Stiklestad (Stiklastaðir) in 1030 to his fatal Engl. campaign in 1066.

The preservation history is complex. Nineteen sts (1, 2, 6, 7, 9-11, 13-15, 17-19, 21-26) are preserved in Hkr ( as main ms., 39, F, E, J2ˣ; papp18ˣ is occasionally used to supplement the witness of ); st. 1 is also preserved in ÓH (Holm2, 972ˣ, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm 4, 325VII, 325V, 61, Bb, Tóm). H-Hr (H, Hr) has the largest complement, with the same sts as Hkr plus sts 3-5 and 20. Fsk (FskBˣ, FskAˣ, occasionally supplemented by 51ˣ, 301ˣ and 302ˣ) has sts 1-3, 7, 11, 12, 15-18 and 20-23; Mork (Mork) has sts 4, 7, 11 (ll. 5-8), 15-18 and 20-23; Flat (Flat) has sts 2, 4, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, and 20-23; (570a) has sts 11 and 13. Ten dróttkvætt sts attributed to Þjóðólfr are preserved in SnE (varying combinations of R, , W, U, A, B, C, with 744ˣ supplementing B where it is severely damaged), and of these seven (3, 8, 27, 29-32) can safely be assigned to Sex and a further three may well belong there, but because evidence is lacking they are here printed as ÞjóðA Frag 1, 2 and 4. Similarly one citation in TGT (A) is printed as Sex 28 and the other (in W and A) as Frag 3. (Note that the information in this paragraph does not distinguish between whole and partial preservation of sts, nor between different mss of the same text: for details see the ms. listing for individual sts.) For the principal modern eds of Þjóðólfr’s poetry, including Sex, see Biography above.

All the sts presented here as Sex are securely attributed to Þjóðólfr in medieval sources. Most of them are also treated in the way usually associated with extended royal encomia: they are introduced with formulas such as Svá segir Þjóðólfr ‘As Þjóðólfr says’ or Þess getr Þjóðólfr ‘Þjóðólfr mentions this’. That the hero of the encomium in question is Haraldr Sigurðarson is suggested by the attachment of the sts to prose narratives about him, and in many cases the internal content of the verse confirms this. Haraldr is named in sts 6, 9, 21, 24, 25 and 28 and referred to as sonr Sigurðar ‘Sigurðr’s son’ in st. 31, while in st. 32 the reference to a ruler with sons points to Haraldr rather than Þjóðólfr’s other main patron, Magnús. In some cases these references can act as anchor-points for the assignment of other sts, as when the reference to Haraldr in st. 21 encourages the assumption that the other verses about the suppression of the Upplendingar (19, 20, 22, 23) are from the same poem. Other proper names in the sts are less clearly diagnostic, but nonetheless reassuring: references to the dedicatee’s adversaries (jǫfurr Afríka ‘prince of Africans’ st. 3, stillir Girkja ‘ruler of Greeks’ st. 7, Sveinn st. 12, konungr Jóta ‘king of the Jótar’ st. 16) or allies (sonr leifs ‘Óláfr’s son’ st. 10); to the dedicatee as king of Norway by reference to regions of Norway (allvaldr Egða ‘overlord of Egðir’ proleptically in st. 7, upplenzkr hilmir ‘Oppland king’ st. 15, gramr Sogns ‘lord of Sogn’ st. 17, fylkir/konungr Hǫrða ‘ruler/king of the Hǫrðar’ sts 23, 29); or to him as crusher of particular enemies (hneykir Holmbúa ‘confounder of Island-dwellers’ st. 21, eyðir Selundbyggva ‘destroyer of Sjælland-dwellers’ st. 24 and the unusual brennir Bolgara ‘burner of Bulgars’ proleptically in st. 1). Place-names are not numerous in the sts, but triumphs in Serkland ‘land of the Saracens’ and Sikiley ‘Sicily’ are celebrated in st. 2, and the battle fyr Nizi ‘off the Nissan’ introduced in st. 14, and these events are traditional highpoints in the career of Haraldr Sigurðarson, and among events for which there is a great deal of skaldic evidence, Haraldr having been an outstanding afficionado of skaldic poetry.

The title Sexstefja ‘Six-Refrains’ is preserved in the introduction to st. 1 in ÓH, which names Þjóðólfr and refers to his drápa for King Haraldr known as Sexstefja (see Note to st. 1), and much the same information is given in H-Hr. The title thus seems to survive thanks to the fact that st. 1 is quoted within Snorri’s account, in ÓH, of Óláfr Haraldsson’s last battle at Stiklestad (Stiklastaðir), where it was necessary to specify the source. Wherever a st. is attached to the adult deeds of Haraldr, including the citation of st. 1 in the opening ch. of HSig in Snorri’s Hkr, no poem is named, perhaps because only one extended dróttkvætt poem about Haraldr by Þjóðólfr was known, and this is also suggested by the reference to Þjóðólfr’s drápa for Haraldr that precedes st. 19, and by the reference to the drápa’s refrain which precedes 10/5-8, both in H-Hr.

Most of the sts can be grouped according to the events they commemorate (dates are traditional, but specifically indebted to Hkr 1991).

(a) Stanza 1 is clearly about the battle of Stiklestad (Stiklastaðir, 1030). There is then a striking silence about Haraldr’s long and well-attested sojourn with King Jaroslav (Jarizleifr) in north-west Russia (Garðar). The fact that this is covered in Þjóðólfr’s runhent poem for Haraldr (Run above) may have meant either that Þjóðólfr did not want to repeat the material in the dróttkvætt poem or that he did so, but the prose compilers did not choose to cite the dróttkvætt verses.

(b) Stanzas 2-8 relate adventures in the Mediterranean, but the internal ordering of this group is somewhat uncertain. Stanzas 2 and 3 clearly belong together. The couplet st. 5 refers to an attack on Langobard territory, which would naturally fit in the vicinity of st. 2, with its mention of Sicily. However, the couplet is only in H-Hr, which relates that after his sojourn in Russia, Haraldr (partly to strengthen his suit for King Jaroslav’s daughter Ellisif or Elizabeth) harried Vinðland, Saxland, Frakkland, Langbarðaland (the territories of Wends, Saxons, Franks and Langobards) and Rome before sailing to Byzantium; Ill Har 3 and this couplet are cited to confirm the attacks on the Frakkar and Langbarðar. Flat has the same story and Ill Har 3 but not Sex 5. But the earlier sources—the sparse Ágr (ÍF 29, 32) as well as Fsk (ÍF 29, 228) and HSigHkr (ch. 2, ÍF 28, 70)—make no mention of these campaigns, referring instead to activity víða um Austrveg ‘around the eastern Baltic’ (Hkr) during Haraldr’s sojourn in Russia (Garðar), and then showing him travelling direct to Byzantium. The H-Hr and Flat story could simply have grown from a false assumption that the Frakkar were harried from the north, while it seems much more likely that the attacks on the Frakkar and the Langbarðar were part of Haraldr’s Mediterranean adventures (see also Note to Ill Har 3/1). It therefore seems reasonable in this instance to place st. 5 later in the sequence than the prose Context would suggest. This is the decision taken in Skj, and Fidjestøl is inclined to agree, but since his methodology dictates that he must trust the evidence of the prose sources he places it as st. 2 (1982, 134-5). CPB placed it later still (II, 205).

The blinding of the Greek or Byzantine emperor in st. 7 is placed in its sources, Hkr and H-Hr, between sts 6 (a summary of eighteen battles) and 8 (Haraldr’s return to Scandinavia), and there is no basis for challenging this, except possibly for the phrase áðr hingat fœri ‘before you travelled here [to Norway]’ in st. 7; it may be on this basis that Skj placed them in the order 7, 6, 8. Stanza 8, like st. 7, narrates the blinding of the Byzantine emperor, partly in the same words, so that although it is preserved only in SnE and therefore lacks a narrative context, it can safely be assumed to belong with st. 7 (it is st. 25 in Skj). The compilers of the kings’ sagas had plenty of substantiating poetry for this grisly incident (HSigHkr ch. 14) and had no need to cite all of it.

(c) Stanzas 9-10 depict Haraldr’s return to Scandinavia, his alliance with the Swedes and then with Magnús (1044-5).

(d) Stanza 11 commemorates Haraldr’s autocratic rule in such general terms that it is aptly attached by the prose compilers to more than one episode: the assassination of Einarr þambarskelfir and the suppression of the Upplendingar (see Context). Lines 5-8 appear to be a stef ‘refrain’, in fact the only surviving one from this poem, and the definite form stefit ‘the refrain’ in H-Hr’s context to st. 11/5-8 is striking given the reference to six refrains in the poem’s title. The placing of the stef is problematic. By definition it would have appeared more than once in the poem, but where, and whether as the second half of an eight-l. st. or a freestanding helmingr, is unclear, and the prose sources do not agree, citing it variously as a second helmingr to st. 11/1-4 (the arrangement adopted in this edn), as a second helmingr to st. 21/5-8 and as a freestanding citation after st. 20; see further Context to st. 11.

(e) Stanza 12, concerning defections to Sveinn (Úlfsson), both follows st. 11 quite logically and leads smoothly into the battle against Sveinn (sts 12-18), though it cannot be certain that this was its original position in the poem (and CPB II, 210 prints it separately from Sex, as a witness to the Danes accepting Sveinn as their king in 1054). In sts 13-18 the pace of the poem slows to give a quite detailed description of a single battle: that at the Nissan (Niz) estuary in 1062, from the drawing-up of troops (13, 14), through the fight with missiles (15) to the flight of the enemy and boarding of their ships (16, 17). The prose sources do not all preserve all six sts, and sts 13 and 17 are isolated helmingar, but there is no disagreement about ordering. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson, in listing sts in Hkr that appear to be from Sex, marks st. 18 with a query, though without giving a reason (ÍF 28, 200 n.).

(f) Stanzas 19-23 clearly concern Haraldr’s ruthless suppression of a rebellion by the Upplendingar. Stanzas 21-23 (23 being a single helmingr) present an east-west progression of regions punished (Raumar in st. 21, Heinir slightly to the north and Hringar in st. 22, Hǫrðar in st. 23) and this ordering is the agreement of the prose sources (though only Hkr and H-Hr have st. 21/1-4, and see above on the stef). Stanza 19 is a summary which could either precede or follow the other sts; it follows them in Hkr and H-Hr, the only prose sources to preserve it, but since st. 23 reports the end of hostilities in the third year, it seems reasonable to conclude, with Skj and Fidjestøl (1982, 135), that st. 19 originally started the group.

A major problem with the ordering of the Sex sts is the relative order of groups (e) and (f). Mork and Flat place the Oppland (Upplǫnd) rebellion before the battle at the Nissan (Niz), while Hkr and H-Hr place it shortly after. Fsk narrates the rebellion immediately after the battle but explicitly says that it took place shortly before. The Icel. annals date the battle at the Nizzan (Niz) in 1062 (Storm 1888, 18, 109, 250 and 318) and the Oppland raids c. 1065 (Storm 1888, 109 and 318; see also Schreiner 1928; Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson in ÍF 28, xxvii.) This ordering is followed in the present edn, as in Skj, but the matter cannot be finally resolved, and Fidjestøl (1982, 135) leaves the question open.

The remaining sts are all quoted in non-narrative contexts: sts 24, 25 and 26 in an epitaph or summary at the end of HSig in Hkr and H-Hr, and the others only in SnE or TGT. This makes it difficult, unless there is clear internal evidence, to be certain whether they belong to Sex and if so, where they should be placed. Haraldr is named in sts 24 and 25, and although st. 26 does not name Haraldr, its association with sts 24 and 25 in HSig encourages belief that it belongs to Sex, and since it shares with st. 27 the theme of royal generosity it can logically be placed before 27.

Next are placed sts 27, 28 and 29. A particular difficulty is whether sts 29 and 30 belong together. They are cited as a complete st. in mss R, and U of SnE, but are separated in A by Sva qvað hann enn ‘He further recited thus’, and in C by Ok enn ‘And further’ written above the l. It may be noted that A is also the only source to preserve st. 28, in its text of TGT. Finnur Jónsson printed sts 29 and 30 separately in SnE 1848-87, III, 586 but together in Skj (as Sex 30). Fidjestøl (1982, 139-42), developing an argument of Björn Magnússon Ólsen, argued that they are separate and that instead the striking harmony of imagery in sts 28 and 29 where a sequence of corpse-kennings have base-words referring to grain or corn, points to their integrity as a single st. Fidjestøl goes on to suggest that the harmony based on the metaphorical use of terms for ‘grain’ extends also to st. 27, albeit there in ‘gold’ kennings, and that if st. 27 is placed before sts 28+29, the base-words create a chiastic sequence ǫrð (‘grain’)—barr (‘barley’)—hveiti (‘wheat’)—bygg (‘barley’)—barr—ǫrð and a running metaphor of ploughing, sowing, growth and reaping. This is a very attractive idea, albeit unprovable, and perhaps less convincing when one considers the very different subject-matter of the verses: generosity praised in the pres. tense in st. 27, rather specific warfaring images in sts 28-9, with a pret. verb lét ‘let’ in st. 28. Nevertheless, with the caveat that nothing of the ordering of these final sts can be certain, Fidjestøl’s proposal is adopted here, except that sts 28-9 are not printed as a single st., since there is no ms. warrant for that. His further tentative suggestion that st. 30 and ÞjóðA Frag 2 may also form a single st. is also not accepted here. It is true that they are both pres.-tense warfaring descriptions containing metaphorical allusions to the sea or seafaring, but these are so unlike that it is safer to leave the vv. separate, and indeed, there is no certain external or internal indication that Frag 2 belongs to Sex, and it is therefore printed in this edn along with other Þjóðólfr fragments preserved only in SnE.

Stanza 31 (in SnE) identifies the subject as sonr Sigvorðar ‘Sigurðr’s son [Haraldr]’, who fed the wolf (pret. tense), but there are textual difficulties and no clue as to what stage of what military action is depicted. Finally, st. 32, voicing a wish that the ruler will bequeath his inheritance to his sons, makes a suitable end to the poem, though as ever one cannot be certain whether this was its original placing, and SnE, its only source, gives no clue.

A further seven sts, associated with Sex by some scholars, are printed in this edn as ‘Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr’ (ÞjóðA Har), and four fragments which have also been associated with Sex but whose subject is unspecified are printed as Frag 2-5: see Introductions to these.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated