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Runic Dictionary

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Anon Harst 1II l. 3

Valþjófs — lay


Valþjófr (noun m.): [lay]



[3] liðar Valþjófs ‘the forces of Waltheof’: Born in c. 1050, Waltheof was the son of Earl Siward of Northumbria. In spite of participation in a revolt against King William I in 1069 (involving an attack on York), in 1072 he was appointed Earl of Northumbria; however, in 1075 he was executed for supposed participation in a further revolt (see Scott 1952; Lewis 2004). No Engl. source associates Waltheof with the battle of Fulford. It is conceivable that liðar Valþjófs ‘the forces of Waltheof’ is simply a locution for the Engl. army, and need not imply Waltheof’s presence at the battle; but this is unlikely. As Scott (1953-7, 93-4) observes, what Harst indicates is that it was at least believed in some strand of Scandinavian tradition that Waltheof was present at the battle; unfortunately, the poem’s date of composition is unknown, and so the origins and antiquity of this belief must also remain unknown. For Waltheof, see also ÞSkall Valfl and ‘Biographies of Other Dignitaries’ in Introduction to this vol.



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