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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 8. Introduction 5. Biographies 2. Biographies of Other Dignitaries f. Skúli Bárðarson

f. Skúli Bárðarson

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Skúli Bárðarson’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].

Sagas: Bǫgl, Hák.

Skúli was the half-brother of King Ingi Bárðarson (r. 1204-17), the son of Bárðr Guthormsson and King Sverrir Sigurðarson’s half-sister Cécilía. Skúli’s mother was Ragnfríðr Erlingsdóttir. Skúli was appointed jarl by Ingi in 1217, and he was the effective regent of Norway during the minority of King Hákon Hákonarson (r. 1217-63) who became his son-in-law in 1225. In 1237 Hákon gave Skúli the title of duke (hertogi). Skúli proclaimed himself king of Norway in 1239, and he was executed by Hákon’s men in Trondheim on 24 May 1240. See Bǫgl (1988, II, 27, 35, 62-3, 97-8, 124-8) and Hák.

Events documented in poetry: The battles of Værne and Oslo in 1221 (Sturl Hákkv 6; Sturl Hákfl 1-2) and Skúli punishing insubordinate farmers in Østfold (Anon (Hák) 1); skirmishes with the Ribbungar near Tønsberg in 1222 (Játg Lv); negotiations between Skúli and Hákon in 1233 (Ólhv Hryn 2-3; Anon (Hák) 2); the desertion of Skúli’s followers in 1236 (Ólhv Hryn 4; Anon (Hák) 3); the exchange of hostages between him and Hákon in 1236 (Ólhv Hryn 5); Skúli’s usurpation of the Norwegian crown in 1239 (Ólhv Hryn 6-7; Sturl Hákkv 9); Hákon’s men capturing Skúli’s district chieftains in 1239 (Snæk Lv); the battles of Låke and Oslo and Skúli’s death in 1240 (Ólvh Hryn 8-12; Ólhv Lv 2; Sturl Hákkv 10-24). See also SnSt HtIII and Lv 5III.


  1. Internal references
  2. Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1094.

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