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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. I. Poetry for Scandinavian Rulers 1: From Mythological Times to c. 1035 8. Volume Introduction 4. Biographies 4.1. Ruler biographies 4.1.a. Kings and jarls of Norway 7. Haraldr II gráfeldr Eiríksson (r. c. 961-c. 970) and the Eiríkssynir

7. Haraldr II gráfeldr Eiríksson (r. c. 961-c. 970) and the Eiríkssynir

Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ became the leader of the Eiríkssynir or Gunnhildarsynir, originally seven sons of Eiríkr blóðøx (q. v.) and his queen Gunnhildr (Gamli, Guthormr, Haraldr, Ragnfrøðr, Erlingr, Guðrøðr and Sigurðr slefa ‘Saliva’ or ‘Mumbler’). The brothers raided widely, as well as opposing Hákon góði (q. v.) notably at Ǫgvaldsnes (Avaldsnes) c. 953, where Guthormr fell, and at the unidentified Rastarkálfr on the island of Fræði (Frei) c. 955, where Gamli fell as he retreated. Haraldr and the remaining brothers in turn confronted Hákon at the battle of Fitjar, c. 961. He was fatally wounded and they gained control over south-western Norway. This remained Haraldr’s power-base, but he and his brothers eliminated competitors elsewhere, killing Tryggvi Óláfsson and Guðrǫðr Bjarnarson, petty kings in the south-east, and burning Sigurðr jarl of Hlaðir (Lade) in his hall, c. 962. Haraldr led an expedition to the fur-rich northern regions of Hálogaland (Hålogaland) and up into Bjarmaland (Permia), and it is possible that his nickname ‘Grey-cloak’ may allude to this expedition (so Koht 1930-3, 24) or to the economic importance of furs paid by the Saami as tribute, though according to Hkr (ÍF 26, 211-12) it arose when Haraldr received a gift of a sheepskin from Icelandic merchants and set a trend by wearing it. Haraldr is also credited with raids against the Irish and the Gautar. His success was short-lived, however. His uncle, the Danish king Haraldr blátǫnn, transferred his support to Hákon jarl, son of the murdered Sigurðr jarl, probably with the intention of curtailing Haraldr gráfeldr’s power in Vík (Viken), which bordered the Danish kingdom. With Danish support Hákon lured Haraldr gráfeldr to Denmark where he was killed at the battle of Háls in Limafjǫrðr (Limfjorden) in north Jutland at some point between 970 and 976; the widely accepted date of c. 970 is adopted throughout this volume. Having been brought up in England or (in Haraldr’s case) at the Danish court of Haraldr blátǫnn, the Eiríkssynir were Christian, and they are reputed to have destroyed pagan places of worship and disrupted sacrifices, much-resented outrages that were blamed for unseasonable weather, bad harvests and famines. See Anon Nkt 16II (c. 1190); Theodoricus (MHN 10-11; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 7); HN (MHN 107-8; Kunin and Phelpstead 2001, 16-18); Ágr (ÍF 29, 12-14; Ágr 2008, 16-21); Fsk (ÍF 29, 81-116; Finlay 2004, 62-89); HgráfHkr (ÍF 26, 198-224; Hollander 1964a, 128-43). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 274) lists Glúmr Geirason (Glúmr) and Kormákr Ǫgmundarson (KormǪV) as Haraldr’s poets, but no poetry for him by Kormákr survives.

Events documented in poetry: Haraldr’s campaigns in Skáney (Skåne) and Scotland (Glúmr Gráf 2), in Ireland (Glúmr Gráf 3), the Baltic (Glúmr Gráf 4), and against the Gautar (Glúmr Gráf 5); his victory against Hákon góði at Fitjar c. 961 (Eyv Hák 2-9; Eyv Lv 1-5; ÞSjár Þórdr; Glúmr Lv); his expedition to Bjarmaland (Permia) and the Vína (Dvina) (Glúmr Gráf 6); battle in Limafjǫrðr (Limfjorden, Glúmr Gráf 8-11); encounters between the Eiríkssynir and H´ákon jarl (Eskál Vell 6-11); Hákon jarl’s involvement in the death of Haraldr (Eskál Vell 12); Haraldr’s death mourned (Glúmr Gráf 15); Haraldr’s military exploits in general (Eyv Lv 7; Glúmr Gráf 7, 13; Glúmr Frag); admiration for Haraldr (Anon (Ágr)); his accomplishments (Glúmr Gráf 14); his meanness in contrast with Hákon góði (Eyv Lv 8-9); the desolation of the land during the reign of the Eiríkssynir (Eyv Hák 21; Eyv Lv 12-14); dealings with poets including Eyvindr (Eyv Lv 8-11). Events involving others of the Eiríkssynir: the defeat of Gamli Eiríksson at Rastarkálfr c. 955 (Gsind Hákdr 8; Eyv Lv 6; ÞSjár Þórdr 2); the dealings of two of Haraldr’s brothers with the poet Glúmr (Glúmr Gráf 12); the dealings of Sigurðr slefa with Þorkell klyppr (Þklypp Lv).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  4. MHN = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1880. Monumenta historica Norvegiæ: Latinske kildeskrifter til Norges historie i middelalderen. Kristiania (Oslo): Brøgger. Rpt. 1973. Oslo: Aas & Wahl.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. Finlay, Alison, trans. 2004. Fagrskinna: A Catalogue of the Kings of Norway. Leiden: Brill.
  7. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  8. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  9. McDougall, David and Ian McDougall, trans. 1998. Theodoricus monachus. Historia de antiquitate regum norwagiensium: An Account of the Ancient History of the Norwegian Kings. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 11. University College, London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  10. Theodoricus = Theodrici monachi historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium. In MHN 1-68.
  11. Ágr 2008 = Driscoll, Matthew J., ed. and trans. 2008. Ágrip af Nóregskonungasǫgum: A Twelfth-Century Synoptic History of the Kings of Norway. 2nd edn. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 10. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  12. Koht, Halvdan. 1930-3. ‘Gråfelden i norsk historie’. HT(N) 29, 19-36.
  13. Kunin, Devra, trans., and Carl Phelpstead, ed., introd. and notes. 2001. A History of Norway and the Passion and Miracles of the Blessed Óláfr. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 13. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  14. Hollander, Lee M., trans. 1964a. Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson. Austin: The American-Scandinavian Foundation. Rpt. 1991 (rpt. cited in SkP II).
  15. Internal references
  16. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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].
  17. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  18. Diana Whaley 2017, ‘(Biography of) Glúmr Geirason’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 194.
  19. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Poems, Nóregs konungatal 16’ 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, p. 772.
  20. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Glúmr Geirason, Lausavísa’ 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. 266.
  21. Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar’ 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. 236.
  22. R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorkell klyppr Þórðarson, Lausavísa’ 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. 269.
  23. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 12’ 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. 298.
  24. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 6’ 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. 290.
  25. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 2’ 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. 176.
  26. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 21’ 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. 193.
  27. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 1’ 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. 215.
  28. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 12’ 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. 231.
  29. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 6’ 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. 223.
  30. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 7’ 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. 224.
  31. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 8’ 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. 226.
  32. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 2’ 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. 249.
  33. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 12’ 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. 262.
  34. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 14’ 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. 264.
  35. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 15’ 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. 265.
  36. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 3’ 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. 251.
  37. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 4’ 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. 252.
  38. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 5’ 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. 254.
  39. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 6’ 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. 255.
  40. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 7’ 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. 256.
  41. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 8’ 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. 258.
  42. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Guthormr sindri, Hákonardrápa 8’ 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. 168.
  43. Kari Ellen Gade 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lausavísa from Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum’ 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. 1072.
  44. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar 2’ 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. 238.
  45. Not published: do not cite ()
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