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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Hharð Lv 11II

[1] hrauðung ‘empty fleet’: The translation is conjectural. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) translates af hrauðung as skyndsomt ‘in haste’ or (LP: hrauðung) as skynding ‘haste’. Kock connects the word with OE hrēodan ‘adorn, cover’ and translates it as ‘boat house’ (NN §847B). Hrauðung must be derived from hrjóða (strong verb class 2) whose most common meaning is ‘empty, clear out’. LP: hrauðung adds: ordet betyder vel egl. ‘rydning’ ‘the literal meaning of the word is most likely “clearing”’. The phrase hrjóða skip ‘clear a ship by killing or driving away the crew’ is especially common in both prose and poetry (see Fritzner: hrjóða 1; LP: hrjóða 1). Because three of the six sts recited in this episode describe Haraldr’s recent campaigns in Denmark in the first helmingar, it is reasonable to assume that this half-st. also refers to his naval battles against the Danes (see, e.g., ÞjóðA Sex 17; see also Jesch 2001a, 211 and n. 33). Hrauðungr is otherwise recorded as the name of a sea-king, a giant, and a legendary person (LP: Hrauðungr), and hrauð is a heiti for a coat of mail and a ship (SnE 1998, I, 123, 128, II, 317).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  6. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  7. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. Internal references
  9. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 17’ 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. 130-1.


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