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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Óláfs saga helga (Legendary) — ÓHLeg

 

Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 8. Introduction 4. Sources for Skaldic Poetry Cited in the Kings' Sagas 1. Sagas of the kings of Norway after 1035 10. The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)

10. The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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].

Vol. I. Poetry for Scandinavian Rulers 1: From Mythological Times to c. 1035 8. Volume Introduction 3. Sources for skaldic poetry cited in the kings’ sagas: manuscripts, facsimiles and editions 3.1. Sagas of the kings of Norway to c. 1035 9. The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)

9. The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.

Manuscript

DG8:    DG 8 (Norwegian; c. 1225-50).

Facsimile and editions: DG8 1956; ÓHLeg 1922, ÓHLeg 1982.

This saga, known as ‘legendary’ because of its hagiographic character, is a revision, incorporating much additional material, of ÓHÆ (see below). The sole extant ms., DG 8, was written in northern Norway c. 1225-50, but opinion is divided as to whether the compiler of the saga was a Norwegian or an Icelander. ÓHLeg presents Óláfr’s entire life history, followed by a collection of his posthumous miracles (probably from the Gamal norsk homiliebok), and sets out to demonstrate how the king combines the attributes of secular military leader and Christian saint. The saga’s sometimes chaotic structure may be attributed to its inclusion of material from a wide variety of now-lost sources. Identifiable interpolated passages include Kristni þáttr, about Óláfr’s missionary activities, and some short sections from Ágr which may already have been interpolated into ÓHÆ.

Poetry

ÓHLeg cites sixty-three skaldic stanzas, including eighteen by Sigvatr Þórðarson and twelve by Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld. About half of the stanzas appear in anecdotes about skalds, with the other half cited as evidence in support of the narrator’s assertions about historical events. Three poems, Anon Liðs, Sigv Knútdr and Þloft Tøgdr, are cited in extenso. Most of the poetry is also preserved elsewhere, but Sigv Nesv 6 is unique to ÓHLeg, and Anon Liðs 1, 3-7, 8/1-4, 9/5-8, 10 and Sigv Erlfl 8 are shared only with Flat. A single stanza from ÓHLeg, Hharð Lv 1, is edited in SkP II.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  3. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  4. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  5. SkP II = Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Ed. Kari Ellen Gade. 2009.
  6. Internal references
  7. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.
  8. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ 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. clxi-clxii.
  9. Judith Jesch 2017, ‘(Biography of) Sigvatr Þórðarson’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 347.
  10. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Liðsmannaflokkr 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. 1016.
  11. Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Liðsmannaflokkr’ 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. 1014.
  12. Matthew Townend 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Knútsdrápa’ 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. 649.
  13. Matthew Townend 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þórarinn loftunga, Tøgdrápa’ 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. 851.
  14. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 1’ 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. 42-3.
  15. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson 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. 640.
  16. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 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. 565.
  17. Not published: do not cite ()
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Information about a text: poem, sequence of stanzas, or prose work

This page is used for different resources. For groups of stanzas such as poems, you will see the verse text and, where published, the translation of each stanza. These are also links to information about the individual stanzas.

For prose works you will see a list of the stanzas and fragments in that prose work, where relevant, providing links to the individual stanzas.

Where you have access to introduction(s) to the poem or prose work in the database, these will appear in the ‘introduction’ section.

The final section, ‘sources’ is a list of the manuscripts that contain the prose work, as well as manuscripts and prose works linked to stanzas and sections of a text.