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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 5II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 5’ 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. 265-7.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHaraldsdrápa

text and translation

Gengr í ætt, þats yngvi
Upplendinga brenndi
(þjóð galt ræsis reiði,)
rǫnn (þess’s fremstr vas manna).
Vildut ǫflgar aldir,
áðr vas stýrt til váða,
— grams dolgum fekksk galgi —
gagnprýðanda hlýða.

Gengr í ætt, þats yngvi brenndi rǫnn Upplendinga; þjóð galt reiði ræsis, þess’s vas fremstr manna. Ǫflgar aldir vildut hlýða gagnprýðanda, áðr vas stýrt til váða; galgi fekksk dolgum grams.
‘It runs in the family that the prince burned the dwellings of the Upplendingar; the people paid for the wrath of the ruler who was foremost of men. Mighty men were not willing to heed the glorious victor, before their course turned to ruin; the gallows were the lot of the foes of the fierce lord.

notes and context

The st. is quoted in a context totally unrelated to Haraldr Sigurðarson: an account of how Óláfr Haraldsson subdued and Christianised the farmers of Valdres. Their land is burned and plundered, and hostages are taken. Some mss, including , specify that Arnórr mentions Óláfr’s burning of Opplandene (Upplǫnd) while composing about his brother Haraldr, but the unspecific introduction in several others would not negate the impression that the st. is about Óláfr.

This campaign is also documented in st. 6 and in ÞjóðA Sex 19-22.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Arnórr Þórðarson jarlaskáld, 6. Erfidrápa om kong Harald hårdråde 7: AI, 350, BI, 323, Skald I, 163; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 265, ÍF 27, 208-9, Hkr 1991, 401 (ÓH ch. 121); Flat 1860-8, II, 236, ÓH 1941, I, 316 (ch. 109); Whaley 1998, 275-8.


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