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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞSkegg Hardr 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þórarinn Skeggjason, Haraldsdrápa 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. 294-5.

Þórarinn SkeggjasonHaraldsdrápa1

text and translation

Náði gørr enn glóðum,
Grikklands, jǫfurr handa,
stólþengill gekk strǫngu
steinblindr aðalmeini.

Jǫfurr náði enn gørr {glóðum handa}; {stólþengill Grikklands} gekk steinblindr strǫngu aðalmeini.
‘The prince obtained even more embers of the hands [GOLD]; the emperor of Greece [= Michael Kalaphates] became stone-blind from the violent, major injury.

notes and context

The st. describes the blinding of the Byzantine emperor Michael V Kalaphates by Haraldr harðráði (and his men?).

For this event, see ÞjóðA Sex 7-8, Valg Har 4, ÍF 28, 87-8 n. 1 and Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 93-5. Sex 7-8 mention explicitly that Haraldr himself blinded Michael. According to contemporary Byzantine sources (cited in Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 93), the emperor was blinded by ‘brave men who did not shrink from anything’, a description that fits Haraldr and his men well. Emperor Michael and his uncle, Constantine, were blinded in public on 21 April 1042.



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: Þórarinn Skeggjason, En drape om Harald hårdråde: AI, 400, BI, 368, Skald I, 184, NN §879; ÍF 28, 86 (HSig ch. 14), F 1871, 201, E 1916, 42; ÍF 29, 235 (ch. 51); Mork 1867, 14, Mork 1928-32, 83, Andersson and Gade 2000, 147, 472 (MH); Fms 6, 167 (HSig ch. 14).


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