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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 1II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 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. 112-13.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja

text and translation

Hvasst frák Haugi it næsta
hlífél á gram drífa,
en Bolgara brennir
brœðr sínum vel tœði.
Skilðisk hann, ok hulði
hjalmsetr gamall vetra
tyggi tolf ok þriggja,
trauðr við Ôleif dauðan.

Frák {hlífél} drífa hvasst á gram it næsta Haugi, en {brennir Bolgara} tœði brœðr sínum vel. Hann skilðisk trauðr við dauðan Ôleif, ok tyggi tolf ok þriggja vetra gamall hulði {hjalmsetr}.
‘I learned that a shield-storm [BATTLE] drove sharp against the ruler next to Haug, and the burner of Bulgars [= Haraldr] supported his brother well. He parted, reluctant, from the dead Óláfr, and the prince twelve and three years [lit. winters] old concealed his helmet-stand [HEAD].

notes and context

The fifteen-year-old Haraldr Sigurðarson fights for his half-brother Óláfr Haraldsson at Stiklestad (Stiklastaðir, 1030). It is explained either at this point or later that he is wounded but escapes. The st. is cited as an integral part of the account of the battle in Fsk and ÓH but within the first ch. of HSig in Hkr and H-Hr.

The poem is named in the introduction to the st.: A þat qveþr Þioðolfr scalld i drapv þeirri er hann orti vm Haralld konung er cǫllvð er Sexstefia ‘Þjóðólfr the skald mentions this in the drápa that he composed about King Haraldr, which is called Sexstefja (‘Six-Refrains’)’ (ÓH version). Omitted from the ms. list above is 73a, since at this point it is copied from 325V. — For Haraldr’s involvement in this battle, see also Hharð Gamv 1 and Hharð Lv 1, 2a-b.



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: Þjóðolfr Arnórsson, 3. Sexstefja 1: AI, 369, BI, 339, Skald I, 171; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 74, IV, 208, ÍF 28, 68, Hkr 1991, 601 (HSig ch. 1), F 1871, 192, E 1916, 33; ÓH 1941, I, 580 (ch. 232); Fsk 1902-3, 181 (ch. 28), ÍF 29, 199-200 (ch. 34); Fms 6, 129 (HSig ch. 1), Fms 12, 102.


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