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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 7II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 7’ 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. 118-19.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja

text and translation

Stólþengils lét stinga
— styrjǫld vas þá byrjuð —
eyðir augu bæði
út heiðingja sútar.
Lagði allvaldr Egða
austr á bragning hraustan
gráligt mark, en Girkja
gǫtu illa fór stillir.

{{Eyðir sútar} heiðingja} lét stinga út bæði augu stólþengils; þá vas styrjǫld byrjuð. {Allvaldr Egða} lagði gráligt mark á hraustan bragning austr, en {stillir Girkja} fór illa gǫtu.
‘The destroyer of the care [GLADDENER] of the wolf [lit. heath-goer] [WARRIOR] had both eyes of the emperor stabbed out; war was under way then. The overlord of the Egðir [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr] placed a hostile mark on the daring prince in the east, and the ruler of the Greeks [= Michael] travelled a dire road.

notes and context

Haraldr is imprisoned at the command of the Byzantine emperor (Grikkjakonungr) Constantine IX Monomachos, but is rescued following miraculous intervention by Óláfr helgi. Haraldr’s Væringjar seize and blind the emperor. ÞSkegg Hardr is quoted, then this st. After the citation, Hkr, Fsk and Mork emphasise that all the poems about Haraldr agree it was the emperor himself whom he blinded.

The same event seems to be depicted in st. 8, and ÞSkegg Hardr likewise records the blinding of the stólþengill ‘emperor’ in a helmingr apparently about Haraldr, though Haraldr is not directly said to order the mutilation. — The st. is missing from an otherwise complete text in FskBˣ.



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 6: AI, 370, BI, 340, Skald I, 171; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 96, IV, 212, ÍF 28, 86-7, Hkr 1991, 613 (HSig ch. 14), F 1871, 201, E 1916, 42; Fsk 1902-3, 229 (ch. 43), ÍF 29, 235-6 (ch. 51); Mork 1928-32, 83-4, Andersson and Gade 2000, 147, 472 (MH); Fms 6, 167-8 (HSig ch. 14), Fms 12, 143.


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