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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 6II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 6’ 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. 117-18.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja

text and translation

Þjóð veit, at hefr háðar
hvargrimmligar rimmur
(rofizk hafa opt fyr jǫfri)
átján Haraldr (sáttir).
Hǫss arnar rautt hvassar,
hróðigr konungr, blóði
— ímr gat krôs, hvars kómuð —
klœr, áðr hingat fœrir.

Þjóð veit, at Haraldr hefr háðar átján hvargrimmligar rimmur; sáttir hafa opt rofizk fyr jǫfri. Rautt hvassar klœr hǫss arnar blóði, hróðigr konungr, áðr fœrir hingat; ímr gat krôs, hvars kómuð.
‘People know that Haraldr has fought eighteen most ferocious battles; peace has [lit. treaties have] often been slashed at the hands of the ruler. You reddened the sharp claws of the grey eagle with blood, triumphant king, before you travelled here [to Norway]; the dark wolf got a morsel wherever you went.

notes and context

In Hkr, after triumphs in the land of the Saracens (Serkland) and Sicily (Sikiley), Haraldr returns to Constantinople (Miklagarðr) then journeys to Jerusalem. It is said that he fought eighteen pitched battles in the course of all his travels. In H-Hr, the summary follows a narrative about Haraldr’s defeat of a Sicilian city through feigning his own death.

The first helmingr uses 3rd pers. verbs to present common knowledge about Haraldr’s achievements; in the second Haraldr is addressed directly with 2nd pers. sg. rautt ‘you reddened’ and 2nd pers. pl. kómuð ‘you went’ as well as the apostrophe hróðigr konungr ‘triumphant king’.



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 7: AI, 370, BI, 340-1, Skald I, 171-2; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 92, IV, 210, ÍF 28, 82-3, Hkr 1991, 610 (HSig ch. 11), F 1871, 199, E 1916, 41; Fms 6, 159-60 (HSig ch. 10), Fms 12, 142.


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