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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Valg Har 4II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 4’ 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, p. 303.

Valgarðr á VelliPoem about Haraldr harðráði

text and translation

Helmingi bautt hanga,
hilmis kundr, af stundu;
skipt hafið ér, svát eptir
eru Væringjar færi.

{Kundr hilmis}, bautt helmingi hanga af stundu; ér hafið skipt, svát færi Væringjar eru eptir.
‘Descendant of a ruler [RULER = Haraldr], you ordered the unit to be hanged at once; you have acted in such a way that fewer Varangians are left.

notes and context

After escaping from his incarceration in Constantinople, Haraldr joined the uprising against the Byzantine emperor Michael V Kalaphates (on 20-1 April 1042). Accompanied by his men, he broke into the emperor’s palace and ordered some of the Varangians guarding the emperor to be killed.

For these events, see also ÞjóðA Sex 7-8, ÞSkegg Hardr and Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 94-5. Sigfús Blöndal (1978, 94) believes that the hanging took place after the blinding of Emperor Michael on 21 April, and that Haraldr had been ordered to punish those Varangians who had remained loyal to the emperor.



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: Valgarðr á Velli, Et digt om Harald hårdråde 4: AI, 391, BI, 361, Skald I, 180; ÍF 29, 236 (ch. 51).


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