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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Nkt 16II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Poems, Nóregs konungatal 16’ 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. 772.

Anonymous PoemsNóregs konungatal

Þá hefk heyrt,
at Haraldr tœki
jǫrð ok ríki.
Réð Gráfeldr
níu vetr
fyr Nóregi,
áðr * Gorms sonr
ok Gull-Haraldr
nafna sinn
at nái gerði.
Vas siklingr
suðr at Halsi
lífi ræntr
í Limafirði.

Þá hefk heyrt, at Haraldr, óársæll, tœki jǫrð ok ríki. Gráfeldr Gunnhildarson réð fyr Nóregi níu vetr, áðr * sonr Gorms ok Gull-Haraldr gerði nafna sinn at nái. Siklingr vas ræntr lífi suðr at Halsi í Limafirði.

Then I have heard that Haraldr, not blessed with prosperity, seized land and realm. Gráfeldr (‘Grey-cloak’) Gunnhildarson ruled Norway for nine years before Gormr’s son and Gull-Haraldr (‘Gold-Haraldr’) turned their namesake into a corpse. The ruler was robbed of his life south by Hals in Limfjorden.

Mss: Flat(144va)

Readings: [9] áðr *: áðr an Flat;    sonr: ‘sun’ Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 581, Skj BI, 578, Skald I, 280; Flat 1860-8, II, 521-2.

Notes: [All]: Haraldr Eiríksson was killed by Haraldr Gormsson of Denmark and Gull-Haraldr, a Dan. royal pretender, in Limfjorden, Denmark (c. 976), at the instigation of Hákon jarl. See Theodoricus (MHN 10-11), Ágr (ÍF 29, 14), Fsk (ÍF 29, 107-9), ÓTHkr (ÍF 26, 233-9). The nine years of his reign do not include the six years of struggle for power between the sons of Eiríkr blóðøx and Hákon jarl. ÓTHkr (ÍF 26, 239) and Ágr (ÍF 29, 13) give fifteen years, HN (MHN 107) fourteen years and Theodoricus (MHN 10) has twelve years. See also Ólafía Einarsdóttir 1964, 177-9. — [3] óársæll ‘not blessed with prosperity’: There was a famine and crop failure in Norway during the reign of Haraldr. See Theodoricus (MHN 10), Ágr (ÍF 29, 13), Fsk (ÍF 29, 98-100), HgráfHkr (ÍF 26, 221-4). — [5] Gráfeldr ‘(“Grey-cloak”)’: Haraldr earned this nickname because he wore a grey cloak of sheepskin, which he had received as a gift from Icel. merchants. See HgráfHkr (ÍF 26, 211-12). — [9] sonr ‘son’: The m. nom. sg. r-ending has been added with other eds (this is not a cpd; see ANG §395.1). — [12] gerði (3rd pers. pl. pret. subj.) ‘turned into’: Most earlier eds emend to gerðu (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.). That is unnecessary because both subj. and indic. occur in clauses introduced by áðr ‘before’ (l. 9) (see NS §302 Anm.). — [15-16]: These ll. echo Þjóð Yt 12/3-4I.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  4. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  5. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  6. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  7. MHN = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1880. Monumenta historica Norvegiæ: Latinske kildeskrifter til Norges historie i middelalderen. Kristiania (Oslo): Brøgger. Rpt. 1973. Oslo: Aas & Wahl.
  8. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  9. HN = Historia Norwegiæ. In MHN 69-124.
  10. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  11. Theodoricus = Theodrici monachi historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium. In MHN 1-68.
  12. Internal references
  13. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. clix-clxi.
  14. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 12’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 28.

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