This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

2. Lausavísur (Lv) - 15

Skj info: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Norsk konge, 1046-66. (AI, 356-61, BI, 328-32).

Skj poems:

See ‘Royal Biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 5. Biographies > 1. Royal Biographies > 1. Kings of Norway > g. Haraldr III harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð) (r. 1046-66)

Sagas: ÓH, MH, HSig (Ágr, Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson was the son of Sigurðr sýr ‘Sow’ and Ásta Guðbrandsdóttir (see Genealogy II.2.f in ÍF 28). He fought alongside his half-brother, Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr), at the battle of Stiklestad (29 July 1030) and escaped wounded from the battlefield to seek refuge in Russia. After spending some years in the service of Jaroslav of Novgorod, he proceeded from Russia to Byzantium, where he served as a mercenary in the Varangian army before his return to Norway via Russia and Sweden in 1045/46. From 1046 he ruled jointly with his nephew, Magnús inn góði, and after Magnús’s death (25 October 1047) Haraldr was the sole ruler of Norway until he fell at the battle of Stamford Bridge (on 25 September 1066). See Anon Nkt 38-9, Theodoricus (MHN 50-1, 54-7; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 38-9, 43-46), Ágr (ÍF 29, 36-40; Ágr 1995, 52-9), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 55-281; Andersson and Gade 2000, 129-274), Fsk (ÍF 29, 227-90; Finlay 2004, 181-232), ÓHHkr (ÍF 27, 107-8, 347-8, 364; Hollander 1991, 314-15, 488-9, 500-1), HSigHkr (ÍF 28, 68-202; Hollander 1991, 577-663), Flat (Flat 1860-8, III, 287-432), H-Hr (Fms 6, 127-432). See also Hem (Hb 1892-6, 331-49; Fellows-Jensen 1962, 1-64), , Knýtl (ÍF 35, 132-3, 151; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 46-7, 60), Orkn (ÍF 34, 53-4, 75-8, 80, 86-7, 339; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 56-7, 71-4, 77-8).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Stiklestad (1030) and Haraldr’s escape to Sweden (Hharð Gamv 1; Hharð Lv 1, 2a-2b; ÞjóðA Sex 1); his journey to Russia and his Russian campaigns 1031-3 (ÞjóðA Run 1, 3; Bǫlv Hardr 1); his journey to Constantinople and his campaigns as a mercenary in the Varangian army 1034-42 (Hharð Gamv 2, 4; Hharð Lv 10-11; Þjóð Sex 2-8; ÞjóðA Lv 4; Ill Har 2-4; Bǫlv Hardr 2-6; ÞSkegg Hardr; Valg Hardr 1-4; Þfisk Lv 2-3; Stúfr Stúfdr 2-3); his return to Russia and marriage to Ellisif (Stúfr Stúfdr 4); his journey to Sweden and his harrying in Denmark with Sveinn Úlfsson (ÞjóðA Sex 9; Valg Hardr 5-9); his meeting and reconciliation with Magnús inn góði (ÞjóðA Sex 10; ÞjóðA Frag 1; Bǫlv Hardr 7); his dealings with Magnús (Mgóð Lv 1; Hharð Lv 3); his return to Norway after Magnús’s death in Denmark in 1047 (Valg Hardr 10-11); his first naval campaign against Sveinn Úlfsson and the Danes in 1048 (Hharð Lv 4; ÞjóðA Lv 2; Bǫlv Hardr 8; Grani Har 1-2; Anon (HSig) 1); subsequent campaigns in Denmark against Sveinn (Hharð Lv 5, 10; ÞjóðA Lv 3-4; Arn Hardr 1; Þfagr Sveinn 2-9; Stúfr Stúfdr 5-6; Anon (HSig) 2, 5); the slaying of Einarr þambarskelfir and other enemies (Hharð Lv 6-8; Arn Hardr 1); the desertion of Norwegian magnates to Sveinn in Denmark (ÞjóðA Sex 12); the battle of the Nissan against Sveinn in 1062 (ÞjóðA Sex 13-18; ÞjóðA Har 1-7; Arn Hardr 2-4; Stúfr Stúfdr 7; Steinn Nizv; Steinn Úlffl); the peace treaty between Haraldr and Sveinn in 1064 (ÞjóðA Sex 23; Halli XI Fl); Haraldr’s campaign against Hákon Ívarsson (ÞjóðA Lv 9); his dealing with Norwegian insurrection (ÞjóðA Sex 19-22; Arn Hardr 5-6); the events leading up to the English campaign in 1066 (Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3; Úlfr Lv; Anon (HSig 6-9); the battles of Fulford and Stamford Bridge (Hharð Lv 13-14; ÞjóðA Lv 10-11; Arn Hardr 7-16; Stúfr Stúfdr 8; Steinn Óldr 1-3; Anon Harst). For þættir and smaller anecdotes involving Haraldr and other poets, see Haraldr Lv 9, 12; ÞjóðA Lv 4-8; SnH Lv; Þfisk Lv; Anon (HSig) 3-4.

Lausavísur — Hharð LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur’ 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. 42-6.

 1   2a   2b   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14 

Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði: Lausavísur (AI, 356-61, BI, 328-32); stanzas (if different): 2/1-4 | 2/5-8 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19

SkP info: II, 47-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Hharð Lv 6II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 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. 47-8.

In Flat (Flat) and Fsk (FskBˣ, FskAˣ), which reflect the Mork redaction (Mork has a lacuna here, and in Mork 1928-32 and Andersson and Gade 2000, the missing text has been supplied from Flat), Lv 6 and 7 (Hharð Lv 6-7) are in the reverse order. Both sts are recorded in 570a 4° (570a) of Hákonar saga Ívarssonar () in the same sequence and prose environment as in Hkr (, 39, F, E, J2ˣ) and H-Hr (H, Hr). Lv 6/5-8 is also found in mss R, , W and U of SnE (Skm). is the main ms.

Hér sék upp inn ǫrva
Einar, þanns kann skeina
þjalfa, þambarskelfi,
þangs, fjǫlmennan ganga.
Fullafli bíðr fyllar
(finnk opt at drífr minna)
hilmis stóls (á hæla
húskarla lið jarli).

Hér sék inn ǫrva Einar þambarskelfi, þanns kann skeina {þjalfa þangs}, ganga upp fjǫlmennan. Fullafli bíðr fyllar stóls hilmis; finnk opt, at minna lið húskarla drífr á hæla jarli.

Here I see the bold Einarr þambarskelfir (‘Paunch-shaker’ (?)), who knows how to furrow {the enclosure of sea-weed} [SEA], disembark with many men. The powerful one awaits the occupancy of the king’s throne; I often find that a lesser host of housecarls trails at the heels of a jarl.

Mss: (547v), 39(25ra), F(46vb), E(17v), J2ˣ(274r) (Hkr); FskBˣ(74r), FskAˣ(274-275) (Fsk); H(47r), Hr(34ra) (H-Hr); Flat(198rb-va) (Flat); 570a(21r); R(36r), Tˣ(37v), W(82), U(35v) (SnE, ll. 5-8)

Readings: [2] þanns (‘þann er’): þann Flat    [3] þjalfa: so H, Hr, Flat, þjalma Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, þjalfan 570a;    þambar‑: þamba‑ F, E, FskAˣ, H, Flat, 570a;    ‑skelfi: so 39, FskBˣ, H, 570a, ‑skelmi Kˣ, F, E, J2ˣ, FskAˣ, ‘‑skelbí’ Hr, ‑skelfir Flat    [4] þangs: ‘þangg’ Hr    [5] Fullafli: fyllandi 570a, fullǫflugr but afli in the left margin in same hand U;    bíðr: býðr E, beið R, Tˣ, W;    fyllar: fullar E, 570a, fylla U    [6] finnk (‘finn ec’): finnr Hr;    opt at: at opt E, optr at R    [7] stóls: ‘st[…]’ U;    hæla: hælum H

Editions: Skj: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Lausavísur 11: AI, 358-9, BI, 330, Skald I, 167; ÍF 28, 124 (HSig ch. 43), F 1871, 218, E 1916, 61; ÍF 29, 263 (ch. 56); Fms 6, 270 (HSig ch. 57); Flat 1860-8, III, 344-5, Mork 1928-32, 171-2, Andersson and Gade 2000, 205, 476 (MH); 1873, 241, 1952, 8; SnE 1848-87, I, 458-9, II, 337, SnE 1931, 162, SnE 1998, I, 80.

Context: King Haraldr, increasingly annoyed by the power displayed by the district chieftain Einarr þambarskelfir Eindriðason, recites this and the next helmingr when he sees Einarr disembark in Trondheim with more than five hundred men (c. 1056). In SnE, the second helmingr illustrates the use of the word húskarlar ‘housecarls’ as a term for the retainers of kings, jarls and district chieftains.

Notes: [3] þjalfa; -skelfi: The variant forms þjalma (m. acc. sg.) ‘enclosure’ and þambarskelmi ‘Paunch-Shaker (?)’ are possible, but very rare (see AEW: skelfir, skelmir 2, þjalfi 1, þjalmi 2; ANG §237.2). For a discussion of Einarr’s nickname, see Gade 1995b-c, Sayers 1995 and Liberman 1996. See also Eþsk CoupletI. — [8]: The l. echoes ÞjóðA Magnfl 12/8. — [8] húskarla (m. gen. pl.) ‘of housecarls’: For this word, see Okík Magn 2/6, ÞjóðA Magnfl 12/8 and Anon (MErl) 1/4.

© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.

This is a backup server for Any changes made here will be lost.