Harald Sinozęby; Król Danii; Polityka norweska
Średniowiecze Polskie i Powszechne, T. 4 (2007), s. 51-73
The reign o f Harald I Gormsson is o f key importance for the development of medieval
Denmark. This ruler turned Denmark to the most important political factor in Scandinavia at the
same time constituting to significant home changes of social, cultural and economic nature. Such
condition o f Denmark is reflected in the literature on the subject referring to the king o f Denmark.
The most important axe those o f skalds. A few of the poets mentions in their pieces Harald
I Gormsson indeed. One of the most significant is anonymous niddigt - a lampoon - defaming the
ruler to a large extent, pointing out his cowardice, unmanly behaviour and the disobedience o f
his subjects who rebelled against him. Much o f the data suggest that this poem was preserved until
today only in one verse and was written in Norway on the request o f jarl Lade Häkon by
somebody who was directly from his environment. This niddigt quoted by some sagamanders
contributed to establishing highly disadvantageous opinion on Harald among skalds. The above
mentioned skaldic pieces indicate that this opinion is too categorical. Certain poems, or their
fragments, prove that there were skalds who perceived the king o f Denmark as many other
monarchs and magnates o f the Scandinavian world - as an influential, generous, belligerent and
courageous. A monarch who appreciated their artistic effort and at the same time someone who is
worth commemorating for future generations.
The presented fragments o f skaldic poetry shed some light on quite complex relationships of
Denmark and Norway during the reign o f Herald I Gormsson. They clearly show two opposing
tendencies: the Danish desire to impose their supremacy over Norway and the Norwegian attempts
to defend their independent position. Fierce and uncompromising fight began as a result o f such
tendencies in which the two parties aimed at taking advantage of each weakness o f the opponent
and the skald’s poems were ideal means of propaganda.