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Back to Harald: The yielding of accounts

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Chapter Summary

Audun fulfills his promise to Harald Hardradi and returns to tell his tale. Harald gets right down to business. He wants to know if Audun gave the bear to Svein and then, more importantly, how Svein repaid it. This chapter gives an account in the multiple senses of that word: a tale told, and a rendering of costs and gains. There is an uncanny etymological recognition of a deep truth that links the idea of paying back amounts you owe (rendering an account) and the idea of having a story to tell. It should be noted that Audun’s Story is inserted in Morkinskinna at a tricky moment in Harald’s rule. Though he has been inflicting much more damage on Svein than Svein on him, Harald has also been engaged in purging magnates in Norway of suspect loyalty.

Keywords: Audun’s Story; Harald Hardradi; King Svein



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