Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

I. 6. Lausavísur from Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa (Styrb) - 3

not in Skj

2.2: Lausavísur from Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa — Anon (Styrb)I

Matthew Townend 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lausavísur from Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa’ 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. 1076.

 1   2   3 

in texts: Flat, Styrb

SkP info: I, 1076

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa (Styrb) is preserved only in Flat (ms. Flat). It contains five lausavísur: the three edited here (Anon (Styrb) 1-3), and two at the end attributed to Þorvaldr Hjaltason (ÞHjalt Lv 1-2). The three anonymous stanzas are placed in the mouths of a monster (finngálkn) in Jómsborg, some unnamed Danes and a red-bearded man (see Context to st. 3). The prose tale tells how Bjǫrn, son of Óláfr Bjarnarson, is denied his share in the rule of Sweden by his uncle Eiríkr inn sigrsæli ‘the Victorious’ Bjarnarson. Nicknamed Styrbjǫrn (‘Uproar-Bjǫrn’) because of his forceful behaviour, he raids in the Baltic, where he becomes leader of the Jómsvíkingar, and Denmark, where he marries King Haraldr Gormsson’s daughter, before eventually returning to Sweden to fight against his uncle Eiríkr. Assisted by Óðinn, though, Eiríkr defeats Styrbjǫrn in battle at Fýrisvellir, and Styrbjǫrn and his men perish.

The battle of Fýrisvellir, which would be dated in the period c. 980-c. 985 and located by the River Fyri (Fyrisån) near Uppsala, takes on a more historical aspect if it is connected with Danish runic inscriptions commemorating warriors who ‘did not flee at Uppsala’ (Sjörup, Run DR279VI and Hällestad, Run DR295VI). The connection has been contested, but one might agree with Moltke (1985, 304, 314) in seeing a connection as possible but not provable; see further Note on the Års stone, Run DR131VI. (On an earlier, certainly legendary encounter at Fýrisvellir involving Hrólfr kraki, see Note to Eyv Lv 8/3-4.)

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