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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar (Stúfr)

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

Stúfsdrápa (Stúfdr) - 8

Skj info: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 404-5, BI, 373-4).

Skj poems:
Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa

Stúfr inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Þórðarson kattar ‘of the Cat’ came from an illustrious family of Icel. poets. He was the great-grandson of the skald Glúmr Geirason (GlúmrI) and the grandson of Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir (see Laxdœla saga, ÍF 5, 87, 94, 281-90). He was also related to Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ (EskálI), Úlfr stallari ‘the Marshal’ Óspaksson (Úlfr) and Steinn Herdísarson (Steinn) (See Genealogy IV, ÍF 5). What we know about his life is detailed in two versions of Stúfs þáttr, which has been transmitted in a longer and a shorter version (see ÍF 5, xcii-xciv, 279-90). Stúfr was born c. 1025 and, as his nickname indicates, he must have been blind or had extremely poor vision (it could be, however, that his eyesight failed him in old age, contributing to his nickname; see ÍF 5, xciii). Around 1060 he travelled to Norway to claim an inheritance, and while he was there he met King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson. The following summer Stúfr visited the king in Trondheim, became his retainer and recited a poem which he had composed in Haraldr’s honour. He then apparently returned to Iceland, and nothing more is known about him (see also SnE 1848-87, III, 593-5; LH 1894-1901, I, 633-4). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists him among the court poets of Haraldr harðráði.

Stúfsdrápa — Stúfr StúfdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa’ 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. 350-8.

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Skj: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar: Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa, o. 1067 (AI, 404-5, BI, 373-4)

SkP info: II, 354

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Stúfr Stúfdr 4II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa 4’ 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. 354.

Mægð gat ǫðlingr eiga
ógnar mildr, þás vildi;
gulls tók gauta spjalli
gnótt ok bragnings dóttur.

Ógnar mildr ǫðlingr gat eiga mægð, þás vildi; {spjalli gauta} tók gnótt gulls ok dóttur bragnings.

The battle-generous monarch got the marriage he desired; {the confidant of the people} [KING] took plenty of gold and the ruler’s daughter.

Mss: Mork(3r) (Mork); Flat(194rb) (Flat); H(28v), Hr(21ra) (H-Hr); FskBˣ(64v), FskAˣ(243) (Fsk); Kˣ(531v), 39(21ra), F(43vb), E(13r), J2ˣ(263v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] ǫðlingr eiga: ǫðlingr Egða H, Hr, eðlingr eiga FskBˣ, allvaldr Egða Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ    [3] gauta: gumna Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ    [4] gnótt: gnógt Hr, FskBˣ

Editions: Skj: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa 4: AI, 405, BI, 374, Skald I, 186; Mork 1867, 16, Mork 1928-32, 87, Andersson and Gade 2000, 150, 473 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 306 (MH); Fms 6, 172 (HSig ch. 16); ÍF 29, 238 (ch. 51); ÍF 28, 90 (HSig ch. 17), F 1871, 202, E 1916, 44.

Context: During his stay in Russia (1043-4), Haraldr married Ellisif (Elizabeth), the daughter of Jaroslav of Novgorod and Ingigerðr, the daughter of the Swed. king Óláfr inn sœnski ‘the Swede’ Eiríksson.

Notes: [1] mægð ‘the marriage’: Lit. ‘in-lawship’. This refers to Haraldr’s ties to Jaroslav. — [1] ǫðlingr ‘monarch’: The Hkr variant allvaldr Egða ‘the mighty ruler of the Egðir’ is equally possible but could have been occasioned by the attempt to improve the internal rhyme (-ægð : Egð- rather than -ægð : eig-). — [3] spjalli gauta ‘the confidant of the people [KING]’: The Hkr variant spjalli gumna ‘the confidant of the people’ is possible both metrically and syntactically. The variant gumna ‘of the people’ could have been chosen because it is less ambiguous than gauta ‘of the people’, which could have been understood as the ethnic Gauta ‘of the Gautar’ (Haraldr was not the confidant of the Swed. Gautar) or as m. gen. sg. of the Óðinn-heiti Gauti. See LP: Gautar; Gautr 1; Gauti.

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