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Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl)

13th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

2. Hákonarkviða (Hákkv) - 42

The life of Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl) is chronicled in Sturlunga saga (Stu). He was born on 29 July 1214 as the second son of Þórðr Sturluson and his concubine Þóra, and he was the younger brother of Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson (Ólhv). In his early years he spent much time with his uncle, the poet, historian and lawspeaker Snorri Sturluson (SnSt, d. 1241), and later he took an active part in the events that played out before and after the collapse of the Icel. Commonwealth. Sturla was lawspeaker in Iceland 1251-2 and lawman, appointed by the Norw. king, 1272-82. In 1263 he went to Norway where he met King Magnús lagabœtir ‘Law-mender’ Hákonarson (d. 1280). After an initially very cool reception, the king commissioned him to write the saga of Magnús’s father Hákon Hákonarson (d. 1264) and also that of Magnús himself. Sturla later became the retainer (hirðmaðr, skutilsveinn) of Magnús and brought the law code Járnsíða ‘Ironside’ from Norway to Iceland in 1271. The story of Sturla’s journey to Norway in 1263 and his dealings with Magnús is recounted in Sturlu þáttr (StÞ), preserved in a version of Stu. In addition to the sagas of Hákon Hákonarson (Hák) and the no longer extant saga of his son Magnús lagabœtir (only two leaves are preserved in AM 325 X 4°), Sturla is the author of Íslendinga saga (Ísls) and of a redaction of Landnámabók (Ldn, in AM 107 folˣ = Stˣ). Some scholars believe that he may have been responsible for the extant redaction of Kristni saga (Kristni) (see LH 1894-1901, II, 98-105, 717-43), and he is also mentioned as an informant by the author of Grettis saga Ásmundarsonar (Gr; see ÍF 7, 157, 226, 289). Like his uncle, Snorri, and his brother, Óláfr, Sturla was a prolific poet. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256, 260, 272, 279, 384-96), he composed poems in honour of the Norw. kings Hákon Hákonarson and Magnús lagabœtir Hákonarson, and also about the Swed. jarl Birgir Magnússon (d. 1266). Nothing is preserved of Sturla’s panegyrics to the latter, but two sts from his poetry to Magnús are recorded in Hák (see Magnússdrápa (Sturl Magndr) below). The bulk of Sturla’s poetic oeuvre about Hákon Hákonarson is interspersed with the prose in Hák: Hrynhenda (Sturl Hryn), Hákonarkviða (Sturl Hákkv), Hrafnsmál (Sturl Hrafn) and Hákonarflokkr (Sturl Hákfl). In addition to these encomia, Sturla composed poetry about events and dignitaries in Iceland: namely Þverárvísur (Sturl ÞvervIV) and Þorgilsdrápa (Sturl ÞorgdrIV), both of which have been edited in SkP IV. That is also the case with his lvv. (Sturl Lv 1-4IV). One fragment which earlier eds assigned to Hryn (earlier st. 22) has been edited in SkP III as Sturl FragIII. Sturla died on 30 July 1284 and was buried in the Church of S. Peter at Staðarhóll.

Hákonarkviða — Sturl HákkvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða’ 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. 699-727.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38 

for reference only:  5x   9x   10x   25x 

Skj: Sturla Þórðarson: 4. Hákonarkviða, 1263-64 (AII, 108-19, BII, 118-26); stanzas (if different): 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10-11 | 11 | 12-13 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28-9 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42

SkP info: II, 699-700

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Sturl Hákkv 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 1’ 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. 699-700.

Þá hefr í ætt
öðlingr drepit
Tryggva niðs
er framráðs
flýja þurfti
ynglings barn
fyr ófriði.

Þá hefr öðlingr drepit tírarhöfði í ætt {niðs Tryggva}, er barn framráðs ynglings þurfti flýja fyr ófriði.

Then the prince [Hákon] pushed his famous head into the family {of the kinsman of Tryggvi} [= Óláfr Tryggvason], when the child of the ambitious king [= Hákon] was forced to flee on account of unrest.

Mss: E(140r), F(84va), 42ˣ(83v), 81a(65rb), 8(34r), Flat(164rb) (Hák)

Readings: [2] öðlingr: ‘ꜹðligr’ 42ˣ    [3] Tryggva: er tryggva F;    niðs: niðr 8    [4] höfði: ‘ho᷎fla’ Flat    [5] ‑ráðs: ‘‑ras’ 42ˣ    [6] þurfti: þyrfti 42ˣ

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 4. Hákonarkviða 1: AII, 108-9, BII, 118-19, Skald II, 63, NN §2578; E 1916, 473-4, F 1871, 390, Hák 1910-86, 296, Hák 1977-82, 4, Flat 1860-8, III, 6.

Context: During the winter of 1205-6, the Birkibeinar brought the two-year-old Hákon from Viken to Hamar, Lillehammer and up through Østerdalen to Trondheim (Norway). The journey was very hazardous, and Sturla likens it to the young Óláfr Tryggvason’s escape to Sweden.

Notes: [All]: After the murder of Óláfr Tryggvason’s father, Tryggvi Óláfsson (c. 986), the infant Óláfr and his mother, Ástríðr, were hunted by their enemies (specifically Gunnhildr, the widow of Eiríkr blóðøx Haraldsson) and forced to flee from Norway to Sweden (see ÓTHkr, ÍF 26, 227-9). — [1-2, 4] þá hefr öðlingr drepit tírarhöfði í ætt ‘then the prince [Hákon] pushed his famous head into the family’: I.e. ‘he proved himself to be of that ilk’. — [3] niðs Tryggva ‘of the kinsman of Tryggvi [= Óláfr Tryggvason]’: Tryggvi Óláfsson was the grandson of Haraldr hárfagri and the father of Óláfr Tryggvason. — [4] tírarhöfði ‘his famous head’: Taken as a cpd here, formed in keeping with such compounds as tírarfǫr ‘famous journey’ (see LP: tírarfǫr; tírargjarn; tírarlauss). Kock also connects tírar (m. gen. sg.) ‘of fame’ with höfði ‘head’ but takes these as two separate words (Skald; NN §2578). Skj B construes tírar with ætt ‘family’ (l. 1) (ætt tírar ‘family of fame’). — [5, 7] framráðs ynglings ‘of the ambitious king’: Hákon Sverrisson, Hákon’s father (d. 1 January 1204). — [8] fyr ófriði ‘on account of unrest’: When Hákon’s father, Hákon Sverrisson, died in 1204, the Birkibeinar elected Ingi Bárðarson king and the Baglar chose Erlingr steinveggr ‘Stonewall’, the alleged son of Magnús Erlingsson (see Note to st. 6/8 below). The leaders of the Baglar faction were Nikulás Árnason, bishop of Oslo, and his nephew, Philippús Símunarson. Hákon and his mother, Inga, had been in hiding with a priest in Viken for the first year of Hákon’s life, but a little before Christmas 1205, they began to travel north accompanied by two loyal followers. Hákon and his company reached Hamar, which was one of the strongholds of the Baglar and the seat of Ívarr, bishop of Hamar and a Baglar partisan. Because the Birkibeinar feared for Hákon’s life, they moved him and his mother north to Lillehammer. For the Baglar, see also Note to Anon (Sv) 4/7. For the Birkibeinar, see Note to Nefari Lv 1/1.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated