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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, 712

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

17 — Sturl Hákkv 17II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 17’ 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. 712.

Flugu hræleiptr
at hjarar leiki
á Gauts himin,
en randálfr
rífandi fór
böðvar ský
blóðs eldingum.

{Geigurlig hræleiptr} flugu á {himin Gauts} at {leiki hjarar}, en {randálfr} fór rífandi {ský böðvar} {eldingum blóðs}.

{The frightful corpse-lightnings} [SPEARS] flew onto {the sky of Gautr <= Óðinn>} [SHIELD] in {the play of the sword} [BATTLE], and {the shield-elf} [WARRIOR] advanced tearing {the cloud of battle} [SHIELD] {with flashes of blood} [SPEARS].

Mss: E(177r), F(111ra), 42ˣ(163v-164r), 81a(109rb), 8(56v), Flat(178vb) (Hák)

Readings: [1] ‑leiptr: ‘‑liptr’ 42ˣ    [2] leiki: leðri 42ˣ    [3] ‑lig: ‑liga Flat    [4] himin: so F, 8, ‘hipni’ E, himni 42ˣ, 81a, himni af Flat    [5] randálfr: ‘ranhalfr’ 42ˣ    [6] ríf‑: ‘rið‑’ F, rífn‑ 81a    [8] blóðs: blóð Flat;    eldingum: eldinginn 81a, eldingu 8, ‘elldunní’ Flat

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 4. Hákonarkviða 20: AII, 113, BII, 122, Skald II, 65; E 1916, 604, F 1871, 516, Hák 1910-86, 562, Hák 1977-82, 127, Flat 1860-8, III, 153.

Context: Skúli’s men were still defending themselves in the churchyard, throwing rocks and spears and shooting arrows at the Birkibeinar, many of whom were wounded.

Notes: [All]: See also Ólhv Hryn 11. — [1, 8] hræleiptr; eldingum blóðs ‘corpse-lightnings [SPEARS]’; ‘with flashes of blood [SPEARS]’: As in st. 16 above (see Note to [All]), these kennings denote ‘spears’. Skj B gives the referent ‘swords’ in both instances. The prose text mentions specifically the throwing of spears, and there was no direct physical contact between the two factions. Moreover, it is not easy to see how swords could fly onto shields while still attached to hands. — [5] randálfr ‘the shield-elf [WARRIOR]’: Presumably Hákon, although he is not mentioned as engaging physically in the fighting at this point.

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