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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, 725-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

37 — Sturl Hákkv 37II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 37’ 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. 725-6.

Svá var Elfr
öll at líta
sem á gull sæi
er flota þeysti
lofsæll konungr
Ljóðhúsa til.

Öll Elfr var svá glæsilig at líta, sem frægðarfólk sæi á gull, er lofsæll konungr þeysti flota til Ljóðhúsa.

The entire Götaälv was so glorious to see, as if the famous people were looking at gold, when the praise-blessed king hastened his fleet to Lödöse.

Mss: E(185v), F(115va-b), 42ˣ(176v), 81a(115va), 8(64v), Flat(181rb) (Hák)

Readings: [1] Elfr: elf 8    [5] ‑fólk: om. 81a, fólki Flat    [6] þeysti: leysti 81a

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 4. Hákonarkviða 41: AII, 119, BII, 126, Skald II, 68, NN §2290; E 1916, 632, F 1871, 539, Hák 1910-86, 619, Hák 1977-82, 151, Flat 1860-8, III, 180.

Context: When Hákon arrived in the Götaälv, both King Eiríkr and Jarl Birgir had left because of rumours about Hákon’s large fleet. Hákon’s messengers rode after the jarl and caught up with him in Götaland. Birgir agreed to return to the Götaälv, and he was to wait for Hákon in Lödöse.

Notes: [5] frægðarfólk ‘the famous people’: Taken here as the subject of sæi (3rd pers. pl. pret. subj.) ‘were looking, looked’ (l. 4) referring to high-ranking Gautar observing Hákon’s fleet (E 1916, 632): mikils þotti Gꜹtum um vert er þeir sá sua maurg skip ok stór ok uel buin ‘it seemed a great marvel to the Gautar when they saw so many large and well-equipped ships’. Skj B and Skald assume sæi to have an unexpressed subject, ‘as if [one] looked’ and regard frægðarfólk as the subject of þeysti ‘hastened’ (l. 6) and both eds accordingly emend lofsæll konungr (m. nom. sg.) ‘praise-blessed king’ (l. 7) (so all mss) to lofsæls konungs (m. gen. sg.) as a qualifier to frægðarfólk (‘the famous people of the praise-blessed king’). — [6]: The l. echoes Eyv Hál 11/6I. — [7] lofsæll konungr ‘the praise-blessed king’: The l. is in fornyrðislag rather than kviðuháttr and Kock (NN §2290) suggests that Sturla used the monosyllabic form kóngr (Skald: kóngs). However, that is a C14th form. — [8] til Ljóðhúsa ‘to Lödöse’: On the Götaälv, north of Kungälv. In the C13th, Lödöse was the meeting place of the monarchs of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

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