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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, 726-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

38 — Sturl Hákkv 38II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 38’ 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. 726-7.

Var geðsteinn
gauzkum manni
styrjar stund
í stall drepinn,
áðr ógnstórr
játat hafði
Svía gramr
siklings boði.

{Geðsteinn} gauzkum manni var drepinn í stall stund styrjar, áðr {ógnstórr gramr Svía} hafði játat boði siklings.

{The mind-stone} [HEART] of the Gautish men was struck by fear in that moment of unrest before {the awe-inspiring lord of the Swedes} [SWEDISH RULER = Birgir] had agreed to the ruler’s offer.

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

Readings: [1] Var: om. Flat    [2] gauzkum manni: gauzkra manna Flat    [3] styrjar: var styrjar Flat;    stund: so 42ˣ, 81a, 8, Flat, stundi E, lundi F    [4] stall: ‘stalld’ Flat;    drepinn: so all others, drepit E

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 4. Hákonarkviða 42: AII, 119, BII, 126, Skald II, 68; E 1916, 632, F 1871, 539, Hák 1910-86, 620, Hák 1977-82, 151, Flat 1860-8, III, 180.

Context: When the Gautar saw Hákon’s splendid fleet, they were afraid (see st. 37 above).

Notes: [2] gauzkum manni ‘of the Gautish men’: Lit. ‘of the Gautish man’ (sg.). — [3] ógnstórr gramr Svía ‘the awe-inspiring lord of the Swedes [SWEDISH RULER = Birgir]’: Taken here to refer to Jarl Birgir Magnússon. Skj B gives the translation den kampmæktige Svea-konge ‘the pugnacious king of the Swedes’ (i.e. Eiríkr Eiríksson). However, Eiríkr was not present at this meeting, and Birgir was leading the negotiations on his behalf. Eiríkr Eiríksson ruled Sweden 1222-9 and 1234-50. Birgir Magnússon (d. 1266) was married to Ingibjǫrg, Eiríkr’s sister, and he was the father of Valdimarr who succeeded Eiríkr to the Swed. throne. — [4] drepinn í stall ‘struck by fear’: For this expression, see Note to Arn Þorfdr 7/5, 8. According to the saga, the Gautar were afraid that the peace agreement would fail and that Hákon would harry in their country (E 1916, 632): ok miok voro þeir hræddir ef haufðingiarnir sættiz æigi at Noʀegs konungr mundi gera stor heruirki i landi þeiʀa ‘and they were very much afraid that if the chieftains did not come to an agreement, the king of Norway would harry extensively in their country’. — [8] boði siklings ‘the ruler’s offer’: Hákon offered to marry his son, Hákon ungi ‘the Young’, to Birgir’s young daughter Ríkiza, and they agreed that there should be peace between Norway and Sweden and that the Swedes should no longer harbour any enemies of the Norw. king.

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