Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl)

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

4. Hákonarflokkr (Hákfl) - 11

Skj info: Sturla Þórðarson, Islandsk skjald og historiker, 1214-84 (AII, 101-29, BII, 112-36).

Skj poems:
1. Þverárvísur
2. Þorgilsdrápa
3. Hrynhenda
4. Hákonarkviða
5. Hrafnsmál
6. Hákonarflokkr
7. En drape om Magnús lagaböter
8. Lausavísur

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.

Hákonarflokkr — Sturl HákflII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarflokkr’ 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. 745-55.

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Skj: Sturla Þórðarson: 6. Hákonarflokkr, 1263-64 (AII, 124-7, BII, 132-4)

SkP info: II, 755

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Sturl Hákfl 11II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarflokkr 11’ 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. 755.

Þrimr náttum kom Þróttar
þinghlynr til Björgynjar,
áðr en allvald prúðan
ófs dynviðir grófu.
Margr stóð málma fergir
— mikit stríð var þat — síðan
lýða grams yfir leiði
lítt kátr með brá váta.

{{Þróttar þing}hlynr} kom þrimr náttum til Björgynjar, áðr en {{ófs dyn}viðir} grófu prúðan allvald. {Margr fergir málma} stóð síðan lítt kátr með váta brá yfir leiði {grams lýða}; þat var mikit stríð.

{The maple {of Þróttr’s <= Óðinn’s> assembly}} [(lit. ‘assembly-maple of Þróttr’) BATTLE > WARRIOR = Hákon] was brought for three nights to Bergen, before {the trees {of the din of the sword}} [(lit. ‘the din-trees of the sword’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] buried the splendid mighty ruler. {Many a subjugator of weapons} [WARRIOR] later stood little cheerful with wet eyelashes above the grave {of the lord of men} [KING]; that was a great grief.

Mss: F(124ra), Flat(186va) (Hák)

Readings: [5] fergir: skerðir Flat

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 6. Hákonarflokkr 11: AII, 127, BII, 134-5, Skald II, 72; F 1871, 581, Flat 1860-8, III, 232.

Context: Hákon died in Orkney on 16 December 1263, and he was buried temporarily in the Cathedral of S. Magnús. On 5 March 1264 the body was exhumed and brought to Norway. He was reburied on 22 March in the choir of Kristkirken in Bergen.

Notes: [All]: The sentiments expressed in this st. echo the grief that people felt at the burial of Magnús inn góði Óláfsson (Mgóð). See Ókík Magn 2. — [1] þrimr náttum ‘for three nights’: Dat. of time, describing the duration of an action (see NS §118b). — [1] kom ‘was brought’: Lit. ‘came’. — [4] ófs ‘of the sword’: This translation is conjectural (see LP: ófr). The gen. sg. of óf (n.), ófs ‘exceedingly’, is normally used adverbially as an intensifier (see LP: óf). — [5] fergir málma ‘subjugator of weapons [WARRIOR]’: So F. Skerðir málma ‘diminisher of weapons’ (so Flat) fails to provide necessary internal rhyme (-arg- : -erg-).

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