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, 747-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Sturl Hákfl 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarflokkr 3’ 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. 747-8.

Hljóp, sá er hersum steypa,
hyrgildandi, vildi,
ýgr frá allvalds mági
járnsveims ór Þrándheimi.
Endr lét Erlings frændi
Upplönd farit bröndum;
stríð hlutu stála meiðar
stórþung af Ribbungum.

{{{Ýgr járnsveims} hyr}gildandi}, sá er vildi steypa hersum, hljóp ór Þrándheimi frá mági allvalds. {Frændi Erlings} lét Upplönd endr farit bröndum; {meiðar stála} hlutu stórþung stríð af Ribbungum.

{The fearsome validator {of the fire {of weapon-commotion}}} [(lit. ‘fire-validator of weapon-commotion’) BATTLE > SWORD > WARRIOR], who wished to overturn the hersar, escaped from Trondheim from the in-law of the mighty ruler. {The kinsman of Erlingr} [= Sigurðr] again advanced in Opplandene with swords; {the trees of weapons} [WARRIORS] suffered oppressive torment from the Ribbungar.

Mss: F(95va), 42ˣ(114v), 81a(83rb-va), 304ˣ(284v), Flat(170ra-b) (Hák)

Readings: [2] ‑gildandi: ‑gjaldandi 42ˣ, 81a, Flat    [3] ýgr: yggr 42ˣ, 81a;    allvalds: alls 81a    [4] ‑sveims: ‑seims 42ˣ, ‑sveins 81a    [7] hlutu: so all others, hluta F;    meiðar: meiðir 81a    [8] stórþung af: ‘stordungar’ 81a

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 6. Hákonarflokkr 3: AII, 125, BII, 132, Skald II, 71; F 1871, 442, Hák 1910-86, 393-4, Hák 1977-82, 62, Flat 1860-8, III, 63.

Context: At the end of July 1224, Sigurðr ribbungr escaped from Jarl Skúli in Trondheim. He first went to Østerdalen and then to Värmland in Sweden, gathering a strong following. From Värmland Sigurðr returned to Norway and surprised Hákon’s kinsman, Óláfr mókr ‘the Sleepy’, who was at a wedding in Sørum, Romerike. Óláfr was spared on this occasion, but all the other men, sixty in number, were killed.

Notes: [All]: Óláfr mókr was Hákon’s district chieftain in Hedmark. He was later killed by the Ribbungar in the early autumn of 1224. — [2] hyrgildandi ‘fire-validator’: See Note to st. 2/4 above. — [3] frá mági allvalds ‘from the in-law of the mighty ruler’: This was Skúli Bárðarson, Hákon’s father-in-law. See Note to Sturl Hákkv 24/3. — [5, 6] lét Upplönd endr farit bröndum ‘again advanced in Opplandene with swords’: For this meaning of fara, see Note to Bkrepp Magndr 1/1, 4 and 11/5-6. — [5] frændi Erlings ‘the kinsman of Erlingr [= Sigurðr]’: Sigurðr was said to be the son of Erlingr steinveggr ‘Stonewall’. See Note to Sturl Hákkv 6/8. — [6] Upplönd ‘Opplandene’: See Note to Sturl Hákkv 2/3. — [8] af Ribbungum ‘from the Ribbungar’: See Note to st. 1/4 above.

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