This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

login: password: stay logged in: help

Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl)

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

3. Hrafnsmál (Hrafn) - 20

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.

Hrafnsmál — Sturl HrafnII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál’ 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. 727-45.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20 

Skj: Sturla Þórðarson: 5. Hrafnsmál (AII, 119-24, BII, 126-31)

SkP info: II, 738

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Sturl Hrafn 13II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 13’ 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. 738.

Drógu dynsveigis
darra flugskjarrir
báta baugnjótar
breiðar strandleiðir.
Eyddu óhræddir
eyjar geirþeyjum
vegs í víðbygðu*
vatni herskatnar.

{Flugskjarrir baugnjótar} {{darra dyn}sveigis} drógu báta breiðar strandleiðir. Óhræddir herskatnar vegs eyddu eyjar í víðbygðu* vatni {geirþeyjum}.

{The flight-shy ring-users} [GENEROUS MEN] {of the swayer {of the din of spears}} [(lit. ‘of the din-swayer of spears’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] pulled the boats along the broad beach-paths. The fearless war-men of honour devastated the islands in the widely inhabited lake {with spear-winds} [BATTLE].

Mss: F(122vb), 304ˣ(362v), Flat(185vb) (Hák)

Readings: [1] ‑sveigis: ‑sveigir 304ˣ    [6] ‑þeyjum: þeyja 304ˣ, þeyju Flat    [7] vegs í: vægðar Flat;    ‑bygðu*: ‑bygðum all

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 5. Hrafnsmál 13: AII, 122, BII, 129-30, Skald II, 70, NN §2829; F 1871, 575, Hák 1977-82, 200, Flat 1860-8, III, 224.

Context: After the failed peace negotiations with the Scots, Hákon sent forty (Flat: sixty) ships into Loch Long. The Norwegians pulled their boats across land up to Loch Lomond in the district of Lennox, where they destroyed the entire countryside and devastated all the inhabited islands in the lake.

Notes: [All]: For the custom of portage, pulling boats and ships across land, see the discussion in ÍF 30, xxviii-xxix and n. 1. See also Anon (HSig) 5. — [1] dynsveigis ‘of the din-swayer’: Sveigir (nomen agentis to sveigja ‘bend, flex, sway’) taken here in the meaning ‘swayer’, i.e. ‘one who decides the outcome of sth.’ (see also NN §2829). As a base-word in warrior kennings, sveigir usually occurs in the more concrete sense ‘bender’ (see LP: sveigir). — [3] baugnjótar ‘ring-users [GENEROUS MEN]’: See st. 10/3 above. — [4] strandleiðir ‘beach-paths’: Hap. leg. — [7] vegs ‘of honour’: In the present edn this gen. is construed with herskatnar ‘war-men’ (lit. ‘wealthy men of the army’) (l. 8). Following Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 100), Skj B and Skald emend to veggs ‘of the wall’ and take this as a determinant in an inverted kenning veggs geirþeyjum ‘of the winds of the spear’s wall’ in which ‘the spear’s wall’ is a shield and its wind is ‘battle’. However, the order of elements in that kenning violates the structure of an inverted kenning (we would expect geirs veggþeyjum). Vægðar (f. gen. sg.) ‘of mercy’ (so Flat) cannot be construed in any meaningful way and omits the syntactically required prep. í ‘in’. — [7] víðbygðu* (n. dat. sg.) ‘widely inhabited’: The adj. qualifies vatni (n. dat. sg.) ‘the lake’ and víðbygðum (so all mss) is dat. pl. or m. dat. sg. — [8] herskatnar ‘war-men’: Lit. ‘wealthy men of the army’: Hap. leg.

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