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, 741

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

16 — Sturl Hrafn 16II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 16’ 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. 741.

Blés of böðfúsa
bragna fjölmagnat
hregg á herbygðum
hríðar brimskíðum.
Upp rak alkeppna
öld með herskjöldu
grundar gjálfrs undit
grand at Skotlandi.

Fjölmagnat hregg blés of böðfúsa bragna á {herbygðum brimskíðum hríðar}. {Undit grand {grundar gjálfrs}} rak alkeppna öld með herskjöldu upp at Skotlandi.

The sorcery-strengthened hailstorm blew around the battle-eager men on {the troop-inhabited surf-skis of the sea} [SHIPS]. {The twisted harm {of the land of the surge}} [SEA > STORM] drove the very vigorous crew with war-shields towards [the shores of] Scotland.

Mss: F(123ra), 304ˣ(363v), 325X(12rb) (l. 1), Flat(185vb) (Hák)

Readings: [1] of: á Flat;    böð‑: banda 304ˣ;    ‑fúsa: ‑fúsum 325X    [2] fjöl‑: so 304ˣ, Flat, fjölð F;    ‑magnat: ‘‑magnid’ 304ˣ    [3] ‑bygðum: bygðir 304ˣ, ‑dyggva Flat    [6] öld: öll Flat;    ‑skjöldu: ‑skjöldum Flat    [7] grundar: grunda Flat;    gjálfrs: gjálfr F, gjálf 304ˣ, gjálfs‑ Flat;    undit: undir 304ˣ, ‑undi Flat

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 5. Hrafnsmál 16: AII, 123, BII, 130, Skald II, 70, NN §1359; F 1871, 576Hák 1977-82, 202, Flat 1860-8, III, 225.

Context: As st. 15 above.

Notes: [2] fjölmagnat ‘sorcery-strengthened’: Hap. leg. See also Note to 15/2, 3-4 above. — [3, 4] á herbygðum brimskíðum hríðar ‘on the troop-inhabited surf-skis of the sea [SHIPS]’: So NN §1359 with reference to st. 2/7 above. Skj B takes hríðar ‘of the sea’ with hregg ‘hailstorm’ (l. 3), presumably to avoid an over-determined kenning. Sturla did not seem to find such kennings unacceptable at all, however. For the first element in the cpd brimskíðum ‘surf-skis’, see Note to st. 1/3-4 above. Herbygðr ‘troop-inhabited’ (dat. pl. herbygðum) (l. 3) is a hap. leg. — [7-8] undit grand grundar gjálfrs ‘the twisted harm of the land of the surge [SEA > STORM]’: LP: vinda 3 suggests that Sturla may have had the mythological Miðgarðsormr (‘World-serpent’) in mind here.

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