Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl)

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

1. Hrynhenda (Hryn) - 21

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.

Hrynhenda — Sturl HrynII

Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda’ 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. 676-98.

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Skj: Sturla Þórðarson: 3. Hrynhenda, 1262 (AII, 102-8, BII, 113-18); stanzas (if different): 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 22

SkP info: II, 694-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

17 — Sturl Hryn 17II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 17’ 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. 694-5.

Renna þótti upp á unnum
alla leið af flota breiðum
hilmis frægs, þar er herskip lágu,
himna eldr í Danaveldi.
Þengill kom þar annarr engi
innanlands, svát dæmi finniz,
— ræsir, stýrðuð rétt til jarðar,
ríkilátr — með afla slíkan.

{Eldr himna} þótti renna upp af breiðum flota frægs hilmis á unnum alla leið í Danaveldi, þar er herskip lágu. Engi annarr þengill kom þar innanlands með slíkan afla, svát dæmi finniz; ríkilátr ræsir, stýrðuð rétt til jarðar.

{The fire of the heavens} [SUN] seemed to be rising up from the broad fleet of the famous ruler on the waves all the way to the realm of the Danes, where warships lay. No other prince came within the land there with such a force, to the extent that there are examples; high-minded ruler, you steered straight for the shore.

Mss: F(118vb), E(191v), 81a(119vb), 8(70v), Flat(183rb) (Hák)

Readings: [1] þótti: þóttu 81a;    á: af Flat    [2] af: at 81a;    flota: flotanum Flat;    breiðum: breiða Flat    [3] frægs: om. all others;    er: sem Flat    [4] Dana‑: dönsku Flat    [5] þar: þar er 81a;    annarr engi: engi annarr E    [6] svát (‘svá at’): at 8    [7] stýrðuð: stýrði Flat;    jarðar: ‘jaidar’ 81a    [8] ríki‑: rík‑ 81a

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 3. Hrynhenda 16: AII, 106-7, BII, 117, Skald II, 62, NN §§1352, 2040; F 1871, 555, E 1916, 653, Hák 1910-86, 665, Hák 1977-82, 176, Flat 1860-8, III, 200.

Context: The fleet sailed through Øresund on the way to Copenhagen. The Danes were impressed by the size of the fleet, which was far greater than any that had ever come there.

Notes: [1] á unnum ‘on the waves’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes this with the second cl. (þar er herskip lágu á unnum ‘where the warships lay on the waves’ (ll. 1, 3)), which complicates the w. o. unnecessarily (see NN §1352).

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