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Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl)

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

1. Hrynhenda (Hryn) - 21

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 29 November 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21 

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, 695

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

18 — Sturl Hryn 18II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 18’ 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. 695.

Öllum þótti, Egða stillir,
ægiligt, inn víða frægi,
gunnar logs fyrir græði sunnan
geigurþing við yðr at eiga.
Sætta báðu, Sygna dróttinn,
snjallráðan þik Danir allir,
fyrða gramr, þvít fegnir urðu
fjandmenn þínir lífi sínu.

{Inn víða frægi stillir Egða}, öllum þótti ægiligt at eiga {geigurþing {logs gunnar}} við yðr fyrir sunnan græði. {Dróttinn Sygna}, allir Danir báðu þik, snjallráðan, sætta, þvít fjandmenn þínir urðu fegnir lífi sínu, {gramr fyrða}.

{Far-famed ruler of the Egðir} [NORWEGIAN KING = Hákon], to everyone it seemed terrifying to hold {a dangerous meeting {of the flame of battle}} [SWORD > BATTLE] with you south of the sea. {Lord of the Sygnir} [NORWEGIAN KING = Hákon], all the Danes begged you, wise-ruling one, for a settlement, because your enemies were glad to save their lives, {ruler of men} [KING].

Mss: F(119ra), E(192r), G(1ra), 81a(119vb), 8(71r), Flat(183rb) (Hák)

Readings: [1] Egða: Agða 8    [2] ægiligt: ægi E, 81a, 8, eigi G, eigi G, ægiligr Flat;    inn: inni G, mönnum 8    [3] logs: loks E    [5] dróttinn: so G, 8, Flat, dróttin F, E, 81a    [6] ‑ráðan: ‑ráðinn Flat    [7] gramr: so E, 81a, 8, Flat, gram F, G;    þvít (‘þviat’): því 81a    [8] fjand‑: ‘fian‑’ E

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 3. Hrynhenda 17: AII, 107, BII, 117, Skald II, 62, NN §3266A; F 1871, 556, E 1916, 654, Hák 1910-86, 666, Hák 1977-82, 177, Flat 1860-8, III, 200.

Context: King Hákon met with King Kristófór in Copenhagen. The archbishop acted as intermediary and the Danes agreed to a truce because they were intimidated by the great Norw. fleet.

Notes: [3] logs gunnar ‘of the flame of battle [SWORD]’: Gunnr is a valkyrie, but here it is more likely the common noun gunnr (f.) ‘battle’. Both meanings could apply here in the kenning. — [3] græði (m. acc. sg.) ‘sea’: This lit. means ‘healer, enricher’. — [5] dróttinn (m. nom. sg.) ‘lord’: The present edn follows Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 82), Finnur Jónsson and Kock (Skj B; Skald), who all chose the reading of G, 8 and Flat (construed as a form of address), rather than the reading of F, E and 81a, dróttin (m. acc. sg.) ‘lord’ (see the comparable construction in st. 1/1-2 above). If the acc. dróttin is retained, dróttin Sygna could be taken as an apposition to þik (m. acc. sg.) ‘you’: bað þik, snjallráðan dróttin Sygna ‘asked you, the wise-ruling lord of the Sygnir’.

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