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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 28 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, 679

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Sturl Hryn 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 2’ 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. 679.

Austan sendi gulli glæsta
Gauta stýrir megindýrum,
seima þollr, með sæmðum öllum
sína dóttur arfa þínum.
Völdugr tóktu af mestri mildi,
málma skerðir, Svía ferðar
— aldir dýrka yðvart veldi
eirarsamt — við brúðför þeiri.

{Stýrir Gauta} sendi austan megindýrum arfa þínum dóttur sína, glæsta gulli, með öllum sæmðum, {þollr seima}. {Völdugr skerðir málma}, tóktu af mestri mildi við þeiri brúðför ferðar Svía; aldir dýrka eirarsamt veldi yðvart.

{The commander of the Gautar} [= Birgir Magnússon] sent from the east to your most noble heir his daughter, adorned with gold, with all honours, {fir-tree of gold} [MAN]. {Powerful diminisher of weapons} [WARRIOR], you received with the greatest generosity the bridal train of the Swedes’ troop; people glorify your peaceful empire.

Mss: F(116rb), E(186v), 81a(116rb), 8(65v), Flat(181vb) (Hák)

Readings: [2] stýrir: stýris 8    [5] tóktu: tók 81a    [6] ferðar: so all others, ferðir F    [7] aldir: allir E, 81a;    dýrka: dýrki Flat    [8] eirar‑: eittár E;    við: með 81a;    þeiri: þeira Flat

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 3. Hrynhenda 2: AII, 102, BII, 113-14, Skald II, 60; F 1871, 542, E 1916, 635-6, Hák 1910-86, 627, Hák 1977-82, 154, Flat 1860-8, III, 183.

Context: Jarl Birgir sent his daughter Ríkiza from Sweden in 1251 to marry King Hákon’s son Hákon ungi ‘the Young’.

Notes: [All]: There were political reasons for the marriage of Ríkiza and Hákon ungi. In 1225 King Hákon invaded Värmland, as Sturla mentions in Hákkv 7-8, and Jarl Birgir was anxious to avoid further conflict with the Norw. king. At a meeting in 1249, they promised not to support each other’s enemies. In addition, Hákon gained the support of the jarl in his aggressive policy towards the Danes and could focus on expanding his state to the south (Helle 1974, 128-9).

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