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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, 681-2

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Sturl Hryn 5II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 5’ 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. 681-2.

Eigi sátuð, jöfra hneitir
ættumgóðr, at rofnar sættir
— stirðan bjoggu hirðmenn harðir
herskips streng — í kyrðum lengi.
Mætum helt fyrir Elfi útan
— auðit léztu flotnum dauða —
— nauða vissu nýjar súðir —
Norðmanna gramr fýriborðum.

Eigi sátuð lengi í kyrðum, {ættumgóðr hneitir jöfra}, at rofnar sættir; harðir hirðmenn bjoggu stirðan streng herskips. {Gramr Norðmanna} helt mætum fýriborðum fyrir útan Elfi; léztu flotnum auðit dauða; nýjar súðir vissu nauða.

You did not sit long in quiet, {high-born striker of princes} [RULER], with the truces broken; the tough retainers readied the hard anchor rope of the warship. {The ruler of the Norwegians} [= Hákon] directed the splendid fir-planks off the Götaälv; you decreed death for the men; the new plankings experienced hardship.

Mss: F(117va), E(189r), 81a(118ra), 304ˣ(346v), Flat(182va) (Hák)

Readings: [1] sátuð: láttu 81a    [2] at rofnar: rofna 81a    [3] stirðan: stirðir E, stríðar 81a, stirðar 304ˣ, Flat    [4] streng: stengr E, 81a, Flat    [5] helt: helzt 304ˣ;    fyrir: frá Flat    [7] nauða: nauðir Flat    [8] fýriborðum: so E, 304ˣ, borðum þannig F, fyri skeiðar borðum 81a, þar fyri borðum Flat

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 3. Hrynhenda 5: AII, 103, BII, 114, Skald II, 60, NN §3148; F 1871, 549, E 1916, 645, Hák 1910-86, 646, Hák 1977-82, 162-3, Flat 1860-8, III, 191.

Context: By 1256 the Danes had not yet paid the compensation they had promised for the attack on the Norw. ships in 1247. King Hákon summoned his troops again and led his fleet, 300 ships, to Halland. The st. describes the launching of the fleet and the voyage to Halland.

Notes: [1, 2, 4] eigi sátuð lengi í kyrðum at rofnar sættir ‘you did not sit long in quiet with the truces broken’: Sturla is referring to the settlement that Hákon made with the Dan. king in 1253 for the attack on the Norw. ships (see Note to st. 3/5-6), and the fact that the Danes had still not paid the compensation they had promised. — [1] hneitir ‘striker’: The verb hneita means ‘strike, defeat’. Hneitir was the name of S. Óláfr’s sword, lit. ‘striker’ or ‘cutter’. See also ESk Geisl 43/1VII. — [3-4] harðir hirðmenn bjoggu stirðan streng herskips ‘the tough retainers readied the stiff anchor rope of the warship’: Ms. E has the variant readings stirðir (adj. m. nom. pl.) ‘stiff’ (which can qualify harðir hirðmenn m. nom. pl. ‘tough retainers’ (l. 3)) and stengr (f. acc. pl.; nom. stǫng) ‘poles’. Flat and 304ˣ have the readings stirðar (adj. f. acc. pl.) ‘stiff’ (81a has stríðar f. acc. pl. ‘tough’) and stengr (304ˣ has streng). Harðir hirðmenn bjoggu stirðar stengr ‘the tough retainers readied the stiff poles’ (so Skj B; Skald) also makes good sense, because poles bearing the banners of the king must have been on board the ships. — [7] súðir ‘plankings’: This could be pars pro toto for ‘ships’ (see also Note to Hharð Gamv 2/2). — [8] gramr Norðmanna ‘the ruler of the Norwegians [= Hákon]’: Kock regarded this as an apostrophe (NN §3148). — [8] fýriborðum ‘fir-planks’: The reading fyri in E, 81a, 304ˣ and Flat is abbreviated so it could be expanded as fyrir ‘before, off’, which would be hard to fit into the prose w. o., but fýriborð ‘fir-planks’ is certainly a likely reading, as Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 71-2) pointed out, and it has been adopted by both Finnur Jónsson and Kock (Skj B; Skald). The variant in F, þannig borðum ‘thus the planks’, gives the following reading of ll. 5, 8: Gramr Norðmanna helt þannig mætum borðum fyrir útan Elfi ‘The ruler of the Norwegians directed thus the splendid planks off the Götaälv’. That reading produces an extra internal rhyme on two stressed syllables: Norð- : borð- and manna : þannig, and the other ms. witnesses show that it is secondary (lectio facilior). The scribe of 81a adds skeiðar ‘warship’s’ but this makes the l. hypermetrical.

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