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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, 684

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Sturl Hryn 7II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 7’ 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. 684.

Allvaldr, rétt, því er ýtar heldu
ógnarbráðs at fylkis láði;
prúðar náðu sveitir síðan
sóknarstrangs á land at ganga.
Stórar (létu Halland herjat
hirðmenn þínir) frelsi sínu
víða týndu virða kindir
(vægðarlaust fyrir Geitkjörr austan).

Allvaldr, rétt, því er ýtar heldu at láði ógnarbráðs fylkis; prúðar sveitir sóknarstrangs náðu síðan at ganga á land. Stórar kindir virða týndu frelsi sínu víða; hirðmenn þínir létu herjat Halland vægðarlaust fyrir austan Geitkjörr.

Mighty ruler, you caused the men to go to the land of the battle-swift leader; the brave troops of the war-fierce one then went ashore. Great sons of men lost their freedom far and wide; your retainers raided Halland without mercy east of Geitkjörr.

Mss: F(117vb), E(189v), 81a(118rb), 304ˣ(347r), Flat(182va) (Hák)

Readings: [1] er: ‘eð’ 81a, at 304ˣ    [2] ‑bráðs: bráðr 304ˣ;    láði: ráði 81a, 304ˣ    [3] náðu: so all others, réðu F;    síðan: sínar E    [5] Stórar: stórir 304ˣ;    Halland: so E, 304ˣ, Flat, Hallands F, Hallönd 81a;    herjat: so E, 304ˣ, Flat, herjar F, herja 81a    [6] sínu: sína 304ˣ    [7] týndu: týndi 304ˣ;    kindir: ‘kyndar’ 304ˣ    [8] ‑kjörr: ‘‑ker’ 81a, ‘‑kiǫr’ 304ˣ

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 3. Hrynhenda 7: AII, 103-4, BII, 115, Skald II, 61, NN §1349; F 1871, 550, E 1916, 646, Hák 1910-86, 647, Hák 1977-82, 163, Flat 1860-8, III, 192.

Context: King Hákon’s troops disembark and invade Halland.

Notes: [3, 4] náðu ... at ganga ‘went’: Lit. ‘were able to go’ (so E, 81a, 304ˣ, Flat). The F variant, réðuat ganga ‘went’ (lit. ‘did go’) is also possible, but the other ms. witnesses show that it is secondary. — [4] sóknarstrangs (adj. m. gen. sg.) ‘of the war-fierce one’: Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 73) thought this was an example of what Ólafr hvítaskáld Þórðarson (Ólhv) called Eclipsis in his Málskrúðsfræði. Sóknarstrangr functions as a substantivised adj. Similar use can be found in Steinn Óldr 7/2. — [5] stórar (f. nom. pl.) ‘great’: This adj. can only qualify kindir (f. nom. pl.) ‘sons’ (l. 7) (so also Skj B). Kock (Skald; NN §1349) adopted stórir (m. nom. pl.; so 304ˣ) and construed it with hirðmenn (m. nom. pl.) ‘retainers’ (l. 6). That reading simplifies the syntax considerably, but it is not warranted by the other ms. witnesses. — [8] Geitkjörr: This p. n. in Halland has not been identified, but it could be Kärra, north of Varberg.

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