This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

login: password: stay logged in: help

Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson (StarkSt)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Víkarsbálkr (Vík) - 33

Starkaðr inn gamli ‘the Old’ Stórvirksson (StarkSt) was a legendary Scandinavian hero, known to Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic and possibly Anglo-Saxon traditions. Some sources (e.g. Saxo Grammaticus (Saxo 2015, I, vi. 5. 2, pp. 378-9), one version of Heiðr and Víkarsbálkr (Vík) in Gautr) claim that he was born a giant with six or eight arms, which the god Þórr reduced to two by tearing off the remainder. Both in Saxo and in Gautr, Starkaðr is represented as a hero of prodigious strength and bravery, but influenced by the gods Óðinn and Þórr to commit acts of gross treachery, the best-known of which is his mock sacrifice of his friend, King Víkarr, at Óðinn’s instigation. The mock sacrifice turns into the real thing, and, as a consequence, Starkaðr is repudiated by his warrior companions. Saxo and the Icelandic sources also know Starkaðr as a poet. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 251, 259) heads its list of poets and their patrons with Starkaðr’s name as that of the earliest poet whose identity people remember, adding that he composed about the kings of Denmark. In Ht Snorri Sturluson names a verse-form, Starkaðar lag, after Starkaðr (SnE 2007, 38), while in TGT Óláfr Þórðarson quotes a fragment (StarkSt Frag 1III) which he attributes to him. In Gautr the autobiographical poem Víkarsbálkr ‘Víkarr’s Section’ (VíkVIII) is attributed to Starkaðr.

Víkarsbálkr — StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr)

Not published: do not cite (StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr))

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33 

SkP info: VIII, 257

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — StarkSt Vík 3VIII (Gautr 11)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Gautreks saga 11 (Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson, Víkarsbálkr 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 257.

Þá * Herþjófr
Harald um vélti;
sér ójafnan
sveik í trygðum,
Egða dróttin
öndu rænti,
en hans sonum
haptbönd sneri.


Then Herþjófr tricked Haraldr; he betrayed [a man] unequal to himself in his plighted oath, robbed {the lord of the Egðir} [= Haraldr] of life and twisted captive shackles for his sons.

context: This stanza and the immediately following Vík 4 (Gautr 12) follow a prose passage that tells that Herþjófr, king of Hordaland (ON Hǫrðaland), made a surprise night attack on King Haraldr of Agder and killed him in spite of his plighted oath (drap hann í trygðum), taking his son Víkarr as a hostage, as well as many other sons of powerful men.

texts: Gautr 11

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 13. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gautrekssaga II 3 (AII, 324; BII, 344); Skald II, 185; FSN 3, 17, Gautr 1664, 21, Gautr 1900, 14, FSGJ 4, 14; Edd. Min. 38.


AM 590 b-c 4°x (590b-cx) 3v, 19 - 3v, 20 (Gautr)  transcr.  image  
AM 152 fol (152) 198va, 6 - 198va, 8 (Gautr)  image  
Holm papp 11 8°x (papp11x) 5r - 5r (Gautr)  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated