Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson (StarkSt)
volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;
Víkarsbálkr (Vík) - 33
III. Fragment (Frag) - 1
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.
StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr)
Not published: do not cite (StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr))
SkP info: VIII, 257
3 — StarkSt Vík 3VIII (Gautr 11)
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.
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.