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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Not published: do not cite (StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr))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, 261

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — StarkSt Vík 7VIII (Gautr 15)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Gautreks saga 15 (Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson, Víkarsbálkr 7)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 261.

Hann mældi mik
mundum ok spönnum,
alla arma
til úlfliða,

…,
vaxit hári
á höku niðri.

 

He measured me with hands and hand-breadths, all my arms to the wrists grown with hair down on my chin.

context: As for Gautr 13.

notes: Immediately after the end of this stanza, the prose text offers the following gloss: Hér segir Starkaðr frá því, at hann hafði þá skegg er hann var tólf vetra ‘Here Starkaðr tells that he already had a beard when he was twelve years old’. This explanation may have been given because the stanza itself was defective when the prose text was first composed; neither ms. has a full eight-line stanza, yet there is no lacuna in either for the missing lines (probably ll. 5-6 in the original version), which would have mentioned Starkaðr’s precocious growth of beard. It is interesting that the explanatory prose gloss is also present in papp11ˣ, though the stanza is absent.

texts: Gautr 15

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 13. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gautrekssaga II 7 (AII, 325; BII, 345); Skald II, 185; FSN 3, 19, Gautr 1900, 16, FSGJ 4, 16; Edd. Min. 39.

sources

AM 590 b-c 4°x (590b-cx) 3v, 33 - 3v, 34 (Gautr)  transcr.  image  
AM 152 fol (152) 198va, 27 - 198va, 29 (Gautr)  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated