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.

Runic Dictionary

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Not published: do not cite (StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr))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, 263

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — StarkSt Vík 9VIII (Gautr 17)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Gautreks saga 17 (Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson, Víkarsbálkr 9)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 263.

Styr ok Steinþóri         frá Staði norðan;
þar var inn gamli         Gunnólfr blesi.
Þá váru vér         þrettán saman;
fær varliga         fríðri drengi.

Styr ok Steinþóri frá norðan Staði; inn gamli Gunnólfr blesi var þar. Þá váru vér þrettán saman; fær varliga fríðri drengi.

Styrr and Steinþórr from north of Stadlandet; the old Gunnólfr blesi (‘Blaze’) was there. We were then thirteen together; finer fellows are scarcely to be had.

Mss: 590b-cˣ(4r), 152(198va), papp11ˣ(5v) (Gautr)

Readings: [1] ‑þóri: ‑þór 152    [2] Staði: stöðum 152    [7] varliga: valla papp11ˣ    [8] fríðri: fríðu 152, fríðari papp11ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 13. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gautrekssaga II 9: AII, 325, BII, 345, Skald II, 186; FSN 3, 20, Gautr 1664, 23, Gautr 1900, 17, FSGJ 4, 16-17; Edd. Min. 39.

Context: As for Gautr 16.

Notes: [All]: This stanza carries on syntactically from Gautr 16, completing the list of the twelve champions (kappar) Víkarr gathered together. Like the personal names in Gautr 16, the personal names in 17/1 are in the dat. sg., dependent on the verb safnaði ‘gathered’ in Gautr 16/1. — [2] Staði ‘Stadlandet’: A headland in Romsdal and a prominent landmark; cf. Óhelg Lv 4/2I and Note to Þloft Tøgdr 4/5I. — [6] þrettán ‘thirteen’: That is, the twelve men named in Gautr 16-17 plus Víkarr, but presumably excluding the speaker, Starkaðr, from the count.

© 2008-