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Not published: do not cite (StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr))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, 266
12 — StarkSt Vík 12VIII (Gautr 20)
Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Gautreks saga 20 (Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson, Víkarsbálkr 12)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 266.
|Var Víkari vegs um auðit,
en Herþjófi heiptir goldnar.
|Særðum seggi en suma drápum; |
stóðkat ek fjarri, þá er fell konungr.
Var Víkari um auðit vegs, en Herþjófi heiptir goldnar. Særðum seggi en drápum suma; ek stóðkat fjarri, þá er konungr fell.
Honour was ordained for Víkarr and hostilities repaid to Herþjófr. We wounded men and killed some; I was standing not far away when the king fell.
Mss: 590b-cˣ(4r), 152(198vb) (Gautr)
Readings:  auðit: ‘ath bid’ 152  heiptir: herför 152  fell konungr: konungr fell 152
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 13. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gautrekssaga II 12: AII, 326, BII, 346, Skald II, 186; FSN 3, 22, Gautr 1900, 19, FSGJ 4, 18; Edd. Min. 40.
Context: A short prose passage tells that Starkaðr and Víkarr fought side by side against King Herþjófr and eventually killed him. The other champions also distinguished themselves in the fight, as Starkaðr is reported to have commemorated in this stanza, introduced with the usual svá segir Starkaðr ‘so says Starkaðr’ (so 590b-cˣ, but Starkaðr kvað in 152).
Notes:  heiptir goldnar ‘hostilities repaid’: A common formula in eddic poetry; cf. Guðr II 28/2, Ív Sig 31/8III.