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Not published: do not cite (StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr))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, 269
16 — StarkSt Vík 16VIII (Gautr 24)
Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Gautreks saga 24 (Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson, Víkarsbálkr 16)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 269.
|Sneidda ek honum síðu aðra
bitrum brandi um búk þveran.
|Svá ek af heiptum hjörvi beittak, |
at alls megins áðr kostaðak.
Ek sneidda aðra síðu honum bitrum brandi um þveran búk. Ek beittak svá hjörvi af heiptum, at kostaðak áðr alls megins.
I sliced off one side of him with my sharp blade right across the body. Thus I wielded my sword with such fury that I had already expended all my strength.
Mss: 590b-cˣ(4v), 152(199ra) (Gautr)
Readings:  Sneidda: ‘Snei[…]ec’ 152  bitrum: so 152, ‘brutt med’ 590b‑cˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 13. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gautrekssaga II 16: AII, 327, BII, 346-7, Skald II, 187; FSN 3, 24-5, Gautr 1900, 21, FSGJ 4, 21; Edd. Min. 41.
Context: The single combat
between Starkaðr and Sísarr continues, with Starkaðr striking back at Sísarr,
slicing off part of his side and wounding him in one leg below the knee,
finishing him off by hewing off the other leg at the ankle.