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Not published: do not cite (StarkSt VíkVIII (Gautr))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, 280
29 — StarkSt Vík 29VIII (Gautr 37)
Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Gautreks saga 37 (Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson, Víkarsbálkr 29)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 280.
með huga illan,
dapr alls hugar.
From there I wandered bewildering ways, hateful to the Hǫrðar, with a dark mind, lacking in rings and poems of praise, lordless, depressed in my whole mind.
context: As for Vík 26.
notes: Lines 3, 5 and 7 are in kviðuháttr
metre, the rest in fornyrðislag (but see Note to l. 1 below). — Starkaðr’s self-depiction as a social outcast, depressed and lacking the most valuable benefits of a courtly life, especially material wealth, the opportunity to compose poetry and the company of a lord, is strongly reminiscent of similar self-presentation in the Old English poems Deor, ll. 35-41 and (without the poetry theme) The Wanderer ll. 20-9.
texts: ‹Gautr 37›
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 13. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gautrekssaga II 21 (AII, 328; BII, 348); Skald II, 187; FSN 3, 35-6, Gautr 1900, 32, FSGJ 4, 32; Edd. Min. 43.