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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Stúfr Stúfdr 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 352-3.

Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattarStúfsdrápa

text and translation

Fór ofrhugi inn øfri
eggdjarfr und sik leggja
— fold vas víga valdi
virk — Jórsali ór Girkjum.
Ok með œrnu ríki
óbrunnin kom gunnar
heimil jǫrð und herði.
Hafi ríks, þars vel líkar.

Inn øfri ofrhugi fór eggdjarfr ór Girkjum leggja und sik Jórsali; fold vas virk {valdi víga}. Ok með œrnu ríki kom heimil jǫrð óbrunnin und {herði gunnar}. Hafi ríks, þars vel líkar….
‘The very reckless one set out, sword-daring, from the Greeks to subjugate Jerusalem; the country was submissive to the controller of combats [WARRIOR]. And because of his abundant force the land was delivered as his due, unburned, to the strengthener of battle [WARRIOR]. May the powerful have, where it is good to be….

notes and context

Haraldr set out with his army from Byzantium for Palestine, where all strongholds and castles surrendered peacefully to him.

Haraldr’s journey to Palestine, which must have taken place prior to his campaigns in Sicily (c. 1036?), appears to have been a peaceful excursion, and Stúfr’s claims have been seen as exaggerated (see ÍF 28, 84 n. 2; Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 63-5; Jesch 2001a, 101). — [8]: This l., which in the Fsk and Mork versions is rendered as Haralds ǫnd ofarr lǫndum ‘Haraldr’s spirit above the lands’ is a part of a klofastef ‘split refrain’. The complete refrain reads as follows (see sts 3/8, 6/4 below): Hafi ríks þars vel líkar | vist of aldr með Kristi | Haralds ǫnd ofarr lǫndum, i.e. Hafi ǫnd ríks Haralds vist of aldr með Kristi ofarr lǫndum, þars vel líkar ‘May the spirit of powerful Haraldr have residence forever with Christ above the lands, where it is good to be’. See Introduction to poem above. The ms. variants show that Snorri, who must have known the entire refrain, changed the reading of the last l. from his Mork exemplar to include all three ll. in the sts he cited from the poem.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa 2: AI, 404, BI, 373, Skald I, 186, NN §§880, 3396S; Mork 1867, 11, Mork 1928-32, 78, Andersson and Gade 2000, 144, 472 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 303 (MH); Fms 6, 161 (HSig ch. 11); ÍF 29, 233 (ch. 51); ÍF 28, 83 (HSig ch. 12), F 1871, 199, E 1916, 41.


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