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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hákkv 18II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 18’ 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. 712-13.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHákonarkviða

text and translation

Var laushendr
lofða stýrir
á blóðorms
beinu skapti
en haldsamr
at hjarar leiki
á geir-Týs
grænni málu.

{Stýrir lofða} var laushendr á beinu skapti {blóðorms} en haldsamr at {leiki hjarar} á {grænni málu {geir-Týs}}.
‘The controller of men [RULER = Hákon] was openhanded with the straight shaft of the blood-snake [SPEAR] but tight-fisted in the play of the sword [BATTLE] on the green wife of the spear-Týr <god> [= Óðinn > = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)].

notes and context

Both Skúli and Hákon went on horseback to the churchyard where Skúli’s men were penned in. Skúli called on his troops and wanted to advance against Hákon’s standard, but one of his men took hold of the reins of his horse and stopped him. The Birkibeinar threw spears at Skúli and almost hit him.

For this event, see also Ólhv Hryn 12.



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: Sturla Þórðarson, 4. Hákonarkviða 21: AII, 113-14, BII, 122, Skald II, 65; E 1916, 605, F 1871, 517, Hák 1910-86, 564, Hák 1977-82, 128, Flat 1860-8, III, 154.


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