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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hákkv 19II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 19’ 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. 713-14.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHákonarkviða

Þar baugsegl
í brimis vindi
branda byrr
blása knátti,
en hrælögr
af hjarar borðum
glymjandi fell.

Þar knátti {byrr branda} blása {baugsegl} í {vindi brimis}, en {geigurligr hrælögr} fell glymjandi af {borðum hjarar}.

There {the fair breeze of swords} [BATTLE] blew {at shield-boss sails} [SHIELDS] in {the wind of the sword} [BATTLE], and {the frightful corpse-sea} [BLOOD] fell foaming from {the planks of the sword} [SHIELDS].

Mss: E(177v), F(111rb), 81a(109vb), 8(57v), Flat(179ra) (Hák)

Readings: [3] byrr: bur 81a    [5] ‑lögr: ‑langr 81a    [6] hjarar borðum: so all others, hjarðar botnum E    [7] geigur‑: so all others, geigu‑ E

Editions: Skj AII, 114, Skj BII, 122, Skald II, 66; E 1916, 606, F 1871, 518, Hák 1910-86, 566-7, Hák 1977-82, 130, Flat 1860-8, III, 155.

Context: The Birkibeinar pulled down the fence surrounding the churchyard with ropes made from walrus hide. Then they stormed in and killed most of Skúli’s men who were trapped on the other side of the fallen fence.

Notes: [All]: Sturla uses nautical imagery to depict the violent encounter. — [4] blása ‘blew at’: For the meaning of blása ‘blow at, move sth. by blowing at it’ (with acc.), see Fritzner: blása 2.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  4. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  5. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  6. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  7. Hák 1977-82 = Mundt, Marina, ed. 1977. Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar etter Sth. 8 fol., AM 325VIII, 4° og AM 304, 4°. Oslo: Forlagsentralen. Suppl. by James E. Knirk, Rettelser til Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar etter Sth. 8 fol., AM 325VIII, 4° og AM 304, 4°. Norrøne tekster 2. Oslo: Norsk historisk kjeldeskrift-institutt, 1982.
  8. Hák 1910-86 = Kjær, Albert and Ludvig Holm-Olsen, eds. 1910-86. Det Arnamagnæanske haandskrift 81a fol. (Skálholtsbók yngsta) indeholdende Sverris saga, Bǫglungasǫgur, Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar. Oslo: Den norske historiske kildeskriftkommission and Kjeldeskriftfondet.

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