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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hákkv 28II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 28’ 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, p. 720.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHákonarkviða

Þar gullker
geiga knáttu
inni full
unna greipum,
en inndrótt
allra stríða
til hjarta fell.

Þar inni knáttu full gullker geiga, unna greipum, en {heilivágr allra stríða} fell inndrótt til hjarta.

Inside there full gold-goblets swung, caressed the hands, and {the soothing balm of all torments} [WINE/ALE] penetrated the hearts of the retinue.

Mss: E(182v), F(114rb), 42ˣ(172v), 81a(113vb), 8(62r), Flat(180va) (Hák)

Readings: [1] gullker: í gull Flat    [2] geiga: so 81a, Flat, ‘gneiga’ E, 42ˣ, geisa F, ‘geika’ 8;    knáttu: knátti 8, Flat    [3] full: fullum 81a    [4] unna greipum: so F, 81a, 8, Flat, ‘greipa knattum’ E, unnar greipum 42ˣ    [6] stríða: so 8, Flat, manna E, F, 42ˣ, om. 81a    [7] heili‑: heilig‑ 81a

Editions: Skj AII, 116-17, Skj BII, 124, Skald II, 67, NN §2289; E 1916, 623, F 1871, 531, Hák 1910-86, 600, Hák 1977-82, 143, Flat 1860-8, III, 171.

Context: This and the next st. illustrate the splendour of Hákon’s feast.

Notes: [4] unna greipum ‘caressed the hands’: Unna lit. ‘love’ (so F, 81a, 8, Flat) is taken here as an inf. to the auxiliary knáttu lit. ‘knew how to’ (l. 2), and as parallel to geiga (inf.) ‘swing’ (l. 2). The E variant (greipa knáttum ‘we knew how to span’ or knöttum greipa ‘with the knobs of the grips’ i.e. ‘with the fingers’) is unmetrical (greipa provides no alliteration with l. 3). Skj B emends to ýta greipum ‘with people’s hands’ taken as a dat. instr., and Kock (Skald; NN §2289) takes Unna as a f. gen. pl. of the f. pers. n. Unnr ‘Unnr’ (lit. ‘wave’), and as a half-kenning for ‘women’ (‘with the women’s hands’). — [6] allra stríða ‘of all torments’: So 8, Flat. The variant allra manna ‘of all men’ (so E, F, 42ˣ) leaves the kenning without a determinant and looks like a lectio facilior.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. 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.
  6. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  7. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  8. 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.
  9. 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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