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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hrafn 11II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 11’ 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. 736.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHrafnsmál

text and translation

Brunnu búmanna
bygðir ódygðar;
heitr var hafsætrum
hallar lífgalli.
Fellu fleinþollar
feigir svanteigar
suðr af sæskíðum
sóttir herdróttum.

Bygðir ódygðar búmanna brunnu; {lífgalli hallar} var heitr hafsætrum. {Feigir fleinþollar} fellu suðr, sóttir herdróttum {svanteigar} af {sæskíðum}.
‘The dwellings of faithless farmers burned; the life-harm of the hall [FIRE] was hot in the sea-settlements. Doomed spear-firs [WARRIORS] fell in the south, attacked by the war-bands of the swan-field [SEA] from the sea-skis [SHIPS].

notes and context

The Norwegians who were on Bute went to the Scottish mainland where they burned and pillaged. One of the crew members called Ruadri, who claimed to have an inherited right to Bute and who had earlier been outlawed by the Scottish king, was especially active during this campaign.



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, 5. Hrafnsmál 11: AII, 122, BII, 129, Skald II, 69, NN §2292, 3152; F 1871, 574, Hák 1977-82, 198, Flat 1860-8, III, 223.


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