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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hrafn 12II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 12’ 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. 737.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHrafnsmál

text and translation

Bauð inn böðfróði
bragna sigrmagnaðr
austan orrostu
optar spjót-Hroptum.
Þorðut þrekstærðan
þegnar ófegnir
bjórs við blikrýri
berjaz útverja.

{Inn böðfróði sigrmagnaðr bragna} austan bauð optar {spjót-Hroptum} orrostu. Ófegnir þegnar þorðut berjaz við {þrekstærðan {{útverja bjórs} blik}rýri}.
‘The war-crafty victory-augmenter of men [WARRIOR = Hákon] from the east often offered battle to the spear-Hroptar <= Óðinn’s> [WARRIORS]. The unhappy warriors did not dare to fight against the powerful diminisher of the flash of the beer of fishing-stations [(lit. ‘flash-diminisher of the beer of fishing-stations’) SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN].

notes and context

Hákon wanted to reach an agreement with the Scottish king Alexander (III), and sent Kolbeinn, one of his retainers, to the Scottish court as an envoy. Hákon suggested that the two kings should meet with their armies and settle their dispute either by peaceful means or by battle. Alexander was slow to respond.

Alexander III (r. 1241-86) stalled the negotiations with the Norwegians intentionally in anticipation of the autumn storms which would put the Norw. fleet at a disadvantage.



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 12: AII, 122, BII, 129, Skald II, 69-70, NN §109; F 1871, 575Hák 1977-82, 200, Flat 1860-8, III, 224.


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