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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hrafn 15II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 15’ 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. 740.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHrafnsmál

text and translation

Mætti margfréttinn
miklum framstiklir
auðar óþjóða
inga gjörningum.
Leysti lábrostinn
lögr in skautfögru
flaust ór frónlæstum
festum bauglestis.

{Margfréttinn framstiklir auðar} mætti miklum gjörningum inga óþjóða. Lábrostinn lögr leysti in skautfögru flaust {bauglestis} ór frónlæstum festum.
‘The very inquisitive dispenser of wealth [GENEROUS MAN] encountered the mighty sorceries of the king of evildoers [Alexander]. The wave-bursting sea loosened the sail-fair ships of the ring-wounder [GENEROUS MAN] from the land-secured moorings.

notes and context

On 1 October, a strong storm with rain and hail hit the Norw. main fleet which was anchored near the Cumbraes in the Firth of Clyde. The royal ship drifted into the sound along with other vessels, and the crew had to use all eight anchors to secure it. Some believed that the storm had been caused by sorcery.

The violent storm is also mentioned in insular sources, where it is attributed to divine intervention (see Anderson 1922, II, 607).



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 15: AII, 123, BII, 130, Skald II, 70; F 1871, 576Hák 1977-82, 202, Flat 1860-8, III, 225.


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