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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hrafn 18II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 18’ 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. 743.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHrafnsmál

text and translation

Hlóðu hugprúðir
hrings at brynþingi
várir vegstórum
virðar baug-Nirði.
Fylduz fjörseldum
frammi valgammar
— hverr man hringþverris
hefna — auðstefni.

Várir hugprúðir virðar hrings hlóðu {vegstórum baug-Nirði} at {brynþingi}. {Valgammar} fylduz frammi {fjörseldum auðstefni}; hverr man hefna {hringþverris}?
‘Our gallant men of the sword killed the honourable ring-Njǫrðr <god> [MAN = Perus] at the byrnie-assembly [BATTLE]. The corpse-buzzards [RAVENS/EAGLES] stuffed themselves in the vanguard with the lifeless wealth-dispenser [GENEROUS MAN]; who will avenge the ring-diminisher [GENEROUS MAN]?

notes and context

The next morning, Hákon and a contingent of Norwegians went ashore and were surprised by a large Scottish army. Hákon was sent back to the ships, and the remaining Norwegians engaged in battle. Many fell, but a Scottish knight, Perus (so Flat, 8; ‘Ferus’ F), was killed by Andrés Nikulásson.

This was the battle of Largs, fought on 2 October 1263. That battle ended in Norw. defeat and marked the end of Hákon’s activities in Scotland.



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 18: AII, 123-4, BII, 131, Skald II, 70, NN §1362; F 1871, 578Hák 1977-82, 204, Flat 1860-8, III, 226.


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