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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hrafn 19II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 19’ 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. 744.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHrafnsmál

text and translation

Kvöddu kappstudda
kæris Norðmæra
hölða hervalðir
hersar gunnversum.
Gekk in geðrakka
gætis hásæta
hirð at hjörstærðum
hjaldri járnfaldin.

Hervalðir hersar {kæris Norðmæra} kvöddu kappstudda hölða {gunnversum}. In geðrakka hirð {gætis hásæta} gekk járnfaldin at hjörstærðum hjaldri.
‘The host-selected hersar of the litigator of the Norðmærir [NORWEGIAN KING = Hákon] greeted the vigour-supported men with battle-verses [BATTLE]. The valiant retinue of the guardian of rowing-benches [CAPTAIN] went iron-hooded to the sword-swelled fight.

notes and context

During the battle described in st. 18 above, there was such a violent storm that Hákon could not launch any boats to come to the relief of the men on the beach. Finally the Norwegians were able to regroup, and the Scots retreated to a hill. Some skirmishes occurred between the two armies before the Norwegians made an assault on the hill.



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 19: AII, 124, BII, 131, Skald II, 70; F 1871, 578Hák 1977-82, 205, Flat 1860-8, III, 226.


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