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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hryn 13II

Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 13’ 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, pp. 690-1.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHrynhenda
121314

Errinn ‘The bold one’

errinn (adj.): bold

[1] Errinn: Ærinn E, 81a, Háttprúðr 325X

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sendi ‘sent’

senda (verb): send

[1] sendi: ‘[…]i’ 325X

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ungan ‘the young’

ungr (adj.): young

[1] ungan: ungum 81a, sína 325X

notes

[1] ungan ‘young’: The scribe of 8 first wrote ‘a’, but corrected the mistake with a dot underneath.

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svarra ‘proud lady’

svarri (noun m.; °-a): (proud) lady

[1] svarra: svanna E, dóttur 325X

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út ‘’

út (adv.): out(side)

[2] út: suðr 325X

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lönd ‘abroad’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

[2] lönd: heim 325X

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geima ‘ocean’

geimi (noun m.): ocean

[2] geima: om. 325X

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þrútinn ‘the swollen’

þrútinn (adj./verb p.p.): swollen

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aldri ‘never’

aldri (adv.): never

notes

[3] aldri fréttuð ‘never did you hear’: It is rather unusual to mention the travels of young women in skaldic poetry. Kristín is like a personification of the Norw. state, her attire and retinue reflecting the glory and riches of the king himself (cf. ll. 7-8).

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fréttuð ‘did you hear’

frétta (verb): ask, enquire

[3] fréttuð: frétti E, fréttizt 81a, 8, 325X, Flat

notes

[3] fréttuð (2nd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘did you hear’: Skj B and Skald give the reading of E, frétti (1st or 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.). Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 84) chose the reading of F, which has also been adopted in the present edn. — [3] aldri fréttuð ‘never did you hear’: It is rather unusual to mention the travels of young women in skaldic poetry. Kristín is like a personification of the Norw. state, her attire and retinue reflecting the glory and riches of the king himself (cf. ll. 7-8).

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fréttuð ‘did you hear’

frétta (verb): ask, enquire

[3] fréttuð: frétti E, fréttizt 81a, 8, 325X, Flat

notes

[3] fréttuð (2nd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘did you hear’: Skj B and Skald give the reading of E, frétti (1st or 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.). Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 84) chose the reading of F, which has also been adopted in the present edn. — [3] aldri fréttuð ‘never did you hear’: It is rather unusual to mention the travels of young women in skaldic poetry. Kristín is like a personification of the Norw. state, her attire and retinue reflecting the glory and riches of the king himself (cf. ll. 7-8).

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jöfra ‘of princes’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

kennings

dróttins jöfra.
‘by a lord of princes. ’
   = KING

by a lord of princes. → KING

notes

[3] dróttins jöfra ‘by a lord of princes [KING]’: Lit. ‘of a lord of princes’. Finnur Jónsson and Kock (Skj B; Skald) chose the reading of Flat, dróttinn (m. sg. nom.) and construed this with errinn ‘bold’ (l. 1) as the subject of sendi ‘sent’ (l. 1). This edn follows Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 84).

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dróttins ‘by a lord’

dróttinn (noun m.; °dróttins, dat. dróttni (drottini [$1049$]); dróttnar): lord, master

[3] dróttins: dróttinn Flat

kennings

dróttins jöfra.
‘by a lord of princes. ’
   = KING

by a lord of princes. → KING

notes

[3] dróttins jöfra ‘by a lord of princes [KING]’: Lit. ‘of a lord of princes’. Finnur Jónsson and Kock (Skj B; Skald) chose the reading of Flat, dróttinn (m. sg. nom.) and construed this with errinn ‘bold’ (l. 1) as the subject of sendi ‘sent’ (l. 1). This edn follows Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 84).

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æðri ‘about a more outstanding’

œðri (adj. comp.): nobler, higher

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af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

[4] af: ‘[…]’ 325X

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heimangerðum ‘home’

heimangerð (noun f.): [home]

[4] heimangerðum: ‘hęman ferðum’ E, heimangjörðum 8, Flat, ‘[…]íman ferdum’ 325X

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Allir ‘All’

allr (adj.): all

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS
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tóku ‘received’

2. taka (verb): take

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yppiþollar ‘the extolling fir-trees’

yppiþollr (noun m.): extolling fir-tree

[5] yppiþollar: uppiþollar 81a, 8, ‘yppiþol[…]’ 325X

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

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unnar ‘of the wave’

2. unnr (noun f.): wave < unnartamr (adj.)

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

Close

unnar ‘of the wave’

2. unnr (noun f.): wave < unnartamr (adj.)

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

Close

tams ‘tame’

tamr (adj.; °superl. -astr): experienced, ready, tame < unnartamr (adj.)

[6] ‑tams: dags 325X

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

Close

tams ‘tame’

tamr (adj.; °superl. -astr): experienced, ready, tame < unnartamr (adj.)

[6] ‑tams: dags 325X

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

Close

lægi ‘of the sea’

lægi (noun n.; °-s): sea

Close

ára ‘of the oars’

1. ár (noun f.; °-ar, dat. u/-; -ar/-ir(LandslBorg 151b²¹)): oar

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

Close

ára ‘of the oars’

1. ár (noun f.; °-ar, dat. u/-; -ar/-ir(LandslBorg 151b²¹)): oar

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

Close

blakks ‘horse’

1. blakkr (noun m.): horse

[7] blakks: ‘blags’ 8, ‘blac[…]’ 325X

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

Close

blakks ‘horse’

1. blakkr (noun m.): horse

[7] blakks: ‘blags’ 8, ‘blac[…]’ 325X

kennings

Allir yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára
‘All the extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars ’
   = SEAFARERS

the wave-tame horse of the oars → SHIP
All the extolling fir-trees of the SHIP → SEAFARERS

notes

[5-6, 7] yppiþollar unnartams blakks ára ‘extolling fir-trees of the wave-tame horse of the oars [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: This is the most complex kenning that Sturla uses in the poem and it may be ironic, since the southern seafarers whom he describes in this way were not known for their skills at sea. Sturla construes the elaborate kenning to mock them by using irony in the way his brother Óláfr hvítaskáld (Ólhv) gave an example of in his Málskrúðsfræði (TGT 1884, 113): því at lof er fyrir háð sett ‘for praise is put instead of mockery’. See also Eldj Lv 2.

Close

all ‘a mighty’

all- ((prefix)): very < allvaldr (noun m.): mighty ruler

[7] all‑: ‘alld‑’ 81a

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væri ‘she were’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[7] væri: færi 81a

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lands ‘the land’

land (noun n.; °-s; *-): land

[8] lands: borðs 325X

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þinni ‘your’

þinn (pron.; °f. þín, n. þitt): your

[8] þinni: sinni 8

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

In the summer of 1257, Princess Kristín was sent off with a large retinue to travel south to Spain, where she was to choose one of the Spanish princes as her husband.

As mentioned in the Introduction to the poem above, Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 84), Finnur Jónsson (Skj), Kock (Skald) and Fidjestøl (1982, 175) all move this st. back in the poem as st. 18 in Hryn, disregarding the ordering of the sts in the mss. Such a reordering of the sts is, however, not necessary. In 1256, King Alfonso X of Spain sent emissaries to Norway to establish diplomatic relations with the Norw. king. To show his good will, he asked for Princess Kristín’s hand in marriage on behalf of one of his brothers. A year later King Hákon accepted the proposal on behalf of his daughter, provided she would be allowed to choose a husband for herself from among the Spanish princes. By placing this st. here, and breaking off the description of the warfare in Denmark, Sturla poses the question about what the Spanish king had to gain by marrying his brother to a Norw. princess. The answer to that question becomes apparent in the next five sts where Sturla extolls the splendid fleet of King Hákon. Alfonso X wanted to have easy access to the fleet, which was one of the largest in Europe at that time. He intended to attack Morocco on a crusade against the heathens there, and he also wanted Hákon to support him in the election as emperor. As far as content is concerned, this st. would seem to belong together with st. 19. The two sts frame the description of Hákon’s great fleet, which was the main reason for the expansion and glory of the Norw. state under Hákon’s rule. The magnificent fleet, the expansion of the state and friendly relations with other monarchs in Europe are the main themes of the poem, showing Sturla’s vast knowledge of Norw. affairs and the politics of his time.

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