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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar (Stúfr)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Stúfsdrápa (Stúfdr) - 8

Skj info: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 404-5, BI, 373-4).

Skj poems:
Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa

Stúfr inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Þórðarson kattar ‘of the Cat’ came from an illustrious family of Icel. poets. He was the great-grandson of the skald Glúmr Geirason (GlúmrI) and the grandson of Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir (see Laxdœla saga, ÍF 5, 87, 94, 281-90). He was also related to Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ (EskálI), Úlfr stallari ‘the Marshal’ Óspaksson (Úlfr) and Steinn Herdísarson (Steinn) (See Genealogy IV, ÍF 5). What we know about his life is detailed in two versions of Stúfs þáttr, which has been transmitted in a longer and a shorter version (see ÍF 5, xcii-xciv, 279-90). Stúfr was born c. 1025 and, as his nickname indicates, he must have been blind or had extremely poor vision (it could be, however, that his eyesight failed him in old age, contributing to his nickname; see ÍF 5, xciii). Around 1060 he travelled to Norway to claim an inheritance, and while he was there he met King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson. The following summer Stúfr visited the king in Trondheim, became his retainer and recited a poem which he had composed in Haraldr’s honour. He then apparently returned to Iceland, and nothing more is known about him (see also SnE 1848-87, III, 593-5; LH 1894-1901, I, 633-4). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists him among the court poets of Haraldr harðráði.

Stúfsdrápa — Stúfr StúfdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa’ 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. 350-8.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

Skj: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar: Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa, o. 1067 (AI, 404-5, BI, 373-4)

SkP info: II, 352-3

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Stúfr Stúfdr 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa 2’ 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. 352-3.

Fór ofrhugi inn øfri
eggdjarfr und sik leggja
— fold vas víga valdi
virk — Jórsali ór Girkjum.
Ok með œrnu ríki
óbrunnin kom gunnar
heimil jǫrð und herði.
Hafi ríks, þars vel líkar.

Inn øfri ofrhugi fór eggdjarfr ór Girkjum leggja und sik Jórsali; fold vas virk {valdi víga}. Ok með œrnu ríki kom heimil jǫrð óbrunnin und {herði gunnar}. Hafi ríks, þars vel líkar….

The very reckless one set out, sword-daring, from the Greeks to subjugate Jerusalem; the country was submissive {to the controller of combats} [WARRIOR]. And because of his abundant force the land was delivered as his due, unburned, to {the strengthener of battle} [WARRIOR]. May the powerful have, where it is good to be….

Mss: Mork(2v) (Mork); Flat(194ra) (Flat); H(27r), Hr(19vb) (H-Hr); FskBˣ(62v), FskAˣ(236) (Fsk); Kˣ(528v), 39(20rb), F(43rb), E(12r), J2ˣ(261v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] ofrhugi inn: so Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ, ofrhuginn Mork, H, Hr, ‘ofrhugrinn’ Flat, ‘ofruginn’ FskBˣ, ‘ofrughin’ FskAˣ;    øfri: ‘yfrín’ Hr    [3] fold: hold Flat;    vas (‘var’): ‘rꜹðz’ F;    valdi: om. Hr    [4] virk: virkr F;    ‑sali: ‑sala Flat, FskBˣ;    ór: ok H, Hr, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, F, E;    Girkjum: grikkjum Flat, H, E, J2ˣ, girki F    [5] œrnu: einu F    [6] óbrunnin: ór brunnan Flat, óbrunnit Hr    [7] heimil: ‘hennis’ Flat, heimul H;    herði: harðri FskAˣ    [8] Hafi ríks þars vel líkar: so Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ, Haralds ǫnd ofarr lǫndum Mork, H, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Haralds kund ofra lǫndum Flat, hefir ríks þat líkat Hr, hafi ríks þess vel líkat E

Editions: Skj: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa 2: AI, 404, BI, 373, Skald I, 186, NN §§880, 3396S; Mork 1867, 11, Mork 1928-32, 78, Andersson and Gade 2000, 144, 472 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 303 (MH); Fms 6, 161 (HSig ch. 11); ÍF 29, 233 (ch. 51); ÍF 28, 83 (HSig ch. 12), F 1871, 199, E 1916, 41.

Context: Haraldr set out with his army from Byzantium for Palestine, where all strongholds and castles surrendered peacefully to him.

Notes: [All]: Haraldr’s journey to Palestine, which must have taken place prior to his campaigns in Sicily (c. 1036?), appears to have been a peaceful excursion, and Stúfr’s claims have been seen as exaggerated (see ÍF 28, 84 n. 2; Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 63-5; Jesch 2001a, 101). — [1] inn øfri ‘the very’: Lit. ‘the higher’. This comp. adj. is used in a figurative sense (‘the one who has the upper hand’). — [4] ór Girkjum ‘from the Greeks’: I.e. from the terroritory of the Greeks. This prepositional phrase can also have the meaning ‘from Greece’ (see NN §880 and the examples given there), but the literal translation has been retained here because ‘Greece’ may evoke the concept of present-day Greece’s geographical boundaries. Ok Girkjum (or: ok Grikkjum) ‘and the Greeks’ (so H, Hr, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, F, E), which has been adopted in Skj B, gives fold vas virk víga valdi ok Girkjum ‘the country was submissive to the controller of combats and to the Greeks’ (ll. 3-4), but forces an awkward tripartite l. For the variant forms Grik-, Girk-, see ANG §§279.1, 315. — [8]: This l., which in the Fsk and Mork versions is rendered as Haralds ǫnd ofarr lǫndum ‘Haraldr’s spirit above the lands’ is a part of a klofastef ‘split refrain’. The complete refrain reads as follows (see sts 3/8, 6/4 below): Hafi ríks þars vel líkar | vist of aldr með Kristi | Haralds ǫnd ofarr lǫndum, i.e. Hafi ǫnd ríks Haralds vist of aldr með Kristi ofarr lǫndum, þars vel líkar ‘May the spirit of powerful Haraldr have residence forever with Christ above the lands, where it is good to be’. See Introduction to poem above. The ms. variants show that Snorri, who must have known the entire refrain, changed the reading of the last l. from his Mork exemplar to include all three ll. in the sts he cited from the poem.

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