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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl)

13th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

4. Hákonarflokkr (Hákfl) - 11

Skj info: Sturla Þórðarson, Islandsk skjald og historiker, 1214-84 (AII, 101-29, BII, 112-36).

Skj poems:
1. Þverárvísur
2. Þorgilsdrápa
3. Hrynhenda
4. Hákonarkviða
5. Hrafnsmál
6. Hákonarflokkr
7. En drape om Magnús lagaböter
8. Lausavísur

The life of Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl) is chronicled in Sturlunga saga (Stu). He was born on 29 July 1214 as the second son of Þórðr Sturluson and his concubine Þóra, and he was the younger brother of Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson (Ólhv). In his early years he spent much time with his uncle, the poet, historian and lawspeaker Snorri Sturluson (SnSt, d. 1241), and later he took an active part in the events that played out before and after the collapse of the Icel. Commonwealth. Sturla was lawspeaker in Iceland 1251-2 and lawman, appointed by the Norw. king, 1272-82. In 1263 he went to Norway where he met King Magnús lagabœtir ‘Law-mender’ Hákonarson (d. 1280). After an initially very cool reception, the king commissioned him to write the saga of Magnús’s father Hákon Hákonarson (d. 1264) and also that of Magnús himself. Sturla later became the retainer (hirðmaðr, skutilsveinn) of Magnús and brought the law code Járnsíða ‘Ironside’ from Norway to Iceland in 1271. The story of Sturla’s journey to Norway in 1263 and his dealings with Magnús is recounted in Sturlu þáttr (StÞ), preserved in a version of Stu. In addition to the sagas of Hákon Hákonarson (Hák) and the no longer extant saga of his son Magnús lagabœtir (only two leaves are preserved in AM 325 X 4°), Sturla is the author of Íslendinga saga (Ísls) and of a redaction of Landnámabók (Ldn, in AM 107 folˣ = Stˣ). Some scholars believe that he may have been responsible for the extant redaction of Kristni saga (Kristni) (see LH 1894-1901, II, 98-105, 717-43), and he is also mentioned as an informant by the author of Grettis saga Ásmundarsonar (Gr; see ÍF 7, 157, 226, 289). Like his uncle, Snorri, and his brother, Óláfr, Sturla was a prolific poet. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256, 260, 272, 279, 384-96), he composed poems in honour of the Norw. kings Hákon Hákonarson and Magnús lagabœtir Hákonarson, and also about the Swed. jarl Birgir Magnússon (d. 1266). Nothing is preserved of Sturla’s panegyrics to the latter, but two sts from his poetry to Magnús are recorded in Hák (see Magnússdrápa (Sturl Magndr) below). The bulk of Sturla’s poetic oeuvre about Hákon Hákonarson is interspersed with the prose in Hák: Hrynhenda (Sturl Hryn), Hákonarkviða (Sturl Hákkv), Hrafnsmál (Sturl Hrafn) and Hákonarflokkr (Sturl Hákfl). In addition to these encomia, Sturla composed poetry about events and dignitaries in Iceland: namely Þverárvísur (Sturl ÞvervIV) and Þorgilsdrápa (Sturl ÞorgdrIV), both of which have been edited in SkP IV. That is also the case with his lvv. (Sturl Lv 1-4IV). One fragment which earlier eds assigned to Hryn (earlier st. 22) has been edited in SkP III as Sturl FragIII. Sturla died on 30 July 1284 and was buried in the Church of S. Peter at Staðarhóll.

Hákonarflokkr — Sturl HákflII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarflokkr’ 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. 745-55.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11 

Skj: Sturla Þórðarson: 6. Hákonarflokkr, 1263-64 (AII, 124-7, BII, 132-4)

SkP info: II, 748-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Sturl Hákfl 4II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarflokkr 4’ 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. 748-9.

Eim lék hyrr með himni;
hljóp eldr í sal feldan;
vítt hykk þegnum þóttu
þeim markar böl sveima.
Óðuz allar þjóðir
(eiðvandr) konungs reiði
(baugsendir rauð brýndan
brand í Vermalandi).

Hyrr lék eim með himni; eldr hljóp í feldan sal; hykk þeim þegnum þóttu {böl markar} sveima vítt. Allar þjóðir óðuz reiði konungs; {eiðvandr baugsendir} rauð brýndan brand í Vermalandi.

Fire played on fire against the sky; the flame leaped into the collapsed hall; I believe those men thought {the harm of the forest} [FIRE] was surging far and wide. All people feared the wrath of the king; {the reliable ring-giver} [GENEROUS MAN] reddened the sharpened sword in Värmland.

Mss: E(156r), F(97ra), 42ˣ(118v), 81a(86rb), Flat(171ra) (Hák)

Readings: [1] Eim: so F, Flat, Ein‑ E, En 42ˣ, Arm 81a;    lék: so F, 42ˣ, ‘‑leg’ E, legg 81a, leggr Flat;    hyrr með: ‘hyrmir’ 81a;    himni: so all others, ‘hifni’ E    [3] þóttu: þótti Flat    [4] böl: kjöl 81a    [5] Óðuz: so F, eydduz E, Flat, eyðiz 42ˣ, eyðuz 81a    [6] ‑vandr: ‑vandir 81a, ‑valdr Flat;    konungs: konungr 42ˣ, Flat    [7] baug‑: ‘bꜹð‑’ 42ˣ, hauk‑ 81a;    rauð: hrauð 81a

Editions: Skj: Sturla Þórðarson, 6. Hákonarflokkr 4: AII, 125, BII, 132-3, Skald II, 71, NN §3153; E 1916, 531, F 1871, 449-50, Hák 1910-86, 409, Flat 1860-8, III, 71.

Context: Hákon’s punitive campaign in Värmland, Sweden, in 1225. He was on his way back to Norway when he encountered resistance in Sulvik, and in retaliation he burned that settlement to the ground.

Notes: [All]: For this campaign, see also Sturl Hákkv 7-8 and Ólhv Hák 1. — [1] eim ‘fire’: Eimr could also mean ‘smoke’ (e.g. Anon Pét 3/8VII), but that meaning is rarer in skaldic poetry (and unattested in kennings, see LP: eimr). — [1] lék ‘played on’: Leika (lék 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) is taken in the meaning ‘play on’ construed with an object in the acc. (eim ‘fire’). See Fritzner: leika 5-6. The verb also occurs with an acc. object in the sense ‘attack’ (see Fritzner: leika 1). — [3-4]: These ll. echo Bkrepp Magndr 3/3-4. — [4] böl markar ‘the harm of the forest [FIRE]’: N. acc. sg. here, with the past inf. þóttu lit. ‘seemed’ (l. 3). — [5] allar þjóðir ‘all people’: Lit. ‘all peoples’ (pl.). — [6] eiðvandr (m. nom. sg.) ‘reliable’: Lit. ‘oath-careful’. Skald (and NN §3153) emends to eiðvands (m. gen. sg.) qualifying konungs ‘of the king’.

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