Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigvatr Þórðarson (Sigv)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Judith Jesch;

2. Nesjavísur (Nesv) - 15

Skj info: Sigvatr Þórðarson, Islandsk skjald, o. 995-o. 1045 (AI, 223-75, BI, 213-54).

Skj poems:
1. Víkingarvísur
2. Nesjavísur
3. Austrfararvísur
4. En drape om kong Olaf
5. Vestrfararvísur
6. Et kvad om Erlingr Skjalgsson
7. Flokkr om Erlingr Skjalgsson
8. Tryggvaflokkr
9. Et digt om dronning Astrid
10. Knútsdrápa
11. Bersǫglisvísur
12. Erfidrápa Óláfs helga
13. Lausavísur
14. Et par halvvers af ubestemmelige digte

Sigvatr or Sighvatr Þórðarson (Sigv) is said (ÍF 27, 54) to have been the son of Þórðr Sigvaldaskáld ‘Poet of Sigvaldi’, an Icelander who served, in succession, Sigvaldi jarl Strút-Haraldsson, leader of the Jómsvíkingar, his brother Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’, who campaigned in England, and Óláfr Haraldsson, later king of Norway (r. c. 1015-30) and saint. Þórðr is listed as one of Sigvaldi’s skalds in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 259, 268), but none of his poetry survives. The family tradition of poetry can also be traced in Óttarr svarti ‘the Black’, said to have been Sigvatr’s sister’s son (ÍF 27, 144; ÓH 1941, I, 203). Sigvatr was brought up by a certain Þorkell, at Apavatn in south-west Iceland. When nearly fully grown he sailed to what is now Trondheim, where he met up with his father and joined King Óláfr’s retinue. According to Snorri (ÍF 27, 54-6; ÓH 1941, I, 81-3), Sigvatr recited Lv 2-3 at this time, and he interceded with the king on behalf of Icelandic merchants forced to pay a heavy tax in Norway (cf. Sigv Lv 4). It is also likely that this is when Þórðr provided Sigvatr with the material for Víkv (see Introduction to Sigv Víkv), which may be the poem referred to in the prose introduction to Sigv Lv 2 (Fidjestøl 1982, 118). There is no evidence that Sigvatr ever returned to Iceland, and according to the anecdote in which Sigv Lv 11 is preserved, he died on the island of Selja in north-western Norway and was buried at Kristskirkja (Kristkirken) in Trondheim. His poetry records his various journeys to Sweden, England and the Continent, as well as incidents in Norway. We know nothing of Sigvatr’s private life, except that he had a daughter called Tófa, who had King Óláfr himself as her godfather (Sigv Lv 19).

Sigvatr’s surviving poetic oeuvre is both large and remarkably diverse, encompassing different kinds of encomia not only on King Óláfr (Sigv Víkv, Sigv Nesv, Sigv Óldr, Sigv ErfÓl), but also on King Knútr of Denmark (Sigv Knútdr) and the Norwegian nobleman Erlingr Skjálgsson (Sigv Erl, Sigv Erlfl). Sigvatr was godfather to King Magnús inn góði ‘the Good’ Óláfsson and composed some avuncular words of advice to the boy-king (Sigv BervII). All of these patrons are recognised in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 252-4, 258, 260-2, 269), where Sigvatr is also credited with having composed for the Swedish king Ǫnundr Óláfsson (although no such poetry survives, cf. Sigv Knútdr 4/6) and the Norwegian chieftain Ívarr inn hvíti ‘the White’ (cf. Context to Sigv Lv 8). Sigvatr also composed a poem on the Norwegian pretender Tryggvi Óláfsson (Sigv Tryggfl) and is unique in having composed in dróttkvætt in praise of a woman, Óláfr Haraldsson’s widow Ástríðr Óláfsdóttir (Sigv Ást). Several of Sigvatr’s poems are more or less loosely connected sequences of stanzas rather than more formal compositions, and encompass both travelogue (Sigv Austv) and political commentary (Sigv Vestv, Sigv BervII). The latter genre is also well represented in his lausavísur, which also include some remarkably personal stanzas expressing his grief at the death of King Óláfr (Sigv Lv 22-4). Sigvatr’s status as a hǫfuðskáld ‘chief skald’ was recognised in the twelfth century (cf. Esk Geisl 12/8VII). His versatility as a poet has clearly inspired a number of anecdotes focusing on the composition of poetry, mostly of doubtful authenticity (cf. Contexts to Sigv Lv 1, 8, 11, 27; also Introduction to Ótt Hfl). Apart from two fragments preserved in SnE (Sigv Frag 1-2III), Sigvatr’s poetry is transmitted in a wide range of texts within the tradition of the kings’ sagas and is therefore edited in this volume or (in the case of the late Sigv Berv) in SkP II. For general studies of Sigvatr’s life and works, see Paasche (1917), Hollander (1940) and Petersen (1946).

Nesjavísur (‘Vísur about Nesjar’) — Sigv NesvI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Brepols, Turnhout, p. 555.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15 

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur, 1016 (AI, 228-32, BI, 217-20); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 14

in texts: Flat, Fsk, Gramm, Hkr, ÓH, ÓHHkr, ÓHLeg, Skm, SnE, TGT

SkP info: I, 555

notes: ms. refs separated from first cards

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 1 [Vol. 1, 558] — Sigv Nesv 1I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Fór ór Vík á vári
válaust konungr austan,
þeir kníðu blô báðir
borð, en jarl kom norðan;
kank sigviðum segja
(sund) hvé þeira fundir
œrin skil, þeims órut,
at bôrusk, þar (skôrusk).

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 1 (AI, 228; BI, 217); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 301x, 302x, 51x, 761bx, A, FskAx, FskBx, W; texts: Fsk 137, TGT 34
 
2 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 2 [Vol. 1, 559] — Sigv Nesv 2I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Veitti sókn, þars sótti,
siklingr firum mikla
(blóð fell rautt á Róða
rein) í hǫfn at Sveini;
snjallr helt at, sás olli,
eirlaust konungr, þeira,
en Sveins liðar, sýnum,
saman bundu skip, fundi.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 3 (AI, 228-9; BI, 217); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 452, ÓH 43(41), ÓHHkr 38
 
3 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 3 [Vol. 1, 561] — Sigv Nesv 3I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Þat erum kunt, hvé kennir
Karlhǫfða lét jarli
odda frosts fyr austan
Agðir nær of lagðan.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 4 (AI, 229; BI, 217); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 301x, 302x, 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 51x, 61, 68, 73ax, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Bb, DG8, Flat, FskAx, FskBx, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 453, Fsk 136, ÓH 44(42), ÓHHkr 39, ÓHLeg 15
 
4 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 4 [Vol. 1, 562] — Sigv Nesv 4I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Vasa sigmána Sveini
sverða gnýs at frýja
góðs né gǫrrar hríðar
gunnreifum Áleifi,
þvít kvistingar kostu
(koma herr í stað verra)
ôttu sín, þars sóttusk,
seggir hvárra tveggja.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 5 (AI, 229; BI, 218); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75a, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 454, ÓH 45(43), ÓHHkr 40
 
5 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 5 [Vol. 1, 563] — Sigv Nesv 5I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Teitr, sák okr í ítru
allvalds liði falla
(gerðisk harðr) of herðar
(hjǫrdynr) svalar brynjur;
en mín at flug fleina
falsk und hjalm enn valska
(okr vissak svá, sessi)
svǫrt skǫr (við her gǫrva).

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 13. Lausavísur 5 (AI, 266-7; BI, 247); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325VI, 61, 68, 73ax, 75a, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x; texts: ÓH 46(44), ÓHHkr 41
 
6 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 6 [Vol. 1, 565] — Sigv Nesv 6I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Fekk meira lið miklu
mildr an gløggr til hildar,
hirð þás hugði forðask
heið þjóðkonungs reiði,
en vinlausum vísa
varð, þeim es fé sparði,
(háðisk víg fyr víðum
vangi) þunt of stangir.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 2 (AI, 228; BI, 217); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: DG8; texts: ÓHLeg 14
 
7 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 7 [Vol. 1, 566] — Sigv Nesv 7I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Stǫng óð gyld, þars gengu
Gǫndlar serks und merkjum
gnýs með gǫfgum ræsi
greiðendr í skip reiðir;
þeygi vas, sem þessum
þengils, á jó strengjar,
mjǫð, fyr malma kveðju,
mær heiðþegum bæri.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 6 (AI, 229-30; BI, 218); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 301x, 302x, 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 51x, 61, 68, 73ax, 75a, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Acc18x, Flat, FskAx, FskBx, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R, R686x, Tx, Tóm, U, W; texts: Flat 455, Fsk 138, ÓH 47(45), ÓHHkr 42, Skm 288
 
8 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 8 [Vol. 1, 568] — Sigv Nesv 8I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Vér drifum hvatt, þars heyra
hátt vápnabrak knátti,
(rǫnd klufu roðnir brandar)
reiðir upp í skeiðar,
en fyr borð, þars bǫrðusk,
- búin fengusk skip - gengu
(nár flaut) ǫrt (við eyri
ófár) búendr sárir.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 7 (AI, 230-1; BI, 218); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75a, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm, xx; texts: Flat 456, ÓH 48(46), ÓHHkr 43
 
9 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 9 [Vol. 1, 569] — Sigv Nesv 9I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Ǫld vann ossa skjǫldu
(auðsætt vas þat) rauða
(hljóms) þás hvítir kómu
(hringmiðlǫndum) þingat;
þar hykk ungan gram gǫngu
(gunn- sylg) en vér fylgðum
(blóðs fekk -svǫrr) þars slæðusk
sverð upp í skip gerðu.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 8 (AI, 230-1; BI, 218); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75a, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 457, ÓH 49(47), ÓHHkr 44
 
10 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 10 [Vol. 1, 571] — Sigv Nesv 10I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Sjalfr bað svartar kylfur
Sveinn harðliga skeina; -
nær vas áðr í óra
auðvôn róit hônum, -
þás til góðs, en gjóði,
gǫrt, fengusk hræ svǫrtum
Yggs, lét herr of hǫggvit
hrafni skeiðar stafna.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 9 (AI, 231; BI, 219); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 301x, 302x, 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 51x, 61, 68, 73ax, 75a, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, FskAx, FskBx, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 458, Fsk 139, ÓH 50(48), ÓHHkr 45
 
11 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 11 [Vol. 1, 572] — Sigv Nesv 11I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Þess getk, meir at missi
morðôrr, sás kom norðan,
harða margr í hǫrðum
heimkvômu styr þeima;
sǫkk af sunda blakki
sunnu mǫrg til grunna,
satt's at Sveini mœttum,
samknúta, vér úti.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 10 (AI, 231; BI, 219); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75a, 761bx, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 462, ÓH 54(52), ÓHHkr 49
 
12 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 12 [Vol. 1, 573] — Sigv Nesv 12I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Frýrat oss í ári
innþrœnzk, þótt lið minna,
gǫrt hugðak svá, snertu
snotr mær, konungs væri;
brúðr mun heldr at háði
hafa drótt, þás framm sótti
(fold ruðum skers), ef skyldi,
skeggi, aðra tveggja.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 11 (AI, 231-2; BI, 219); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 301x, 302x, 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 51x, 61, 68, 75a, 761bx, 972x, Bb, Flat, FskAx, FskBx, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 463, Fsk 140, ÓH 55(53), ÓHHkr 50
 
13 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 13 [Vol. 1, 575] — Sigv Nesv 13I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Né hœfileg hreifa
hykk dróttinsvik þóttu,
elds þeims allvel heldu
orð sín, viðum, forðum.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 13 (AI, 232; BI, 220); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 301x, 302x, 51x, FskAx, FskBx; texts: Fsk 141
 
14 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 14 [Vol. 1, 575] — Sigv Nesv 14I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Afli vex, þvít efla
Upplendingar sendi
(Sveinn funduð þat) þenna
þilblakks, konungs, vilja;
raun es hins, at Heinir
(hrælinns) megu vinna
(þeir œxla flug) fleira
folkreks an ǫl drekka.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 12 (AI, 232; BI, 219-20); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 75a, 761bx, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, Holm4, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 464, ÓH 56(54), ÓHHkr 51
 
15 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 15 [Vol. 1, 578] — Sigv Nesv 15I

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Hirð Áleifs vann harða
hríð - en svá varðk bíða,
peitneskum feltk, páska -
palmsunnudag - hjalmi.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur 14 (AI, 232; BI, 220); dróttkvætt; ed. RGP; group: A1; mss: 301x, 302x, 51x, FskAx, FskBx; texts: Fsk 142
 
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