Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigvatr Þórðarson (Sigv)

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

1. Víkingarvísur (Víkv) - 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).

Víkingarvísur (‘Vísur about Viking Voyages’) — Sigv VíkvI

Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Víkingarvísur’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 532.

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

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur, 1014-15 (AI, 223-8, BI, 213-16)

in texts: Flat, Fsk, Hkr, ÓH, ÓHHkr, ÓHLeg

SkP info: I, 532

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 1 [Vol. 1, 534] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Langr bar út enn unga
jǫfra kund at sundi
(þjóð uggði sér síðan)
sæmeiðr (konungs reiði);
kank til margs, en, manna
minni, fyrsta sinni
hann rauð œstr fyr austan
ulfs fót við sker Sóta.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 1 (AI, 223; BI, 213); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 325V, 325VI, 61, 68, 73ax, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 421, ÓH 9(6), ÓHHkr 4
 
2 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 2 [Vol. 1, 536] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Þar vas enn, es ǫnnur
Áleifr (né svik fôlusk)
odda þing í eyddri
Eysýslu gekk heyja;
sitt ôttu fjǫr fótum
(fár beið ór stað sára)
enn, þeirs undan runnu,
allvaldr, búendr gjalda.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 2 (AI, 223; BI, 213); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 61, 68, 73ax, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 423, ÓH 10(8), ÓHHkr 6
 
3 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 3 [Vol. 1, 537] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Hríð varð stáls í stríðri
strǫng Herdala gǫngu
Finnlendinga at fundi
fylkis niðs en þriðja;
en austr við lô leysti
leið víkinga skeiðar;
Bálagarðs at barði
brimskíðum lá síða.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 3 (AI, 223-4; BI, 213); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 61, 68, 73ax, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 424, ÓH 11(9), ÓHHkr 7
 
4 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 4 [Vol. 1, 539] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Enn kvôðu gram Gunnar
galdrs upphǫfum valda
(dýrð frák þeims vel varðisk
vinnask) fjórða sinni,
þás ólítill úti
jǫfra liðs í miðli
friðr gekk sundr í slíðri
Suðrvík, Dǫnum kuðri.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 4 (AI, 224; BI, 214); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 61, 68, 73ax, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 425, ÓH 12(10), ÓHHkr 8
 
5 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 5 [Vol. 1, 540] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Víg vant, hlenna hneigir,
hjǫlmum grimt et fimta
(þolðu hlýr fyr hári
hríð Kinnlimasíðu),
þás við rausn at ræsis
reið herr ofan skeiðum,
en í gǫgn at gunni
gekk hilmis lið rekkum.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 5 (AI, 224; BI, 214); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 61, 68, 73ax, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 426, ÓH 13(11), ÓHHkr 9
 
6 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 6 [Vol. 1, 541] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Rétt's, at sókn vas en sétta
(snarr þengill bauð Englum
at) þars Áleifr sótti
(Yggs) Lundúna bryggjur;
sverð bitu vǫlsk, en vǫrðu
víkingar þar díki,
átti sumt í sléttu
Súðvirki lið búðir.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 6 (AI, 224-5; BI, 214); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 301x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 51x, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, DG8, Flat, FskAx, FskBx, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 429, Fsk 131, ÓH 16(14), ÓHHkr 12, ÓHLeg 1
 
7 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 7 [Vol. 1, 544] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Enn lét sjaunda sinni
sverðþing háit verða
endr á Ulfkels landi
Áleifr, sem ferk máli;
stóð Hringmaraheiði
(herfall vas þar) alla
Ellu kind, en olli
arfvǫrðr Haralds starfi.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 7 (AI, 225; BI, 214); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 430, ÓH 17(15), ÓHHkr 13
 
8 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 8 [Vol. 1, 545] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Veitk, at víga mœtir
Vinðum háttr enn átta
(styrkr gekk vǫrðr) at virki
(verðungar) styr gerði;
sinn môttut bœ banna
borg Kantara (sorgar
mart feksk) prúðum (Pǫrtum)
portgreifar Áleifi.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 8 (AI, 225; BI, 214-15); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 301x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 51x, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, DG8, Flat, FskAx, FskBx, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 433, Fsk 133, ÓH 20(18), ÓHHkr 16, ÓHLeg 12
 
9 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 9 [Vol. 1, 547] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Vann ungr konungr Englum
ótrauðr skarar rauðar,
endr kom brúnt á branda
blóð í Nýjamóðu;
nú hefk orrostur, austan,
ógnvaldr, níu talðar,
herr fell danskr, þars dǫrrum
dreif mest at Áleifi.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 9 (AI, 225-6; BI, 215); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 301x, 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 51x, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, DG8, Flat, FskAx, FskBx, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 434, Fsk 134, ÓH 21(19), ÓHHkr 17, ÓHLeg 13
 
10 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 10 [Vol. 1, 548] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Tøgr vas fullr í fǫgrum
folkveggs drifahreggi
(helt, sem hilmir mælti)
Hringsfirði (lið þingat);
ból lét hann á Hóli
hôtt, 's víkingar ôttu,
(þeir bôðut sér síðan
slíks skotnaðar) brotna.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 10 (AI, 226; BI, 215); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 436, ÓH 23(21), ÓHHkr 19
 
11 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 11 [Vol. 1, 549] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Áleifr vant, þars jǫfrar,
ellipta styr, fellu
(hrings komt af því þingi
þollr) í Gríslupollum;
þat frák víg at vítti,
Viljalms fyr bœ, hjalma
(tala minst es þat telja),
tryggs jarls, háit snarla.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 11 (AI, 226-7; BI, 215); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 437, ÓH 24(22), ÓHHkr 20
 
12 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 12 [Vol. 1, 551] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Tǫnn rauð tolpta sinni
tírfylgjandi ylgjar
(varð) í Fetla-firði
(fjǫrbann lagit mǫnnum).

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 12 (AI, 227; BI, 216); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, papp18x, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 438, ÓH 25(23), ÓHHkr 21
 
13 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 13 [Vol. 1, 551] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Þrettánda vann Þrœnda
(þat vas flótta bǫl) dróttinn
snjallr í Seljupollum
sunnarla styr kunnan;
upp lét gramr í gamla
Gunnvaldsborg of morgin
(Geirfiðr hét sá) gǫrva
gengit jarl ok fenginn.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 13 (AI, 227; BI, 216); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 439, ÓH 26(24), ÓHHkr 22
 
14 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 14 [Vol. 1, 553] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Malms vann, Mœra hilmir,
munnrjóðr, es kom sunnan,
gang, þars gamlir sungu
geirar, upp at Leiru;
varð fyr víga Njǫrðum
Varrandi sæ fjarri
brendr á byggðu landi
(bœr heitr svá) Peitu.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 14 (AI, 227; BI, 216); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 325V, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 441, ÓH 28(26), ÓHHkr 24
 
15 Vol. 1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 15 [Vol. 1, 554] — Sigv Víkv 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).

Ríkr kvað sér at sœkja
Sauðungs konungr nauðir,
fremðar gjarn, í fornu
fund Hôkonar sundi;
strangr hitti þar þengill
þann jarl, es varð annarr
œztr ok ætt gat bazta
ungr á danska tungu.

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 1. Víkingarvísur 15 (AI, 228; BI, 216); dróttkvætt; ed. JJ; group: A1; mss: 321x, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, 61, 68, 73ax, 75c, 78ax, 972x, Bb, Flat, Holm2, Holm4, J, J1x, J2x, Kx, R686x, Tóm; texts: Flat 447, ÓH 38(36), ÓHHkr 33
 
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