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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigvatr Þórðarson (Sigv)

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

3. Austrfararvísur (Austv) - 21

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).

Austrfararvísur (‘Verses on a Journey to the East’) — Sigv AustvI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur’ 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. 578.

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Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 3. Austrfararvísur, 1019 (AI, 233-40, BI, 220-5)

SkP info: I, 599

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Sigv Austv 11I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Note: The following transcriptions have been entered to aid the editing process. These may not have been fully reviewed and checked and may therefore not be reliable. You may wish to consult the manuscript images. Any corrections can be notified to the database editor.

 Holm2 Ioʀ | renn aptan scøro allsvangr gautor langar voll kna hofr til hallar hofum litin dag | slita . nu er þat er blaccr of becci beʀ mic daunum feʀi facr laust drengs i dici | døgr møtaz nu føti .   [RDF]  edit 
 325V Jor renn aftan skærv all svangr gavtvr | langar . voll kna hofr til hallar hofvm | litinn dag slita . nv | er þat er blackr vm | becki . beʀ mikdavnvm feʀi . fakr | laust drengs i diki dægr mætaz nv | fati .   [RDF]  edit 
 R686x Jor renn aptan skioro, allsuangr | Gavtur langar, uollkar hofr till hallar, havfum litt[…] | dag slita : Nu er þad er blakr um bleki . berer | mik donum ferri, fakar laust drengs i diki, dø̨gr | mø̨taz nu fø̨ti .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Jor renn aptan skiæru | allsuangr gotr langar | voll kna hofr til hallar | hofum litin dag slijta: | nu er þat er blackr um becki | berr mig donom fiærri: | fakr laust dreings i dýki | dægr mætast nu, fæti |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Iorren aptan | stőro allsvangar Gautor | lengar voll kna horf till hal | lar hofdum litin dag slita | nu er that er blackar of | becki ber mik daunum | feri faker laust drengs | i diki dőger mőtas nu | főti.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325VI Jor rennr aptan skæru allsuángr go᷎tvr lán | gar uaull kna hóf til hallar hǫfum litínn dag slít | a nu er þat blackr um becki beʀ mik dǫnum fíaʀí fa | kr laust dre̋ngs i diki dægr mætaz sua fæti   [RDF]  edit 
 75a Ior rennr aptan scørv . all | suángr gautur langar . uaull kna hó | f til hallar . haufum litinn dag slíta . nu | er þat er blar um bei . beʀr mik daun | um ferri fácr laust dreíngs ídíki . døgur møtaz nu føti .   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Ior rennr aptan sko᷎rv . | allsuangr gautur langar . uaull kna hof til hallar . haufum litinn dag | slita . Nu er þat er blákkr um bekki . beʀr mik daunum ferri . fácr laust | dreings i diki . dø᷎gur mø᷎taz nu fø᷎ti .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Jorr ʀennr aptan skięrur | allstrángr go᷎tur langar . || vo᷎ll kná ho᷎fr til hallar | ho᷎fum lítinn dag slíta : nu er þat er blackr vm beckí | berr mík do᷎num fiaʀí . | fꜳ̋kr laust ðrengs i dikí | dæ̋gr mæ̋taz nu fætí .   [RDF]  edit 
 78ax Jorr rennir aptan skærur | allsvangr gautr langar | vaull kna hof til hallar | hofum litinn dag slita | nu er þat blackr um becki | bar mik dǫnum fiarri || fákr laust drengs i diki | dægr mætaz sva fæti . |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Ior reɴ aptan skøro all svangvr gavtvr langar voll kna hofvr til hallar hofvm litiɴ dag slita  | nv er þat er blackvr vm becki berʀ mik davnom fiaʀi fakvr laust drengs idiki dægr mætaz nv fǽti . |   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Jor renn aptan skiærur allsuangr go᷎tur langar | vo᷎ll kna hofr til hallar . ho᷎fum litinn dag slita . nu er þat er | blackr vm becki . berr mik do᷎nvm ferri fꜳkr laust drengs i diki . | dægr mætaz nu fæti .   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Jor reɴ aptan skerur allsuangr ɢ̇ꜹtur lan | gar . vøll kna hofr til hallar høfum litiɴ dag | slita . Nu er þat er blackr of becke beʀ mik | dønum ferre . fakr lystr drengs i diki de᷎gr mø̨᷎ | taz her fe᷎ti .   [RDF]  edit 
 75c Iorr renn aptan skero . allsvangr gotor langar | voll kna hófr til hallar . hofum litiɴ dag slíta  nu er þat er blakkr of | bekki . berr mik donum fęrri . fakr laust drengs idiki . dę́gr mætaz nu | fæti .   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Jór renn aptan skæru allsvangr gator langar vꜵll kna hof til | hallar hꜵfum litinn dag slita . nu er þat er blar um bæi berʀ mic danum ferʀi  fakr laust drængs i dike | døgr møtaz nufǿti .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Jór ʀennr aptan skæru all suangr gautor | langar uoll kna hofr til hallar ho᷎fum lítinn dag slíta nu er þat | er blackr um becki ᷎ berr míg do᷎num fíarri fakr laust dreings j di | ke dægr mætazst nu fætí ᷎   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Jor ʀenn aptan skꜽtu all suangr gautr langar . voll kna hofr til hallar . hofum | lítín dag slíta . nu er þat blakr enn bꜽlki berr mic daunum ferre fakr laust dreíngs J díkí dꜽgr mꜽtazt | nu fꜽtí .   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Iór reɴ aptan scøro | allsvangr gꜹtur langar | vǫll kná hofr til hallar | hofom litiɴ dag slita | nu er þat er blaccr um becki | beʀ mic dǫnom feʀi | fákr lꜹ́st drengs i díki | dǫgr mø̨taz nu føti |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Ior reɴn aptan skęrø all svangr gꜹtvr | langar voll kna hofr til hallar hofvm | litíndag slíta . nv er þat er blackr vm be | cki . ber míkdꜹnvm fiarri . fakr lꜹst dreíngs | idiki degr metazt nv fęte .   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Ior renn aptan skiærur | allsvangr go᷎tur langar || vo᷎ll kna hofr til hallar | ho᷎fum litin dag slita | nu er þat er blackr um becki | berr mik donum ferri | fakr laust drengs i diki | dægr mætaz nu fæti .   [RDF]  edit 

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