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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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 25 May 2022)

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

SkP info: I, 613

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

21 — Sigv Austv 21I

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 Fast scaltv ricr v rican ravgn | valld konungr hallda hann er þyðr af þinni þorf nott oc dag sattom . þann veit ec þinga kenner þic beztan | vin miclo a austr vega [with v written above a] eiga allt með grøno sallti .   [RDF]  edit 
 325V Fast skaltv rikr við | rikian ravgnvalld konungr hallda : hann er þyðr af þiɴi ᷎ þavrf natt ok dag so | ttom ᷎ þaɴ veit ek þinga keɴir þik | betztan vín miklu a avstr veg | vm eiga allt með græna sallti |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 R686x Fast skalltu rikr vid rikan, Ravgn | ualld kongr hallda, han er þydr af þinni, þavrf natt oc dag | sattu; þann ueit ek þinga kennr, þik bæstan uin miklu, a | austr uegi eiga, allt med grono sallti .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Fast skaltu rijkr vit rijkan | Ragnvalld kongr halda | hann er þidr af þinni | þaurf natt oc dag sattom: | þann veit ek þinga kiennir | þik bestan vin miklo | I austr veigi eiga | alt med græno salti. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x fast skall | tu eiker vider rikan Raugvald | konung hallda han er ty̋der af tini | torf nott oc dagh sattom. That veit | ek tinga kenner tik bestan vin mi | klo auster vega allt med grőno salti.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J2x Fast skaltu rikr v rikann | Rognvalld konungr hallda | hann er þigðr af þinne | þꜹrf natt oc dag sattum | þann veit ec þinga kennir | þic beztann vin miclo | a ꜹstr vegi eiga | allt með grǫno sallti |   [RDF]  edit 
 325VI Fast skalltv rikr vid rikan | raugnvalld konungr hallda . hann er þydr at þinní | þaurb nott ok dagsattvm . þann veit ek þinga ken | nír . þik bezstan vin miklv . a austr vegvm | eiga . allt med grænv salltí .   [RDF]  edit 
 75a Fast skalltu rikr við rikan . | raugnualld konungr hallda . hann er þy | ðr af þinni . þaurf nótt ok dag | sattum . þann ueit ek þinga ke | nnir . þik beztan uin miklo . a ꜹ | str vegum eiga . allt meðr grønv sallti . |   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Fast skalltu rikur v⸌idr⸍ rikann | Raugnvalld Kongr hallda . hann er þydr af þinni . þaurf nott ok dag | sattum . þann veit ek þinga kennir . þik beztan uin miklo a austur | uegum eiga . allt med grø᷎nu sallti . |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax fast skalltu ʀikr við ʀikan | ʀo᷎gnvalld konungr hallda . | hann er þyðr at þinni || þo᷎rf nátt ok dags attum : | þann væít ek þínga kennir | þik bezstan wín miklu . ꜳ austr vegum æiga | allt með grenu salltí . |   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Fast skaltu rikr u rikan . ʀo᷎gnu | alld konungr hallda . hann er þyðr af þinni . þo᷎rf natt ok dag sattum . þann | veít ek þinga kennir . þik beztan vín miklu ꜳ austr uegu eiga | alt m rauða salti |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Fast skaltu rikr v rikian ʀavgnvald konungr halda hann er þyðr | at þiɴi þorf nott ok dag sótta  þaɴ veit æk þinga keɴir þik beztan vin miklo i avstr vega | eiga allt meþ græno salti   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Fast skaltu rikr v rikan ʀøgnvalld | konungr hallda . hann er þyðr at þinne þørf natt ok | dag sattum þann ueit ek þinga kennir þik | bezstan uin miklo a ꜹstr uego eiga allt || m grę᷎no sallte .   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Fast skalltu rikr við rikan ʀegn | valld konungr hallda . hann er þyðr at þinne þaurf nátt oc dag sattum  þann væit ec þinga kennir þin bæztan | vin myclu . a austr væga eiga allt m græno sallte .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Fast skalltu ʀikr vid ʀikan ʀo᷎gnnualld konungr hallda hann er þydr at þínne | þo᷎rf natt ok dag sattum þann uæit ek þínga kennir þíg bazstan vin | myklu a austr uegum æíga allt med grænu sallti .   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Fast sk | alltu ʀíkr vid ʀikann ʀaugnualld konungr hallda . hann er þydr ath þínne . þaurf natt ok dag sattvm . þann | veít ec þínga kennir . þic beztan vín miclv . a austr vegu eigu . allt med grꜽnu sallti |   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx fast skaltu ríkr v rikan | Rognvald konungr halda | hann stendr þǫrf | nótt ok dag sottumz | þaɴ veit ec þinga keɴir | þic beztan vin miclo | a ꜹstr vega eiga | alt með grøno sallti |   [RDF]  edit 
 51x Fast skalltu rikr við rikan | Ragnvalldr konongr hallda | hann er þiðr at þínní | þorf nott oc dag sottum |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Fast skaltv rikr vid rikan . ʀꜹgnvalld konungr ha | llda . hann er þydr at þínne þꜹrf nott ok dag sat || tvm . þann veitt ek þinga kennir þín beztan | vín micklo a ꜹstr vega eiga allt med gręnu sal | ltí .   [RDF]  edit 
 FskAx Fast scalltu rikr við rikann | Rognvald konungr hallda | hann er þyðr at þinni | þorf nott oc dagh sottom |   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Fast skalltu rikr viþ rikan | Ro᷎gnvalld konungr hallda | hann er þyþr af þinni | þo᷎rf natt oc dag sattum | þann veit ek þinga kennir | þik beztan vin miklu | a austrvegu eiga | alt meþ rauþa salti . |   [RDF]  edit 
 301x Fast scaltu rikr við rikann Rognvalld konungr hallda . hann er | þyðr at þinni þorf nott oc dagh sottom   [VEÞ]  edit 

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