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, 594

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

8 — Sigv Austv 8I

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 Mista ec for austan eiða scog a leiðo asta bus | er ec ęsta ucristinn hal vistar . rics fanka ec son saxa saðr var avngr fyrir þaðra vt var ec eitt kvelld | heitenn innan fiorom sinnom .   [RDF]  edit 
 R686x Mista ek er ek for | aistan, Eida skogs aleidu, Asta bús er ek esta, u kristin | hal uistar; rikz fanka ek sagdi saxa, saþr [altered from þaþr] uar engr, firi [altered from þaþ] | þadra, ut uar ek eitt qvelld heitin, innan fiorum sinnum .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Mista ek fyri austan | Eida skogs a leido | asta bus er ek æsta | ukristin halvistar: | riks fanka ek son saxa | sadr var aungr fyri þadra | ut var ek eitt kueld heitin | Innan fiorum sinnum. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Mista ek for austan | eida skogs a leido Asta bur er | ek a̋sta ukristin hall vistar Riks | fanka ek son saxa fader var aun | ger fy̋rer tandra ut var ek eitt | kuelld beiten innan forom sin | nom. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325VI Mist | a ek firir austan . eiða skog aleiðv . astv bv | er ek æsta . okristinn . hal vistar . rix fanka | ek son saxa . sadr var engr firir þadra . Vt | uar ek eítt kuelld heitinn . innan fiorvm sinnvm . |   [RDF]  edit 
 75a Mista ek er ek fór austan . ei | ða skogs a leiðu . osta bv́ss er ek æsta . | o kristinn hal uistar . riks fanka ek | son saxa . saðr var eíngr fyrir þaðra . út | uar ek eítt kuelld heítinn . innan fiorvm | sinnum .   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Mista ek er ek for austan . eida skogs a leidu . osta bv́ss er ek æsta | okristinn hal uistar . riks fanka ek son saxa . sadr var eingr fyrir þadra · ut | var ek eitt qvelld heitinn . jnnan fiorum sinnum .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Mista ek fyrir austan | æiða skog ꜳ læiðum . | astu bús er ek æ̋sta | okristinn hal vistar : | ʀiks fanka ek son saxa | saðr var engr fyrir þaðra . | vt var ek æítt kuellð hæítínn | ínnan fiorum sínnum . |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Mista æk fyr avstan eiþa skog a leiþo asto bv́ꜱ er æk æsta okristiɴ halvistar  riks | faɴca æk son slikan saðr uar avngr firir þaþra vt var æk eitt qveld heitin iɴi fiorum siɴom .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Mista ek fyr austan eiða skog ꜳ leiðum . astu buss || þa er æstag . okristinn hal uistar . riks fannka ek son saxa . saðr var | aungr fyr þaðra . vt uar ek eitt kvelld heitinn inni fiorum sinnum .   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Mista ek fyr ꜹstan eiða skog | a leiðo asto búss er ek e᷎sta vkristiɴ hal vistar | riks fanka ek son saksa . saðr var engr fyr | þaðra ut var ek eitt kuelld heiteɴ inne fio | rum sinnum .   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Mista ec fir austan æiða scog a læiðo . asto bvss er ec æsta o kristinn hal vistar . riz fanka ec son saxa . saðr | var ængr fir þaðra . ut var ec æítt quælld hæitenn inni fiorum sinnom .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Mista ek firir austan eida skogs ale | idum astu buss sem ek æsta o kristínn hal uista ʀígs fankag | son saxa sadr uar aungr firir þadra vt uar ek æitt kuelld he | ítínn inni fíorum sínum   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Mista ec fyr austan . eida skog ꜳ̋ | leidv . astu bus er ec ꜽsta o kristínn hal uistar . ʀiks fazka ec son saxa . sadr var éngr fyr | þadra . vt var eítt kuelld heitinn jnni fíorum sinnum   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Mista ec fyr ꜹstan | eiðascóg a leiðo | ásto buss er ec æsta | ucristiɴ hal vistar | rícs faɴca ec son saxa | saþr var engr fyr þaðra | ut var ec eitt qvelld heitiɴ | iɴi fiorum siɴom |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Mista ek | fyrer ꜹstan eida skog aleidv . asta bys er ek | ęst v kristín hal vístar . riks fanca ek son saxa | sadr var o᷎ngr fyrer þadra v́t var ek eitt kvelld heí | tín . inne fiorvm sínvm .   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Mista ek fyrir austan | eiþa skog a leiþu | astu buss þa er æstag | okristinn hal vistar | riks fannka ek son Saxa | saþr var aungr fyrir þaþra | ut var ek eitt kvelld heitinn | inni fiorum sinnum . |   [RDF]  edit 

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