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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;

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, ‘ 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. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 555. <> (accessed 5 August 2021)

 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

SkP info: I, 571

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Sigv Nesv 10I

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.

 Kx Sialfr bað svartar kylbor | sveiɴ harðliga sceina | ner var aðr i óra | ꜹðván róit hanom | þa er til goðs enn gioðo | gert fenguz ræ svortum | yɢs lét herr um hoɢvit | hrafni sceiðar stafna |   [KSH]  edit 
 papp18x Sialfor Baþ suartar kilfor sueiɴ hardligor skeina. ner | varr i ora, ꜹdván rórt hanom, þá er til gódz eɴ gióþo, gert fenguz | ræ suortom, jɢs léc herʀ um hǫɢit, hrafni skeyþar stafna.   [KSH]  edit 
 Holm2 Sialfr bað svartar kylfor sveinn harðliga sceina nęr var aðr | i ora avðvan roit hanom. þa er til goðs en gioði gørt fengum hrę svavrtum yɢs let heʀ || vm havɢvit hrafni sceiðar stafna.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 R686x Sialfr bad suartar kylfur, sein | hardliga skeina, nær uar aþr i ora, avþ-uan roit ha | num, þa er till gods enggiodi gert fengum uer suortom, | yggs let hrr um hogguid, hrafni steiþar stafna.   [KSH]  edit 
 972x Sialfr bad suartar kylfr sueinn hardliga skeina nær var adur i ora all van roit hanum þat var till gods, en gioda. giort feingum hræ suortum yggs let her um hauggvit hrafni skeidar stafna   [KSH]  edit 
 J1x Sialf bauð svartar kylfur sueinn || harðliga skeina nær var aðr iora auðvan ro | it hanum þa ær til godz en gioði giort fenn | um ver svaurtum yɢs let herr um haugvit | hrafni skeiþar stafna   [KSH]  edit 
 J2x Sialfr bꜷð svartar kylfur Sveinn harðliga skeina nær var aþr i ora ꜷðvan roit honum þa er til goðz en giodi giort fengum ver svǫrtum yɢs let herr um hꜷɢvit hrafni sceiðar stafna   [KSH]  edit 
 325VI Sialfr bavd svartar kylfur sveinn hardligha | skeína næʀ var adr i óra avduán roit hánvm | þa er til góds en giodi gíort fengvm hræ sv | ǫrtvm yggs let heʀ vm hǫgguinn hrafni skeí | dar stafna ᷎   [VEÞ]  edit 
 75a Sialfr bauð svartar kylfvʀ. sveínn | harðliga skeina. nær uar aðr i | ora auðván roit hánum. þa er til | goðs en gióði. gert fengvm hrǽ | suaurtum. yggs let heʀ vm hauggv | it. hrafni skeiðar stafna.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Sialfr bað suartar kylfur | Suæínn hardliga skæína. | nær var aðr í óra | o᷎ll ván ʀoít hónum: | þa er til goðs enn gięði | go᷎rt fengum hræ suo᷎rtum ∙ | yɢgs liet herr of ho᷎ɢguít | hrafni skæiðar stafna |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 78ax Sialfr bauð svartar kylfr | Sveinn harðliga skeina | nær var aðr i ora | auðvan roit hanum | þa er til goðs en gioði | gort fengum hræ svǫrtum | yggs let herr um hoggvit | hrafn i skeiðar stafna. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 68 Sialfvr | bað svartar kylfvr sveiɴ harþliga skeina nǽr var aðr i ora oll uǫn roit hanom  þa er til goðs | eɴ gioða gert fengom hræ svortvm ygs let herʀ vm havgvit hrafni skeiþar stafna.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 61 Sialfr bað svartar kylfur | sueinn harðliga skeina . nerr var aðr i ora . oll ván roit hanum . þa er til goðs | en gioða . giro᷎t fengum hrœ suórtum . yggs let herr of hógguit hrafni skei | ðar stafna.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Holm4 Sealfr bað suartar kylfur | sueiɴ harðliga skeína . ne᷎r var aðr í óra avð || van roit honum. þa er til goðs enn gioðe gert | fengum hre suørtum yɢs let herr of hoɢit hrafne | skeiðar stafna.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325V Sialfr bað svarta || ta kylfv svein harðliga skeina | ner var aðr i ora · avðvan roit hanvm | þa er · til goðs enn gioð · giort fengvm | hræ svortvm · vɢs let heʀ vm havɢ | vit · hrafni skeiðar stafna   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325VII Sialfr baþ svarta kylfo svæinn harðlega scæína ner var aðr i ærna auð van roet hanom ᷎ þa er til goþs | en gioþe gært fengum hrǽ suortum ygs let heʀ of hogguit ᷎ hrafne skæiðar stafna ᷎   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Bb Sialfr bad svartar kylfvr sveínn hard | lega skeína nęr var adr iora avrvann roid | hanvm. þa er til godz en giode gert fen | gvm her snertv. ygs let hann vm hoggvit. | hrafnní skeidar stafnna.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Flat Sealfr bat suarta ky | lfu suæinn hardlíga skæína nærr uar adr j ora auduon ʀoít hánum | þa er til giods en giode gíort fengum hræ suo᷎rtum yggs let herr um ho᷎ | git hrafnní skæídar stafnna ·   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Tóm Sjalfur bavd svarta kylfv sveínn hardlíga skeína ᷎ nœ̨r var adr j ora ᷎ avd van ʀoít hanum || þꜳ̋ er til gíods enn gode ᷎ gíor fínngvm hrœ̨svorttvm ᷎ ygs líet her vm havggvít ᷎ hrafni | skeidar stafna   [VEÞ]  edit 
 FskBx Sialfr bað svartar kylvur Svæin harðlega skeina nær var aðr i oro auð von roeð hanom þa er til goðs við gioða gort fenguz ræ svortum viggs let hærr umm hoggvit ræmfni skæiðar stafna.   [KSH]  edit 
 51x Sialfr bað svartar kylvur || svæín harðlega skeína nær var aðr i oro auð von roet hanom þa er til goðs við gioða gort fenguz ræ svortum viggs let hærr um hoggvit ræmfni skeiðar stafna.   [KSH]  edit 
 302x Sialfr bað svartar kylvur Svæín harðlega skeína nær var aðr i oro auð von roet hanum þa er til goðs við gioða gort fenguz ræ svortum || viggs let hærrum hoggvit ræmfni skeiðar stafna.   [KSH]  edit 
 FskAx Sialfr bað svartar kylfr svæinn harðlegha scæina ne var aðr iorna auð nonn red honom þa er goðs viðr gioða gort fengo hræ svortu yggs let hærr um hoggvit hramni skæiðar stamna   [KSH]  edit 
 301x Sialfr bað svartar | kylfr svæinn harðlegha skæina ner var aðr i orɴa || auðnonn rioð honum þa er goðs viðr gioða gort | fengo hræ svortu yggs let hærr um hoggvit hram | ni skæiðar stamna.   [KSH]  edit 

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