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Sigvatr Þórðarson (Sigv)

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

12. Lausavísur (Lv) - 30

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).

Lausavísur — Sigv LvI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘ Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur’ 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. 698. <> (accessed 3 July 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30 

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 13. Lausavísur (AI, 265-75, BI, 246-54); stanzas (if different): 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32

SkP info: I, 715

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Sigv Lv 13I

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 Fiandr ganga þar þengils þíoð bydr opt m sioþa hꜹfgan malm fyr hil | mis hꜹs ofalan lꜹsa . sít veit hverr ef haʀa hollan selr við gvlli vert er | slics i svꜹrtv siɴ helviti iɴan .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Fiander | ganga thar tengils tiod by̋ | der opt med sioda haufgan | malm fy̋r hilmis haus o | falan lausa. Eit veit huerer | ef herra hollr seler vid gul | li vert er sliksti svartu | sinn helviti innan.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Fiandr ganga þar þeingils, | þiod bidr opt med sioda | haufgan malm fýri hilmis | Haus ofalann lausa: | Sitt veit huer ef hara | hollan selur vit golli; | vert er slikt i Suaurta | sinn helviti innan. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 321x fiandr ganga þann þeingils : þiod feʀ opt med sioda . haufgan malm fyrer hylmis . hꜹs | ofalan lausa . sik veit huer er haʀa . hollann selr vid golli . verdt er sliks i svaurtu . sinn hel | uiti jnnann .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Fiandr ganga þar þengíls . | þioð fyrir opt m sioða . | ho᷎fgan malm fyr hilmís | haus ofalan lausa : | sik væít huerr er haʀ̇a . | hollan selr v gollí . | vert er sliks í suo᷎rtu . | sínn heluítí ínnan : |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Fiandr ganga þar þengils þíoþ byþr opt m | sioþa havfgan malm v hilmi havs ofalan lavsa  sitt veit hverʀ ef herʀa hollan selr v gvlli | verk ero slics i svǫrtv siɴ helviti iɴan .  edit 
 Holm4 Fianndr ganga þar | þengils . þioð byþr opt m sioða høfgan ma | lm fyr hilmis . hꜹs ofalan lꜹsa : sitt veít hverr | ef haʀa hollan selr v golle . vert er sliks i suꜹ⸌r⸍tu siɴ heluite innan .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Fiandr ganga | þar þeingils þiod bydr opt med sioda hauf | gan malm fyr hilmis haus of alldinn lausa | sítt veit huerr of haʀa hollan selr vid gulli vert | er sliks i suortu | sínn heluiti iɴan .   [RDF]  edit 
 75c Fiandr ganga þar þengils . þioð byðr opt m sioða hofgan malm || fyrir hilmis haus of allan lausa  Sitt veít hueʀ ef harra hollan selr v gul | li vert er sliks isuortu sín helviti innan .   [RDF]  edit 
 325V Fiandr | ganga þar þengils þioð byðr o | pt m sioða . havfgan malm firir | hilmis . haus . ofallan lausa . sik v | eít hverr ef haʀa . hollan selr við | ɢvlli verk er slik isvortv sinn helvi | ti iɴán   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Fiandr gan | ga þar þengils þiod bydr opt med sioda . hofgan | malm fyrir hilmís hꜹs of allan lꜹsan sitt veitt | hverr of harra hollan selr vid golli verz er sliks i svor | tv sín helviti ínnan .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Feandr ganga þar þæingils þiod bydr oft med síoda ho᷎f | gan malm firir hilmis haus ofallinn lausann sik uæít huerr of harra hol | lan selr uit gulli vert er sliks j suortu sinn heluitis ínnan ᷎   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Fíandr ganga þꜳ̋r þeíngíls . þíod Byndr opt m sioda . haufgan malm v hi | lmís . hus ofalann lausa . sítt ueítt huerr er harra . hollan selʀ v gollí . vert sliks j suorttv . sín he | luítí jnnann .   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx fiandr ganga þar þengils | þioð byðr opt með sióða | hꜹfgan málm fyr hilmis | hꜹs ofalan lꜹsa | sitt veit hveʀ ef haʀa | hollan selr v gulli | vert er slict i svorto | siɴ hælviti iɴan |   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x fiandr ganga þar þengils | þioð byðr opt með sioða | hꜹfgann malm fyr hilmis | hꜵs ofalann lꜹsa | sitt veit hveʀ ef haʀa | hollann selr v gulli | vert er slics i svortu | siɴ helviti innann |   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Fiandr ganga þar þengils | þioþ byþr opt meþ lioþa | haufgan malm fyrir hilmis | haus o falldin lausa | sitt veit hverr of harra || hollan selr viþ golli | vert er sliks i svortu | sinn helviti innan . |   [RDF]  edit 

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Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated