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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 26 May 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, 701

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Sigv Lv 2I

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 Hlyð minom brag meiþir myrcblas þvi at kanc yrkia altiginn mattv eiga eitt scald drasils | tialda . þott aullvngis allra allvalldr lofan scalda þer fę ec hroðrs at hvarv hlit | annaʀa nitit .   [RDF]  edit 
 R686x hlyd minum | borg meiþr , myrk blas þui at ek kan yrkia , altiggin | mattu eiga , ett skalld d⸌r⸍ausels tiallda , þott aullungis al | lra , Allualldr lofn skallda , þer fæ ek hrodur at | huaro , hlit annarra nitit .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Hlýd minum brag meidir | Myrk blas þvi at ek kan yrkia | Alteigin mattu eiga | Eitt skald drasils tialda: | þott allungis allra | Allvaldr lofan skalda | þer fæ ek hrodes at hvaro | Hlitit annara nytit.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x hlýd minom brags meider my̋rk | blas tvi kant y̋rkia allzigin mattu | eiga eitt skallds drasils tialda. | thott aullungis allra allvallder | lofan skalda ther fa̋ ek hroders | att hvarű hlitt annara vilt. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J1x Hlyð minum brag mæiþir myrkblas þui at ek | kann yrkia all tiginn mattu æiga æitt skalld | drasils tiallda : þot aullungis allra alluallðr | lofan skallda þer ber æk hrodir at huarv hlitan | nara nitit .   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x Hlyð minum brag meiðir | myrkblas þvi at ec kann yrkia | alltiginn mattu eiga | æitt skalld drasils tiallda | þott ꜹllungis allra | alvalldr lofan skallda | þer ber ec hroðr at hvaro | hlit annaʀa nitit |   [RDF]  edit 
 325VI Hlyd mínum bragh meidir myrk | blacks þui ek kann yrkia alltighinn matto | eigha eítt skálld drasils tíallda þott avll | ungis allra allvalldr lofan skállda þer fær | igh hroðr at huaru hlít annaʀa nítid .   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Lyd minum brag meidur myrcblak es þui at ec kann yrkia . allti | ginn mattu eiga eitt skalld drasils tiallda . þott aullungis allra all || valldr lofan skallda . þann fære ec hrodur at hvaro . hlit anaʀa | nitid .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Hlyð mínum brag mæiðir | myrkblacks þuiat kann yrkia . | alltigínn mattu æiga | æítt skallð ðrasils tiallda : | þott ollungís allra | allualldr lofun skállda . | þer fæ ek hróðr at huáru | hlít annaʀa nítít . |   [RDF]  edit 
 78ax Lyð minum bragh meiðir | myrkblacks þvi ek kann yrkia | alltighinn mattu eigha | eitt skalld drasils tiallda | þott aullungis allra | allvalldr lofan skallda | þer færig hroðr at hvaru | hvart annarra nitið . |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Hlyþ minom brag beiþir | myrblacs þviat æk kaɴ yrkia alltigin mattv eiga eítt spialld brasils tialda  þot avllvngis allra | allvaldr lofon skalda þer fæ æk hroþurs at hváro hlit aɴara nitit .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Hlyd minum brag meidir | myrk blaks þvi ek kann yrkia . all tíginn matþu eiga . eitt skalld dra | sils tiallda þott o᷎llungis allra . allvalldr lofun skallda . þer fæ ek | hrodr at hvaru . hlít aɴara nítít .   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Hlyð minum brag meiðir myrkblas . þui at | kaɴ yrkia . altígíɴ mattu eiga eitt skalld | drasils tiallda . þuiat ollungis allra alluall | dr lofun skallda . þer fe᷎ ek hroðrs at huaro | hlít annaʀa nitið .   [RDF]  edit 
 325V Hlyð | minvm brag meiðir . myrkbals þviat | ek kann yrkia .́ altginn mattv eiga .́ | eitt skalld drasils tialda . þott ollun | gis allra . allualldr lofan skiallda : þer | fæ ek hroðrs at hvarv . hlit aɴa | ʀa nitit .   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Hlyð minom brag mæiðer myrkhiarls þviat kanc | yrkia . alltigenn mattu eiga æít scalld drasils tiallda . þuíat ꜹllungis allra allvalldr lofan skallda þer fe ec | hroðrs at hvaru hlít anarr̄a niteð .   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Hlyd mínvm barg me | idr myrkblas þvi ath kan yrkia alltigínn | mattv eiga eit skalld drasils tiallda | þott ollvngis allra allvalldr lofvm skall | da . þer fe ek hrovr at hvorv hlit annara litit | nítit .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Hlyd mínum brag meidir myrk hallz þui ek kann yrkia | alltigínn mattu æiga æitt skalld drasils tiallda þui ollungis all | ra alualldr lofun skallda þer fę ek hrodrs at huoru hlit annarr | a nítít ᷎   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Hlyð mínum brag meiðir myrkha | ls þviat ec kann yrckía . alltígínn mattv eíga . eítt skalld drasils tíallda . þviat avllvngi | allra . alualldr lofun skallda . þvi fꜽ ec hroðrs ath hvorv . hlít annara vítít .   [RDF]  edit 
 325XI 2 l Hlyd minum brag meidir myrkblat þviat kaɴ yrkia all[...]g[...] | [...] eiga eítt skalld drasils tíallda þott aullungis allr[...] allualldr lofan skallda | [...] ek hroðrs at huaro hlit annaʀa nitít   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Kx Hlyð minom brag meiðir | myrc blás þvi at kaɴk yrkia | alltígiɴ máttu eiga | eítt scálld drasils tialda | þótt ǫllungis allra | allvaldr lofi scalda | þer fæ ec hroðrs at hváro | hlít aɴara nítiþ |   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Hlyþ minum brag meiþir | myrkbla⸌c⸍ks þvitek [t added later] kann yrkia | alltiginn matt þu eiga | eitt skalld drasils tiallda | þott o᷎llungis allra | allvalldr lofun skallda | þer fæ ek hroþr at hvaru | hlít annarra vítít . |   [RDF]  edit 

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