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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, 720

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

17 — Sigv Lv 17I

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 Fløra getr en fryio fiaɴdr leɢr oꜱ til handa verþ ec fyr ęþra orþi all | vallz en fe giallda . hverr scal þegn þott þverri þengils vina gengi vp hvalfra svic | sialfr sic lengst hafa micklo . |   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Flőra ga̋ter | en fry̋o fiander legger oss till her | da werd ek fry̋rer a̋dhra ordi all | walds en fa̋ gialda, hwerer skall | tegn tott tweri tengils winna gan | git up hualfa svik sialfr sik hafa | miklo. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Fleira getr enn Frýio | fiandr leggia oss til handa || verþ ek fyri æþra orþi | allvalds en fe giallda | huer skal þegn þott þuerri | þeingils uma geingi | upp hualfar suik sialfer | sik leingst hafa miklo. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J2x flæira getr enn frygio | fiandr leɢr os til handa | verð ec fyr æðru orþum | allvalldz enn fe giallda || hveʀ skal þegn þo at þveʀi | þengils vina gengi | up hvalfa svic sialfann | sic lengst hafa miclu |   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Flya getr oss en fryio , fiandr leɢr | oss til handa , verd ek fyrer ædru orde allvalldr eda fe giall | da . huar skal þegn þo at þveʀri þeingils vina geingi , upp | hualpa sva sialfa sik leingst hafa miklu . |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Bæb Flæíra getr enn fryíu fiandr leggr os | til hanða . verð ek fyr æ̋ðru orði all | ualldr enn fé giallda : huerr skal þegn þo | at þuerrí þengils wína gengí . vpp | huelfa suik sealfum sik lengzst hafa | miklu . |   [RDF]  edit 
 73ax Flæíra getr en fryíu | fiandr leggr oss til hanða . | verð ek fyr æðru orðí . | alluallðr enn fé giallða : || huerr skal þegn þo at þuerrí . | þengils wína gengí . | vpp huelfa suik sealfum . | sik lengzst hafa miklu : |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Flyia getvr eɴ fryio fiandr leɢia oꜱ til handa . verþ æk fyr | æþro orrþi allvaldr eɴ fe gialda  hverʀ skal þegn þoat þverʀi þengils vina lengi vlfs hvarfa | svik sialfom sik lengst hafa miclo . |   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Flyía getr . eɴ fryio fian | dr leggr oss til handa . verð ec fyr e᷎ðra orðe | allualldz eɴ fe giallda . hverʀ skal þegn þo | at þuerre þengils uina genge . vpp hvalfra | suic sealfra sic lengst hafa miklo .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Fleira getr | enn fryiu fiandr leggr oss til handa verd ek fyr æd | ru ordi allualldz enn fe giallda ᷎ hver skal hefnd enn | þegn þott þurfi þeingils uina geingi hallda sik | fra sliku siklings hafa myklu ᷎ |   [RDF]  edit 
 325V fleira | getr eɴ fryia fiandr leɢr os til han | da verð ek fyr æðrv orði allualldz en fe | ɢiallda ᷎ hverʀ skal þegn þo at þycki þe | ngils vina gengi vpp hvalfa svik s | alfan sik lengst hafa myklv |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Fleíra getr enn flyia fiandr leggr oss til han | da verd ek fyrer odrv ordi allvalldz en fegiallda | hverr skal þegn þo at þverrí þengils vna gen | gi . vpp hvarfla svik sialfan lęngst hafa míck | lv |   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Fleíra getr en fryíu fíandr leggr oss til hannda uerd ek firir ædru or | de allualldz en fe giallda huerr skal þegnn þoat þyknní þæingils vína geingí | hallda ser fra sliku siklings hafua myklu   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Fleíra | getr enn freyía ᷎ fíanndr leggr oss til hannða ᷎ varð ec fyr auðru ordí aluallðz enn fie | gíallða huer skal þegn þott þycka[?] þeíngils uína geíngí hallda sier fra sliku siklíngs ha | fa mikinn   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Flyia getr eɴ fryio | fiandr leɢr os til handa | verþ ec fyr ǫðru orði | allvaldz eɴ fe gialda | hveʀ skal þegn þo at þveʀi | þengils vina gengi | up hualfra suic sialfan | sic lengst hafa miclo |   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Flyia getr enn fryio | fiandr leggia oss til handa | verþ ek fyrir æþru orþi | allvalldr enn fe giallda | hverfr hefndar þegn þott þurfi | þeingils vina gengi | hallda ser fra sliku | siklings hafa miklu . ||   [RDF]  edit 

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