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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;

12. Lausavísur (Lv) - 30

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).

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 October 2021)

 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, 722

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

18 — Sigv Lv 18I

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 Stod ec amont ok miɴtumc mǫrg hvar sundr flꜹg targa breið ok bryn | ior siþar borgum ner of morgun . munða ec þar er unði ꜹndurþan brum lǫndum faþir minvar þa | þeɴa þorrǫðr konung forþvm .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Stod ek amont | ok mintums morg hvar sunder flaug tar | ga breid oc brynior sidar borgum ner | of morgum, munda ek thar er undi au | durd brun løndum fader min var tha | thenna Thor røder konung fordum. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Stod ek amont ok mintomc | marg huar sundr flaug tiarga | breiþ oc bryniar sidar | borgum nær of morgin: | munda ek þar er undi | aundurdum brum laundum | fadr minn var þa þenna | þor-orþr kongr fordum. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325VI Stőd a monnt þa er mínntiz morg huar svndr flaug | tárgá breið ok bryniur sidar b[…]um nær um mor | gín munda ek er undi aunduerþan brum landa | fadir minn uar þa þennna þorrauðr konung fordum .   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Stod a mont þa er mintiz . maurg hvar sundr flꜹg targa . breid | ok brynior sidar . borgum mær af morgin . munda ek er undi | aundurdan brum landa . fadir minn var þa þenna þorrædr konung fordum . |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Stoð ec ꜳ mænt ok míntumz . | mo᷎rg huar sunðr flaug targa . | bræið ok bryníur siðan . | borgum næʀ̇ vm morgín : | munða ek þann er unðí . | o᷎ndurðan brum lo᷎nðum | fadir mínn var þo þenna . | þorruðr kong forðum : |   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Stoð ek amonnt ok minntumz mørɢ | huar sunndr flaug targa . breið ok bryniur | siþar . borgum ne᷎r um morgin . munda ek | þann er unðe aunduerðom brum løndum . faðir | míɴ var þa þenna . þorðreðr forðum .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 stod ek ꜳ mot er minn | tumzst morg brast sunndr targga breid ok bryniur sidar borgum n | er vm morginn munda ek hann er hendi onduerdan brum londvm | ferd min uar þa þenna þordeɴdr konung vordum   [RDF]  edit 
 325V Stoð a | mont er minntvmz maugr hvar suðr | flo targa breid . ok brynvr siþar bor | gvm nær of morgin mvnda ek þann | er yndi avnðverðan brvm svndum | faðir minn var þa þessa þoroðr konungr for | dvm   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Stoð ec a mót er minntumc maurg hvar sun | dr var targa . bræiþ oc brynior siþar borgum ner vm morgun . munða ec þann er unðe aundvarðar (?) brvnlanndum | faðer minn var þa þænna þorrendr konung forþum .   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Stod ek | a monnt ok mínttvmzt morg hvar svndr flꜹg | targa breid ok bríyníor sidar borgvm nęr vm | morgín mvnda ek þann er vndi onverdan brvm | landvmm fadir mínn var þa þenna þoradr konungr fordvm |   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Stod ek amot en míntumzst mo᷎rg brast sundr tar | ga bræid ok bryníur sidar borgum nærr um morgín munda ek þann eʀ | ende o᷎nduerdan brum lonndum ferd minn uar þa þenna þordendr konungr for | dum   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Stoð ec ꜳ̋ moth . enn mínntunzt . morg brast j sunndr targa . breok bryníur siðar . borgvm nꜽr vm morg | ín . munnða ec hemðe . aunnduerdan brum laundvm . ferd min var þꜳ́ þenna þorenndr konungí forðvm .   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Stoð ec a munt ok minntumz | morg hvar sundr flꜹg targa | breið ok brynior siþar | borgvm ner um morgin | munda ec þaɴ er undi | ꜹndverþan brvm lꜹndum | faðir miɴ var þar þeɴa | þ⸌o⸍orðr konung forðum |   [RDF]  edit 
 39 Stóð ec a mont ok mintomz | morg huar sundr flaug targa breið ok bryn | ior siþar borgom nǽr vm morgin . munða ec þaɴ̇ | er varþæ onderþum brum landom faðir miɴ̇ var þar | þenna þorðr konungr forðom .   [RDF]  edit 
 F Stoð | ek a mont ok míɴtvmz mꜹrg hvar svndr flꜹg targa . breið | ok bryníor siðar borgom nǽr of morgvn . munða ek þaɴ || er varði ond verþan brvm londom faðir míɴ var þar þeɴa þorroðr | konungr forðom .   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x Stoð ec amont oc mintumz | mꜹrg hvar sundrflꜹg targa | breið oc brynior siþar | borgum nær of morgin | munda ec þann er undi | ꜹndurnom brum lꜹnda | faþir minn var þa þenna | þoroðr konung forðum |   [RDF]  edit 
 E Stóð ek amont | ok minntumzt morg huár sundr flǫg targa breið ok brynior siðar borgom nær of morg᷎in (with erroneous abbreviation over g) munnda | ek þann er unði aundurnom brum landa faðer minn var þa þenna þorroðr konungr forðom .   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Stoþ ek a mot er mintumz | morg brast i sundr Harga | breiþ oc bryniur siþar | borgum nær um morgin | munda ek hann er hendi | ondverþan brylandum || ferþ min var þa þenna | þorþendr konung vorþum . ||   [RDF]  edit 

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