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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 29 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, 725

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

20 — Sigv Lv 20I

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 Fuꜱ lez maðr ef miꜱir meyiar faþms at deyia . keypt er | ast ef eptir oblati scal grata . Eɴ fullhugiɴ fellir flottstyɢr sa er vard drottin vart torrecliz veʀa | vigtar konungs arom .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Fus læst madr ef missir | meyar-fadms at deýa | keýpt er ast ef epter | oflatinn skal grata | enn fullhuginn fellir | flottstyggr sa er vard Drottin | vart tor hrek liz verra | vigtar konungs arum. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Fus letz | madher ef misszer meyar fadms at | deiya keýpt er ast ef epter oblati skall | grata: en fullhugin feller flott stygger | sa er vard Drottin vart arom tor reklis | verra vigtar konungs armom. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325VI Fuss let maðr ef missir meyiar faðms at dey | ia keypt er ꜳst ok eptir oflꜳtinn skal gra̋ta | en fullhuginn fellir flíottstyggr sa var drott | inn ua̋rt torrek litz ueʀa vigta̋r konungs ꜳrum |   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Fuss lecz madr ef missir . meyjar fadms at deyia . keypt er | ast epter oflan skal grata . enn fullhuginn fellir . flott styɢr sa vard | drottinn vart torrek liz vera · vigtar Kongs a̋rum .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Fus lietz maðr ef missír . | mæyíar faðms at dæyía . | kæypt er ꜳ̋st enn eptír . | of látan skal grꜳ̋ta : | enn fullhugínn fellír . | flott styɢr sꜳ er var ðrottínn . | várt torck lítz veʀ̇a . | vígtꜳ̋r konungs ꜳ̋rum . |   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Fuss le᷎z maðr ef missir mey | iar faðms at deyía . keypt er ast ⸌ef⸍ eptir ofla | teɴ skal grata . eɴ fullhugeɴ fellir flott styggr | sa er uar drottinn . vart torrek litz uerra vig || tar konungsarum .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Fuss let madr ef missir mey | iar fadms ath deyia keyft er ast eftir oflatum skal | grata enn full hugum fellir flot styggr sꜳ er ann drottinn v | ort af rek litzst verra vig tꜳr konung ꜳrumm   [RDF]  edit 
 325V Fúss lez maðr ef mi | ssir meyiar faðms . ad deyia keypt er | ast ef eptir oflatunn . skal grata . enn ef | fvllhvginn fellir flot styɢr sa er var | drottin vár torrek liz vera vig tar konungs | árvm   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Fvss lezt maðr en misti mæyiar faðms at dæyia . kæypt er ast æf æptir ofla | tinn skal grata  en full huginn fellir flotstyggr sa er vaʀ drottiɴ . var […] ec liðz værra víg tar konungs aʀum |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Fvꜱs letz madr ef miꜱsír meyiar | fadms at deyia geyst er ast ef eftir oflatin | skal grata en fvllhvgín feller flottstyggr sa er | vard drottar vart torrekliz verra vigtár konungs arvm . |   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Fuss lætzst madr ef missir | mæyíar fadms at deyia keyft er ast ef eftir oflatinn skal grata en | full huginn fellír fliott styggr sa er ann drottni ᷎ uort ár ʀeck lítz | verra uíg tar konungs arum   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Fus letzt maðr er mísser . þreyiar fadms ad dyía keypt er ast ef eptir . oflatínn skal grata . Enn fullhug | inn [erasure: feller] feller . flod styggr sꜳ̋ er ann drottín . vart ar ʀek líz verra vígtar konungs arum   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Fus lætz maðr ef misir | meyiar faðms at deyia | keypt er ast eptir | oflatin skal grata || eɴ fullhugi fellir | flott styɢr sa er varþ drottin | vart torrek lítz verra | vígtar konungs arom |   [RDF]  edit 
 39 fv́ss lez maðr ef | missir mæyiar faðms at dǽyia kæypt er | ast ef eptir of latiɴ scal grata . enn fvllhvgi | fellir fliótt styggr sa er varþ drottinn vart | toʀec lict verrra vig tár konungs arom .   [RDF]  edit 
 F Fv́s letz | maðr er missir meyiar faðms at deýia keypt er ast ef | eftir oflatiɴ skal grata . eɴ fvll hugíɴ fellir flótt styɢr sa er | varþ drottín vart toʀeg litz verra víg tar konungs árom .   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x fus letz maðr ef misir | meyiar faðms at deyia | keypt er ast ef eftir | oflatinn skal grata | enn fullhuginn fellir | flottstyɢr sa er varþ drottinn | vart toʀec lizc veʀa | vigtar konungs arom |   [RDF]  edit 
 E Fus letz madr | ef missir meyiar famðs at deyia keypt er ast ef eptir oflatin skal grata en fullhuginn fellir | flótt styɢr sa er varð drottinn vart torrek lizt verra vigtár konungs arom .   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Fuss let maþr af missir | meyiar faþms at deyia | keypt er ast ef eptir | of latum skal grata | enn fullhugum fellir | flat styggr sa er ann drottin | vart afrak litzt verra | vigtár konungs arum . |   [RDF]  edit 

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