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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 23 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, 728

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

23 — Sigv Lv 23I

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 Hafa lati mic heitan hvita cristr at | viti elld ef ec olaf villdac ec em sciʀ at þvi fiʀaz . vatn ǫrit hefiec vitni vasc til rums | i hasca ꜹlld leyni ec þvi alldri aɴaʀa þꜹ manna .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Hafa latit mik hient hwita | Christer at viti elld ef ek Olaf villdas | ek em skir af tvi firras, vatti ørit | hefi ek vitni vask til Rums i haska | aulld, leini ek tvi alldri annara tau man | na.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Hafa lati mig heitann | huita kristr at viti | elld ef ek Olaf villda | ek em skyr om þat firaz: | vatn ærit fect hef ek vitni | vask til Rums i haska | aulld leini ek þui alldri | annara þau manna. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325V hafa lati | mik heitan hvita kristr at vita elld | ef ek olaf villdag em ek skiʀ at | þvi fiʀaz . vatnn ærinn hefi ek vitní [originally vitin] | var ek er til roms . i haska aulld leyni | ek þvi alldri aɴaʀa þav manna   [RDF]  edit 
 321x hafa lati mik heitan huita Kristr at viti . elld ef ek olaf vill || da . em ek skyr um þat fiʀast . vatn ø᷎rin hefi ek vitni . vask | til rums i haska . aulld leyni ek þui alldri . annaʀa þꜹ manna .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Hafa látí mik hæitan . | huita krístr at vití . || ellð ef ek olaf villdí . | em ek skíʀ vm þat fiʀazst : | watnærín hefíg vítní . | vask [altered from vark] til ʀoms í hꜳska : | ollð læyníg þuí alldrí . | annarra þó manna : |   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Hafa late míc heitan . huita kristr | at uite . elld ef ec olaf uilldag . em ec skirr af | þvi fiʀaz . vatn e᷎ren hefe ek uitne . vársk til | ʀoms ihaska aulld . leyne ek þui alldri annaʀa | þau manna .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Hafa lati mik heita h | uita kristr ath vite elld ef ek Olaf villda emm ek skirr um | þath firrazst vatnn ęrins berr ek vitnne vask ek til rom | s j haska olld leynir þui alldri annara þau manna   [RDF]  edit 
 325VI Hafa lꜳti mik heitan huita kristr at viti a | el[…] olaf uilldag er ek skiʀ um þat fiʀaz vatnærin | hefig uitni vark til roms j hꜳska aulld leyni ek þvi | alldri annaʀa þau manna .   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Hafa lati mic heitan hvita kristr at vite ælld æf ec olaf villda em ec scirr af þvi firraz . vatn ærit hæfi vitni . vásk | til rums i haska . ꜹlld læyni ec þui alldre annarra þav (underscored, with svo written above) manna .   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Hafa lati mí | k heitan hvita kristr a viti elld ef ek olaf . || víllda em ek scírr af þvi fírrazt vatnęrit | hefi ek vitní vask til roms i haska ꜹlld leyfí | ek þvi alldri annaʀa þvi manna .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Hafua lati | mig hæitann hvíta kristr at víte elld ef ek olaf uilldag er ek sk | írr um þat firrazst uatnn ærín hefíg víttne vask ek til ʀoms j | haska olld leyne þui alldri annarra suo manna ᷎   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Hafa latí míg heítan . huíta krístr ath uí | tí . elld ef ec olaf uílldag . em ec skíʀ vm þat firrazt . vatnn ꜽrínn hefí eg uítne . var ec til ʀoms | j haska . aulld leyní þui alldri annara þau manna .   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Hafa lati mic heitan | hvita cristr at viti | eld ef ec Olaf vilda | em ec sciʀ um þat fiʀaz | vant ǫrin hefi ec vitni | vasc til rvms i hasca | ǫlld leyni ec þvi aldri | aɴaʀa þꜹ maɴa |   [RDF]  edit 
 39 Hafa láti mic hæitan hvita || cristr at uiti eld ef olaf vildag ec em scirr vm þat fiʀaz . | vatn yrin hofr ec vitni vask til roms ihasca old | læni ec þvi aldri annaʀa þꜹ manna .   [RDF]  edit 
 F Hafa lati míg heítan hvíta kristr at víti elld ef ek Olaf | villdag ek em skíʀ vm þat fíʀaz vatn ærín hefi ek vítní | vask til roms i haska ꜹlld leyní ek þvi alldri aɴaʀa þꜹ manna . |   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x Hafa lati mic heitann | Hvita kristr at viti | elld ef ec Olaf villdac | em ec sciʀ at þi fiʀazc | vatno᷎rin hefi ec vitni | vasc til Rums i hasca | ꜹlld leyni ec þi alldri | annaʀa þꜹ manna |   [RDF]  edit 
 E Hafa lati mik heita h | uita kristr ath vite elld ef ek Olaf villda emm ek skirr um | þath firrazst vatnn ęrin berr ek vitnne vask til rom | s j haska olld leynir þui alldri annara þau manna   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Hafa lati mik heita | hvita kristr at viti | elld ef ek Olaf villdak | erumk skirr um þat firrazc | vatn ærins ber ek vitni | vásk til Roms i haska | aulld leynir þvi alldri | annarra þau manna . ||   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Vask ek til Roms i haska. |   [RDF]  edit 
 A Vasc til roms || iháska .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 W Vask ek til roms | ihꜳska.   [TW]  edit 

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