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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 16 October 2021)

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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, 703

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Sigv Lv 4I

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 Gørbønn mon ec gunnar | gamteitondvm heita aþr þagum ver ęgis elld ef nv bið | ec fellda landaura veittv luro laðþveʀanda af kneʀi enn of fanga aungan ec hefi | sialfr krafit halfa .   [RDF]  edit 
 R686x Gior bꜹn mun ek gunnar gamtettendum | hetta aþr þagum uer ægis elld ef nu bid ek fellda | Landaura ueittu luru lad þuerranda af knerri | en of fanga engi ek hefi sialfr kufan halfa . |   [RDF]  edit 
 R686x Gior bꜹn mun ek gunnar gamtet | tendum hetta , aþr þagum ver ægis , elld ef nu bid | ek fellda , landaura ueittu luru , lad þuerranda | af knerri , en of fanga engi , ek hefi sialfr | kufan halfa .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Giör bön mon ek | Gűnnar gamtei⸌tone⸍dum, heita | adher tagum var a̋gis elld | ef nű bid ek falda landau | ta veittu luro lad veran | da af kneri en ofganga | aungin ek hefi sialfer krafit | halfa. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Gor=bænn mon ek gunnom | Gammteitendom heita | Adr þagum vier ægis | Eid ef nu bid ek felda: | Landaura veittu luro | Lad þverranda af Kneri | En offanga aungvan | Ek hefi sialfr karfit halfa. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J1x Gior bǫnn mun ek gunnar gamt | æitendum heita aþr þagum uær ægis ælld ef | nu luð ek fellda : lannd aura uæittu luru || lad þuærʀanndi af knæri enn afganga engi | ek hefi sialf krafit halfa   [RDF]  edit 
 J2x Giorbǫnn mun ec gunnar | gamtæitenndum heita | aþr þagum ver ægis | elld ef nu bið ec fellda | landꜹra veittu luru | ladþverrande af kneʀi | enn af ganga engi | ec hefi sialfr krafit halfa |   [RDF]  edit 
 325VI Ger beíni vil ek gǫfgvm gamteítandum veí | ta aðr þághum vær æghiss ellz ef nv bid | ek fellda landavra veíttv lúru læ þueʀan | di af kneʀí en af ganga engi hefigh sialfur | krafit halfra   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Ger beini vil ec gaufgum gamteitenndum heita . adur þägum ver ægis elldz | ef nu bid fellda . landꜹra veittu luru . læ þurarande af kneʀri en | af ganga eingi . ec hefi sealfr krafit halfa |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 68 Giorbæɴ | maðr ok gvnɴar . gn̄teitvndom heitiɴ aðr þagom ver ægis eld ef nv bið æk felda  landavra veítto lyro lað | þverrande af kneʀi eɴ of fanga engan ek hefi sialfr krafit halfa .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Gio᷎r bænninn mun ek guɴar . gams hnykkiandum | þickia . aðr þagum ver ægis . elld en nv bið ek felldar . land aura veit þu | lyru . lað þuerrandi af knerri . en o fangann engan . ekk hefi sialfr kraft | halfa . |   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Go᷎rbe᷎ɴ man ek ɢunnar | ɢamsteitondum heitíɴ aðr þago ve᷎r ę᷎gis | elld eɴ nu bið ek fellda . landaura veitto | luro latrs þveʀande af kneʀe . enoffanga | ongum ek hefi sealfr krafit halfa .   [RDF]  edit 
 325V Gior bænn | mvn ek gvnnar . gamsteitvndvm || heitiɴ . aðr þagvm vær ægiss:elld | en nv bið ek felldar . land avra ve | ittv lvndi . lað þverrandi af knerri | enn of fanga ꜹngvm ek hefi sialfr | krafit halfa   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Gior ben mvn ek gunnar gantertvm | hęitín adr þagvm ver ęgiss elld ef nv bid fell | da land avra veittv lvrv lad þverrande af | knerre . en of fanga engín . ek hefi sialfr | krafit halfa .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Georbænn mun ek gumnar gams ʀæít erum heítínn | adr þagnni vid ægis elld en nu bid ek fellda landaura uæittu lunn | di lad þuerrande at knerrri en of fanga ungum ek hefui sealfr | krafit halfa ᷎   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Ger bꜽnn mvn ek gunnar gams teít erum heítinn . aðr þꜽgum vꜽr ꜽgís . elld enn nv bit | ec fellda . lanndavra veíttv lunnde . lꜳð þuerranndí . af knerre . enn ꜳ̋ fannga aunguann | ec hefir sialfr krafít halfa   [RDF]  edit 
 325XI 2 l Gíor bén mán ek Gunnar Ga⸌m⸍teitundu⸌m⸍ heitiɴ | adr [?] þagu uer e᷎gis elld eɴ nv bid ek fellda land aura ueíttu luru latr þueranndi | [...] enn of fanga enge ek hefe sialfr krafit halfa .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Kx Geyrboɴ mun ec guɴar | gam teitꜹndum heitiɴ | aðr þágum ver ægis | æld ef nu bið ec felda | landꜹra veittu luro | latr þverrandi af knerri | eɴ ofganga engan | ec hefi siálfr krafit halfa |   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Gio᷎rbæninn mun ek gunnar | gams hnyckiandum þickia | aþr þagum ver ægis | elld en nu biþ ek felldar | land aura veit þu lyru | laþ þverrandi af knerri || en ofangann engar | ek hefi sialfr kraft halfa . |   [RDF]  edit 

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