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, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

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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, 706

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Sigv Lv 6I

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 Nu sittv heill en hallar | her finnvmc meiʀ þinnar at | unz ec com vitia olafr konungr mala . scald biðr hins at halldi hialmdrifi viðrlifi enndiz leyfð ok | landi lyc ec viso nv þvisa .   [RDF]  edit 
 R686x Nu sittu heill en hallar , her finnumz meir | þinar , at unz ek kom uitia , Olafs kongs mala , bidr hins at halldi , | hring drifi uiðr lifi , endiz leyfd oc landi , lyk ec uisu nu þisa . |   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Nu sittu en haller her fin | nume meir tinnar att tu untz | ek kom vitia Olafs konungs mala. | Skald bider hins att haldi hialm | derfi vider lifi endis leifd ock lan | dy̋ ly̋k ek viso um thessa.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Nu sittu heil en hallir | hier finnumc meir þinar | at uns ek kem vitia | Alafs konungs mala: | Skald bidr hins at haldiz | hringdrifvi vidr lifi, | Endiz leifd, oc landi | Lýk ek viso sva þuisa. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J2x Nu sittu heill enn hallar | her finnum oc meiʀ þinnar | at unnz enn ec kem vitia | Olafr konungs mala | scalld biþr hins at hallde | hialmdrifi viðr life | endiz leyfð oc landi | lic ec visu þar þvisa |   [RDF]  edit 
 325VI Nu sit | þu heill ok hallir her finnumz meiʀ þinnar at unz | ek kem uitia oláfr . konungs mála skálld bidr híns at | halldi hringdrifr fraumu lífi enndiz leifd ok landi lyk | ek uisu þar þuisa .   [RDF]  edit 
 75a Nu sittu heill ok hallir . her finnumz meiʀ | þinnar . at unz ek kem uitia . olafr konungr | mala . skalld biðr hins at halldi hrin | gdrífr fraumu lífi . endiz leyf | ð ok landi . lyk ek uisu þar þuísa . |   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Nu sittu heill ok hallir : her finumz meiʀ þinnar . at unz | ek keni vitia . oleifr konungr mala . skalld bidr hins at halldi . hringdrifr fraumu | lifi endiz leyfd ok landi . lijk ek vijsu þer þuisa .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Nu síttu heill enn hallír | her fínnumz nu þínnar . | aptur vnnz ek kem vítia | olafr konungr mꜳla : || skallð biðr híns at halldí | hríngdrifr fro᷎mu lífí . | enðiz læyfð ok lanði | lyk ek vísu nu þuísa . |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Nv sittv heill eɴ hollir her fiɴvmz meiʀ þiɴar aptr vɴz æk kem vitia || olafr konungr mala  skald biðr hiɴs at halda hialm drifo viðr lifi endiz leyfþ or landi lyk æk visv | nv þvisa .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Nu sit þu heill en hollir her finnumz meiʀ þiɴar . aptr undz ek kem vítia . | Olafr konungr mala . skalld biðr híns at ek hallda hialm drifu stafr lífi en | diz leyfð or landi . lyk ec uisv nu þuisa .   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Nv | sittu heill eɴ hallar her finnumz meiʀ þinnar | at unnz ek kem vitea olafr konungr mala . Skalld | biðr hins at hallde hiordrífo uiðr life en | dizt leyfð ok lande lyk ek uisu nv þuisa .   [RDF]  edit 
 75c Nu sit | tu heill en hallar . her finnumz meiʀ þinnar . at unz ek kem vitia . Olafr konungr | mala  skalld biðr hins at halde . hialmdrífi viðr lifi . endiz leyfð ok lande | lyk ek uisu nu þuisa .   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Nu sittu hæill en hallar her finumk ver þinnar at | unz ek kem vitta . olaf konung mala . scalld biþr hins at haldi hialmdrifr þv́ lífi . andiz leyfð ok lande | lyk ec visu nu þuisa .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Nv sittu heill en hallar her finnumzst meirr en þínnar at unnz ek kem uítea | olafr konungr mala skalld bidr híns at halldi healm drifui gramr lífue | endizst leyfd ok lannde lyk ek visu nu þuisa .   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Nv sittv heill enn hallar hier finnimzt meír þínnar . ath unz er ec kem uitía olafr konungr ma | la . skalld bíðr híns ath hallde híalm drifí gramr lífí . enndízt leyfð j landi . lyk | ec visv nv þuísa   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Nu sittu heill eɴ hallar | her fiɴuz meiʀ þiɴar | at unz ec kom vitia | Olafr konungr mala | scáld biþr hins at haldi | hialm dfo viðr lífi | eɴdiz leyfð ok landi | lýc ec viso nu þvísa |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Nv sittv heill en hallar . her finnvmzt | meiʀ þínar . attv vnz ek kem vitia olafr konungr | mala . skalld bidr hvns at halldi . hialm | drifi vidr lífi endizt lꜽfd ath landi . lyk | ek visv nv þvi sa .   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Nu sit þu heill en hollir | her finnumz meirr þinnar | aptr undz ek kem vitia | olafr konungr mala | skalld biþr hins at halldi | hialmdrifu stafr lifi | endiz leyfþ or landi || lyk ek visu nu þvisa . |   [RDF]  edit 

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