Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigurðr jórsalafari Magnússon (Sjórs)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 3

Skj info: Sigurðr jórsalafari (AI, 454-5, BI, 422-3).

Skj poems:
Lausavísur

See ‘Royal Biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 5. Biographies > 1. Royal Biographies > 1. Kings of Norway > p. Sigurðr I jórsalafari Magnússon (Sjórs) (r. 1103-30)

Sagas: Mberf, Msona (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Sigurðr, the second eldest son of Magnús berfœttr (see Genealogy II.3 in ÍF 28), became king of Norway upon his father’s death in 1103. He ruled jointly with his half-brothers, Óláfr (d. 1115) and Eysteinn (d. 1122). Sigurðr died of an illness in Oslo on 26 March 1130. He got his nickname, jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’, from his famous journey to Palestine (1108-11). Three lausavísur are attributed to Sigurðr (Sjórs Lv 1-3). For his life, see Anon Nkt 45, 49-52, Theodoricus (MHN 63-7; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 51-3), Ágr (ÍF 29, 47-51; Ágr 1995, 70-7), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 323, 336-99; Andersson and Gade 2000, 303, 312-58), Fsk (ÍF 29, 309, 315-21; Finlay 2004, 248, 252-8), Hkr (ÍF 28, 224, 237-77; Hollander 1991, 678, 686, 688-714), H-Hr (Fms 7, 49-50, 73-174). See also Knýtl (ÍF 35, 237; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 122), Orkn (ÍF 34, 94-5, 100, 102-3, 139-40, 312, 315-16, 346, 348; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 87-9, 116-17).

Events documented in poetry: Sigurðr’s journey to Palestine and Byzantium and his battles against the heathens 1108-11 (Sjórs Lv 3; Hskv Útkv; Hskv Útdr; Þstf Stuttdr; ESk Sigdr I); an amorous affair with the wife of one of his retainers (ESk Lv 1); his progressive insanity (ESk Lv 2); his dealings with the poet Þórarinn stuttfeldr (Sjórs Lv 2; Þstf Lv 1-3).

Lausavísur — Sjórs LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sigurðr jórsalafari Magnússon, Lausavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 467-9.

 1   2   3 

Skj: Sigurðr jórsalafari: Lausavísur (AI, 454-5, BI, 422-3)

SkP info: II, 467-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Sjórs Lv 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sigurðr jórsalafari Magnússon, Lausavísur 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 467-8.

The following two lvv. (Sjórs Lv 2-3) are recorded in Mork (Mork), H-Hr (H, Hr) and the interpolated mss of Hkr (F, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ). Mork is the main ms.

Villir vísdóm allan;
veldr því karl í feldi.

Villir allan vísdóm; karl í feldi veldr því.

He confuses all wisdom; the man in the cloak causes that.

Mss: Mork(30r) (Mork); H(108v), Hr(72ra) (H-Hr); F(64va), E(43r), J2ˣ(328r), 42ˣ(25v)

Readings: [1] Villir: Villir hann all    [2] feldi: feldinum all

Editions: Skj: Sigurðr jórsalafari, Lausavísur 2: AI, 454, BI, 422, Skald I, 209; Mork 1867, 188, Mork 1928-32, 385, Andersson and Gade 2000, 347, 489 (Msona); Fms 7, 152 (Msona ch. 39); F 1871, 299, E 1916, 150 (Msona).

Context: Sigurðr and his retinue are sitting outside a church during vespers, drunk and merry and unable to sing evensong properly. The king sees a man in a short cloak standing by the church, and he recites the following couplet.

Notes: [All]: The man in the cloak (see Context) is Þórarinn stuttfeldr ‘Short-cloak’ (Þstf). See Þstf Lv 1-3. — [1] allan vísdóm ‘all wisdom’: Vísdóm ‘wisdom’ refers to clerical learning here, because Sigurðr and his men are unable to perform evensong. — [2] karl í feldi ‘the man in the cloak’: This could be a veiled reference to Óðinn, who frequently appears in a cloak when in disguise (e.g. in Grí 1 and prose; NK 57) and is often referred to as karl ‘(old) man’ (see Hárb 2, Reg 18/5, NK 78, 178, and LP: karl 2). If so, the sense would be that the devil (or his avatar, the heathen god) causes the men’s drunken inability to perform the Christian ritual.

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