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Sigurðr jórsalafari Magnússon (Sjórs)

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

Lausavísur (Lv) - 3

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.

stanzas:  1   2   3 

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

SkP info: II, 468-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Sjórs Lv 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sigurðr jórsalafari Magnússon, Lausavísur 3’ 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. 468-9.

Skjótt bark skjǫld inn hvíta
— skald biðr, at goð valdi —
ár til eggja skúrar
ótrauðr, en frá rauðan.
Þat hefk hǫgg of hǫggvit
handvíst á Blálandi,
— goð ræðr sókn ok sigri —
svanni, þínum manni.

Ár bark ótrauðr inn hvíta skjǫld skjótt til {skúrar eggja}, en frá rauðan; skald biðr, at goð valdi. Þat handvíst hǫgg hefk of hǫggvit manni þínum á Blálandi, svanni; goð ræðr sókn ok sigri.

Earlier I, not unwilling, carried the white shield speedily to {the shower of sword-blades} [BATTLE], and [when I carried it] back [it was] red; the poet asks that God prevail. That sure blow I have struck for your husband in Africa, woman; God rules war and victory.

Mss: Mork(30v) (Mork); H(109r), Hr(72rb) (H-Hr); F(64vb), E(43r), J2ˣ(329r), 42ˣ(26v)

Readings: [1] bark (‘bar ec’): bar 42ˣ    [2] at: á 42ˣ    [4] frá: fá 42ˣ    [5] Þat: þar F, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ    [6] ‑víst: ‑laust H    [7] ræðr: ráði 42ˣ    [8] svanni: svanninn F

Editions: Skj: Sigurðr jórsalafari, Lausavísur 3: AI, 454-5, BI, 422-3, Skald I, 209; Mork 1867, 189, Mork 1928-32, 387, Andersson and Gade 2000, 349, 490 (Msona); Fms 7, 155 (Msona ch. 40); F 1871, 300, E 1916, 151 (Msona).

Context: King Sigurðr recites this st. about his exploits abroad to Ingibjǫrg Guthormsdóttir, the wife of his brother, King Eysteinn Magnússon.

Notes: [All]: For Sigurðr’s journey to Palestine and Byzantium, see ESk Sigdr I, Hskv Útkv, Hskv Útdr and Þstf Stuttdr. — [1] inn hvíta skjǫld ‘the white shield’: For red and white shields and their significance, see Falk 1914, 128-32. White shields seem to have been less prestigious than red shields and also a sign of peace. That Sigurðr carried a red shield when he returned from the battle not only implies that the shield had been reddened with blood, but also that he had gained honour from the fighting. — [5] þat ‘that’: Skj B and Skald adopt the variant þar ‘there’ (so F, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ) taken with á Blálandi ‘in Africa’ (l. 6). — [6] handvíst ‘sure’: Lit. ‘hand-sure’. — [6] á Blálandi ‘in Africa’: Lit. ‘Dark-land’. Usually denotes North Africa. See Note to Bǫlv Hardr 5/4.

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