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Runic Dictionary

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Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. Fragments (Frag) - 4

Very little is known about Þórðr Særeksson (or, in a later form, Sjáreksson) (ÞSjár). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 257, 274, 281) lists him among the poets of Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson (r. c. 1000-c. 1014) and King Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr, d. 1030). According to ÓT (1958-2000, II, 322-3) Þórðr went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the reign of Óláfr Haraldsson, and, arriving in Syria, met Óláfr Tryggvason, who is said to have escaped from the battle of Svǫlðr (c. 1000). Óláfr greeted Þórðr warmly and sent his regards to Þórðr’s kinsman-in-law (mágr), the famous Icelander Hjalti Skeggjason. In some mss Þórðr is referred to as Svartsson or svartaskáld, probably from a misreading of his patronymic (see LH I, 603-5 and Introduction to ðudrápa (Róðdr) below). In addition to the poems edited here (Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar (Þórdr), Flokkr about Klœingr Brúsason (Klœingr) and Róðdr), three fragments of Þórðr’s poetry are preserved in SnE and one in LaufE (ÞSjár Frag 1-4III); these fragments are edited in SkP III. Þórðr’s oeuvre presents difficulties in that the people and events commemorated there span some sixty-five years, from c. 961 (Þórdr) to c. 1026 (Róðdr), so that it must be assumed either that he was exceptionally long-lived or that Þórdr was composed after a lapse of several years or decades; see further Introduction to that poem.

LP: ÞSjár(Sær)

Fragments — ÞSjár FragIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Fragments’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 476. <> (accessed 4 August 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4 

Skj: Þórðr Særeksson: 4. Lausavísur og ubestemmelige brudstykker (AI, 329-330, BI, 303-304)

SkP info: III, 476

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — ÞSjár Frag 1III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), Fragments 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 476.

This stanza (ÞSjár Frag 1) is cited in mss R, , W, U and A of Skm (SnE) and in mss papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ and 743ˣ of LaufE. It was copied from a LaufE ms. in RE 1665(Kk3), which has no independent value. The stanza describes a journey along the south-western coast of Norway, from the island of Bømlo near Stord and past Agder and Lista. The poet is given as Þórðr Sjáreksson in , W, papp10ˣ and 743ˣ; R has ‘siarraks son’ corrected from ‘snarrars son’, A has Hallvarðr and 2368ˣ ‘Biareksson’. It has been suggested that the stanza originally belonged to Róðudrápa (ÞSjár RóðdrI; see CPB II, 165, LH 1894-1901, I, 618, Fidjestøl 1982, 127 and SnE 1998, I, 199) and that it described Óláfr Haraldsson’s journey to Sweden in 1027 (cf. ÓHHkr ch. 144, ÍF 27, 267-9). In view of the lack of reference to any royal patron, that attribution is doubtful. Jón Sigurðsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 557-8) believed that the stanza depicted a sea-voyage south from Trondheim after Sveinn jarl Hákonarson’s attack on Óláfr Haraldsson and the subsequent burning of the town of Trondheim in 1014 (see ÞSjár KlœingrI).

Sveggja lét fyr Siggju
sólborðs Goti norðan;
gustr skaut Gylfa rastar
Glaumi suðr fyr Aumar.
En slóð-Goti síðan
sæðings fyr skut bæði
— hestr óð lauks fyr Lista —
lagði Kǫrmt ok Agðir.

{Goti sólborðs} lét sveggja fyr norðan Siggju; gustr skaut {Glaumi {rastar Gylfa}} suðr fyr Aumar. En {{sæðings slóð}-Goti} lagði síðan bæði Kǫrmt ok Agðir fyr skut; {hestr lauks} óð fyr Lista.

{The Goti <horse> of the ship-plank} [SHIP] rocked north of Siggjo; the wind-gust pushed {the Glaumr <horse> {of Gylfi’s <sea-king’s> path}} [SEA > SHIP] south past Eime. And {the Goti <horse> {of the seagull’s track}} [(lit. ‘seagull’s track-Goti’) SEA > SHIP] then put both Karmøy and Agder behind the stern; {the horse of the mast} [SHIP] advanced past Lista.

Mss: R(35r), Tˣ(36v), W(80), U(34r) (ll. 1-6), A(12r) (SnE); papp10ˣ(51v), 2368ˣ(129), 743ˣ(96v-97r) (LaufE)

Readings: [1] Sveggja: ‘svegia’ Tˣ, Sveigja U;    fyr Siggju: ‘ec siglo’ Tˣ, fyr sygju U    [2] sólborðs: ‘solb[…]z’ W;    norðan: so W, U, A, papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ, ‘noþan’ R, norðra Tˣ    [3] rastar: rastir A    [4] fyr: om. U;    Aumar: raumi U, raumar A, auman 2368ˣ    [5] síðan: ‘su[...]an’ W    [6] sæðings: ‘sæþins’ U;    skut: skaut A, papp10ˣ    [7] lauks: so all others, ‘lavgs’ R

Editions: Skj: Þórðr Særeksson, 4. Lausavísur og ubestemmelige brudstykker 1: AI, 329, BI, 303, .Skald I, 154; SnE 1848-87, I, 442, II, 331, 443, III, 87, SnE 1931, 156, SnE 1998, I, 74-5; LaufE 1979, 304, 393

Context: The stanza illustrates various kennings for ‘ship’ (SnE 1998, I, 75): Hér er skip kallat sólborðs hestr ok sær Gylfa land, sæðings slóð særinn ok hestr skipit ok enn lauks hestr ‘Here a ship is called the ship-plank’s horse and the sea Gylfi’s land, the sea the seagull’s track and a ship a horse, and, again, the mast’s horse’ (closely similar in LaufE).

Notes: [1] Siggju ‘Siggjo’: A mountain on the island of Bømlo, Sunnhordland, on the western coast of Norway. — [2] sólborðs ‘of the ship-plank’: Lit. ‘of the sun-board’. The meaning of this word is unclear (see SnE 1998, II, 398). Falk (1912, 19, 54) and Fritzner: sólborð list it as synonymous with sólbyrðingr ‘sun-board’, apparently a row of planks above the railing of the ship (to measure the height of the sun?). Lúðvík Kristjánsson (1982, 153-4) believed it to be a strake just above the surface of a ship floating without a cargo, or the second, third, or fourth plank from the top in the side of a ship. — [2] Goti ‘the Goti <horse>’: The horse that belonged to Gunnarr Gjúkason (see Anon Kálfv 4/7). See also l. 5 below. — [4] Glaumi ‘the Glaumr <horse>’: Glaumr was Atli Buðlason’s horse (see Anon Kálfv 4/3). — [4] Aumar (f. acc. pl.) ‘Eime’: An island with smaller surrounding islands northeast of Kvitsøy in Rogaland, on the western coast of Norway. — [7] Lista: The southern-most tip of Norway. — [8] Kǫrmt ‘Karmøy’: An island south of Haugesund in Sunnhordland. — [8] Agðir ‘Agder’: The districts of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder in southern Norway west and east of Lista (see Note to l. 7 above), here most likely modern Vest-Agder.

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