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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ív Sig 16II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Ívarr Ingimundarson, Sigurðarbálkr 16’ 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. 511-12.

Ívarr IngimundarsonSigurðarbálkr

Skók veðrvita        í vôtum byr
gulli glæstan        of grams skipi.
Kløkkar urðu,        en konungr stýrði,
snekkju sneisar        of Sigurði.

Veðrvita skók í vôtum byr, glæstan gulli, of skipi grams. Sneisar snekkju urðu kløkkar of Sigurði, en konungr stýrði.

The weather-vane shook in the wet wind, adorned with gold, above the lord’s ship. The thin planks of the warship became pliable around Sigurðr, and the king was steering.

Mss: Mork(33v) (Mork)

Editions: Skj AI, 497-8, Skj BI, 470, Skald I, 230; Mork 1867, 211, Mork 1928-32, 420, Andersson and Gade 2000, 376, 492 (Sslemb).

Context: As st. 15 above.

Notes: [1] skók ‘shook’: The verb skaka ‘shake’ (skók 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) is used impersonally with verðrvita ‘the weather-vane’ as the object. — [1] veðrvita ‘the weather-vane’: The weather-vane could be fastened either to the stem or stern of a ship to indicate the direction of the wind, and could be taken down. It could be gilded and decorated with incised patterns. Some have been preserved because they were reused on churches (see Graham-Campbell and Kidd 1980, 30-1). Merchant ships seem not to have been equipped with weather-vanes (see Falk 1912, 42). — [5] urðu kløkkar ‘became pliable’: I.e. the planks of the ship flexed with the motion of the turbulent sea. — [7] sneisar snekkju ‘the thin boards of the warship’: For snekkja, see Note to st. 12/2 above. — [8] of Sigurði ‘around Sigurðr’: For this unmetrical form, see Note to st. 6/1. The l. echoes Guðr I, 1/4, 13/2, 27/8 (NK 202, 204, 206), where the name refers to Sigurðr the Dragon-slayer. There can be no doubt that the echoes in Sig of ll. from poems in the eddic Sigurðr-cycle were intentional, and that Ívarr eulogised Sigurðr slembidjákn by juxtaposing him to Sigurðr the Dragon-slayer (see Introduction above). For a similar device, see Ill Har above.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  4. Falk, Hjalmar. 1912. Altnordisches Seewesen. Wörter und Sachen 4. Heidelberg: Winter.
  5. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  6. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  7. Graham-Campbell, James and Dafydd Kidd. 1980. The Vikings. London: The British Museum and New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  8. Mork 1867 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1867. Morkinskinna: Pergamentsbog fra første halvdel af det trettende aarhundrede. Indeholdende en af de ældste optegnelser af norske kongesagaer. Oslo: Bentzen.
  9. Internal references
  10. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Illugi bryndœlaskáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði’ 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. 282-5.
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Ívarr Ingimundarson, Sigurðarbálkr’ 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. 501-27.

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