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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Austv 16I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur 16’ 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. 605.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonAustrfararvísur

text and translation

Búa hilmis sal hjǫlmum
hirðmenn, þeirs svan grenna
(hér sék) bens, ok brynjum
(beggja kost á veggjum).
Því á ungr konungr engi
— ygglaust es þat — dyggra
húsbúnaði at hrósa;
hǫll es dýr með ǫllu.

Hirðmenn, þeirs grenna {svan bens}, búa sal hilmis hjǫlmum ok brynjum; hér sék kost beggja á veggjum. Því á engi ungr konungr dyggra húsbúnaði at hrósa; þat es ygglaust; hǫll es dýr með ǫllu.
‘Courtiers, who feed the swan of the wound [RAVEN/EAGLE], decorate the hall of the ruler with helmets and mail-shirts; here I see the choicest of both on the walls. And so no young king has worthier hangings to boast of; that is without a doubt; the hall is costly in every respect.

notes and context

On his return to King Óláfr’s court, Sigvatr speaks this stanza while observing the walls.

Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 199-200), supported by van Eeden (1943, 231), argues plausibly that the stanza does not, as Snorri says, concern Óláfr’s hall but Rǫgnvaldr’s.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson, 3. Austrfararvísur 16: AI, 238, BI, 224, Skald I, 116; Fms 4, 189, Fms 12, 85, ÓH 1853, 82, 274, ÓH 1941, I, 204 (ch. 75), Flat 1860-8, II, 115; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 127, VI, 87, Hkr 1868, 310 (ÓHHkr ch. 92), Hkr 1893-1901, II, 174, ÍF 27, 140-1, Hkr 1991, I, 350 (ÓHHkr ch. 91); Ternström 1871, 20-21, 49, Konráð Gíslason 1892, 37, 179, Jón Skaptason 1983, 97, 243.


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