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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
151617

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.

Mss: Holm2(26r), 325V(32bis rb) (ll. 3-8), R686ˣ(50r), 972ˣ(179va-180va), J2ˣ(161r-v), 325VI(17rb-va), 75a(15va), 73aˣ(66r), 68(24v), 61(94rb), Holm4(17rb-va), 325VII(12v), Flat(93ra-b), Tóm(113v) (ÓH); Kˣ(305r-v), Bb(153ra-b) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Búa: birta 75a    [2] svan: val 61    [3] hér: om. 325V;    sék (‘se ec’): sé R686ˣ, kveð ek Kˣ;    bens: ‘bems’ J2ˣ;    ok: á 61;    brynjum: brynjur R686ˣ, 972ˣ, brynju 325VI, Holm4, 325VII, Flat, Kˣ, búnum 61    [5] Því á: so Kˣ, Bb, því at Holm2, 325V, R686ˣ, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 68, 61, Holm4, 325VII, Flat, Tóm;    ungr konungr: ungs konungs 75a, 73aˣ, konungr ungr Tóm    [6] ygg‑: so 325V, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 68, 61, Tóm, ugg‑ Holm2, R686ˣ, Holm4, 325VII, Flat, Kˣ, Bb;    þat: om. Flat;    dyggra: so J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 68, 61, Holm4, 325VII, Tóm, Bb, dyggva Holm2, 325V, R686ˣ, tryggra 972ˣ, ‘þyggra’ Flat, dyggr Kˣ    [7] ‑búnaði: ‘‑bvadi’ 325V;    at: á 972ˣ, om. 75a, 73aˣ, á corrected from at 325VII;    hrósa: hrósar 75a, 73aˣ    [8] dýr: dýrst R686ˣ, 972ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 238, Skj 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.

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

Notes: [All]: 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. — [2] hirðmenn ‘courtiers’: This is one of the earliest attestations of this borrowing of OE hīredmenn ‘household retainers’: see Hofmann (1955, 57-8), and see Note to l. 8 below; see also Sigv Nesv 6/3 hirð and Note. — [2] grenna ‘feed’: The verb (AEW: grenna 2) also occurs in Sigv Lv 21/7, and the nomen agentis grennir ‘feeder’ is common in warrior-kennings (e.g. Halli XI Fl 2/8II hrafngrennir ‘raven-feeder’, and see Note; also Meissner 294). There may also be word-play on the more usual meaning ‘make thin’ (AEW: grenna 1). — [5, 6-7] því á engi ungr konungr dyggra húsbúnaði at hrósa ‘and so no young king has worthier hangings to boast of’: (a) Því (n. dat. sg., l. 5) is here assumed to be the adv. ‘and so, therefore’, while á is ‘has’, 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of eiga (so also ÍF 27; Hkr 1991). (b) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B adopts the ÓH reading því(a)t ‘because’ (so Fms, Konráð Gíslason 1892, 179 and, with different syntax, Gering 1912, 143). This produces superior meaning but has the disadvantage of requiring the reading á ‘has’ for at ‘to’ in l. 7, whereas at is what all the most reliable mss say. (c) Því cannot be a dat. of comparison, ‘(worthier) than that’, because in that event one would expect it to be stressed and to be m. in agreement with húsbúnaði ‘hangings’. — [8] hǫll ‘the hall’: Sigvatr is the first named skald to use this word in reference to a jarl’s or a king’s hall, doubtless because of English influence at the court of Óláfr (cf. OE heall): see Hofmann (1955, 50).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  7. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. Hofmann, Dietrich. 1955. Nordisch-englische Lehnbeziehungen der Wikingerzeit. BA 14. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  13. Jón Skaptason. 1983. ‘Material for an Edition and Translation of the Poems of Sigvat Þórðarson, skáld’. Ph.D. thesis. State University of New York at Stony Brook. DAI 44: 3681A.
  14. Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1892. Udvalg af oldnordiske skjaldekvad, med anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  15. Sahlgren, Jöran. 1927-8. Eddica et Scaldica. Fornvästnordiska studier I-II. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  16. Eeden, W. van. 1943. ‘Een Opmerking over Sigvatr Þórðarson’s Austrfararvísur’. Neophilologus 28, 228-32.
  17. Gering, Hugo. 1912. ‘Beiträge zu der Metrik und Erklärung skaldischer Dichtungen’. ZDP 44, 133-69.
  18. Ternström, Alfred. 1871. Om skalden Sighvat Thordsson och tolkning af hans Austrfararvísur, Vestrfararvísur och Knútsdrápa. Lund: Ohlsson.
  19. Hkr 1777-1826 = Schöning, Gerhard et al., eds. 1777-1826. Heimskringla edr Noregs konunga-sögor. 6 vols. Copenhagen: Stein.
  20. Hkr 1868 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1868. Heimskringla eller Norges kongesagaer af Snorre Sturlassøn. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  21. ÓH 1853 = Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1853. Saga Olafs konungs ens helga. Christiania (Oslo): Det kongelige norske Fredriks Universitet.
  22. Internal references
  23. (forthcoming), ‘ Unattributed, Óláfs saga helga’ 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. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=53> (accessed 19 September 2021)
  24. (forthcoming), ‘ Heimskringla, Óláfs saga helga (in Heimskringla)’ 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. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=152> (accessed 19 September 2021)
  25. Russell Poole (ed.) 2009, ‘Halli stirði, Flokkr 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. 339-40.
  26. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 6’ 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. 565.
  27. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 21’ 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. 726.
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