skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Sigv Austv 2I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur 2’ 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. 585.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonAustrfararvísur
123

Létk ‘I had’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[1] Létk (‘let ek’): læt ek 75c, 325VII, leit Tóm

Close

til ‘to’

til (prep.): to

[1] til: eigi 325VII

notes

[1] til Eiðs ‘to Eið’: Eið n. means ‘isthmus’, hence this is a classic site for portage. If Snorri’s identification of the travellers’ route is correct, the name (also used in the pl.: see the Note to st. 3/2) may refer to the area of Stora Edet (at or near modern Trollhättan on the Götaälv in Bohuslän), the analysis advocated by Beckman (1923 and 1934; see Noreen 1922a, 69-70, for references to similar, earlier proposals). Also suggested, in connection with a more northerly route (see the Introduction), are Eid on the Glomma in Blaker sogn, Aurskog, Akershus (von Friesen 1942, 225) and Eidsvoll, just south of Lake Mjøsa (Schreiner 1927-9c, 38), in which event the forest mentioned in the following stanza would be Eidskogen in Norway. Even Ternström (1871, 43), who accepts Snorri’s account, rejects the identification of Eið with Stora Edet. He instead proposes Ed in Dalsland, near the present Norwegian border, at the southern end of Store Le (as suggested earlier by Munthe in Aall 1838-9, 240, and Munch 1852-63, II, 563 n. 1). Cf. the criticisms of Noreen (loc. cit.) and of Beckman (1934, 216).

Close

Eiðs ‘Eið’

Eið (noun f.): Eið, Eiðar, Eids

notes

[1] til Eiðs ‘to Eið’: Eið n. means ‘isthmus’, hence this is a classic site for portage. If Snorri’s identification of the travellers’ route is correct, the name (also used in the pl.: see the Note to st. 3/2) may refer to the area of Stora Edet (at or near modern Trollhättan on the Götaälv in Bohuslän), the analysis advocated by Beckman (1923 and 1934; see Noreen 1922a, 69-70, for references to similar, earlier proposals). Also suggested, in connection with a more northerly route (see the Introduction), are Eid on the Glomma in Blaker sogn, Aurskog, Akershus (von Friesen 1942, 225) and Eidsvoll, just south of Lake Mjøsa (Schreiner 1927-9c, 38), in which event the forest mentioned in the following stanza would be Eidskogen in Norway. Even Ternström (1871, 43), who accepts Snorri’s account, rejects the identification of Eið with Stora Edet. He instead proposes Ed in Dalsland, near the present Norwegian border, at the southern end of Store Le (as suggested earlier by Munthe in Aall 1838-9, 240, and Munch 1852-63, II, 563 n. 1). Cf. the criticisms of Noreen (loc. cit.) and of Beckman (1934, 216).

Close

óðumk ‘I dreaded’

vaða (verb): advance, wade

[1] óðumk: óðusk 68

Close

aptr ‘back’

aptr (adv.; °compar. -ar): back < aftrhvarf (noun n.): °(possibility of) return, journey back, retreat; conversion (to the true way), reversion (to evil ways)aptr (adv.; °compar. -ar): back < aftrhverf (noun n.)aptr (adv.; °compar. -ar): back < aftrhvarf (noun n.): °(possibility of) return, journey back, retreat; conversion (to the true way), reversion (to evil ways)

notes

[2] aptrhvarf ‘turning back’: Ternström (1871, 42-3) takes the word to refer to the return journey, after they have reached their destination, but this requires less probable word order, with þvít ‘because’ in l. 1 introducing not the clause headed by óðumk ‘I dreaded’ but the intercalary clause. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 185) also assumes this meaning for aptrhvarf, but he surmises, contradicting Snorri’s account, that the party alternately dragged and rowed the boat across Norway to Eda in Värmland and left it there (see also Noreen 1922a, 74, and cf. Beckman 1923, 323-4; Beckman 1934, 207-8). Thus he is able to construe þvít with óðumk, taking the sense of the passage to be that Sigvatr dreaded the prospect of a return journey without a boat. This explains admirably the logical connection between the clauses beginning with Létk and þvít, but it obscures the logical ties between these clauses and the rest of the stanza.

Close

hvarf ‘turning’

hvarf (noun n.; °; *-): disappearance < aftrhvarf (noun n.): °(possibility of) return, journey back, retreat; conversion (to the true way), reversion (to evil ways)

[2] ‑hvarf: ‘huerf’ or ‘huorf’ R686ˣ, ‑hvarfs Kˣ

notes

[2] aptrhvarf ‘turning back’: Ternström (1871, 42-3) takes the word to refer to the return journey, after they have reached their destination, but this requires less probable word order, with þvít ‘because’ in l. 1 introducing not the clause headed by óðumk ‘I dreaded’ but the intercalary clause. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 185) also assumes this meaning for aptrhvarf, but he surmises, contradicting Snorri’s account, that the party alternately dragged and rowed the boat across Norway to Eda in Värmland and left it there (see also Noreen 1922a, 74, and cf. Beckman 1923, 323-4; Beckman 1934, 207-8). Thus he is able to construe þvít with óðumk, taking the sense of the passage to be that Sigvatr dreaded the prospect of a return journey without a boat. This explains admirably the logical connection between the clauses beginning with Létk and þvít, but it obscures the logical ties between these clauses and the rest of the stanza.

Close

drekkin ‘’

Close

karfa ‘vessel’

1. karfi (noun m.; °-a): ship, vessel

notes

[2] karfa ‘vessel’: The term occurs only here in the skaldic corpus, and its meaning is elusive (Jesch 2001a, 135). Snorri identifies this as an eikjukarfi ‘ferry-boat’, an interpretation that Finnur Jónsson (1932, 11) defends against Noreen’s suggestion (1922a, 70-1) that it was actually a rather substantial vessel, one with at least six pair of oars, better suited to crossing a large lake than a river. It is not improbable that karfa here is intended to be comically grandiose: see Beckman (1923, 322); Beckman (1934, 213); and cf. rǫnn ‘mansions, great halls’ in reference to cottages (Ótt Lv 3/2, a vísa possibly by Sigvatr).

Close

stiltum ‘had managed’

stilla (verb): control

Close

vátr ‘Wet’

vátr (adj.): wet

[4] vátr: nátt Tóm

notes

[4] vátr ‘wet’: The word might be construed with the intercalary clause (so, e.g., Hollander 1964a, 335), but the word order would then seem exceptionally knotty. If it is to be placed in the principal clause, as in this edn, Eið must lie beyond the water crossed, since it is not to be supposed that Sigvatr was wet before the crossing.

Close

til ‘’

til (prep.): to

notes

[4] til glœps ‘badly’: The phrase more literally means ‘for a crime’ or ‘for badness’, but prepositional phrases with til sometimes have adverbial force, as with til fulls ‘fully’ and til loks ‘finally’. The sense of the clause is thus that the reason Sigvatr will not turn back is that he would have to cross the dangerous water again. This is not precisely how the phrase has generally been understood. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; so also Noreen 1922a, 69) assigns glœpr the unrecorded sense ‘mortal danger’; Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 27) suggests that the clause may mean ‘We thus decided on a mad undertaking in the boat’; the eds of Hkr 1991 propose the sense ‘We thus got ourselves into trouble’; Jón Skaptason (1983, 83) renders this ‘Thus we began [this] folly on a boat’. Kock (NN §626) rather makes of til glœps an intensifier modifying vátr ‘wet’ (cf. Ger. sündhaft ‘terribly, very’, Icel. firna- ‘terribly, very’, etc.), but this obliges him to construe á báti ‘in the boat’ with the principal clause (beginning with Létk ‘I had’, l. 1), where it makes little sense. It also renders the remaining intercalary relatively pointless: vér stiltum svá ‘we managed so’ (or ‘thus did I arrange it’, Turville-Petre 1976, 81). Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 183-4), rejecting Kock’s view, suggests etymological links with words meaning ‘swallow, gulp, idiot’ and reads vátr til glóps/glœps ‘wet up to the neck’.

Close

glœps ‘badly’

glœpr (noun m.): sin, misdeed

[4] glœps: glóps Bb

notes

[4] til glœps ‘badly’: The phrase more literally means ‘for a crime’ or ‘for badness’, but prepositional phrases with til sometimes have adverbial force, as with til fulls ‘fully’ and til loks ‘finally’. The sense of the clause is thus that the reason Sigvatr will not turn back is that he would have to cross the dangerous water again. This is not precisely how the phrase has generally been understood. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; so also Noreen 1922a, 69) assigns glœpr the unrecorded sense ‘mortal danger’; Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 27) suggests that the clause may mean ‘We thus decided on a mad undertaking in the boat’; the eds of Hkr 1991 propose the sense ‘We thus got ourselves into trouble’; Jón Skaptason (1983, 83) renders this ‘Thus we began [this] folly on a boat’. Kock (NN §626) rather makes of til glœps an intensifier modifying vátr ‘wet’ (cf. Ger. sündhaft ‘terribly, very’, Icel. firna- ‘terribly, very’, etc.), but this obliges him to construe á báti ‘in the boat’ with the principal clause (beginning with Létk ‘I had’, l. 1), where it makes little sense. It also renders the remaining intercalary relatively pointless: vér stiltum svá ‘we managed so’ (or ‘thus did I arrange it’, Turville-Petre 1976, 81). Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 183-4), rejecting Kock’s view, suggests etymological links with words meaning ‘swallow, gulp, idiot’ and reads vátr til glóps/glœps ‘wet up to the neck’.

Close

Taki ‘take’

2. taka (verb): take

[5] Taki hlœgi‑: ‘her taci lægi’ 325VII, taki hlœgis Flat, taki hlæði Tóm

Close

hlœgi ‘the laughable’

hlœgi (noun n.): [laughable] < hlœgiskip (noun n.)

[5] Taki hlœgi‑: ‘her taci lægi’ 325VII, taki hlœgis Flat, taki hlæði Tóm

Close

hauga ‘of burial mounds’

haugr (noun m.; °-s, -i; -ar): mound, cairn

[5] hauga: hǫrga 68, hauka Tóm

kennings

Herr hauga
‘the host of burial mounds ’
   = TROLLS

the host of burial mounds → TROLLS
Close

herr ‘the host’

herr (noun m.; °-s/-jar, dat. -; -jar, gen. -ja/herra): army, host

kennings

Herr hauga
‘the host of burial mounds ’
   = TROLLS

the host of burial mounds → TROLLS
Close

sákat ‘I never saw’

2. sjá (verb): see

[6] sákat (‘saka ek’): so R686ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 68, 61, Holm4, 75c, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, Bb, sakaða ek Holm2, eigi Kˣ

Close

létk ‘I courted’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[7] létk (‘let ec’): læt ek 325VI, 75c, Tóm, lét 68

Close

til ‘’

til (prep.): to

[7] til: om. Bb

Close

húms ‘of the sea’

húm (noun n.): sea-spray

[7] húms: heims Holm2, R686ˣ, 972ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 68, Holm4, 75c, 325VII, Flat, Tóm, Kˣ, Bb, hafs 61

kennings

hrúti húms;
‘the ram of the sea; ’
   = SHIP

the ram of the sea; → SHIP

notes

[7] húms ‘of the sea’: The mss almost all have heims ‘world’s’, though 61 has hafs ‘ocean’s’ (the reading adopted in Fms). Plainly the meaning ‘sea’s’ is required, and the assumption of húms (first adopted in Hkr 1777-1826, II, 124, and accepted in most critical eds, excluding ÍF 27, Hkr 1991) best explains how heims entered the textual tradition of the poem. Turville-Petre (1976, 81), retaining heims, takes it to be a half-kenning for ‘sea’, comparing Bragi Rdr 4/7III lǫnd Leifa ‘lands of Leifi <sea-king>’, though this seems unlikely.

Close

hrauti ‘’

Close

hrúti ‘the ram’

hrútr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): [ram]

[7] hrúti: hrauti Tóm

kennings

hrúti húms;
‘the ram of the sea; ’
   = SHIP

the ram of the sea; → SHIP
Close

fór ‘it went’

fara (verb; ferr, fór, fóru, farinn): go, travel

[8] fór: fǫr 325VI, 75a, 68, Tóm, fórsk Kˣ

Close

vættak ‘I had expected’

vætta (verb): expect

Close

Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Sigvatr and his men go east to Eiðar and cross the river with great difficulty, using an unreliable boat, a kind of ferry. Afterwards, the poet delivers this stanza.

The stanza seems to say that the men crossed the water in a leaky, laughable boat, then dragged it, presumably across a neck of land. Snorri, however, does not mention any portage.

Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.