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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Austv 21I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur 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. 613.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonAustrfararvísur

text and translation

Fast skalt, ríkr, við ríkan
Rǫgnvald, konungr, halda
— hann es þýðr at þinni
þǫrf nôtt ok dag — sôttum.
Þann veitk, þinga kennir,
þik baztan vin miklu
á austrvega eiga
allt með grœnu salti.

Skalt, ríkr konungr, halda fast sôttum við ríkan Rǫgnvald; hann es þýðr at þǫrf þinni nôtt ok dag. Þann veitk þik eiga, {kennir þinga}, miklu baztan vin á austrvega allt með grœnu salti.
‘You must, powerful king, hold fast this covenant with the powerful Rǫgnvaldr; he is well-disposed to your needs night and day. In him I know you, master of assemblies [RULER], to have by far the best friend in the east all along the green brine.

notes and context

In ÓH and Hkr, after his return from a trip to Rǫgnvaldr’s court, Sigvatr assures King Óláfr of the jarl’s loyalty. In Fsk, sts 18/1-4 and 21/5-8 comprise a stanza. See Context to st. 18 and Note to ll. 1-4 below.

[1-4]: The context provided in Fsk for the stanza formed by this helmingr and st. 18/5-8 (see Context to st. 18) raises the possibility that Sigvatr’s journey to Russia was separate from the visit to the Swedish court and hence, since Fsk (ÍF 29, 179) associates Austv with the Swedish visit, that the stanza may not belong to the poem. The Hkr context also gives confusing information about when this stanza was composed, since it describes a journey by Sigvatr to visit Rǫgnvaldr as if it were separate from the journey on which he composed Austv. However, the repetition of wording and narrative material (ÍF 27, 144, cf. 134), together with the evidence of the ÓH mss (ÓH 1941, I, 206) makes it clear that this is a recapitulation rather than a separate journey. Snorri’s separation of this stanza from the others cannot be motivated by the seeming allusion to the Baltic Sea contained in it (see below), since his prose gives no indication that Sigvatr went near the Baltic on this trip.



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 21: AI, 240, BI, 225, Skald I, 117; Fms 4, 193, Fms 12, 86, ÓH 1941, I, 208 (ch. 75), Flat 1860-8, II, 115; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 130, VI, 89, Hkr 1868 (ÓHHkr ch. 92), Hkr 1893-1901, II, 175-6, ÍF 27, 145, Hkr 1991, I, 353 (ÓHHkr ch. 91); Fsk 1902-3, 158, ÍF 29, 180 (ch. 30); Ternström 1871, 24-5, 52-3, Jón Skaptason 1983, 102, 245.


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