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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Austv 5I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur 5’ 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. 590.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonAustrfararvísur
456

‘Gakkat inn,’ kvað ekkja,
‘armi drengr, en lengra;
hræðumk ek við Óðins
— erum heiðin vér — reiði.’
Rýgr kvazk inni eiga
óþekk, sús mér hnekkði,
alfablót, sem ulfi
ótvín, í bœ sínum.

‘Gakkat en lengra inn, armi drengr’, kvað ekkja; ‘ek hræðumk við reiði Óðins; vér erum heiðin.’ Óþekk rýgr, sús hnekkði mér ótvín sem ulfi, kvazk eiga alfablót inni í bœ sínum.

‘Do not come any farther in, wretched fellow’, said the woman; ‘I fear the wrath of Óðinn; we are heathen.’ The disagreeable female, who drove me away like a wolf without hesitation, said they were holding a sacrifice to the elves inside her farmhouse.

Mss: Holm2(25v-26r), R686ˣ(49v), 972ˣ(177va), J2ˣ(160v), 325VI(17ra), 75a(14vb-15rb), 73aˣ(64v), 68(24v), 61(94ra), Holm4(17ra-b), 75c(14v), 325VII(12v), Flat(93ra), Tóm(113r) (ÓH); Kˣ(304r), Bb(152vb) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] ekkja: ekkjan Holm4, 75c, 325VII, Flat, Tóm    [2] armi: armr R686ˣ, 972ˣ, arm 68;    drengr en: so R686ˣ, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, Kˣ, Bb, drengr in Holm2, drengrinn 73aˣ, 68, 61, Holm4, 75c, 325VII, Flat, Tóm    [3] ek: vér 75a    [4] erum: corrected from ‘arrum’ 325VII;    heiðin: so 73aˣ, 61, Holm4, Flat, Tóm, Bb, heiðnir Holm2, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 68, 75c, Kˣ, heiðan R686ˣ, heiðinn 75a;    vér: vel J2ˣ, við 68, 61, om. Tóm    [5] Rýgr: hryggr Tóm;    kvazk: kvezk R686ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 61, Flat    [6] óþekk: áþekk 972ˣ, ‘oþegt’ Flat    [7] alfa‑: ‘alba’ Holm4;    ulfi: ylfi R686ˣ, J2ˣ, ylfi corrected from ulfi 325VII    [8] ótvín: óttum R686ˣ, ótt vin 972ˣ, 325VII, ‘otuíns’ 73aˣ, ‘ót vín’ 68, ‘ot víns’ 61, eirlaust Holm4, ‘vt vín’ 75c, Flat, Tóm, Bb;    í: á 325VI, 61, frá Holm4, ór Kˣ;    sínum: þeirra Holm4

Editions: Skj AI, 234, Skj BI, 221, Skald I, 115, NN §627; Fms 4, 187, Fms 12, 84, ÓH 1853, 80, 272, ÓH 1941, I, 200 (ch. 75), Flat 1860-8, II, 113; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 125, VI, 85, Hkr 1868, 308 (ÓHHkr ch. 92), Hkr 1893-1901, II, 171, ÍF 27, 137, Hkr 1991, I, 347 (ÓHHkr ch. 91); Ternström 1871, 16-17, 45, Konráð Gíslason 1892, 37, 177, Jón Skaptason 1983, 86, 239.

Context: Sigvatr comes to another farm, where the woman of the house stands in the doorway and tells him he cannot enter, saying they are holding a sacrifice to the elves.

Notes: [2] armi drengr ‘wretched fellow’: The collocation is unusual, since drengr most often means ‘warrior, worthy man’ (see Jesch 1993a, Jesch 2001a, 216-32, and Goetting 2006 for discussions). The word is used, probably with mock-heroic tone, to refer to the skald and his companions in sts 11/7, 14/1, 14/2, 18/7, as is the derived adv. fulldrengila ‘most bravely’, st. 15/8. — [5] rýgr ‘female’: Rýgr (or Rýgi) appears among the giantess-heiti in Þul Trollkvenna 5/7III, and it is glossed mægtig kvinde ‘powerful woman’ in LP: rýgr; but the word may not always connote any particular power or trollishness (cf. Hallberg 1975, 166; Turville-Petre 1976, 82; Jón Skaptason 1983, 239), and it also appears among woman-heiti in Þul Kvenna I 1/5III . — [7] alfablót ‘a sacrifice to the elves’: This is the only reference to this practice in Old Norse poetry, and its nature and that of the minor mythological beings called álfar is elusive (see Turville-Petre 1964, 230-2, Gunnell 2006 and Hall 2007 for elves in Old English and Old Norse tradition). — [8] ótvín ‘without hesitation’: (a) The present analysis (ó- + tví- as in tví-ræðr ‘ambiguous’) was implicit already in Hkr 1777-1826, VI, 85 and n., and it is advocated at length by Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 66-7); see also Note to Þjóð Magnfl 18/2II. Hallberg (1975, 167) would construe it not with mér hnekkði ‘drove me away’ in l. 6 but with kvazk ‘said’ in l. 5. (b) Ternström (1871, 45), following the analysis of the word given by Sveinbjörn Egilsson in LP (1860): óttvin, relating ót- to ætt ‘family’, reads ótvin and interprets this as a vocative, ‘friend of the people’, addressed to Óláfr. — [8] í ‘inside’: Noreen (1923, 37) would adopt ór ‘from’, the reading of (cf. Holm4: frá ‘from’), and connect the prepositional phrase with hnekkði ‘drove away’ in l. 6. Certainly, ór would simplify the word order in regard to the final line, but it seems characteristic of Sigvatr’s style to end the main clause beginning in l. 5 in the final line, rather than to end it in l. 7. At all events, it is easier to explain why a copyist should have altered í to ór than the reverse.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  7. Hallberg, Peter. 1975. Old Icelandic Poetry: Eddic Lay and Skaldic Verse. Trans. Paul Schach and Sonja Lindgrenson. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press.
  8. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  9. Turville-Petre, Gabriel. 1964. Myth and Religion of the North. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  10. Turville-Petre, Gabriel. 1976. Scaldic Poetry. Oxford: Clarendon.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  14. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  15. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  16. Jón Þorkelsson [J. Thorkelsson]. 1884. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i versene i Heimskringla’. Aftryk af oversigt over det kgl. danske videnskabs selskabs forhandlinger 1884. Copenhagen: Luno.
  17. Jesch, Judith. 1993a. ‘Skaldic Verse and Viking Semantics’. In Faulkes et al. 1993, 160-71.
  18. Goetting, Lauren. 2006. ‘Þegn and drengr in the Viking Age’. SS 78, 375-404.
  19. 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.
  20. Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1892. Udvalg af oldnordiske skjaldekvad, med anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  21. Ternström, Alfred. 1871. Om skalden Sighvat Thordsson och tolkning af hans Austrfararvísur, Vestrfararvísur och Knútsdrápa. Lund: Ohlsson.
  22. Hkr 1777-1826 = Schöning, Gerhard et al., eds. 1777-1826. Heimskringla edr Noregs konunga-sögor. 6 vols. Copenhagen: Stein.
  23. Hkr 1868 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1868. Heimskringla eller Norges kongesagaer af Snorre Sturlassøn. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  24. Gunnell, Terry. 2006. ‘How Elvish Were the Álfar?’. In McKinnell et al. 2006, 321-8.
  25. Noreen, Erik. 1923. Studier i fornvästnordisk diktning: tredje samlingen. Uppsala: Akademiska bokhandeln.
  26. Hall, Alaric. 2007. Elves in Anglo-Saxon England: Matters of Belief, Health, Gender and Identity. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  27. ÓH 1853 = Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1853. Saga Olafs konungs ens helga. Christiania (Oslo): Det kongelige norske Fredriks Universitet.
  28. Internal references
  29. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  30. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Trollkvenna heiti 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 730.
  31. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 18’ 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. 85-6.
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