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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Berv 7II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Bersǫglisvísur 7’ 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. 18-19.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonBersǫglisvísur

Ungr, vask með þér, þengill,
þat haust, es komt austan;
einn, stillir, mátt alla
jǫrð hegna, svá fregnisk.
Himin þóttusk þá heiðan
hafa, es landa krafðir,
lofðungs burr, ok lifðir,
landfolk tekit hǫndum.

Ungr þengill, vask með þér þat haust, es komt austan; stillir, mátt einn hegna alla jǫrð; svá fregnisk. Landfolk þóttusk þá hafa tekit heiðan himin hǫndum, es krafðir landa, burr lofðungs, ok lifðir.

Young prince, I was with you that autumn when you came from the east; lord, you alone can secure the entire country; that will be heard. The countrymen then thought they had caught the bright heaven with their hands when you claimed the lands, king’s son, and were alive.

Mss: H(4r-v), Hr(6ra) (H-Hr); 325XI 3(1r), Flat(190ra) (Flat)

Readings: [1] Ungr vask (‘Vngr var ek’): Vrum 325XI 3, Flat    [2] es (‘er’): ‘ertt’ 325XI 3    [3] einn: ungr 325XI 3, Flat    [4] fregnisk: ‘fregn[...]’ 325XI 3, fregnar Flat    [5] Himin: ‘[…]’ 325XI 3;    þóttusk: so Hr, 325XI 3, Flat, þóttumsk H;    þá: om. 325XI 3, Flat;    heiðan: heiðar Flat    [6] krafðir: krafði 325XI 3, Flat    [7] burr: byrr Flat;    ok: er Hr

Editions: Skj AI, 252-3, Skj BI, 236, Skald I, 122, NN §§1865, 2476, 3097H; Fms 6, 40-1 (Mgóð ch. 22); Louis-Jensen 1970b, 148, Flat 1860-8, III, 268, Mork 1928-32, 27, Andersson and Gade 2000, 106, 467 (MH); Jón Skaptason 1983, 143, 290.

Notes: [All]: Magnús Óláfsson arrived in Norway from Russia (via Sweden) in 1035. Sigvatr, who was then in Sweden, joined him on the journey back to Norway. Magnús was elected king of all Norway at Øretinget (Eyraþing, Eyra Assembly; see Note to Sturl Hákkv 9/16) in Trondheim that autumn. — [4] hegna ‘secure’: For the meaning ‘secure, protect’, see Fritzner: hegna 1. — [4] svá fregnisk ‘that will be heard’: Meaning that the news of Magnús’s justice will spread far and wide. — [5] þóttusk (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘thought’: The subject is a collective in the sg. (landfolk ‘countrymen’, lit. ‘country-folk’ (l. 8)), and Skj B emends to þóttisk (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘thought’. That emendation is unnecessary if we assume a suppressed pl. subject (‘they’) referring to the later collective (see NN §§1865, 3097H; NS §10b). — [5] heiðan (m. acc. sg.) ‘bright’: The l. lacks internal rhyme, and Kock (NN §2476) tentatively suggests the emendation heiman ‘here on earth’. However, the adv. is not attested in that meaning (heiman is normally ‘away from home, away from this world’) and is not warranted by the ms. witnesses.


  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  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. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  9. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  10. Mork 1928-32 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1928-32. Morkinskinna. SUGNL 53. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  11. 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.
  12. Louis-Jensen, Jonna. 1970b. ‘Et forlæg til Flateyjarbók? Fragmenterne AM 325 IV ß og XI, 3 4to’. Opuscula 4. BA 30, 141-58. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  13. Internal references
  14. Not published: do not cite (MHII)
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hákonarkviða 9’ 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, p. 706.

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