skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Sigv ErfÓl 1I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 1’ 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. 665.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonErfidrápa Óláfs helga
12

Tolf frák tekna elfar
tálaust viðu bála;
olli Ôleifr falli
eirsamr konungr þeira.
Svía tyggja leitk seggi
sóknstríðs (firum) ríða
(bǫl vas brátt) til Heljar
(búit mest) Sigars hesti.

Frák tálaust {tolf viðu {bála elfar}} tekna; Ôleifr, eirsamr konungr, olli falli þeira. Leitk seggi {sóknstríðs tyggja Svía} ríða {hesti Sigars} til Heljar; mest bǫl vas brátt búit firum.

I heard without equivocation that {twelve trees {of the pyres of the river}} [GOLD > MEN] were captured; Óláfr, the merciful king, caused their death. I saw the men {of the battle-hard king of the Swedes} [= Óláfr sœnski] ride {the horse of Sigarr <legendary king>} [GALLOWS] to Hel; the greatest harm was quickly prepared for the men.

Mss: R686ˣ(29v), 972ˣ(100va), Peringskiöld 1697 I(439) (ÓH)

Readings: [2] tálaust: ‘tallaust’ 972ˣ, Peringskiöld 1697 I    [4] eirsamr: ‘eiarsamr’ R686ˣ, eirlaust 972ˣ, Peringskiöld 1697 I    [5] tyggja: so 972ˣ, Peringskiöld 1697 I, ‘tiggi’ R686ˣ;    leitk (‘leit ek’): so Peringskiöld 1697 I, ‘lett ek’ R686ˣ, lét ek 972ˣ    [6] firum: fyr um Peringskiöld 1697 I

Editions: Skj AI, 257, Skj BI, 239, Skald I, 124, NN §§656, 1870; ÓH 1941, II, 1086; Jón Skaptason 1983, 156, 299-301.

Context: ÓH 1941, I, 110 (ch. 45) and Hkr (ÍF 27, 74-7) recount that, early in his reign, King Óláfr’s men capture and hang Ásgautr, one of the two messengers sent by King Óláfr of Sweden to collect taxes from the farmers of Norway, along with his eleven followers. The stanza is cited only in the transcriptions of the lost Uppsala ms.

Notes: [All]: The surviving texts of this stanza seem to derive from the lost Uppsala ms. (*U) of ÓH (see ÓH 1941, II, 1086). — [1, 5] frák; leitk ‘I heard; I saw’: If these are taken literally, Sigvatr was not present at the capture of the Swedish party, but did witness their subsequent hanging. — [1, 2] bála elfar ‘of the pyres of the river [GOLD]’: Bál ‘pyre’ as the base-word in gold-kennings is not normally pl. (Meissner 229-30, though cf. Kálf Kátr 11/6VII), but Meissner notes (Meissner 226) that the pl. can be used in gold-kennings, not only for poetic emphasis but also to suggest individual items of gold. Bála may, alternatively or additionally, have been preferred for its disyllabic form. — [2] tálaust ‘without equivocation’: The first element is either f. ‘pair’ (cf. SnE 1998, I, 106; LP: tálauss) or tál-, i.e. tôl ‘deceit’ (cf. Sigv Erlfl 8/3). The former is assumed here, on the basis of the spelling of the main ms. and because the concept of ‘deceit’ does not seem relevant. — [4] eirsamr ‘merciful’: No text has precisely this spelling, but it seems to be indicated by the readings and by the context. Eirsamr is preferable as the lectio difficilior, while the variant eirlaust ‘mercilessly’ is doubtless influenced by ‑laust in l. 2. Kock (NN §1870) points out that Sigvatr uses the paradox of the gentle, merciful king dealing ruthlessly with miscreants again in st. 5. — [6] firum ‘for the men’: Kock (NN §656) suggests reading this with sóknstríðs, giving ‘hard in battle against men’, but this construction seems awkward, and what Kock calls Finnur Jónsson’s paranteskonglomerat ‘conglomeration of parentheses’ is preferable in a helmingr where there is interlacing of clauses under any interpretation. — [7] Heljar ‘Hel’: The realm of the dead, and the monstrous goddess presiding over it (see Note to HSt Rst 34/1, 4). — [8] hesti Sigars ‘the horse of Sigarr <legendary king> [GALLOWS]’: See Note to Eyv Hál 4/5.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. 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.
  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. 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.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  9. 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.
  10. Internal references
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  12. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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, pp. clxxvi-clxxix.
  13. Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 11’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 938-9.
  14. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 4’ 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. 202.
  15. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson 8’ 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. 640.
  16. Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 34’ 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. 937.
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.