skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Sigv ErfÓl 3I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 3’ 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. 668.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonErfidrápa Óláfs helga
234

Lyngs bar fiskr til fengjar
flugstyggs sonar Tryggva
gjǫlnar golli mǫlnu
— goð vildi svá — roðnar.
Annan lét á unnir
Ôleifr búinn hôla
(lǫgr þó drjúgt) inn digri
(dýrs horn) Visund sporna.

{Fiskr lyngs} {flugstyggs sonar Tryggva} bar gjǫlnar roðnar mǫlnu golli til fengjar; goð vildi svá. Ôleifr inn digri lét annan, búinn hôla, Visund, sporna á unnir; lǫgr þó drjúgt horn dýrs.

{The fish of the heather} [SNAKE (ormr = Ormr inn langi)] {of the flight-shunning son of Tryggvi} [= Óláfr Tryggvason] carried gills reddened with ground gold in pursuit of gain; God wished it so. Óláfr inn digri (‘the Stout’) caused a second [ship], splendidly equipped, Visundr (‘Bison’), to tread on the waves; the sea washed the animal’s horns persistently.

Mss: (404r) (Hkr); Holm2(50v), J2ˣ(194r), 321ˣ(179), 73aˣ(156v-157r), 68(48v), Holm4(44vb), 61(111ra), 75c(29v), 325V(56va), 325VII(29v), Bb(180ra), Flat(114va), Tóm(137r) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] Lyngs: lungs 68;    bar: var 61;    fiskr: ‘fystr’ 325VII, frekr Flat    [2] flug‑: flærð‑ 321ˣ, 73aˣ;    ‑styggs: ‑styggan 321ˣ, 73aˣ, ‑stígs 325VII, styggr Tóm;    sonar: son 321ˣ, 73aˣ    [3] gjǫlnar: ‘giolnir’ Holm2, ‘gelnar’ 61, ‘siolnar’ Bb, ‘giolar’ Tóm    [4] roðnar: mildan 321ˣ, 73aˣ, mildi 61    [5] Annan: annarr Bb, Flat;    á: enn J2ˣ;    unnir: unnar 325V    [6] hôla: om. 73aˣ    [7] lǫgr: langr Bb;    þó: þau 75c;    drjúgt: drýgt Holm2    [8] Visund: Visundr J2ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 257, Skj BI, 239, Skald I, 124; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 347, IV, 141, ÍF 27, 267-8, Hkr 1991, II, 447 (ÓHHkr ch. 144); ÓH 1941, I, 422 (ch. 134), Flat 1860-8, II, 275; Jón Skaptason 1983, 158, 302.

Context: King Óláfr sets out on an expedition with a newly-built ship, Visundr.

Notes: [All]: Anon (ÓH), quoted later in the same chapters of ÓH-Hkr, also depicts Óláfr launching his ship Visundr from the north, while another prince sails from the south. — [1] fiskr lyngs ‘the fish of the heather [SNAKE (ormr = Ormr inn langi]’: Óláfr’s magnificent Visundr ‘Bison’ is compared with Ormr inn langi ‘the Long Serpent’, the famous warship in which Óláfr Tryggvason fought his last battle at Svǫlðr; see Note to Hókr Eirfl 3/4. Ormr is frequently mentioned in skaldic poetry, often using word-play as here; see Hfr ErfÓl 10/1 and Note. — [1] til fengjar ‘in pursuit of gain’: The context might suggest ‘into battle’, but fengr m. normally means ‘plunder, booty’ (LP: fengr), so a reference to gaining or raiding seems likely here (cf. the translations í leiðangur ‘on a raiding expedition’ in ÍF 27 and til fangst ‘for plundering, seizing’ in Hkr 1893-1901, IV and Skj B). Óláfr Tryggvason in Hkr (ÍF 26, 344, 348) calls up a fleet and sails Ormr south to Denmark and Vinðland (Wendland) to press his territorial claims. — [3] gjǫlnar ‘gills’: This, the sole occurrence of this rare word in skaldic poetry, extends the ‘fish’ metaphor of l. 1 and may apply to the gilded prow (Jesch 2001a, 147). — [4] goð vildi svá ‘God wished it so’: For references in Sigvatr’s poetry to the Christian deity allowing or approving of the actions of a king, cf. Lv 7/5 and 29/3. What exactly is claimed to be God’s will is unclear, but it could be the splendour and successes of Ormr. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) suggested instead the battle of Svǫlðr (c. 1000). — [5] annan (m. acc. sg.) ‘a second [ship]’: The adj. is in grammatical concord with fiskr (m. nom. sg.) ‘fish’ or more especially Visund (m. acc. sg.) ‘Bison’, but does not directly qualify either. The translation in ÍF 27 assumes dreka (m. acc. sg.) ‘dragon-ship’ to be understood, while Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) remarks that n. annat [skip] ‘another ship, a second ship’ would have been expected. The variant annarr (m. nom. sg.) would qualify Ôleifr, hence ‘another, a second Óláfr’, which would be apt, but this is the reading of Bb and Flat only. — [7] inn digri ‘(“the Stout”)’: Sigvatr uses this epithet of the king in sts 6/8 and 8/2 and in Lv 12/6. Digri appears widely as Óláfr’s nickname; it was posthumously replaced by helgi ‘the Holy, Saint’. — [8] Visund ‘(“Bison”)’: According to the prose preceding the stanza, Visundr was the greatest of ships and had a gold-adorned bison-head at its prow. The ship was inherited by Óláfr’s son Magnús, and is referred to in several poems; see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 4/8II.

References

  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. 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.
  5. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  9. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  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. Internal references
  13. 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].
  14. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  15. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  16. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lausavísa from Óláfs saga helga’ 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. 1087.
  17. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 10’ 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. 415.
  18. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 3’ 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. 475.
  19. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 4’ 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. 68-9.
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.