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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Erlfl 9I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson 9’ 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.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonFlokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson
8910

Erlingr ‘Erlingr’

Erlingr (noun m.): Erlingr

[1] Erlingr vas svá at: ‘[…]ling[…]’ Tóm;    Erlingr: Eiríkr R686ˣ

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vas ‘behaved’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[1] Erlingr vas svá at: ‘[…]ling[…]’ Tóm

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svá ‘in such a way’

svá (adv.): so, thus

[1] Erlingr vas svá at: ‘[…]ling[…]’ Tóm;    svá at: svá 53

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at ‘against’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[1] Erlingr vas svá at: ‘[…]ling[…]’ Tóm;    svá at: svá 53

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jarla ‘of the jarls’

jarl (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): poet, earl

[1] jarla: jarlar 321ˣ, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, jarli 68

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ôtt ‘the kin’

2. átt (noun f.; °; -ir (acc. sg. attvnna AnnaReyk 410⁹)): lineage

[2] ôtt: ‘att’ corrected from ‘eatt’ Holm2, ‘fatt’ Tóm

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es ‘which’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[2] es (‘er’): erat J1ˣ, J2ˣ, om. 321ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 61(81va), 325V, sér Tóm

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skjǫldungr ‘the king [Óláfr Tryggvason]’

skjǫldungr (noun m.): king

[2] skjǫldungr: skjǫldunga 321ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 61(81va), 325V, skjǫldr Tóm

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máttit ‘could not’

mega (verb): may, might

[2] máttit: mátti 321ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ

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Ôleifs ‘of Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

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svát ‘that he’

svát (conj.): so that, so as

[3] svát (‘sva at’): ok 73aˣ, at 68, 61(81va), Flat, svá 53

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œgði ‘terrified’

œgja (verb): terrify

[3] œgði: œgðit R686ˣ, 61(70rb), 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb(104ra), ‘ægðr’ J1ˣ, œgja 321ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, ‘egþi’ 68, ‘ęgðirr’ 53

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dyggs ‘worthy’

dyggr (adj.; °dyggvan/dyggan; compar. -vari/-ari/-ri, superl. -vastr/-astr/-str): trustworthy < aldyggr (adj.): very excellent

[4] ‑dyggs: ‘‑dugs’ 75c, Bb(130va), ‑dýrs 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb(104ra)

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Tryggva ‘of Tryggvi’

Tryggvi (noun m.): Tryggvi

[4] Tryggva: ‘trygg(i)a’(?) 325VI, om. 78aˣ, ‘tryggia’ 54

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snarr ‘the keen’

snarr (adj.): gallant, bold

kennings

snarr harri búþegna
‘the keen chief of landowners ’
   = RULER = Óláfr

the keen chief of landowners → RULER = Óláfr
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búþegna ‘of landowners’

búþegn (noun m.; °; -ar): farmer, landowner

kennings

snarr harri búþegna
‘the keen chief of landowners ’
   = RULER = Óláfr

the keen chief of landowners → RULER = Óláfr

notes

[6] búþegna ‘of landowners’: Sigvatr uses the phrase bú þegna in Berv 11/2II, where it most likely means ‘livestock of your subjects’, though a cpd meaning ‘farmers’ is also a possible reading. Here, the cpd is the only possible reading and the word þegn implies not so much their agricultural role as their relationship, for both good and ill, with the growing royal power in C11th Norway (Jesch 1993a, 167-9; Syrett 2000, 263-5).

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harri ‘chief’

1. harri (noun m.; °-a): lord

[6] harri: ‘harr⸜i⸝a’ 325V, hjarri 54

kennings

snarr harri búþegna
‘the keen chief of landowners ’
   = RULER = Óláfr

the keen chief of landowners → RULER = Óláfr
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Ulfs ‘Úlfr’s’

3. Ulfr (noun m.): Úlfr

[7] Ulfs feðr vas þat: Ulfs varat æðra 61(81va), ulfseðjandi Bb(130va), ‘vlfs uaradar’ Tóm, þat var yðr en 61(70rb), 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb(104ra);    Ulfs: ‘evlfs’ Flat

kennings

feðr Ulfs.
‘Úlfr’s father. ’
   = Rǫgnvaldr

Úlfr’s father. → Rǫgnvaldr

notes

[7] feðr Ulfs ‘Úlfr’s father [= Rǫgnvaldr]’: Rǫgnvaldr Úlfsson, jarl of Gautland (Götaland), seemingly visited by Sigvatr on the journey described in Sigv Austv. Rǫgnvaldr was married to Ingibjǫrg, sister of Óláfr Tryggvason (see ÍF 27, 85). The Úlfr named in Austv 19/8, 20/1 is probably his son (see Notes).

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feðr ‘father’

faðir (noun m.): father

[7] Ulfs feðr vas þat: Ulfs varat æðra 61(81va), ulfseðjandi Bb(130va), ‘vlfs uaradar’ Tóm, þat var yðr en 61(70rb), 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb(104ra);    feðr: om. Holm2, 68, 325V, son R686ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, nið 321ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ

kennings

feðr Ulfs.
‘Úlfr’s father. ’
   = Rǫgnvaldr

Úlfr’s father. → Rǫgnvaldr

notes

[7] feðr Ulfs ‘Úlfr’s father [= Rǫgnvaldr]’: Rǫgnvaldr Úlfsson, jarl of Gautland (Götaland), seemingly visited by Sigvatr on the journey described in Sigv Austv. Rǫgnvaldr was married to Ingibjǫrg, sister of Óláfr Tryggvason (see ÍF 27, 85). The Úlfr named in Austv 19/8, 20/1 is probably his son (see Notes).

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vas ‘was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[7] Ulfs feðr vas þat: Ulfs varat æðra 61(81va), ulfseðjandi Bb(130va), ‘vlfs uaradar’ Tóm, þat var yðr en 61(70rb), 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb(104ra);    vas þat (‘var þat’): var þar J2ˣ, var þat enn 68, varðaðar 325V, Flat

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þat ‘that’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

[7] Ulfs feðr vas þat: Ulfs varat æðra 61(81va), ulfseðjandi Bb(130va), ‘vlfs uaradar’ Tóm, þat var yðr en 61(70rb), 53, 54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb(104ra);    vas þat (‘var þat’): var þar J2ˣ, var þat enn 68, varðaðar 325V, Flat

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aðra ‘other’

1. annarr (pron.; °f. ǫnnur, n. annat; pl. aðrir): (an)other, second

[7] aðra: arfa 61(81va), æðra Bb(104ra)

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aldrgipta ‘the luck of his life’

aldrgifta (noun f.): [luck of his life]

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Rǫgn ‘to Rǫgn’

rǫgn (noun n.): the gods (in names) < Rǫgnvaldr (noun m.): Rǫgnvaldr

[8] Rǫgnvaldi: Ragnhildi 325V, Tóm

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valdi ‘valdr’

valdr (noun m.): ruler < Rǫgnvaldr (noun m.): Rǫgnvaldr

[8] Rǫgnvaldi: Ragnhildi 325V, Tóm

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Erlingr Skjálgsson continues to exact land-tax from the territory in Rogaland awarded him by King Óláfr Tryggvason, despite competition from Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson.

The stanza stands apart from the preceding ones, which narrate Erlingr’s last stand and death; see Introduction. Jón Helgason (1936) made a compelling argument for regarding this stanza as containing two helmingar from two originally different stanzas. He suggested that ll. 1-4 originally belonged to a stanza about Erlingr, in which the (now lost) second helmingr recorded that Sveinn jarl married his daughter to Erlingr’s son Áslákr, while ll. 5-8 belonged to a stanza about Óláfr Tryggvason and were preceded by a helmingr about Óláfr marrying his sister to Erlingr Skjálgsson. However, they have been kept here as a single stanza since they are considered as such in the sagas of both Óláfr Tryggvason and Óláfr helgi, across a wide range of mss. Arguably, too, the two helmingar are sufficiently connected by the theme of marriage alliances made by Óláfr Tryggvason, which has the effect of assigning the same prestige to Erlingr as to Rǫgnvaldr Úlfsson (on whom, see Note to ll. 7, 8 below). The stanza summarises two of the salient reasons for Erlingr’s enormous power and influence, his political alliances and the force of his personality, and was interpreted as such by Snorri (ÍF 27, 28-9), who notes that Eiríkr jarl made no effort to fight Erlingr because he had many important relatives and was powerful and popular. — [1]: The line is metrically unusual: a Type A-line with ‑lingr unstressed and neutralisation of svá at in the dip, but there is no reason to suspect corruption. — [1-4]: This rather convoluted statement is interpreted, following Jón Helgason (1936, 317) and Kock (NN §643), to mean that Erlingr was able to intimidate the jarls of Hlaðir (Lade), here Eiríkr in particular, even though they had been sufficiently powerful to overcome Óláfr Tryggvason. The verb máttit ‘could not’ (l. 2, inf. mega) could be used absolutely (LP: mega) in the sense ‘to have power or capacity’, but it is more likely to refer to vas svá ‘behaved in such a way’ (l. 1) or œgði ‘terrified’ (l. 3), or indeed both, giving the sense that Óláfr Tryggvason could not deal with the jarls in the way that Erlingr did. The main alternative construal (Skj B) involves a highly artificial word order that is heavily criticised by Kock (NN §643).

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