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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 1I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 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. 558.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonNesjavísur

text and translation

Fór ór Vík á vári
válaust konungr austan,
— þeir kníðu blô báðir
borð — en jarl kom norðan.
Kannk sigrviðum segja,
sund*, hvé þeira fundir,
œrin skil, þeims ôrum,
at bôrusk, þar skôru.

Konungr fór válaust austan ór Vík á vári, en jarl kom norðan; þeir báðir kníðu blô borð. Kannk segja {sigrviðum}, þeims skôru sund* þar ôrum, œrin skil, hvé fundir þeira bôrusk at.
‘The king set forth, without doubt, from the east out of Vík in spring, and the jarl came from the north; they both urged on the black planks. I am able to tell the victory-trees [WARRIORS], those who cut the sea there with their oars, sufficient information as to how their encounters took place.

notes and context

In Fsk, the citation of st. 1 is preceded by a summary of the battle at Nesjar, noting that Óláfr had the victory and that Sveinn jarl narrowly evaded capture, thanks to Einarr þambarskelfir. It is followed by a comment that Sigvatr composed the poem (kvæðit) when the events were of recent occurrence (ný orðin), and that he had been present at the battle; further stanzas are announced. In TGT, the first line is cited to illustrate cacenphaton (see Note to l. 1).

Although st. 3 has already been cited in Fsk, this stanza is stated there to be first in the poem: Sigvatr hefr svá Nesjavísur ‘Sigvatr begins Nesjavísur thus’.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur 1: AI, 228, BI, 217, Skald I, 113, NN §618; Fsk 1902-3, 151 (ch. 27), ÍF 29, 175 (ch. 29); SnE 1848-87, II, 120-1, TGT 1884, 79, TGT 1927, 55, TGT 1998, 144-5; CPB II, 127, Poole 2005d, 171-2.


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