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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 12I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 12’ 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. 573.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonNesjavísur
111213

Frýrat oss í ári
innþrœnzk, þótt lið minna,
— gǫrt hugðak svá — snertu
snotr mær, konungs væri.
Brúðr mun heldr at háði
hafa drótt, þás framm sótti,
— fold ruðum skers — ef skyldi,
skeggi, aðratveggju.

Snotr innþrœnzk mær frýrat oss snertu í ári, þótt lið konungs væri minna; hugðak svá gǫrt. Brúðr mun heldr hafa at háði drótt, þás sótti framm skeggi, ef aðratveggju skyldi; ruðum {fold skers}.

The wise inner-Trøndelag maiden does not reproach us for our effort in a hurry, although the king’s force was less; I thought so decidedly. The woman will rather hold in derision the company that lunged forward with their beards, if she should [deride] one or the other; we reddened {the land of the skerry} [SEA].

Mss: (254r-v), papp18ˣ(76v-77r) (Hkr); Holm2(13r), R686ˣ(26v), 972ˣ(90va), J1ˣ(160v), J2ˣ(136v), 325VI(11va), 75a(2rb), 68(12v), 61(85ra), Holm4(5rb), 325V(17ra), 325VII(5v), Bb(135vb), Flat(83vb), Tóm(102v) (ÓH); FskBˣ(43v), FskAˣ(164) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] Frýrat (‘frýr eigi’): flýr eigi 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm    [2] ‑þrœnzk: ‘‑þreisk’ 75a, ‘‑þravngs’ 61, ‘‑þręsk’ 325VII, ‘‑þranks’ Tóm, ‑þrœnskr FskBˣ, FskAˣ    [3] gǫrt: grat 68, gótt Tóm;    hugðak: hugða R686ˣ;    snertu: ‘snari rinn’ J1ˣ, svǫrtum J2ˣ, ‘snota’ 68    [4] snotr: ‘sipotr’ R686ˣ, ‘snotor’ J1ˣ, snotar 325VI, 75a, ‘sner’ 68, ‘snøtr’ Holm4;    konungs: konung papp18ˣ, Bb    [5] Brúðr: ‘bruþ[…]’ R686ˣ;    mun: so Holm2, R686ˣ, 972ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 75a, 68, 61, 325V, Bb, Flat, Tóm, FskAˣ;    at: af 61    [6] hafa: hafði R686ˣ;    drótt: dróttir Tóm;    þás (‘þa er’): þá eð papp18ˣ, sá er J1ˣ, J2ˣ;    sótti: so 972ˣ, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 61, Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Bb, Flat, Tóm, sóttið Kˣ, papp18ˣ, Holm2, 68, ‘sotu’ R686ˣ, sóttek FskBˣ, sóttu FskAˣ    [7] fold: fald 325V;    ruðum: ruðu 325V, 325VII, Tóm;    skers: serks 61, 325V, ‘skœ̨r’ Tóm, ‘skeis’ FskAˣ;    ef: sem 61, Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm    [8] skeggi: seggi 68, 61, Bb, skeggjum FskAˣ;    aðratveggju: ‘á þartueggio’ papp18ˣ, ‘aþru tu[…]giu’ R686ˣ, aðratveggja FskAˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 231-2, Skj BI, 219, Skald I, 114, NN §§1149, 3222; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 76, IV, 125, ÍF 27, 69 (ÓHHkr ch. 52); Fms 4, 104, Fms 12, 81, ÓH 1941, I, 98 (ch. 41), Flat 1860-8, II, 46; Fsk 1902-3, 153 (ch. 27), ÍF 29, 176-7 (ch. 29); CPB II, 128, Poole 2005d, 177.

Context: In ÓH-Hkr the stanza follows st. 11 and in Fsk it follows st. 10.

Notes: [1] í ári ‘in a hurry’: This interpretation is proposed by Kock, citing two parallels which also involve a negated verb (NN §3222), though ‘early’ or ‘this year’ are also possible; cf. the Note on the phrase in SnH Lv 1/5II. — [2, 4] þótt lið konungs væri minna ‘although the king’s force was less’: While it seems to be stated here that the king had lower numbers than Sveinn, st. 6 claims that mildr fekk meira lið an gløggr ‘the generous one [Óláfr] gained a greater force than the mean one [Sveinn]’. This has been seen as an internal contradiction on Sigvatr’s part. It is notable that Fsk and ÓH-Hkr do not include st. 6, and the reason may well be that the redactors detected a discrepancy (Fidjestøl 1997b, 15). Numerous attempts at harmonisation have been made in modern scholarship (e.g. Johnsen 1916, 35; Schreiner 1926, 106; Schreiner 1927, 418; Schreiner 1929, 86; van Eeden 1945b, 128; Petersen 1946, 48; and Fidjestøl 1997b). There is, however, no contradiction if ‘more’ means that Óláfr had more men than Sveinn had overall and ‘fewer’ means that Óláfr received fewer men than originally pledged, thanks to the people of Trøndelag having defaulted on their oaths (cf. st. 13; see Poole 2005d, 189-92). — [3] snertu ‘effort’: Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV), translating this noun as strid, kamp ‘battle’, notes that its basic sense is ‘stint of strenuous labour’. — [4] snotr … mær ‘the wise … maiden’: It is unknown whether this is a generic reference or a more specific one, now unrecoverable. — [6, 8] sótti framm skeggi ‘lunged forward with their beards’: I.e. ‘fell in battle’. Skeggi is literally sg. ‘beard’. The men described thus as an object of derision must be Óláfr’s opponents at Nesjar, the troops of Sveinn jarl Hákonarson.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1997b. ‘“Meira lið eða minna?” Ein merknad til Nesjavísur’. Nordica Bergensia 14, 15-19.
  6. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  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. 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.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  13. Eeden, W. van. 1945b. ‘Een Opmerking over Sigvatr Þórðarson’s Nesjavísur str. 11’. Neophilologus 30, 128.
  14. Johnsen, Oscar Albert. 1916. Olav Haraldssons ungdom indtil slaget ved Nesjar. Kristiania [Oslo]: Dybwad.
  15. Petersen, Sven Aage. 1946. Vikinger og vikingeaand: Sighvat Thordssøn og hans skjaldskab. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  16. Poole, Russell. 2005d. ‘The Nesjavísur of Sigvatr Þórðarson’. MS 15, 171-98.
  17. Schreiner, Johan. 1926. Tradisjon og saga om Olav den hellige. Oslo: Dybwad.
  18. Schreiner, Johan. 1927. ‘Studier til Olav den helliges historie’. HT(N) 27 (5 ser. 6), 403-57.
  19. Schreiner, Johan. 1929. Olav den hellige og Norges samling. Oslo: Steen.
  20. Internal references
  21. 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].
  22. 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.
  23. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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. clix-clxi.
  24. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  25. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sneglu-Halli, Lausavísur 1’ 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. 324-5.
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