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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 3I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur 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. 561.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonNesjavísur

text and translation

Þat erumk kunnt, hvé kennir
Karlhǫfða lét jarli
odda frosts fyr austan
Agðir nær of lagðan.

Þat erumk kunnt, hvé {kennir {frosts odda}} lét Karlhǫfða of lagðan nær jarli fyr austan Agðir.
‘It is known to me, how the master of the frost of points [BATTLE > WARRIOR] had Karlhǫfði (‘Man-head’) put in position near the jarl to the east of Agder.

notes and context

ÓH-Hkr introduces the stanza after st. 2 (see Note to st. 3 [All] below). ÓHLeg introduces it after st. 6, explaining how the ships were brought together. The stanza is followed by a general summary of the battle. Fsk places st. 3 first in its account of the battle and describes how King Óláfr, despite having a smaller force than the jarl, brings his ship Karlhǫfði alongside the jarl’s and ties the prows together. The battle is noted to have been on Palm Sunday.

Fsk and ÓH-Hkr identify the source poem as Nesjavísur, in which Sigvatr tells in detail of the battle. It is specified in ÓH-Hkr that Sigvatr was present at the battle and composed the poem, a flokkr, the summer immediately after.



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 4: AI, 229, BI, 217, Skald I, 113; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 69-70, IV, 120, ÍF 27, 61 (ÓHHkr ch. 49); Fms 4, 97, Fms 12, 78, ÓH 1941, I, 92 (ch. 40), Flat 1860-8, II, 43; Fsk 1902-3, 150 (ch. 27), ÍF 29, 174 (ch. 29); ÓHLeg 1922, 25, ÓHLeg 1982, 76-7; CPB II, 127, Poole 2005d, 173.


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