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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
234

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.

Mss: (251r), papp18ˣ(75v) (Hkr); Holm2(12v), R686ˣ(25r), 972ˣ(85va), J1ˣ(158r), J2ˣ(134v), 325VI(10vb), 321ˣ(53), 73aˣ(34v), 78aˣ(32r), 68(11v), 61(84va), Holm4(4va), 325V(16ra), 325VII(5r), Bb(135ra), Flat(83va), Tóm(102r) (ÓH); DG8(78v) (ÓHLeg); FskBˣ(42v-43r), FskAˣ(162) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] Þat: þar Tóm;    erumk: ‘er unnc ⸜(ø)m⸝’(?) papp18ˣ, er af 61, er Flat, er oss FskAˣ;    kunnt: ‘knítt’ 73aˣ, kunnr Tóm;    hvé: hver Bb, hvé corrected from er DG8;    kennir: ‘kæmner’ FskBˣ    [2] Karl‑: karla‑ papp18ˣ, R686ˣ, Karls‑ 972ˣ, ‘[...]rl‑’ Tóm;    ‑hǫfða: ‑hǫfðann 73aˣ, 61, ‑hǫfði Tóm    [3] odda: eggja 61, orða DG8;    frosts: ‘frorz’ Holm2, frost 972ˣ, 325VI, 321ˣ, 78aˣ, DG8, frests 68, ‘tfrost’ Bb, ‘p̄tz’ Tóm, ‘froz’ FskBˣ, fróns FskAˣ    [4] Agðir: ‘agðr’ R686ˣ, J1ˣ;    of (‘um’): corrected from inn DG8;    lagðan: lagði 325V, lagða Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 229, Skj 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.

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.

Notes: [All]: 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. — [1] kunnt … hvé kennir ‘known … how the master’: Another juxtaposition of etymologically related words (see Note to st. 2/1).  — [2] Karlhǫfða ‘Karlhǫfði (“Man-head”)’: Viking Age ships were most often named after animals (Jesch 2001a, 136-7). Snorri (ÍF 27, 59) explains Karlhǫfði as being named after a king’s head figurehead carved by King Óláfr himself, which set a fashion for rulers’ ships. Jesch (2001a, 137) inclines instead to the suggestion of Paasche (1914, 13) that the ship-name was influenced by Óláfr’s royal model Charlemagne (ON Karlamagnús). — [3] frosts odda ‘of the frost of points [BATTLE]’: This use of frost evidently confused copyists, and its only analogue in a kenning is SnSt Ht 61/3III. Base-words in this kenning type normally denote dynamic weather phenomena, e.g. hagl ‘hail’, él ‘blizzard’ and þeyr ‘thawing wind’ (Meissner 178-82), rather than static ones such as frost. (LP: frost takes the word in Sveinn Norðrdr 1/3III as ‘mountain storm’ but this is uncertain.)

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. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. 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.
  6. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. ÓHLeg 1982 = Heinrichs, Anne et al., eds and trans. 1982. Olafs saga hins helga: Die ‘Legendarische Saga’ über Olaf den Heiligen (Hs. Delagard. saml. nr. 8II). Heidelberg: Winter.
  11. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  12. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  13. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  14. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  15. ÓHLeg 1922 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert, ed. 1922. Olafs saga hins helga efter pergamenthåndskrift i Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, Delagardieske samling nr. 8II. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 47. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  16. Paasche, Fredrik. 1914. Kristendom og kvad: En studie i norrøn middelalder. Christiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. in Paasche 1948, 29-212.
  17. Poole, Russell. 2005d. ‘The Nesjavísur of Sigvatr Þórðarson’. MS 15, 171-98.
  18. Internal references
  19. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.
  20. 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.
  21. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  22. Not published: do not cite (RunVI)
  23. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 61’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1171.
  24. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Sveinn, Norðrsetudrápa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 399.
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