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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Víkv 15I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Víkingarvísur 15’ 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. 554.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonVíkingarvísur
1415

eikr ‘’

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Ríkr ‘The powerful’

ríkr (adj.): mighty, powerful, rich

[1] Ríkr: eikr Flat, Tóm

notes

[All]: This stanza is preserved on one of the surviving leaves of the Hkr ms. J, the vellum Jöfraskinna. The text in J2ˣ was copied from K and hence also belongs to the Hkr redaction, unlike the remainder of the Víkv stanzas in J2ˣ, which belong to the ÓH redaction. Holm4 is dark and damaged at this point, and some of its readings uncertain; ÓH 1941 has been consulted.

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kvað ‘said’

2. kveðja (verb): say, greet

[1] kvað: lét 75c

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at ‘to’

5. at (nota): to (with infinitive)

notes

[All]: The same incident is referred to in Ótt Hfl 16.

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Sauðungs ‘Saue’

sauðungr (noun m.): [Saue]

[2] Sauðungs: Sauðungs sund Bb

notes

[2, 3, 4] fornu Sauðungssundi ‘ancient Sauesund’: It is not clear why this place is described as ‘ancient, old’, except that forn- supplies alliteration and rhyme. It is on the south-east coast of the island of Atløy, in Sunnfjord, Sogn og Fjordane, on the west coast of Norway and thus on an important sailing-route.

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konungr ‘king’

konungr (noun m.; °dat. -i, -s; -ar): king

[2] konungr nauðir: om. 75c

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nauðir ‘need for him’

neyð (noun f.; °dat. -): need, distress

[2] konungr nauðir: om. 75c;    nauðir: nauðr R686ˣ

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freindr ‘’

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frendar ‘’

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fremðar ‘for glory’

fremð (noun f.): honour

[3] fremðar: ‘freindr’ R686ˣ, ‘frendar’ 321ˣ, frægðar 68, 61, Holm4, 325V, Flat, Tóm

notes

[3] fremðar ‘for glory’: Or ‘advancement’. The variant frægðar ‘for fame’ is also possible. 

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fornu ‘ancient’

forn (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): ancient, old

notes

[2, 3, 4] fornu Sauðungssundi ‘ancient Sauesund’: It is not clear why this place is described as ‘ancient, old’, except that forn- supplies alliteration and rhyme. It is on the south-east coast of the island of Atløy, in Sunnfjord, Sogn og Fjordane, on the west coast of Norway and thus on an important sailing-route.

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fund ‘a meeting’

fundr (noun m.): discovery, meeting

[4] fund: fund í Tóm

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‘with Há’

3. hár (adj.; °-van; compar. hǽrri, superl. hǽstr): high < Hákon (noun m.): Hákon

[4] kunar: ‘hakonr’ 321ˣ

notes

[4] Hôkunar ‘with Hákon’: For Hákon jarl Eiríksson (r. c. 1014-c. 1015), see ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

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kunar ‘kon’

1. kyn (noun n.; °-s; -): kin < Hákon (noun m.): Hákon

[4] kunar: ‘hakonr’ 321ˣ

notes

[4] Hôkunar ‘with Hákon’: For Hákon jarl Eiríksson (r. c. 1014-c. 1015), see ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.

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sundi ‘sund’

sund (noun n.; °-s; -): sound, strait; swimming

notes

[2, 3, 4] fornu Sauðungssundi ‘ancient Sauesund’: It is not clear why this place is described as ‘ancient, old’, except that forn- supplies alliteration and rhyme. It is on the south-east coast of the island of Atløy, in Sunnfjord, Sogn og Fjordane, on the west coast of Norway and thus on an important sailing-route.

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stangr ‘’

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Strangr ‘The strong’

strangr (adj.): strong

[5] Strangr: ‘stangr’ R686ˣ

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þar ‘there’

þar (adv.): there

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vas ‘was’

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

[6] vas (‘var’): varð Holm2, 325VI, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 68, Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm

notes

[6] vas ‘was’: The variant varð ‘became’ is also possible.

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ǿttr ‘’

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œztr ‘highest’

œðri (adj. comp.): nobler, higher

[7] œztr: ‘ǿttr’ 321ˣ, œzt 325V

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ætt ‘kin’

1. ætt (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): family

[7] ætt: om. Tóm

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ungr ‘[when] young’

ungr (adj.): young

[8] ungr á: ‘ung(e) a’(?) J2ˣ, ungra 321ˣ;    ungr: ungi J

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á ‘in’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[8] ungr á: ‘ung(e) a’(?) J2ˣ, ungra 321ˣ

notes

[8] á danska tungu ‘in the Danish-speaking world’: Lit. ‘in the Danish tongue’. This appears to be the earliest recorded use of this common phrase referring to the whole of the Scandinavian-speaking area.

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danska ‘the Danish-speaking’

danskr (adj.): Danish

notes

[8] á danska tungu ‘in the Danish-speaking world’: Lit. ‘in the Danish tongue’. This appears to be the earliest recorded use of this common phrase referring to the whole of the Scandinavian-speaking area.

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tungu ‘world’

tunga (noun f.; °-u; -ur): tongue, language

notes

[8] á danska tungu ‘in the Danish-speaking world’: Lit. ‘in the Danish tongue’. This appears to be the earliest recorded use of this common phrase referring to the whole of the Scandinavian-speaking area.

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

Óláfr uses an ingenious naval trap to capture his young rival Hákon jarl Eiríksson and lets him go on condition he swears never to oppose the king.

[5-8]: Most commentators are agreed that the rel. clause qualifies þann jarl ‘that jarl’, and hence that the praise in the second helmingr refers to Hákon rather than Óláfr. If Hákon is the second best, presumably Óláfr is best, so there is also indirect praise of him. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) thought it impossible that Hákon jarl could be praised so highly in a poem about Óláfr, and took the rel. clause to refer to Óláfr, suggesting that the poet had Óláfr Tryggvason in mind as the best ruler.

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