Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Sigv Vestv 1I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Vestrfararvísur 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. 617.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonVestrfararvísur

Bergr, hǫfum minnzk, hvé margan
morgun Rúðu borgar
bǫrð létk í fǫr fyrða
fest við arm inn vestra.

Bergr, hǫfum minnzk, hvé margan morgun létk bǫrð fest við inn vestra arm borgar Rúðu í fǫr fyrða.

Bergr, we have remembered how, many a morning, I caused the stem to be moored to the western rampart of Rouen’s fortifications in the company of men.

Mss: (406r) (Hkr); Holm2(51r), 972ˣ(368va), 321ˣ(181), 73aˣ(157v-158r), 68(49r), Holm4(45rb), 61(111rb), 325V(57ra-b), Bb(180va), Flat(114vb), Tóm(137v) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] hǫfum: hefir Flat;    hvé: ‘hu’ 325V;    margan: marga 61, margar Flat    [2] morgun: morgin 972ˣ, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4, 325V, Tóm;    Rúðu: rauðu 325V, ‘Rodar’ Tóm    [3] bǫrð: borð 73aˣ, 325V, Bb, Flat, Tóm, om. 61;    létk (‘let ec’): lét 321ˣ, 73aˣ, leit ek Tóm;    í fǫr fyrða: í fǫr í fyrða 61, ‘ifavrða’ 325V, í fǫr jǫfra ferða Tóm    [4] fest: flest Flat, fýst Tóm;    við: í Flat;    vestra: fyrsta Tóm

Editions: Skj AI, 241, Skj BI, 226, Skald I, 117, NN §§620, 630Hkr 1893-1901, II, 351, IV, 142, ÍF 27, 271, Hkr 1991, II, 450 (ÓHHkr ch. 146); ÓH 1941, I, 426 (ch. 136), Flat 1860-8, II, 276Jón Skaptason 1983, 104, 247.

Context: Sigvatr and his companion Bergr travel to England from Rúða (Rouen), where they have been on a trading voyage.

Notes: [1] Bergr: This, and the prose context, is the sole mention of this man, though see Note to st. 6/4, 6. — [1-2] margan morgun ‘many a morning’: Skj B (followed by ÍF 27 and Jón Skaptason 1983) links this adverbial phrase with the verb hǫfum minnzk ‘we have remembered’, which leaves the conj. hvé ‘how’ separated from the clause it introduces. — [2] borgar Rúðu ‘of Rouen’s fortifications’: The names of certain foreign towns were Scandinavianised in ON by using the element borg ‘fortifications, fortified place’ (e.g. Akrsborg for Acre in ESk Sigdr I 3/8II, Þsvart Lv 1/8II, Oddi Lv 4/8II, -borg rhyming with morgin in the first two), and it is possible that Rúðuborg should be regarded as a cpd p. n. However, borg may also have specific reference to the fortifications, as suggested here, with borgar qualifying inn vestra arm ‘the western arm or rampart’ (so also NN §630, ÍF 27 and Jón Skaptason 1983, and compare Bǫlv Hardr 2/8II and Anon (HSig) 2/8II, in each of which armr ‘rampart’ is qualified by borgar). Skj B takes borgar instead as the gen. object of minnzk ‘remembered’. On the possible historical and archaeological context of this reference, see Jesch (2004a, 264-5). — [3] bǫrð ‘the stem’: Bǫrð, the pl. of n. barð, is chosen not only as the reading of the main ms., but also because it refers specifically to the stem of a ship, often the fore-stem or the prow, and so is particularly appropriate in a context which concerns tying up at a landing-place (Jesch 2001a, 148-50). The pl. bǫrð here may designate a single prow, perhaps because barð designated a feature on both sides of the prow, hence the prow itself (see LP: barð 3). Alternatively, it could refer to both stems, and the ship could be tied up at both ends. The common variant reading borð ‘plank(s)’, as a pars pro toto for ‘ship’, is also possible.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  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. 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. 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. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. Jón Skaptason. 1983. ‘Material for an Edition and Translation of the Poems of Sigvat Þórðarson, skáld’. Ph.D. thesis. State University of New York at Stony Brook. DAI 44: 3681A.
  13. Jesch, Judith. 2004a. ‘Vikings on the European Continent in the Late Viking Age’. In Adams et al. 2004, 255-68.
  14. Internal references
  15. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  16. Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Haralds saga Sigurðarsonar 2’ 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. 816-17.
  17. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 2’ 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. 288-9.
  18. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 4’ 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, p. 618.
  19. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorbjǫrn svarti, Lausavísa 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. 624-5.

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.