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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 12I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 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. 714.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur

Hafa ‘have’

hafa (verb): have


jǫfrar ‘lords’

jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince

[1] jǫfrar: ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 g


út ‘from the’

út (adv.): out(side)

[2] út: ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 g


sín ‘their’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

[2] sín: sinn Flat, ‘[…]’ 325XI 2 g


hǫfuð ‘heads’

hǫfuð (noun n.; °-s; -): head

[2] hǫfuð: hǫfðuð Bb


Knúti ‘to Knútr’

Knútr (noun m.): Knútr

[2] Knúti: ‘hnuti’ Tóm


fœrð ‘presented’

2. fœra (verb): bring

[3] fœrð: so 325V, 972ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 75a, 73aˣ, 68, 61, Holm4, Bb, Flat, Tóm, 325XI 2 g, ferð Holm2, 68, 61, ‘førð’ 325VII, forð Kˣ


Fífi ‘Fife’

Fíf (noun n.): [Fife]

[3] Fífi: finni Tóm, ‘f[…]i’ 325XI 2 g


[3] Fífi ‘Fife’: ON Fíf also occurs as a heiti for ‘land’: see Þul Jarðar 1/5III and Note.


kaup ‘the price’

kaup (noun n.; °-s; -): reward, purchase < friðkaup (noun n.)

[4] ‑kaup: so all others, kapp corrected from kaup Holm2


vas ‘was’

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

[4] vas (‘var’): er 75a, Bb


miðju ‘of mid’

miðja (noun f.; °-u): the middle

[4] miðju: miðja 325VI, miðjum 325VII, Bb, Flat


Seldi ‘surrendered’

4. selja (verb): hand over, sell, give

[5] Seldi: felldi 75a, selds 68, seldir 61


Ôleifr ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr


aldri ‘never’

aldri (adv.): never


opt ‘often’

opt (adv.): often



1. vega (verb): strike, slay

[6] vá: vann 325V


digri ‘Stout’

digr (adj.; °digran; compar. digrari, superl. digrastr): fat, large

[6] digri: ‘di[…]ri’ 325XI 2 g


haus ‘his skull’

hauss (noun m.; °hauss, dat. hausi/haus; hausar): skull

[7] haus í: hausi 73aˣ, 61, hans í Bb, Flat, haus ór Tóm


í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[7] haus í: hausi 73aˣ, 61, hans í Bb, Flat, haus ór Tóm


þvísa ‘for that reason’

1. sjá (pron.; °gen. þessa dat. þessum/þeima, acc. þenna; f. sjá/þessi; n. þetta, dat. þessu/þvísa; pl. þessir): this


[7] þvísa ‘for that reason’: (a) Neuter dat. sg. of the demonstrative pron. þessi ‘this’, here taken adverbially in the intercalary clause. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) would place the word in the principal clause, where, if it is not meaningless, it would oddly imply that Óláfr has surrendered his head for another reason. Jón Skaptason (1983, 197) chooses the same arrangement, translating ‘so’. (c) Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 68-9, followed by Gering 1912, 146, Kock, NN §1874, ÍF 27, and Hkr 1991) proposes that it functions adjectivally, modifying heimi ‘world’ in l. 7. The problem is that heimi is m., while þvísa is n., and so he argues that there was in early times a n. form that survives only in gen. compounds like heimisgarðr ‘homestead’. But heimis- is not attested in the sense ‘world’s’ (as observed by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson, ÍF 27), and so it seems safer to align þvísa with the intercalary clause than to assume an otherwise unattested form.


svá ‘thus’

svá (adv.): so, thus

[8] svá: om. Tóm


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

Ambassadors from Denmark convey the message that King Knútr inn ríki (Cnut the Great) demands King Óláfr’s submission and control of all of Norway, and Óláfr refuses, pledging to resist to the last. Sigvatr asks the departing ambassadors the outcome of their audience, and they say that Óláfr has foolishly rejected Knútr’s demand. It would be wise for Óláfr to submit, because Knútr is gracious and forgiving, and he will accept the fealty of those who have resisted him, as he did recently when he agreed to let two kings from Fife in Scotland hold their land in fief. Sigvatr responds with this stanza.


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