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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 21I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 21’ 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. 726.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur

Hrafna sék til hafnar
— hræs minnask þeir — sinna,
þars flaut und nið nýtum
Norðmanna skip forðum.
Gjalla hôtt fyr Hillar
hvern dag frekir ernir,
endr þeirs Ôleifr grenndi,
innan, mǫrgu sinni.

Sék hrafna sinna til hafnar, þars skip flaut forðum und {nýtum nið Norðmanna}; þeir minnask hræs. Frekir ernir gjalla hôtt hvern dag fyr innan Hillar, þeirs Ôleifr grenndi endr mǫrgu sinni.

I see ravens travelling to the harbour, where a ship rode once under {the able son of Norwegians} [= Óláfr]; they remember the carrion. Greedy eagles shriek loudly every day in the lee of Hille, those which Óláfr fed formerly many a time.

Mss: (499r), 39(13rb), F(38ra), J2ˣ(241v-242r), E(4r) (Hkr); 761bˣ(311r)

Readings: [1] sék (‘se ec’): sá ek 39    [2] hræs: ‘hræz’ E;    sinna: svinna 761bˣ    [4] skip: lið E    [5] Gjalla: ‘gialha’ E;    Hillar: hildar J2ˣ, E, 761bˣ    [7] endr: endir E;    þeirs (‘þeir er’): þeir J2ˣ, 761bˣ;    grenndi: ‘gra᷎ndi’ 39

Editions: Skj AI, 272, Skj BI, 251-2, Skald I, 130; Hkr 1777-1826, III, 11, VI, 125, Hkr 1868, 521 (MGóð ch. 9), Hkr 1893-1901, III, 17, IV, 183, ÍF 28, 15-16, Hkr 1991, II, 565 (MGóð ch. 8), F 1871, 172, E 1916, 12; Jón Skaptason 1983, 205, 326.


As he returns to his home in the Þrándheimr (Trøndelag) district, Sigvatr anchors in Hillarsund, where he sees many ravens flying. He speaks this stanza.

Notes: [3-4] nið Norðmanna ‘son of Norwegians [= Óláfr]’: Jón Skaptason (1983, 324-5) remarks that aside from this expression, these five stanzas lamenting the death of Óláfr (Lv 18-22) seem to express sincere grief without the formality of elaborate diction. See also de Vries (1964-7, I, 248). — [5] Hillar (f. acc. pl.) ‘Hille’: ON Hillar refers to a group of islands about 15 kilometres east of Lindesnes in Vest-Agder, southern Norway, the largest of which is called Hille. — [7] grenndi ‘fed’: See Note to Sigv Austv 16/2.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Vries, Jan de. 1964-7. Altnordische Literaturgeschichte. 2 vols. 2nd edn. Grundriss der germanischen Philologie 15-16. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  4. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  5. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  7. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  9. 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.
  10. Hkr 1777-1826 = Schöning, Gerhard et al., eds. 1777-1826. Heimskringla edr Noregs konunga-sögor. 6 vols. Copenhagen: Stein.
  11. Hkr 1868 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1868. Heimskringla eller Norges kongesagaer af Snorre Sturlassøn. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  12. Internal references
  13. Not published: do not cite (MGóðII)

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