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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 26I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 26’ 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. 696.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonErfidrápa Óláfs helga

Dánar dróttni mínum
dœgn of sent at hendi.

Dœgn dánar of sent at hendi dróttni mínum.

The day of death sent towards my lord.

Mss: A(6r), W(106) (TGT)

Readings: [1] dróttni: dróttinn W    [2] dœgn: ‘dǫgv’ W;    sent: so W, seint A

Editions: Skj AI, 264, Skj BI, 245, Skald I, 127, NN §3069A; SnE 1848-87, II, 140-1, TGT 1884, 90, 203, TGT 1927, 65, TGT 1998, 172-3; Jón Skaptason 1983, 182, 311.

Context: The couplet is cited as an example of antitesis ‘antithesis’, in which one letter is substituted for another, here <n> for <r> in dœgn.

Notes: [All]: The couplet is syntactically incomplete, and its full sense unrecoverable. — [2] dœgn ‘the day’: Although Óláfr Þórðarson presents this as a ‘substitution’ of a letter (see Context, above), this is actually a Norw. dialect form, according to TGT 1884; cf. ModNorw. døgn ‘twenty-four hour period’, which is conceivably the meaning here. See st. 15/5 and Note, above, and Sigv Austv 11/8, for Sigvatr’s use of the standard form dœgr in the more usual meaning ‘half of the twenty-four hour period’. — [2] of sent at hendi ‘sent towards’: Kock (NN §3069A) explains the imperfect rhyme of sent and hend- by assuming that dœgn is pl. and that the original would thus have had send. While this seems very likely, the rules for the postvocalic consonantal environment of internal rhyme are not sufficiently well understood to justify emendation in this case (cf. Gade 1995a, 5-6).


  1. Bibliography
  2. TGT 1884 = Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1884. Den tredje og fjærde grammatiske afhandling i Snorres Edda tilligemed de grammatiske afhandlingers prolog og to andre tillæg. SUGNL 12. Copenhagen: Knudtzon.
  3. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1995a. The Structure of Old Norse dróttkvætt Poetry. Islandica 49. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  7. 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.
  8. TGT 1927 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1927b. Óláfr Þórðarson: Málhljóða- og málskrúðsrit. Grammatisk-retorisk afhandling. Det kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. Historisk-filologiske meddelelser 13, 2. Copenhagen: Høst.
  9. TGT 1998 = Krömmelbein, Thomas, ed. and trans. 1998. Dritte grammatische Abhandlung. Studia nordica 3. Oslo: Novus.
  10. Internal references
  11. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur 11’ 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. 599.

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