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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Víkv 1I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Víkingarvísur 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. 534.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonVíkingarvísur
12

Langr bar út inn unga
jǫfra kund at sundi
(þjóð uggði sér síðan)
sæmeiðr (konungs reiði).
Kannk til margs enn manna
minni; fyrsta sinni
hann rauð œstr fyr austan
ulfs fót við sker Sóta.

{Langr sæmeiðr} bar {inn unga kund jǫfra} út at sundi; þjóð uggði sér síðan reiði konungs. Kannk enn minni manna til margs; fyrsta sinni rauð hann œstr fót ulfs fyr austan við Sótasker.

{The long sea-tree} [SHIP] carried {the young descendant of princes} [= Óláfr] out to sea; the people then feared the wrath of the king. I still know people’s memories about many a thing; on the first occasion he, vehement, reddened the wolf’s foot in the east at Sótasker.

Mss: (221r) (Hkr); Holm2(5v), R686ˣ(10r), J2ˣ(119v), 325VI(5va), 73aˣ(17r), 78aˣ(15v-16r), 68(5r), 61(79ra), 325V(7ra), Bb(125va), Flat(79vb), Tóm(95r) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] Langr: langar 78aˣ, langt 68, 61, 325V, Flat, Tóm, lang Bb;    út: om. Bb;    inn unga: en unga R686ˣ, Bb, inn yngva J2ˣ, ‘íunga’ Flat, Tóm    [2] jǫfra: jǫfur R686ˣ, ‘íorua’ Flat;    at: frá Holm2, R686ˣ, J2ˣ, 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, á Tóm;    sundi: grundu 325VI, 73aˣ, 78aˣ    [3] uggði: hugði J2ˣ, 325VI, 78aˣ, Tóm    [4] ‑meiðr: ‑móðr J2ˣ;    konungs: kóng R686ˣ, konung Bb    [5] Kannk (‘kann ec’): kannka ek 68, ‘kankaða ek’ 61;    til: om. 68, 61, 325V, Flat, Tóm;    margs: marks 73aˣ, Bb, mark 61    [6] minni: minna 61, Tóm;    fyrsta: fyrst at Bb    [7] hann: sá R686ˣ, herr 325V, Flat;    rauð: rauðr Bb;    œstr: austr Tóm

Editions: Skj AI, 223, Skj BI, 213, Skald I, 111, NN §§39, 611; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 8, IV, 106, ÍF 27, 7, Hkr 1991, I, 255 (ÓHHkr ch. 6); ÓH 1941, I, 36 (ch. 21), Flat 1860-8, II, 16; Fell 1981b, 110, Jón Skaptason 1983, 53, 219.

Context: Óláfr, with a superior force, fights his first battle, defeating vikings led by one Sóti in the skerries off Sweden.

Notes: [1] langr ‘long’: The adj. frequently collocates with a ship-word (Jesch 2001a, 123-4). The variant reading langt is also possible, if read as the n. sg. form used adverbially, hence bar langt at sundi ‘carried far out to sea’. — [2] at sundi ‘to sea’: As noted by Kock (NN §39), sund can mean ‘swimming’, ‘water, sea’ or ‘narrow stretch of water’. The latter meaning is most appropriate following the prep. frá, the reading of Holm2 and other ÓH mss of the A class; this is adopted in Fell (1981b) since Holm2 is her main ms. — [4] sæmeiðr ‘sea-tree [SHIP]’: Hofmann (1955, 80) argues that this shows influence from Old English poetry, and makes a similar, though more tentative, claim about st. 3/8 brimskíð ‘surf-ski’. But he overstates the rarity of this type of ship-kenning in Old Norse (cf. Meissner 221-2), and although Sigvatr certainly went to England later in his career, it is more problematic to trace the sources of English influence in this early poem (see also Notes to sts 6/4, 7/7-8, 8/7 below). — [5] kannk ‘I know’: The metre requires cliticisation here, though the mss write kann ek; the metrical anomaly produced by this has doubtless led to the omission of til, here ‘about’, in several mss. — [5] enn ‘still’: Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) took this to be the adversative conj. en ‘but’ introducing the second clause in the helmingr, although embedded in the first. Kock (NN §611, cf. §224) criticised him for the resulting unnatural syntax, and noted that the ms. evidence favoured the adv. enn ‘still, yet’. — [7] fyr austan ‘in the east’: Fyr austan is normally prepositional, ‘to the east of’, but in the absence of a suitable noun or p. n. to supply an object it appears to be adverbial here. — [8] Sótasker: This appears to be a p. n. accommodated in the stanza by means of mild tmesis, and it is treated as such in the prose sources. It would mean ‘Sóti’s skerry/skerries’, and the naming of the (otherwise unknown) viking leader as Sóti in ÓH-Hkr may be an extrapolation from the p. n. Sigvatr may be using legendary material here to flesh out the details of a battle about which he is reliant on hearsay (cf. ll. 5-6). A viking of this name and a location in the Swedish skerries are mentioned in both the prose and verse of Ǫrvar-Odds saga (see Hjálm Lv 9/4VIII (Ǫrv 19) and ǪrvOdd Ævdr 43/1, 2VIII (Ǫrv 113)), and a viking called Sóti features in Hallfr (ÍF 8, 139-40). Johnsen (1916, 5) suggests that the place was Sotholmen off the coast of Södermanland, Sweden. Holmen ‘the island, islet’ would correspond with sker, and this would fit the description of the site as fyr austan ‘in the east’ (l. 7). A Swedish location would also match the reference to Óláfr’s attacks on nes Svíþjóðar ‘the headlands of Sweden’ in Ótt Hfl 6/4 as well as Snorri’s location of the present battle in Sweden (see Context). ÓHLeg (1982, 40) on the other hand locates Sótasker in Viken, Norway.

References

  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. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. Fell, Christine E. 1981b. ‘Víkingarvísur’. In Dronke et al. 1981, 106-22.
  7. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  11. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  13. Hofmann, Dietrich. 1955. Nordisch-englische Lehnbeziehungen der Wikingerzeit. BA 14. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  14. 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.
  15. ÍF 8 = Vatnsdœla saga. Ed. Einar Ólafur Sveinsson. 1939.
  16. Johnsen, Oscar Albert. 1916. Olav Haraldssons ungdom indtil slaget ved Nesjar. Kristiania [Oslo]: Dybwad.
  17. Internal references
  18. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.
  19. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Ǫrvar-Odds saga’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 804.
  20. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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, pp. clxxvi-clxxix.
  21. Not published: do not cite (HallfrV)
  22. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  23. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 6’ 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. 748.
  24. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 113 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 43)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 921.
  25. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 19 (Hjálmarr inn hugumstóri, Lausavísur 9)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 833.
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