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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Víkv 15I

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Víkingarvísur 15’ 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. 554.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonVíkingarvísur
1415

Ríkr kvað sér at sœkja
Sauðungs konungr nauðir
fremðar gjarn í fornu
fund Hôkunar sundi.
Strangr hitti þar þengill
þann jarl, es vas annarr
œztr ok ætt gat bezta
ungr á danska tungu.

Ríkr konungr, gjarn fremðar, kvað sér nauðir at sœkja fund Hôkunar í fornu Sauðungssundi. Strangr þengill hitti þar þann jarl, es ungr vas annarr œztr ok gat bezta ætt á danska tungu.

The powerful king, eager for glory, said there was need for him to seek a meeting with Hákon in ancient Sauesund. The strong prince met there that jarl who, [when] young, was the second highest and had the best kin in the Danish-speaking world.

Mss: (235v), J2ˣ(127v-128r), J(1ra) (Hkr); Holm2(9v), R686ˣ(17v), 325VI(7va), 321ˣ(40), 73aˣ(26v), 78aˣ(26v), 68(8v), 61(82ra), Holm4(1ra), 75c(6v) (ll. 1-2), 325V(11vb-12ra), 325VII(3r) (ll. 5-8), Bb(131rb), Flat(82ra), Tóm(99r) (ÓH)

Readings: [1] Ríkr: eikr Flat, Tóm;    kvað: lét 75c    [2] Sauðungs: Sauðungs sund Bb;    konungr nauðir: om. 75c;    nauðir: nauðr R686ˣ    [3] fremðar: ‘freindr’ R686ˣ, ‘frendar’ 321ˣ, frægðar 68, 61, Holm4, 325V, Flat, Tóm    [4] fund: fund í Tóm;    kunar: ‘hakonr’ 321ˣ    [5] Strangr: ‘stangr’ R686ˣ    [6] vas (‘var’): varð Holm2, 325VI, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, 78aˣ, 68, Holm4, 325V, 325VII, Flat, Tóm    [7] œztr: ‘ǿttr’ 321ˣ, œzt 325V;    ætt: om. Tóm    [8] ungr á: ‘ung(e) a’(?) J2ˣ, ungra 321ˣ;    ungr: ungi J

Editions: Skj AI, 228, Skj BI, 216, Skald I, 113, NN §617; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 40, IV, 117-18, ÍF 27, 38-9, Hkr 1991, I, 275-6 (ÓHHkr ch. 30); ÓH 1941, I, 65 (ch. 32), Flat 1860-8, II, 33; Fell 1981b, 122, Jón Skaptason 1983, 67, 227.

Context: Óláfr uses an ingenious naval trap to capture his young rival Hákon jarl Eiríksson and lets him go on condition he swears never to oppose the king.

Notes: [All]: This stanza is preserved on one of the surviving leaves of the Hkr ms. J, the vellum Jöfraskinna. The text in J2ˣ was copied from K and hence also belongs to the Hkr redaction, unlike the remainder of the Víkv stanzas in J2ˣ, which belong to the ÓH redaction. Holm4 is dark and damaged at this point, and some of its readings uncertain; ÓH 1941 has been consulted. — [All]: The same incident is referred to in Ótt Hfl 16. — [2, 3, 4] fornu Sauðungssundi ‘ancient Sauesund’: It is not clear why this place is described as ‘ancient, old’, except that forn- supplies alliteration and rhyme. It is on the south-east coast of the island of Atløy, in Sunnfjord, Sogn og Fjordane, on the west coast of Norway and thus on an important sailing-route. — [3] fremðar ‘for glory’: Or ‘advancement’. The variant frægðar ‘for fame’ is also possible.  — [4] Hôkunar ‘with Hákon’: For Hákon jarl Eiríksson (r. c. 1014-c. 1015), see ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — [5-8]: Most commentators are agreed that the rel. clause qualifies þann jarl ‘that jarl’, and hence that the praise in the second helmingr refers to Hákon rather than Óláfr. If Hákon is the second best, presumably Óláfr is best, so there is also indirect praise of him. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) thought it impossible that Hákon jarl could be praised so highly in a poem about Óláfr, and took the rel. clause to refer to Óláfr, suggesting that the poet had Óláfr Tryggvason in mind as the best ruler. — [6] vas ‘was’: The variant varð ‘became’ is also possible. — [8] á danska tungu ‘in the Danish-speaking world’: Lit. ‘in the Danish tongue’. This appears to be the earliest recorded use of this common phrase referring to the whole of the Scandinavian-speaking area.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Fell, Christine E. 1981b. ‘Víkingarvísur’. In Dronke et al. 1981, 106-22.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  10. 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.
  11. Internal references
  12. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  13. 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.
  14. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ 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. 383.
  15. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  16. Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Víkingarvísur’ 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. 532.
  17. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 16’ 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. 761.
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