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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigvatr Þórðarson (Sigv)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Judith Jesch;

3. Austrfararvísur (Austv) - 21

Skj info: Sigvatr Þórðarson, Islandsk skjald, o. 995-o. 1045 (AI, 223-75, BI, 213-54).

Skj poems:
1. Víkingarvísur
2. Nesjavísur
3. Austrfararvísur
4. En drape om kong Olaf
5. Vestrfararvísur
6. Et kvad om Erlingr Skjalgsson
7. Flokkr om Erlingr Skjalgsson
8. Tryggvaflokkr
9. Et digt om dronning Astrid
10. Knútsdrápa
11. Bersǫglisvísur
12. Erfidrápa Óláfs helga
13. Lausavísur
14. Et par halvvers af ubestemmelige digte

Sigvatr or Sighvatr Þórðarson (Sigv) is said (ÍF 27, 54) to have been the son of Þórðr Sigvaldaskáld ‘Poet of Sigvaldi’, an Icelander who served, in succession, Sigvaldi jarl Strút-Haraldsson, leader of the Jómsvíkingar, his brother Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’, who campaigned in England, and Óláfr Haraldsson, later king of Norway (r. c. 1015-30) and saint. Þórðr is listed as one of Sigvaldi’s skalds in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 259, 268), but none of his poetry survives. The family tradition of poetry can also be traced in Óttarr svarti ‘the Black’, said to have been Sigvatr’s sister’s son (ÍF 27, 144; ÓH 1941, I, 203). Sigvatr was brought up by a certain Þorkell, at Apavatn in south-west Iceland. When nearly fully grown he sailed to what is now Trondheim, where he met up with his father and joined King Óláfr’s retinue. According to Snorri (ÍF 27, 54-6; ÓH 1941, I, 81-3), Sigvatr recited Lv 2-3 at this time, and he interceded with the king on behalf of Icelandic merchants forced to pay a heavy tax in Norway (cf. Sigv Lv 4). It is also likely that this is when Þórðr provided Sigvatr with the material for Víkv (see Introduction to Sigv Víkv), which may be the poem referred to in the prose introduction to Sigv Lv 2 (Fidjestøl 1982, 118). There is no evidence that Sigvatr ever returned to Iceland, and according to the anecdote in which Sigv Lv 11 is preserved, he died on the island of Selja in north-western Norway and was buried at Kristskirkja (Kristkirken) in Trondheim. His poetry records his various journeys to Sweden, England and the Continent, as well as incidents in Norway. We know nothing of Sigvatr’s private life, except that he had a daughter called Tófa, who had King Óláfr himself as her godfather (Sigv Lv 19).

Sigvatr’s surviving poetic oeuvre is both large and remarkably diverse, encompassing different kinds of encomia not only on King Óláfr (Sigv Víkv, Sigv Nesv, Sigv Óldr, Sigv ErfÓl), but also on King Knútr of Denmark (Sigv Knútdr) and the Norwegian nobleman Erlingr Skjálgsson (Sigv Erl, Sigv Erlfl). Sigvatr was godfather to King Magnús inn góði ‘the Good’ Óláfsson and composed some avuncular words of advice to the boy-king (Sigv BervII). All of these patrons are recognised in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 252-4, 258, 260-2, 269), where Sigvatr is also credited with having composed for the Swedish king Ǫnundr Óláfsson (although no such poetry survives, cf. Sigv Knútdr 4/6) and the Norwegian chieftain Ívarr inn hvíti ‘the White’ (cf. Context to Sigv Lv 8). Sigvatr also composed a poem on the Norwegian pretender Tryggvi Óláfsson (Sigv Tryggfl) and is unique in having composed in dróttkvætt in praise of a woman, Óláfr Haraldsson’s widow Ástríðr Óláfsdóttir (Sigv Ást). Several of Sigvatr’s poems are more or less loosely connected sequences of stanzas rather than more formal compositions, and encompass both travelogue (Sigv Austv) and political commentary (Sigv Vestv, Sigv BervII). The latter genre is also well represented in his lausavísur, which also include some remarkably personal stanzas expressing his grief at the death of King Óláfr (Sigv Lv 22-4). Sigvatr’s status as a hǫfuðskáld ‘chief skald’ was recognised in the twelfth century (cf. Esk Geisl 12/8VII). His versatility as a poet has clearly inspired a number of anecdotes focusing on the composition of poetry, mostly of doubtful authenticity (cf. Contexts to Sigv Lv 1, 8, 11, 27; also Introduction to Ótt Hfl). Apart from two fragments preserved in SnE (Sigv Frag 1-2III), Sigvatr’s poetry is transmitted in a wide range of texts within the tradition of the kings’ sagas and is therefore edited in this volume or (in the case of the late Sigv Berv) in SkP II. For general studies of Sigvatr’s life and works, see Paasche (1917), Hollander (1940) and Petersen (1946).

Austrfararvísur (‘Verses on a Journey to the East’) — Sigv AustvI

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur’ 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. 578.

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Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 3. Austrfararvísur, 1019 (AI, 233-40, BI, 220-5)

SkP info: I, 601

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Sigv Austv 13I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Note: The following transcriptions have been entered to aid the editing process. These may not have been fully reviewed and checked and may therefore not be reliable. You may wish to consult the manuscript images. Any corrections can be notified to the database editor.

 Holm2 Att hafa ser þeir er sotto sendi menn fyrir hendi sygna grams v sagnir siclinga for micla | spaurðomc fęst en fyrðafaung ero stor v gaungdo vorðr reð nytr þvi er nor | þan noregs þinig forom .   [RDF]  edit 
 R686x Att hafr ser þeir | er sottu, sendi men firi hendi, sygna grams uid sagnir, | siklinga for mikka, spordumst fæst en fyrda, faung erv | stor uid gongo, uavrþr red nytr þui er norþan, noregs | þung forum .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Att hafa sier þeir er sotto | sendi-menn fyri hendi | Signa grams vit sagner | Siklinga for mikla: | spurdomk fæst en firda | faung eru stor vit gaungo | vordr red nitur þui er nordan | Noregs þinnig forom. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Att hafa ser ther er sotto sendi | men fy̋rer hendi signa groms vider | sagner siklega for mikla spaur | doms fa̋st en fy̋rda faungs ero | stor vid gaundu vorder red ny̋ | ter tvi er nordan Norregs | thinig forom.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J2x Att hafa ser þeir er sottu | sendi menn fyr hendi | Sygna grams v sagnir | siklinga fꜹr micla || spurþumz fæzt enn fyrða | fꜹng eru stor v gꜹngo | vorþr reð nytr þi er norþan | Noregs þinnig forum |   [RDF]  edit 
 325VI Att | hafa ser þeir er sottv . sendi menn firir hendi . || sygna grams med sagnir siklinga for mi | kla . spꜵrdum⸌k⸍ fest en fyrda . faungerv | stor vid gaungv . vaurdr red nytr þvi er n | ordan . noregs þanníg forvm .   [RDF]  edit 
 75a Att hafa ser þeir ér sóttu sendi menn fyr henn || di sygna grams u sagnir siklinga | faur mikla . spurðumz flest | er fyrða . faung ero stor u ga | ungu . uaurðr reð nytr fyrir norðan . nóreg þinnig fórum . |   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Att hafa ser þeir er sottu . sendimenn fyr hendi . sygna grans vid sagnir siklinga | faur mikla . spurdumz flest er fyrda . faung ero stor uid gaungu · | uaurdr red nytr fyrir nordan . noreg þinnig forum . |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Att hafa síer þeir er sottu | senðimenn fyr henðí . | sygna grams við sagnir | siklínga for mikla : || spurðuz flest enn fyrða | fo᷎ng eru stór við go᷎ngu . | vo᷎rðr ʀieð nytr er norðan | noregs þínníg forum .   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Att hava þeir ser er sotto sendi | menn firir hendi sygna grams m sagnir siclinga fǫr micla  sporþvmz fǽst ne fvrþa favng ero | stor v gavngo vavrþur reð nytvr þat er norþan noregs þinig foro .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Att hafa ser þeir | er sottu sendi menn fyr hendi sygna grams m sagnir . siklinga fo᷎r micla | spurðiz færst en fyrða . faung ero stor v gaungu . vo᷎rðr velldr | nytr þvi er norðan noregs þinnigh forum .   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Att hafa ser þeir er sottu sende menn fyr hende syg | na grams m sagnír siklinga før mikla : | spurðumz flest en fyrða . føng ero stor v gøngur | vorðr réð nytr þui norðan noregs þiniɢ forum . |   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Att hafa ser þeir er sottu sendi menn firir hendi sygna grams m sagnir siklinga for | micla . spaurþuz flæst en fyrþa faung eru stór við gaungur  vꜹrðr reð nytr þui er norðan noregs | þinig forum .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Att hafa ser þeir | er sottu sendi menn af hennde sygnna grams med sagnir siklinka for | mykla spurdu flest en fyrdar fo᷎ng eru sto᷎r uít go᷎ngur uo | rdr ʀed nytr þuí er nordan noregs þann ueg fo᷎rum .   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Attȧ hafa þeir er sottu | sende menn fyr hennde . sygne grams med sagnir siklínga faur mykla . spurdunzt flest | enn fyrda . faung er stor vid gaungr . vordr ʀed nytr þui ernordan . norígs þanníg forum   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Átt hafa ser þeir er sótto | sendi menn fyr hendi | sygna grams með sagnir | siclinga fǫr micla | spǫrþumz fæst eɴ fyrþa || fꜹng ero stór v gǫngor | vǫrþr reð nitr þvi er norþan | noregs þinnig fórum |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Att hafa ser þeir er sottv se | ndi menn fyrer hendi . sygna grams vid sagnir síclink | ga for míckla . spvrdvmz fest en fvrda fo | ong erv stęrst vid gongv . vordr red nytr þvi | er nordan noregs þíníg forvnd .   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Att hafa ser þeir er sottu | sendi menn firir hendi | sygnagrams | meþ sagnir || siklinga fa⸌u⸍r mikla | spurþiz færst er furþa | faung ero stor viþ gaungu | vo᷎rþr velldr nytr þvi er norþan | Noregs þinnig forum . |   [RDF]  edit 

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