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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, 603

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

14 — Sigv Austv 14I

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 Dryggen ginn var drengiom drengr magnar lof þengils austr | til iofra þrystis eiða scogr aleiðv . scylldit mer aðr milldan min drottin cøm ec finna hlunnz af hilmis | rvnnom hnect dyrloga becciar .   [RDF]  edit 
 325V [...] | is · eiða skoðr aleiðvm · skylldit mer aðr | milldan  minn drottinn kem ek fiɴa · | hlvɴz ahilmis ruɴvm · hneck dyr | loga becckiar·   [VEÞ]  edit 
 R686x Driugfengin uar drengium, drengr magnar lof þængils, | austr till jofur þrystis, eida skogar a leidu, skylldit mer aþr mill | dan, manin, drotin kem ek finna, hlunz af hilmis, runnum, || hnekt dyrloga bekkiar .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Driug geingint var drengiom, | dreingr magnar lof þeingils | austr til Iofra þristis | Eýda skogs om leidar | skildik mier aþr mildan | minn drottin kemec finna | hlunus af hilmis runnum | hnekt dyrloga beckiar |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x dry̋g gengin var | drengiom drenger magnar lof | Thorgils austar till Iaufro trý | stes eida skogar a leidu skýldit | mer ader milldan mindrom kom | ek finna hluns af hilmir run | no huekt dýrloga beckiar. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325VI Dríug | geínginn vard dreíngium . dreíngr magnar | lof þeingils . avstr til iofra þrystis . eida | skogs aleidv . skylldit mer adr milldan . míɴ | drottín kem ek finna . hlunnz af hilmis rvnn | um . hnekt dyrloga beckiar .   [RDF]  edit 
 75a Driúg geinginn uar dreingium . drei | ngr magnar lof þeingils . austr til | iofra þrystis . eiða skogr a leiðv . | skylldit mer aðr milldan . minn drottin | kem ek finna . hlunz af hilmis ru | nnum . hnet dyrligan beiar . |   [RDF]  edit 
 321x driug geinginn uar dreingium dreingr magnar lof þeingils . austr til jofra | þrystis . eida skogr a leidu . skylldit mer adr milldann . minn drottinn kem ek | finna hlunz af hilmı̈s runnum . hnekkt dyrligann bekkiar .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Driuggengít varð drengíum | drengr magnar lof þengils . | austr til io᷎fra þrystis | æíða skog ꜳ læiðum : | skylldít mer adr millðan | mínn drottín ʀeð ek fínna . | hlunnz af hílmís ʀunnum | hneckt ðyrðligan beckiar . |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Driug gengit varþ drengiom drengr magnar | lof þengils austr til iofra þrystis eiþa skog a leiþom . skyldit mer aþr mildom miɴ drottin kom | æk fiɴa hlvɴz af hilmis rvɴom hnect dyrligo beckiar .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Dríug gengit varð drengium | drengr magnar lof þengils . æztr til io᷎fra þrystis . eiða skogs ꜳ leiðum | selldir mest aðr milldan . minn drottinn kem ek finna . hlunz af hil | mis runnvm . hneckt dyrliga beckiar .   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Driuggenginn var drengium drengr magnar lof | þengils ꜹstr til iofra þrystis eiða skogr alei | ðo . skylldit mer aðr milldan miɴ drottin kom | ek finna . hlunnz af hilmis runnum hnect dyrð | lega beckiar .   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Dryg genginn var drængium . drængr magnar lof þengils austr til iofra þrystis æiða scogr | áleiðu . skilldit mer aðr milldan minn drottin kæm ec finna . hlynnz af hilmis runnom hnækt dyrlega beiar |   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Dríugge | íngínn uar dreíngíum dreíngr magnar lof þeingils austr til iofra | þrystis æida skogs a læidum skylldit mer adr milldan mínn drottín | kom ek fínna hlunz af hilmis runnum hneckr dyrliga beckiar |   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Dʀíug geínginn var dreingium . dreingr magnar lof þeíngils  austr til jufra þrystís eida skogr | ꜳ̋ leídv . skylldít mier adr milldan . minn drottínn kom ec fínna . hlunz af hilmis ʀunnum . hneckr | dyrlíga beckiar .   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Driuggengiɴ var drengiom | drengr magnar lof þengils | ꜹstr til jofra þrystis | eiða scógr a leiðo | scyldit mer aþr milldan | miɴ drohtiɴ com ec fiɴa | hluɴz af hilmis ruɴom | hnect dyr loga beckiar |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Drivg | gengínn var dreingivm dreingr magnar lof þe | ngílls . ꜹstr til iofra þrystis eida [altered from eiga] skogr | a leidv skvlldit mer adr milldann . mínn | drottín kom ek fínna hlunz a hilmizt rvn | nnvm hneckt dyrloga beckiar .   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Driug gengit varþ drengium | drengr magnar lof þengils | æztr til io᷎fra þrystis | eiða skogs a leiðum | selldir mest aþr milldan | minn drottinn kem ek finna | hlunnz af hilmis runnum | hneckt dyrliga beckiar . |   [RDF]  edit 

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