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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, 589

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Sigv Austv 4I

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 Reð ec til hofs at høfa hurð var aptr ec spurðvmc inn setta ec nef nennin | niðr lutt fyrir vtan orð gat ec fęst en fyrðum flaugð bað ec en þavgðo hnecðumc heiðnir | reckar heilagt v þav deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 R686x Red ek till | hofus at hǫfa, hurd uar aptr en ek spurdumst, inn setia ek | nef mininn, niþr lutt firi utan, ord gat ek fæst em fyrdum, | flaugd bad ek enn þaugdu, hneyktust heidnir rekkar . heilgat | uid þav deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 972x Reid ek til hofs at hæfa | hurd var aptr en ek spurdumz | Inn setta ek nef min neinnin | nidr lut fýri utan: | ord gat ek fest en fyrdum | flaugd bad ek en þau þogdo | hneiktust heidnir reckar | heilagt vid þau deila. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 972x Red ek till hofs at hofa | hurd var apter, ek spurdumc in set | ta, ek nef min nider lutt fy̋rer | utan ord gat ek fa̋st en fy̋rdum | flaugd bad et en taugdo hnekdu | me heidner recker heilagdt vid | tau deila. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 J2x Ræð ec til hofs at hǫfa | hurðum aptr ec spurþumz | inn setta ec nef nenninn || niðrlút fyr utann | orð gat ec fęst enn fyrðum | flꜹgð bað ec enn þꜹgðo | hnekdumz heiðnir recckar | heilagt v þꜹ deila |   [RDF]  edit 
 325VI Reð ek til hof⸌s⸍ | at hø᷎fa . hvrd var aftr en ek spvrdvmc inn settek | nef nenninn . nídr lvtr fyr vtan . ord gat ek fꜹst | af fyrðum flavgd bað ek enn þav þavgdv (altered to savgdv) hnæ | kþvmk heidnir reckar . heilagt vid þav deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 75a Reð ek til hofs at hø᷎fa . hurð uar ap | tr en ek spurðumz . inn setta ek | nef nætinn . niðr lútt fyrir útan | orð gat ek flest en fyrðvm . flꜹ | gð bað ek en þáu þaugðv . hneð | uz híeiðnir rear . heilagt uiðr þau deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 321x Red ek til hofs at ho | fa . hurd var aptr enn ek spurdumz . jnn setta ek nef nætinn . nidrlutt | fyrir utan . ord gat eg flest enn fyrdum . flaugd bad ek en þau þaug | do . hnekkduz hieidnir rekar . heilagt uidr þau deila . ||   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Rieð ek til hofs at hæfa | hurð var aptr enn ek spurðumz . | ínn setta ek nef nennínn | niðr lut fyrir vtan : | orð gat ek flest enn fyrðum | flo᷎gð bað ek enn þau þogðu . | hnecktuz hæiðnir ʀeckar | heilagt wið þau dæila . |   [RDF]  edit 
 68 Reþ æk til hofs | at hæfa hvrþ uar aptvr eɴ æk spvrþumz iɴ setta æk nef nefinn niþr lvtt firir vtan orþ gat | æk favst af fyrþom flavgþ baþ æk eɴ þꜷ þavgþo hnecþumz heiþnir reckar heilact u | þav deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 61 Reð | ek til hofs at hæfa . hurð var aptr en ek spurðumz . inn setta ek nef nenn | inn niðr lutt fyr utan . orð gat ek fyrst at fyrstum . flaugð bað ek en þꜷ þo᷎g | ðu . hnektuz heiðnir reckar . heilagt v þau deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 Holm4 Reð ek til hofs at he᷎fa . hurð var aptr eɴ ek | spurðumz . iɴ setta ek nef neɴíɴ niðr lutt | fire utan . orð gat ek fe᷎st af fyrðum . flꜹgð | bað ek en þꜹ þꜹgðu hneckðumz heiðnir | heilagt v þꜹ deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 75c Reð ek til hofs at hæfa . hurð var aptr en ek spurðumz . iɴ settak nef nen | nin . niðr hítt fyrir utan  orð gat ek fyrst af fyrðom . flo bað ek en þav | sou . hnektumz heiðnir rekkar . heilagt v þau deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 325VII Ræþ ec til hófs at hø᷎fa hurþ var aptr en ec spurðumc . | iɴ sætta ec næf neɴinn . niðr mioc lút firir v́tan . Orð gat ec fꜵ̨́st af fyrðum flꜹgð bað ec en þau þꜹgðu . hnæc | þumc heiðnir ʀaar heilagt við þau deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 Flat Red ek til hofs at hæfa hurd uar aftr | en ek spurda ínn setag nef nenní nídr lutt firir vtan ord gat ek fy | st at fyrdum flo᷎gd bad ek en þau so᷎gdu hnektuzst hæidnir rek | kar hæilagt vít þau deila   [RDF]  edit 
 Tóm Red ec til hofs | ath hꜽfa . hurd uar aftr enn ec spurdumzt jnn setta eg nef neníum . nídr lutt fyr vtan . ord gat | ec fyrst af fyrdvm . flaugd bad ec enn þau savgdv . hnecktuzt heiðnir ʀeckar heilagt v | þau deíla .   [RDF]  edit 
 Kx Reð ec til hofs at hæfa | hurþ var aptr eɴ spurþumz || iɴ setta ec nef neɴiɴ | niðrlútt fyr utan | orð gat æc fest af fyrþum | flꜹgð bað ec eɴ þꜹ sǫgðo | hnectumc heiðnir reckar | heilact v þꜹ deila |   [RDF]  edit 
 Bb Red ek til hofs at hęfa . hurd var | aptr en ek spvrdvmzt . ínn seta ek | nef neinnínn nidr hlvt fyr vtan . ord | gat ek fyrst af fyrdvm . flꜹgd | bad en þogdv hneckdvmzt heidnir | recka heilagt vid þꜹ deila .   [RDF]  edit 
 761bx Reþ ek til Hofs at hæfa | hurþ var aptr en ek spurþumz | inn setta [altered from satta] ek nef nennin | niþrlutt fyrir utan | orþ gat ek fyrst at fyrstum | flaugþ baþ ek en þau þo᷎gþu | hne⸌c⸍ktuz heiþnir reckar | heilagt viþ þau deila . |   [RDF]  edit 

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