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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;

2. Nesjavísur (Nesv) - 15

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).

Nesjavísur (‘Vísur about Nesjar’) — Sigv NesvI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Nesjavísur’ 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. 555.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15 

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson: 2. Nesjavísur, 1016 (AI, 228-32, BI, 217-20); stanzas (if different): 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 14

SkP info: I, 566

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Sigv Nesv 7I

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.

 Acc18x þeugi var ! þessum þengill á is streingiar, | miod firi malma quedio mer heidþegom beri.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Kx Stong oð gyllt þar er gengom | gꜹndlar sercs und merkiom | gnys fyr gofgum ræsi | greiðendr a scip reiðir | þagi var sem þessum || þen a jó strengiar | mioð fyr málma qveþio | mær heiðþægom bæri |   [KSH]  edit 
 papp18x Stǫng ód gillt þar er gengom, gǫndlar sercs vnd merkiom, gnys for gꜹfigom | ræsi, greiþenþr á skipreiþir. þagi var sem þessum, þeingil á jó streingiar | mioþ fyr malma qvedio, mær heyþ þægomri,.   [KSH]  edit 
 Holm2 Staung oð gyllt þar er gengum gavnd | lar sercs vnd merkiom gnys með gaufgum ręsi greiþendr iscip reiðir. þagi vas sem þeꜱom | þengils aio strengiar mioð fyr malma kveðio męr heiðþegum bęri.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 R686x Stavng od gyllt þar er gengum, gaundlar | serkium und merkium, gnyss med gvfom ræsi greidn | dr i skip reiþer; þeygi uar sem þæssum, þængils a jo | strengiar, miod firi malma queþiu, mær hanum | dregum beri.   [KSH]  edit 
 972x Stong od gylt þar er geingom gaundlar serks und merkium gnys med gaufgum ræsi greidender i skip reidir: þeigi var sem þessum þeingil a jo strengia miod fyri malma quediu mær heid=þægum bæri   [KSH]  edit 
 J1x Staung oð gyllt þar ær gen | gum gaundlar serks unndir merkium gnys | m gaufgum ræsi græidenndr i skipræiþir : þæy || gi var sæm þæssum þænngils a io strængiar | mioð fir malma queðiu mær hæimdrægum beri   [KSH]  edit 
 J2x Stꜷng oð gylt þar er gengum || gꜷndlar serks und merkiom gnys með gꜷfgum ræse greiðendr i scip reiðir þæigi var sem þessum sk þengils a io strengiar moð fir malma kveðiu (mio ðf) mær heimdregum beri   [KSH]  edit 
 325VI Stǫng ód gyllt þar | er gengvm gunnaserks vnd merkíum gnys medr | gǫfg[...]m ræsi greidendr i skip reidir þeyghi var | sem þessum þengils a íó stréngíar miod fyrir | málma kvediu mær heímdrǫgvm bærí   [VEÞ]  edit 
 75a Sstaung óð gylld þa er gengv. gvɴ | a sercs vnd merkium . gnys m gavf | gvm ræsi. greíðendr iskip reíðir. | þeygi uar sem þessvm. þeingils a ío | streingiar. mioð fyrir malma qv || eðiv. mær heimdregum bæri.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 73ax Sto᷎ng oð gyllt þar er gengum | gunnar serks vnð merkium. | gnyss m go᷎fgum ʀæsí | græiðenðr i skíp ʀæidir: | þæygi var sem þersum | þengils ꜳ́ ío strengia. | mio᷎ð fyrir mälma kueðiu | mær hæímdro᷎gum bærí. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 78ax Staung oð gylld þar er gengum | gunnar serks und merkium | gnys með gǫfgum ræsi | greiðendr i skip reiðir | þeygi val sem þessum | þengils a io strengiar | mioð fyrir malma kveðiu | mær heim drǫgum bæri. |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 68 Stavng oð gyllt þar er gengo | gavndlar serks vnd merkiom gnys meþ gavfgom ræsi greiþendr i skip reiþir  þeygi var saer | þessor þengils a io strengiar meþ firir malma qveþio mǽr heiþ þægom bere.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 61 Staunhg oð | gylt þar er gengu gondlar serks vnd merkium . gnyss m gofgum rœsi grei | ðendr i bauð reiþar . þeygi var sem þegnum þengils ꜳ io strengiar . miø᷎ð | fyr malma kuediur . mœr heiðsæfum bœri.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Holm4 Støng | oð gylld þar er gengum gaundlar serks und mer | kium gnyss m gøfgum re᷎se greiðendr i skip | reiðír. þeyge var sem þessoer þengíls a ío strengiar | míoð fire malma queðio me᷎r. heiðþe᷎giom be᷎re |   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325V Saung oð gylld þar er gengv gav | nðlar serks vnd merkivm · gnys með | gaufgvm ræsi · greiðenðr i skip reidir · | þeygi var sem þessum . þengils a io strengiar · | miǫð firir malma queðio · mær heið | þægnat bæri ·   [VEÞ]  edit 
 325VII Staung oð gyllt þar er gengu gunnar serks vnd | merkium gnyss m gofgum ræsi græiðendr i scip reiðer ᷎ þæygi var sem þessum þængils a ios strængiar | mioð firir malma quæðiu mær hæít þægvm bǽri.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Flat Sto᷎ng ód gyllt | þar er gæíngu go᷎ndlar serks und merkium gnys med go᷎fgum ręsi | greidendr a skip ʀæidir þeygi var ⸌sem⸍ þessum þæíngils aíor streingía | miod firir malma kuedíu mær heid þægum bærí ·   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Tóm Staung odh gyllt þar | er gengv ᷎ gaunnla serks vnd merckívm ᷎ gnys med gaufgvm ʀœ̨sí ᷎ greidenndur ꜳ̋ skíp reidir ᷎ þey | gí uar sem þesvm ᷎ þeíngíls ꜳ̋ jo steingiar ᷎ miod fyrir malma kuedíu ᷎ mœ̨r heid þœ̨gum bœ̨rí ᷎   [VEÞ]  edit 
 FskBx Strong oð gyllt þar er giengom gunnlar serks undir merkium gnys firir gofgum ræse greiðendr i skip ræiðir   [KSH]  edit 
 51x Strong oð gyllt þa er giengom gunlar serks undir merkíum gnys firir gofgom ræse greiðendr i skíp ræiðir   [KSH]  edit 
 302x Strong oð gyllt þa er giengom gunlar serks undir merkíum gnys firir gofgom ræse greiðendr i skíp ræiðir.   [KSH]  edit 
 FskAx Stong oð gyllt þer er gengom gonla særks und mærkium || gnys fyr gofðgum ræsi græiðendr i skip riðir   [KSH]  edit 
 301x Stong | oð gyllt þer er gengom, gonlar særks und mær | kium gnys fyr gofðgum ræsi, græiðendr i skip ræiðir |   [KSH]  edit 
 R Þagi var sem þeμvm þengils aio strengiar mioð firir malma queþiv mer | heiðþegvm bæri .   [VEÞ]  edit 
 Tx þeugi var þessum þengill á io | streíngiar, miod firi malma quedio mer heidþegom beri.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 W Þagí vass sem | þessvm þengils a ío strengiar mioð fyrir malma qveðív mær heið þegvm bærí.   [VEÞ]  edit 
 U Þey[...]i var sem þessum | þengill a io sprengir . miok fyrir mala kveþior mær heiþengvm | bæri .   [VEÞ]  edit 

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