Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Sigv Lv 4I

[7] of ganga; engis ‘to go; of the meadow’: This is not the reading of any ms., but it seems to offer the best solution in these difficult lines. The main alternatives are: (a) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) reads af ‘from’ for of, though he omits the word from his prose order. This reading requires that af and ganga be taken from different mss. He also reads engjar (so already Fms 4), identical in meaning to engis ‘of the meadow’. The word does not take this form in any ms., and the commonest reading in the mss, engi, is more plausibly a corruption of engis than of engjar. (b) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 27, followed by Jón Skaptason 1983) reads offanga, engi, taking the former word to be a gen. pl. meaning ‘great gains’ and the latter word as the first element of a cpd engilúru ‘meadow-halibut’ in tmesis. The sense of the helmingr would then be ‘Give up the half of the landing tax from the merchant ship, generous lord; I have again unsolicited asked that I be given much’. The reading of Hkr 1991 is similar, but with ofganga, a gen. pl. taken to mean ‘overbearing conduct’, i.e. too great a request. It should be noted that there do not seem to be any other instances of veita in the sense ‘give up’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  5. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  6. 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.


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