Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Sigv Lv 20I

[8] vígtôr ‘slaying-tears’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes the sense of the cpd to be ‘tears for the slain one’; Kock (NN §1120; 1929, 17) takes it to be ‘bitter tears’. In Flat it is said after this stanza, Uigtár kollum ver þat sagde Sighuatr er ver fellum vid slik tidende ‘“Slaying-tears” is what we call that,’ said Sigvatr, ‘which we shed at such news.’ A further possibility is some such sense as ‘battle tears’ or ‘warrior’s tears’ (as perhaps suggested by ÍF 28’s tár, sprottið af vígahug ‘tears springing from a warlike mood’), since the stanza establishes a contrast between what is perceived as a trivial and effete loss and manly grief for a lord.


  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  5. Internal references
  6. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ 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, pp. clxi-clxii.


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