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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Poem about Erlingr Skjálgsson — Sigv ErlI

Sigvatr Þórðarson

Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Poem about Erlingr Skjálgsson’ 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. 628.

 

Sigvatr Þórðarson’s stanza about Erlingr Skjálgsson (Sigv Erl) compares him to Dala-Guðbrandr. Both were Norwegian chieftains who opposed King Óláfr Haraldsson (r. c. 1015-30) but, while Guðbrandr’s opposition ended in his baptism, Erlingr’s ended in his death, as described in Sigvatr’s Erlingsflokkr (Sigv Erlfl); on Erlingr see ‘Biographies of other dignitaries’ in Introduction to this volume. Erl is introduced by Snorri Sturluson (ÍF 27, 183, also ÓH 1941, I, 271) with the words Sigvatr kvað um Erling ‘Sigvatr recited about Erlingr’ in connection with Óláfr’s conflict with Guðbrandr. The context therefore does not reveal whether it was from a longer poem or was a free-standing lausavísa, nor is there any indication in the stanza itself. It cannot be from Sigv Erlfl since that was clearly composed after Erlingr’s death in the battle of Bókn (Bokn), c. 1027, while this stanza addresses a living Erlingr. Despite this, in ÓHLeg (1982, 154-6) it is cited between Sigv Erlfl 3 and 8, in the midst of the battle-description and before Erlingr is dead, and introduced by Enn kvað hann þessa vísu er hann frá Erling fallinn ‘Further, he [Sigvatr] recited this stanza when he heard that Erlingr was dead’.

The stanza is preserved in ÓHLeg and in Snorri Sturluson’s Óláfs saga helga in both the Separate (ÓH) and the Hkr (ÓHHkr) versions; these are jointly designated ÓH-Hkr below. The mss used are listed below; is the main ms. It may be noted that the Bb text for this stanza belongs to the Hkr redaction, not the ÓH redaction, to which the greater part of Bb belongs.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  3. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  4. Internal references
  5. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  6. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ 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. clxxiii.
  7. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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. clxxvi-clxxix.
  8. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  9. Judith Jesch 2017, ‘(Biography of) Sigvatr Þórðarson’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 347.
  10. Judith Jesch 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson’ 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. 629.
  11. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson 3’ 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. 633.
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Information about a text: poem, sequence of stanzas, or prose work

This page is used for different resources. For groups of stanzas such as poems, you will see the verse text and, where published, the translation of each stanza. These are also links to information about the individual stanzas.

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