Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Knútdr 11I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Knútsdrápa 11’ 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. 663.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonKnútsdrápa

Svá mun fár feril
fetum suðr metinn
hringdrífr hafa.
Hǫfuðfremstr jǫfurr.

{Fár hringdrífr} mun hafa svá metinn feril suðr fetum. Hǫfuðfremstr jǫfurr ...

{Few ring-distributors} [GENEROUS RULERS] will have thus measured the route south with their steps. The most eminent prince ...

Mss: (30), 20dˣ(13r), 41ˣ(12r), 873ˣ(13v-14r) (Knýtl); FskAˣ(198) (Fsk)

Readings: [1] mun: mann FskAˣ;    fár: ‘farr’ FskAˣ;    feril: so FskAˣ, ferill all others    [4] ‑fremstr: fremst 20dˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 251, Skj BI, 234, Skald I, 121; Knýtl 1919-25, 51, ÍF 35, 123 (ch. 17); Fsk 1902-3, 189 (ch. 33), ÍF 29, 205 (ch. 40).

Context: The stanza is quoted (in Fsk immediately after st. 10) as part of an account of Knútr’s pilgrimage to Rome.

Notes: [1] fár ‘few’: As with fæst ‘minimal’ in st. 9/6, fár may here be a litotes for ‘none at all’. The noun (hringdrífr ‘ring-distributor’) and verb (mun ‘will’) are both sg. — [2] metinn ‘measured’: Hofmann (1955, 92-3) suggests influence here from OE metan ‘to measure, traverse’: ‘to traverse’ is a meaning distinctive to poetry in OE (see e.g. Beowulf ll. 514, 917, 1633, Beowulf 2008, 20, 32, 55). — [8]: The line completes the klofastef ‘split refrain’; see Note to st. 3/1.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. ÍF 35 = Danakonunga sǫgur. Ed. Bjarni Guðnason. 1982.
  4. Beowulf 2008 = Fulk, Robert D., Robert E. Bjork and John D. Niles, eds. 2008. Klaeber’s Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg. 4th rev. edn of Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, ed. Fr. Klaeber. Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press.
  5. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. Hofmann, Dietrich. 1955. Nordisch-englische Lehnbeziehungen der Wikingerzeit. BA 14. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  7. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  8. Knýtl 1919-25 = Petersens, Carl af and Emil Olsen, eds. 1919-25. Sǫgur danakonunga. 1: Sǫgubrot af fornkonungum. 2: Knýtlinga saga. SUGNL 66. Copenhagen: SUGNL.
  9. Internal references
  10. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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. clix-clxi.
  11. Not published: do not cite ()

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