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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 15I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 15’ 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. 717.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur
141516

Gerðisk hilmis Hǫrða
húskarlar þá jarli,
er við Ôleifs fjǫrvi,
ofvægir, fé þægi.
Hirð esa hans at verða
hôligt fyr því máli;
dælla es oss, ef allir
erum vír of svik skírir.

Þá gerðisk húskarlar {hilmis Hǫrða}, er þægi fé við fjǫrvi Ôleifs, ofvægir jarli. Hirð hans esa hôligt at verða fyr því máli; oss es dælla, ef vír erum allir skírir of svik.

Then the housecarls {of the ruler of the Hǫrðar} [NORWEGIAN KING = Óláfr] who would accept payment for Óláfr’s life would turn out too compliant towards the jarl [Hákon]. For his retinue it is not noble to be the subject of this talk; for us it is easier if we are all cleared of treason.

Mss: Holm2(54v), 972ˣ(402va), 321ˣ(193), 73aˣ(166r), 68(52r), Holm4(49rb), 61(114ra), 75c(35v), 325V(62ra-b), Bb(184ra), Flat(116va), Tóm(142r) (ÓH); Kˣ(420r), J2ˣ(202v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Gerðisk: gerðusk Holm4, gerði 61, 75c, Bb, Flat, Tóm, gerðu 325V;    hilmis: hilmir 61, 75c, 325V, Bb, Flat, Tóm;    Hǫrða: om. 61, 325V, harða 75c, Bb, harðan Flat    [2] ‑karlar: ‑karla 61, Flat;    þá: þar Kˣ;    jarli: jarla Flat    [3] er: ef 321ˣ, Bb, Flat, ǫr 73aˣ, of 61;    Ôleifs: ‘Ol’ Flat, ‘O’ Tóm;    fjǫrvi: ‘fio᷎ríu’ 73aˣ    [4] ofvægir: so 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4, 325V, J2ˣ, ‘of vegir’ Holm2, óvægir 972ˣ, 68, 75c, Bb, Flat, ‘u uæygir’ 61, óvæginn Tóm, ofvægs Kˣ;    þægi: ‘þæ̋gíur’ 73aˣ, þeygi 61    [5] esa (‘era’): nam 61, 75c, Bb, Flat, er 325V, Tóm, Kˣ, J2ˣ;    hans: hann Holm4, 325V;    verða: virða 68, Tóm, varða Holm4    [6] ‑ligt: ‑leitt 73aˣ, 68, ‘‑leggs’ 61, ‑leit 75c, 325V, Bb, Flat, Tóm;    fyr: í Tóm    [7] dælla: ‘della’ Bb;    ef: er Flat, of Tóm    [8] erum vír (‘ero ver’): erum vit 972ˣ, Noregs 61;    of: ‘kymrir’ Bb;    svik: om. Kˣ, J2ˣ;    skírir: skærir 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Tóm, slíkir 61, kyrir Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 270-1, Skj BI, 250, Skald I, 129; Fms 4, 377, Fms 12, 92, ÓH 1853, 173, 287, ÓH 1941, I, 458 (ch. 153), Flat 1860-8, II, 291; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 285, VI, 98, Hkr 1868, 431 (ÓHHkr ch. 171), Hkr 1893-1901, II, 383, IV, 149, ÍF 27, 295-6, Hkr 1991, II, 468 (ÓHHkr ch. 161); Konráð Gíslason 1892, 38, 180-1, 231, Jón Skaptason 1983, 200, 323.

Context: Immediately after the two preceding vísur it is said that people discuss how ill it became Hákon jarl Eiríksson to be leading an army against King Óláfr, since the king had spared his life when the jarl had come into his power (see ÓH 1941, I, 64-5; ÍF 27, 37-8). But Sigvatr has been on close terms with the jarl, and when he hears such things said, he speaks this stanza.

Notes: [2]: The line recalls Sigv Austv 18/4 (and Hharð Lv 6/8II).  — [2] húskarlar ‘the housecarls’: On this term, see Note to Sigv Austv 18/4.  — [2, 4] ofvægir jarli ‘too compliant towards the jarl [Hákon]’: (a) Ofvægr is in this instance assumed to be etymologically related to vægja ‘to yield’ and væginn ‘yielding’ (so Skj B; LP: ofvægr 2). (b) Normally, ofvægr is a laudatory epithet applied to rulers (see LP: ofvægr 1) and meaning ‘invincible’, lit. ‘outweighing, over-powerful’ (cf. vega ‘to weigh, move’, vægi n. ‘weight’, vægr adj. ‘balancing’). This sense could be reconciled with the context by assuming a transferred sense ‘(morally) too heavy, bearing a weight of blame’ and taking jarli as a dat. of comparison, hence ‘more culpable than the jarl, more than the jarl's equal in treachery’ (so ÍF 27), but these assumptions are somewhat strained.  — [3] er ‘who’: The younger form er rather than es is required for the hending with fjǫrvi, as pointed out by Gering (1912, 136), who also surmised that Noreen (ANG §473) had this in mind when he stated that er rather than es in OWN is first attested in the works of Sigvatr. The rel. particle could alternatively be translated ‘when, if’ (so Skj B; ÍF 27; Hkr 1991). — [5, 6] verða fyr ‘be the subject of’: See LP: verða 13 for parallels. — [8] vír ‘we’: Although this is the spelling of no ms. (all have ‘ver’ or ‘vær’, except for 972ˣva and 61), the aðalhending demands this older form of vér, and no other reading will suffice (Nj 1875-8, II, 200-1).

References

  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. Nj 1875-89 = Konráð Gíslason and Eiríkur Jónsson. 1875-89. Njála: Udgivet efter gamle håndskrifter. Íslendingasögur udgivne efter gamle haandskrifter af Det Kongelige Nordiske Oldskrift-selskab 4. Copenhagen: Thiele.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  8. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. 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.
  10. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  11. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  13. 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.
  14. Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1892. Udvalg af oldnordiske skjaldekvad, med anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  15. Gering, Hugo. 1912. ‘Beiträge zu der Metrik und Erklärung skaldischer Dichtungen’. ZDP 44, 133-69.
  16. Hkr 1777-1826 = Schöning, Gerhard et al., eds. 1777-1826. Heimskringla edr Noregs konunga-sögor. 6 vols. Copenhagen: Stein.
  17. Hkr 1868 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1868. Heimskringla eller Norges kongesagaer af Snorre Sturlassøn. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  18. ÓH 1853 = Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1853. Saga Olafs konungs ens helga. Christiania (Oslo): Det kongelige norske Fredriks Universitet.
  19. Internal references
  20. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
  21. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 6’ 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, pp. 47-8.
  22. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur 18’ 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. 608.
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