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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 16I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 16’ 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. 719.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur
151617

Út býðr allvaldr sveitum
Englands, en vér fengum
— lítt sék lofðung óttask —
liðfæð ok skip smæri.
Rôð eru ljót, ef láta
landsmenn konung þenna
— lætr einǫrð fé firrða
ferð — liðþrota verða.

{Allvaldr Englands} býðr sveitum út, en vér fengum liðfæð ok smæri skip; lítt sék lofðung óttask. Rôð eru ljót, ef landsmenn láta þenna konung verða liðþrota; fé lætr ferð firrða einǫrð.

{The mighty ruler of England} [= Knútr] calls the war-bands out, but we have got a scarcity of men and smaller ships; little do I see [our] prince show anxiety. Our options are ugly if his countrymen let this king run short of troops; money deprives people of their constancy.

Mss: Holm2(56r), 972ˣ(415va), J2ˣ(205r), 321ˣ(208), Bæb(1vb), 73aˣ(175r), 68(56r), Holm4(53vb), 61(115ra), 325V(66va), Bb(188rb), Flat(118rb), Tóm(145r) (ÓH); Kˣ(425r-v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] býðr: biðr 73aˣ;    ‑valdr: ‘velldr’ Bb;    sveitum: svǫrtum Tóm    [2] Englands: England 321ˣ;    fengum: fengjum 68    [3] lofðung: ‘lífðung’ Tóm;    óttask: átta 972ˣ    [4] ‑fæð ok: so Kˣ, fær ok Holm2, J2ˣ, Holm4, færri ok 972ˣ, færa 321ˣ, Bæb, 73aˣ, ‑færr ok 68;    smæri: ‘smærri’(?) 321ˣ    [5] eru ljót: er sótt 321ˣ;    láta: óttask 321ˣ    [6] lands‑: liðs Bæb, 73aˣ;    ‑menn: mann 61    [7] lætr: letr 73aˣ, svíkr Tóm;    ‑ǫrð: ‑orði Kˣ;    fé: þó þó Tóm;    firrða: so Bæb, 68, Holm4, 61, Bb, Flat, Tóm, firða Holm2, 972ˣ, Kˣ, finna J2ˣ, 321ˣ, ‘fyrðv’ 325V    [8] ferð: ‘fd’ Bb, ‘þeir pyrir’ Tóm;    ‑þrota: þroti Bæb, 73aˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 271, Skj BI, 250-1, Skald I, 129, NN §2778; Fms 5, 1, Fms 12, 92, ÓH 1853, 178, 287, ÓH 1941, I, 468 (ch. 162), Flat 1860-8, II, 304; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 293, VI, 98-9, Hkr 1868, 437 (ÓHHkr ch. 178), Hkr 1893-1901, II, 392, IV, 150, ÍF 27, 303-4, Hkr 1991, II, 474 (ÓHHkr ch. 168); Konráð Gíslason 1892, 38, 181, Jón Skaptason 1983, 201, 323-4.

Context: When it becomes known that King Knútr is gathering an invincible army for the conquest of Norway, it becomes all the more difficult for King Óláfr to build up his forces. His men often discuss this among themselves, and Sigvatr delivers this stanza.

Notes: [All]: Hellberg (1981a, 11-21) argues that the context is not at all as Snorri says, but that this and the following vísa were composed in Denmark and concern the feudal obligation of vassals to provide troops for King Knútr. — [4] liðfæð ok skip smæri ‘a scarcity of men and smaller ships’: Gering (1912, 134-5) would read, in accordance with Bæb, asyndetic lið færa, skip smæri ‘fewer men, smaller ships’, presumably for metrical reasons, but the rhyme of ð and r is licit: see Kuhn (1936b, 137-8); Kuhn (1983, 46, 79); Note to Lv 8/5 (cf. Sievers 1893, §60 Anm. 4, qualified by Kristján Árnason 1991, 99-100, citing this line). — [7-8] fé lætr ferð firrða einǫrð ‘money deprives people of their constancy’: The sense is clearly that Óláfr has lost support because of bribery, but the syntax is uncertain. (a) The present interpretation follows Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) in regarding as nom. and fir(r)ða as f. acc. sg. p. p. of firra ‘remove’, qualifying ferð ‘company’, hence lit. ‘money makes people removed from constancy’. With a similar interpretation of the syntax, Hellberg (1981a, 16-17) advocates the meaning ‘payment frees people from (fulfilling) obligations’. (b) Alternatively, could be taken as a dat. of cause or means (so ÍF 27, citing NS §111, and Hkr 1991), and firða/fyrða read as the gen. pl. forming a natural unit with ferð, hence ‘company of men’. However, this entails assuming a construction láta e-t e-u ‘abandon sth. for sth.’, which is not paralleled.  — [7] lætr einǫrð: Kock (NN §2778) would metathesize the words lætr einǫrð, metri causa, since it is unusual to find the hending in the third position in a line of type E, but there is no warrant for this in the mss.

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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Hellberg, Staffan. 1981a. ‘Kungarna i Sigvats diktning. Till studiet av skaldedikternas språk och stil’. SI 32, 3-22.
  7. Kristján Árnason. 1991. The Rhythms of Dróttkvætt and Other Old Icelandic Metres. Reykjavík: Institute of Linguistics, University of Iceland.
  8. Sievers, Eduard. 1893. Altgermanische Metrik. Sammlung kurzer Grammatiken germanischer Dialekte. Ergänzungsreihe 2, ed. Wilhelm Braune. Halle: Niemeyer.
  9. 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.
  10. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  11. 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.
  12. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1983. Das Dróttkvætt. Heidelberg: Winter.
  13. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  14. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  15. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  16. 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.
  17. Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1892. Udvalg af oldnordiske skjaldekvad, med anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  18. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1936b. ‘Zu Ernst Albin Kocks Notationes Norrœnæ: Kritik der §§2501-10’. BGDSL 60, 133-60.
  19. Gering, Hugo. 1912. ‘Beiträge zu der Metrik und Erklärung skaldischer Dichtungen’. ZDP 44, 133-69.
  20. Hkr 1777-1826 = Schöning, Gerhard et al., eds. 1777-1826. Heimskringla edr Noregs konunga-sögor. 6 vols. Copenhagen: Stein.
  21. Hkr 1868 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1868. Heimskringla eller Norges kongesagaer af Snorre Sturlassøn. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  22. ÓH 1853 = Munch, P. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1853. Saga Olafs konungs ens helga. Christiania (Oslo): Det kongelige norske Fredriks Universitet.
  23. Internal references
  24. Not published: do not cite (ÓHHkrI)
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