Austrfararvísur

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Austrfararvísur (English:"East Journey Verses") is a skaldic poem composed by the Icelandic skald Sigvat Tordarson. [1]

Sigvat was a bard in the court of King Olaf II of Norway. He was sent with a delegation to the court of King Olof Skötkonung of Sweden. The purpose of the trip was diplomatic and the result was ultimately successful. Reconciliation was achieved between King Olaf and King Olof Skötkonung, sealed with engagement between Olaf and the Swedish princess Astrid Olofsdotter of Sweden. [2]

Austrfararvísur contains a humorous description of Sigvat's arduous journey to Sweden. The poem relates that somewhere in Sweden, probably Värmland, they arrived at a place called Hof. The door was shut, and the people were hostile. They said that the farm was holy and that they were not welcome. Sigvatr cursed them by saying "may the Trolls take you". The mistress of the household asked him not to insist because she feared Odin's wrath, and that they were pagans. She also told him that they were having the Álfablót and that the Christians were not welcome.

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Primary Source[edit]

  • Om skalden Sighvat Thordsson och tolkning af hans Austrfararvísur, Vestrfararvísur och Knútsdrápa (author: Sighvatr Þórðarson; editor: Sven Alfred Ternström, publisher:Lund, H. Ohlssons boktryckeri, 1871. text in Old Norse with Swedish introduction, translation and notes )

Other Sources[edit]

  • Jonsson, Finnur (1907) Den islandske litteraturs historie tilligemed den old norske (University of California Libraries)
  • Lagerqvist, Lars O. (1982) Sverige och dess regenter under 1.000 år (Albert Bonniers Förlag AB) ISBN 91-0-075007-7

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