Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þrándr í Gǫtu (Þrándr)

11th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

Kredda (Kredda) - 1

Skj info: Þrándr í Gǫtu, Færøsk høvding, 11. årh. (AI, 211, BI, 202).

Skj poems:
Kredda

Þrándr (Þrándr), whose nickname refers to his farmstead Gata, on the Faroese island of Austrey, is the Machiavellian hero of Fœreyinga saga (Fær), who deploys wiles and magic in a series of manoeuvres mostly directed against the paragon Sigmundr Brestison, liegeman of King Óláfr Tryggvason (r. c. 995-c. 1000), and his advocacy of royal power and Christianity in the islands. The unique Kredda is the only verse utterance attributed to him.

Kredda — Þrándr KreddaI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þrándr í Gǫtu, Kredda’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Brepols, Turnhout, p. 802.

 1 

Skj: Þrándr í Gǫtu: Kredda, (credo) (AI, 211, BI, 202); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: Flat, Fær

SkP info: I, 802

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

This málaháttr stanza (Þrándr Kredda) is the only verse citation in Fær; indeed its Faroese provenance is exceptional. If genuine it belongs in the early eleventh century. The word kredda is directly or indirectly from Lat. credo ‘creed’ (lit. ‘I believe’) and is first recorded in the Fær narrative. The stanza, however, is not a statement of the articles of Christian belief such as is found in the Nicene, Apostles’ or Athanasian Creeds, and hence is not so much an idiosyncratic creed as not a creed at all, but rather an early example of an ‘angel prayer’ and ‘going out prayer’. It is discussed in detail by Foote (1969a, mainly on metre and text, and Foote 1969b, mainly on context, title and genre). The stanza is preserved only in Flat (ms. Flat), within its text of Fær; a copy in 761bˣ derives from there and therefore has no independent value.

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