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Runic Dictionary

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

III. Máríuflokkr (Mfl) - 2

Máríuflokkr (‘Flokkr about Mary’) — Anon MflIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Máríuflokkr’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 507. <> (accessed 22 May 2022)

stanzas:  1   2 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [4]. Máríuflokkr, et digt fra det 12. årh.(?) (AI, 627, BI, 634)

in texts: SnE, SnEW

SkP info: III, 507

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files


The two anonymous stanzas edited here, MáríuflokkrFlokkr about Mary’ (Anon Mfl 1-2), are transmitted only in ms. W of Skm (SnE), in Orms-Eddu-brot. According to the surrounding prose, they belong to a flokkr about Mary (SnE 1848-87, II, 500: sva segir i mariv flokki), but nothing else is preserved of that poem. The Mary commemorated in the poem is more likely to be the Virgin Mary than Mary Magdalene, since the poet describes her as kœnst kvenna ‘the wisest of women’ (st. 2/5), which is more consonant with the Virgin Mary than with Mary Magdalene (see Paasche 1914, 122 n. 4 and Clunies Ross 2009b, 63 n. 1). Finnur Jónsson (Skj) tentatively dates the poem to the twelfth century. Although it is not possible to establish a date on the basis of metrical or linguistic criteria, the fact that the stanzas are completely devoid of ecclesiastically flavoured kennings for Mary, which characterise later Marian poetry, indicates that Mfl could have been an early composition. For discussions of the diction in Old Norse Marian poems, see Schottmann (1973) and Meissner 423-6, as well as Notes to st. 1/2, 1/3 and st. 2 [All] below. For Mfl as an early Icelandic pietà, see Clunies Ross (2009b).
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