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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Sólarljóð (Sól) - 83

not in Skj

Sólarljóð (‘Song of the Sun’) — Anon SólVII

Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Sólarljóð’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 287-357.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [6]. Sólarljóð, digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 628-40, BI, 635-48)

SkP info: VII, 334-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

55 — Anon Sól 55VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 55’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 334-5.

Sólar hjört        leit ek sunnan fara;
        hann teymðu tveir saman;
fætr hans
        stóðu foldu á,
        en tóku horn til himins.

Ek leit hjört sólar fara sunnan; tveir saman teymðu hann; fætr hans stóðu á foldu, en horn tóku til himins.

I saw the hart of the sun journey from the south; two together had bridled him; his feet stood on the earth, and his horns reached to heaven.

Mss: 166bˣ(47v), papp15ˣ(5v), 738ˣ(82v), 214ˣ(151r-v), 1441ˣ(585), 10575ˣ(8r), 2797ˣ(235)

Readings: [6] tóku: toki 10575ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [6]. Sólarljóð 55: AI, 636, BI, 644, Skald I, 313; Bugge 1867, 366, Falk 1914, 32, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 17-18, Fidjestøl 1979, 67, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 84-5, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 61, 130.

Notes: [1] hjört sólar ‘the hart of the sun’: In Christian iconography the hart is a symbol of Christ. This significance was well known in Iceland from an early date, witness the Icel. Physiologus (Halldór Hermannsson 1938, 20) and the legend of S. Eustace/Plácitus, available in Icel. translation and poetry from at least the late C12th. See further Introduction to Anon Pl and Note to Pl 7/7-8. A hjartarhorn ‘hart’s horn’, most likely signifying Christ’s Cross, is mentioned in 78/4. The hart is also a symbol of nobility in eddic poetry, cf. HHund II 38 where Helgi is compared to an animal whose horn glóa við himinn siálfan ‘horns glow up to the very sky’, as also Guðr II 2/5. The image, like many others in the poem, clearly partakes both of Christian and indigenous mythological associations; see Amory (1985, especially 9-12 and 1990, 258-60). — [2] sunnan ‘from the south’: cf. vestan ‘from the west’ in 54/1 and norðan ‘from the north’ in 56/1. Different cardinal directions are normally associated with good and evil in both pagan and Christian thinking; see Tate (1985, 1030-1) who notes that the south and north are respectively associated with the positive and the negative in both Christian and pagan lore. The east is the home of giants in Norse myth, however, while the east is sacred for Christians. Evil can come from the west for Christians, hence the western origin of the vánardreki in 54/1. — [3] tveir saman teymðu hann ‘two together had bridled him’: The two are usually thought to be the other persons of the Trinity (so Falk). Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 52) argues that Christ (hann) is the subject of the cl., that the m. nom. tveir ‘two’ may be a misunderstanding of the roman numeral ii (= tvá, m. acc.) in the original ms., and that the hart is driving Glævaldr and the vánardreki before him. He therefore emends teymðu 3rd pers. pl. pret. to teymði 3rd pers. sg. pret. Amory (1990, 260) identifies the two with the prophets Isaiah and Daniel, released from Hell at the Harrowing, or with the two alleged authors of the Gospel of Nicodemus (Niðrst1). — [4-6] fætr hans stóðu á foldu, en horn tóku til himins ‘his feet stood on the earth, and his horns reached to heaven’: Cf. Isa. LXVI.1 caelum sedis mea et terra scabillum pedum meorum ‘heaven is my throne and the earth my footstool’.

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