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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, 352-3

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

78 — Anon Sól 78VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 78’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 352-3.

Arfi, faðir        einn ek ráðit hefi,
        ok þeir Sólkötlu synir
        þat er ór haugi bar
        inn vitri Vígdvalinn.

Arfi, ek einn, faðir, ok þeir synir Sólkötlu, hefi ráðit hjartarhorn, þat er inn vitri Vígdvalinn bar ór haugi.

Heir, I alone, the father, and the sons of Sólkatla, have interpreted the hart’s horn which the wise Vígdvalinn carried out of the burial mound.

Mss: 166bˣ(48v), papp15ˣ(7v), 738ˣ(83v), 167b 6ˣ(4r), 214ˣ(152r), 1441ˣ(587), 10575ˣ(11r), 2797ˣ(237)

Readings: [2] ek: þér papp15ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ;    ráðit: so all others, ‘rad’ with smudged superscript letter 166bˣ    [3] þeir: om. papp15ˣ, 10575ˣ    [5] þat er: er 738ˣ, 214ˣ, sem 10575ˣ;    ór: so papp15ˣ, 214ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, om. 166bˣ, vor 738ˣ, 167b 6ˣ;    haugi: so papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 167b 6ˣ, 214ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, hugi 166bˣ    [6] vitri: om. 214ˣ;    Vígdvalinn: ‘vijgdarannlinn’ 738ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [6]. Sólarljóð 78: AI, 639-40, BI, 648, Skald I, 316, NN §2816; Bugge 1867, 369, Falk 1914, 50, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 22-3, Fidjestøl 1979, 71, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 102-5, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 84, 148-9.

Notes: [All]: This st. for the first time clarifies the discursive framework of the poem – a father addresses his son – and yet ll. 1-4 are capable of two different interpretations. Arfi (l. 1) may be either the m. noun ‘son, heir’ nom., the subject of direct address, or the m. dat. sg. of arfr ‘inheritance’, object of ráða ‘to possess, have at one’s disposal’ (which takes the dat. case). Skj B and Skald follow the latter line of interpretation, which also requires them to emend faðir to fǫður (gen. sg). Skj B construes Faders arv har jeg ene rådet over og de Solkatlas sönner ‘I alone, and Solkatla’s sons, have had the father’s inheritance at my disposal’. Hjartarhorn (l. 4), presumably in apposition to fǫður arfi (l. 1) should then also be in the dat. case, and Skald emends to hjartarhorni, though Skj B does not. The other possibility, and that adopted here, is that the father addresses his son directly and that ek einn, faðir is to be understood as ‘I alone, the father …’. Ráða (l. 2) is then to be understood as meaning ‘to interpret’ (in this sense it takes the acc. case) with hjartarhorn (l. 4) as object of ek hefi ráðit (l. 2). This sense fits better with the remainder of st. 78 and looks forward to st. 79. — [1] arfi ‘heir, son’: The convention of a father addressing his son is frequent in wisdom poetry, as in Hsv 1. The dead father’s heir(s) are also the audience of the poem; ‘father’ may also denote a priest and his son(s) the congregation as Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 102) notes. Under what circumstances, whether in a dream or in a vision, the father narrates the poem to his son is never made explicit, but the notion of occult wisdom being revealed to a young man by his senior male kinsmen is found in ON myth, as well as in stock motifs of fornaldarsögur. — [2] ráðit ‘interpreted’: 166bˣ’s ‘rad’ is followed by a smudged superscript which is likely to be a <t>, giving the same reading as the other mss. — [3] synir Sólkötlu ‘the sons of Sólkatla’: The woman’s name is otherwise unknown. It is etymologically transparent, from sól ‘sun’ + f. form of ketill ‘cauldron, container’. For Falk (1914a, 53), as also for Amory (1985, 12); 1990, 261-2, Sólkatla is the mulier amictae sole ‘woman clothed with the sun’ of Rev. XII.1, the Virgin Mary, the Church and the New Jerusalem at once. Her sons are the citizens of the New Jerusalem, the righteous. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 62) contends that the sons of Sólkatla are the father’s companions in heaven, and that their mother is a virtuous dead woman; there may be some connections with Sólblinda synir ‘the sons of Sun-Blind’ in Fj 10. Brennecke 1985 comments extensively on this st.; he notes Paasche’s reference to the epithet vas gratiae ‘the vessel of grace’ for the Virgin Mary in Finnur Jónsson et al. (1916, 174) and compares a number of similar epithets in later German religious verse. The sons of Sólkatla would thus be the Apostles, since Christ designated the Apostle John as Mary’s son in John XIX.26. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 103) more simply suggests that sólkatla may be a heiti for heaven; the sons of heaven are then the righteous. — [4] hjartarhorn ‘hart’s horn’: For Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 51-2) the horn is a surface on which the runes of the next st. are carved; for Bugge and Paasche (1914a, 159 and 1914b, 71) the hart’s horn is the weapon used in Christ’s (the sólar hjört ‘hart of the sun’ of st. 55) fight with the devil in serpent or dragon form, i.e. the Cross. After this he casts off his old horns and grows new ones, a token of redemption which he brings out of the grave-mound in l. 4. Falk (1914a, 51-2) cites Anon Mhkv 8/4III: Niðjungr skóf af haugi horn ‘Niðjungr shaved (sc. brought into being a new) horn from the mound’, suggesting that the horn is the horn of our salvation (cornu salutis nobis) of Luke I.69, though Amory (1985, 24 n. 42 and 1990, 262 n. 43) argues that in this st. the word horn means the corner of the haugr. Cf. also Hávm 139 where Óðinn brings up occult wisdom from below. Amory (1985, 12; 1990, 261) suggests that the runes carry the message of sin and its consequences from beyond the grave (haugr) and are to be equated with the Gospel. Brennecke’s suggestion that the reference is to Christ the unicorn has little merit. — [5] ór haugi ‘out of the burial mound’: The scribe of 166bˣ may have had an exemplar which omitted ór, thus causing confusion about the following word. — [6] Vígdvalinn ‘Vígdvalinn’: This name, though composed of elements familiar from eddic poetry, made no sense to the scribe of 738ˣ. There has been much debate as to the meaning of the name, summarised by Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 104). Brennecke (1985, 106) notes that Dvalinn can be a deer-name, as well as that of a dwarf, or meaning ‘one who delays’. Whatever the precise implications of the name, as Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 105) notes, some scholars think that the second half of the st. refers to Christ bringing salvation for mankind at his Resurrection, though Amory (1985, 12-13; 1990, 262) interprets Vígdvalinn as Peter, the first pope, communicating the teachings of Christ to the faithful as a father does to his son.

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