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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

III. 4. Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise (TGT) - 38

not in Skj

2.2: Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise — Anon (TGT)III

Tarrin Wills 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 536.

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cross-references:  21 = Anon (TGT) 17III 

SkP info: III, 563

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

38 — Anon (TGT) 38III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise 38’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 563.

At kom gangandi,
þar es jǫfrar bǫrðusk;
helt hann upp hǫfði:
‘hér es þér skattr, sultan.’


Walking, he arrived where the princes were fighting; he held up a head: ‘heres treasure for you, sultan.’

context: Cited as an example of sarcasmos (sarcasm), defined as (TGT 1927, 86-7) hatrs-full ok óvinulig spottan … Sarcasmos gerir annat yfirbragð máls en merking ‘malevolent and unfriendly mockery … Sarcasm creates a different appearance for the expression than [its true] meaning’.

notes: The passage from Virgil’s Aeneid to which the Latin text belongs has a number of similarities with the Norse text, however (Book XII, 353-61; Fairclough 2000, 324-7): hunc procul ut campo Turnus prospexit aperto,ante levi iaculo longum per inane secutussistit equos biiugis et curru desilit atque |semianimi lapsoque supervenit, et pede colloimpresso dextrae mucronem extorquet et altofulgentem tingit iugulo atque haec insuper addit:‘en agros et, quam bello, Troiane, petisti,Hesperiam metire iacens: haec praemia, qui me |ferro ausi temptare, ferunt, sic moenia condunt.’ ‘When Turnus saw him far off on the open plain, first following him with light javelin through the long space between them, he halts his twin-yoked horses and leaps from his chariot, descends on the fallen, dying man and, planting his foot on his neck, wrests the sword from his hand, dyes the glittering blade deep in his throat, and adds these words besides: “See, Trojan, the fields and that Hesperia that you sought in war: lie there and measure them out! This is the reward of those who tempt me with the sword; so do they establish their walls!”’ There is some similarity in the battle scene, the approach of the speaker, the cutting of the neck and reference to a prize or treasure in the form of the injury. Attribution of the verse to Óláfr would require assuming that he was familiar with the Aeneid in full rather than via Donatus. — It is unclear exactly how the half-stanza exemplifies sarcasm, perhaps by calling the severed head skattr ‘treasure, tribute’ or the address to the prince as ‘sultan’. — Donatus has an example of a military scene from Virgil (Fairclough 2000, 326-7; cf. Holtz 1981, 673): En agros et quam bello, Troiane, petisti, | Hesperiam metire iacens ‘See, Trojan, the fields and that Hesperia that you sought in war: lie there and measure them out!’. There is, however, insufficient similarity with our stanza to assert with any confidence that Óláfr composed it with the Latin example as a model.

texts: TGT 119, Gramm 121

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: C. Vers om ubestemmelige personer og begivenheder 15 (AI, 598; BI, 599); Skald I, 292; SnE 1818, 333, SnE 1848, 199, SnE 1848-87, 182-3, 426, TGT 1884, 31, 115, 234, TGT 1927, 86, 109.


AM 748 I b 4° (A) 8r, 11 - 8r, 12 (TGT)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 110, 24 - 110, 25 (TGT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
AM 761 a 4°x (761ax) 93v, 10 - 93v, 13 (Skáldatal)  image  
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