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Gamli kanóki (Gamlkan)

12th century; volume 7; ed. Katrina Attwood;

1. Harmsól (Has) - 65

Gamli kanóki ‘canon Gamli’ (where the name Gamli, ‘the old one’ may itself be a nickname) is best known as the author of the poem Harmsól ‘Sun of Sorrow’, which is explicitly ascribed to him in a marginal note at the beginning of the poem on fol. 12r, l. 42 of the sole surviving ms., AM 757 a 4° (B): Harmsol er gamle orti kanokeHarmsól, which canon Gamli composed’. Gamli is also mentioned by name in Jóns saga postula (Jón4), where the author of the prose text prefaces the quotation of four sts from Gamli’s Jónsdrápa with the information: Annan mann til óðgirðar signaðum Johanni nefnum vér Gamla kanunk austr í Þykkvabœ, hann orti drápu dyrligum Johanni ‘As the second man to have composed a poem to blessed John we [I] name canon Gamli in the east at Þykkvabœr, he composed a drápa to S. John’ (Jón4 1874, 510). In a remark before the fourth st. Gamli is referred to as bróðir Gamli ‘Brother Gamli’ (Jón4 1874, 511). Þykkvabœr was an Augustinian monastery in south-eastern Iceland founded in 1168; Gamli was thus an Augustinian canon (or canon regular) of this community. His floruit can be inferred from the date of the foundation of Þykkvabœr as being in the mid- to late C12th.

file 2006-12-15 - Gamli kanoki w. MCR corrections

Harmsól (‘Sun of Sorrow’) — Gamlkan HasVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘ Gamli kanóki, Harmsól’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 70-132. <> (accessed 2 December 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65 

Skj: Gamli kanóki: 2. Harmsól, „er gamle orti kanoke“ (AI, 562-72, BI, 548-65)

SkP info: VII, 90

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

19 — Gamlkan Has 19VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 19’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 90.

Þú vast, mæztr, frá meyju,
— mikil dýrð es þat fyrðum —
hauðrs, í heim með lýðum,
hildingr, borinn mildri.
Sæll bart óstyrkð alla,
ágætr, ok meinlæti,
skrýðir skýja slóðar
skríns, á líkam þínum.

{Mæztr hildingr hauðrs}, þú vast borinn í heim með lýðum frá mildri meyju; þat es mikil dýrð fyrðum. {Ágætr skrýðir {skríns slóðar skýja}}, bart sæll alla óstyrkð ok meinlæti á líkam þínum.

{Most precious prince of the earth} [= God (= Christ)], you were born into the world amongst men of a gentle maiden; that is a great honour to mankind. {Glorious adorner {of the shrine of the path of the clouds}} [HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], you gladly bore all weaknesses and sufferings on your body.

Mss: B(12v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [4] mildri: mildi B    [7] skýja: so all others, ‘sk[...]ia’ B    [7, 8] slóðar skríns: ‘s[...]’ B, ‘slóðar ṣḳrins’(?) 399a‑bˣ, ‘sl(odar skrins)’(?) BRydberg, ‘sl(oð)ar s(k)rins’(?) BFJ

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 19: AI, 565, BI, 553, Skald I, 268, NN §2926; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 19, Kempff 1867, 6, Rydberg 1907, 23, Black 1971, 188, Attwood 1996a, 226.

Notes: [1-4]: Cf. the account of the Nativity in Leið 23/3-4: mæztr frá meyju betri | mildingr [lét] berask hingað ‘the most praiseworthy prince [allowed] himself to be born here of the best maiden’. — [4] mildri (f. dat. sg) ‘gentle’: If the adj. qualifies meyju (l. 1), the ms. reading must be emended (so Skj B, Skald and NN §2926). Sveinbjörn Egilsson (note to 444ˣ transcript), followed by Kempff, construes Mæztr hildingr mildi, þú vast borinn frá meyju í heim með lýðum ‘Most honoured king of gentleness, you were born of a maiden into the world with men’. — [7-8] skrýðir skríns slóðar skýja ‘adorner of the shrine of the path of the clouds [HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]’: A similar sun-kenning occurs in Leið 32/5-6 [skjǫlðungr] skríns skýja ‘[king] of the shrine of the clouds’. Although skrín skýja ‘shrine of the clouds’ is popular in later poetry, it does not seem to occur earlier than here (see LP: skrín).

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated