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Runic Dictionary

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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 6 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, 74-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Gamlkan Has 2VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 74-5.

Engr má elda sløngvir
— allvíst es þat — Mistar
maklig orð til mærðar
minn dróttinn þér finna,
þars, élhallar, ǫllu
est, skýrr konungr, dýrri,
rómu linns þvís runnar
rammglyggs megi of hyggja.

{Engr sløngvir {elda Mistar}} má finna maklig orð þér til mærðar, dróttinn minn — þat es allvíst —, þars est, {skýrr konungr {élhallar}}, dýrri ǫllu, þvís {runnar {rammglyggs {linns rómu}}} megi of hyggja.

{No slinger {of the fires of Mist <valkyrie>}} [SWORDS > WARRIOR] can find fitting words in praise of you, my Lord — that is altogether true — because you are, {pure king {of the storm-hall}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], more precious than all that which {bushes {of the strong storm {of the snake of battle}}} [SWORD > BATTLE > WARRIORS] may imagine.

Mss: B(12r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Engr: ‘Eíngí’ B    [4] dróttinn: ‘[...]’ B, ‘ḍṛọṭṭịṇṇ’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘d[...]’ BRydberg

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 2: AI, 562, BI, 549, Skald I, 266, NN §§2070D, 2338D; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 13-14, Kempff 1867, 1, Rydberg 1907, 20, Black 1971, 138, Attwood 1996a, 222.

Notes: [1-2] sløngvir elda Mistar ‘slinger of the fires of Mist [SWORDS > WARRIOR]’: Mist is named as a valkyrie in Grí 36/1, and her name is often used as a battle-heiti in man-kennings such as runnr Mistar ‘bush of Mist’ (Anon Nkt 69/4II). Viðir linns Mistar ‘trees of the snake of Mist’ in 5/2-3 recalls both this kenning and the rekit man-kenning in the second helmingr. — [4] dróttinn ‘Lord’: No traces of this word are visible in B. 399a-bˣ reads dróttinn, but indicates uncertainty. All other eds adopt this reading.

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