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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.

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

Harmsól (‘Sun of Sorrow’) — Gamlkan HasVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

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, 92-3

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22 — Gamlkan Has 22VII

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Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 92-3.

Þjófr annarr tók þannig,
þrifvaldr gǫfugr, aldar
— sôl vas hans ófs ok ælig
ósæl — við gram mæla:
‘Nú sýn afl, ins eina
alls þú guðs sonr kallask,
ok með ǫflgu ríki,
oss, stíg niðr af krossi!’

Annarr þjófr — sôl hans vas ófs ósæl ok ælig — tók mæla þannig við {gram aldar}, {gǫfugr þrifvaldr}: ‘Nú sýn oss afl, alls þú kallask sonr ins eina guðs, ok stíg niðr af krossi með ǫflgu ríki!’

One thief — his soul was excessively wretched and vile — began to speak thus to {the prince of men} [= God (= Christ)], {noble promoter of well-being} [= God (= Christ)]: ‘Now show us your might, since you call yourself the son of the one God, and step down from the Cross with your mighty power!’

Mss: B(12v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] tók þannig: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘t[...]k þ[...]neg’ B    [5] eina: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘e[...]a’ B    [6] sonr: son B

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 22: AI, 565, BI, 555, Skald I, 268, NN §1192; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 20, Kempff 1867, 7, Rydberg 1907, 24, Black 1971, 196, Attwood 1996a, 227.

Notes: [All]: The story of the two thieves, one repentant, the other not, is found only in S. Luke’s Gospel (XXIII.39-43). The other synoptic gospels state baldly that both thieves joined the bystanders in mocking Christ (cf. Matt. XXVII.44, Mark XV.32). Gamli appears to be conflating the thief’s words si tu es Christus salvum fac temet ipsum et nos ‘if thou be Christ, save thyself and us’ (Luke XXIII.39) with the more specific jibes of the bystanders: si Filius Dei es descende de cruce ‘if thou be the Son of God, come down from the Cross’ (Matt. XXVII.40; cf. Matt. XXVII.42, Mark XV.30). The effect is to heighten the dramatic irony of the taunt. — [3] ófs ‘excessively’: Kock (NN §1192) suggests that the manuscript reading ófs, which he takes to be an intensifying adverbial expression meaning ‘excessively’, is preferable to ofs, which was suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson in a note to 444ˣ, and was adopted by Skj B. LP lists no other occurrence of ofs, which is glossed overmodig ‘arrogant’, as it is in Skj B, though the form is common in MIcel. The intensifier ófs is found also in Has 9/7, and is the preferred reading here.

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