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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 9 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, 100-1

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

32 — Gamlkan Has 32VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 32’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 100-1.

Engr mun alls á þingi
ísheims vesa þvísa
jóskreytandi ítrum
óttalauss fyr dróttni,
éla vangs þvít englar
jǫfurs skjalfa þá sjalfir
— ógn tekr môttug magnask —
mæts við ugg ok hræzlu.

{Alls engr {{ísheims} jó}skreytandi} mun vesa óttalauss fyr ítrum dróttni á þvísa þingi, þvít sjalfir englar {mæts jǫfurs {vangs éla}} skjalfa þá við ugg ok hræzlu; môttug ógn tekr magnask.

{Not a single adorner {of the horse {of the ice-world}}} [(lit. ‘horse-adorner of the ice-world’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] will be fearless before the glorious Lord at this assembly, for the very angels {of the worthy king {of the field of storms}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] will tremble then with fear and dread; mighty terror will begin to increase.

Mss: B(13r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Engr: engi B;    þingi: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘þing[...]’ B    [4] fyr: ‘[...]iri’ B, til 399a‑bˣ;    dróttni: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]rottne’ B    [8] hræzlu: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘hrę[...]’ B

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 32: AI, 566, BI, 556, Skald I, 270; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 23, Kempff 1867, 10, Rydberg 1907, 26, Black 1971, 221, Attwood 1996a, 229.

Notes: [1-3] alls engr ísheims jóskreytandi ‘not a single adorner of the horse of the ice-world [SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER]’: Cf. the man-kenning jóskreytandi reggstrindar ‘adorner of the horse of the land of the ship’ in Anon Óldr 4/1, 3I. Ísheimr is a hap. leg. (LP: ísheimr). — [1] engr: B’s engi makes the l. hypermetrical, so has been emended to engr. — [1] á þingi ‘at the assembly’: For a similar use of the indigenous term þing ‘assembly, meeting’ to refer to the gathering of men at the Last Judgement, see Líkn 27/1 á þingi þessu and 26/6 til alþingis. — [2] þvísa ‘this’: Archaic n. dat. sg. form = þessu (ANG §470, Anm. 2), adopted to provide aðalhending with ís-. — [4] óttalauss fyr dróttni ‘fearless before the Lord’: Lines on this pattern occur frequently in Christian poetry. Cf. Has 36/6 óttlaust af því móti ‘fearless from the meeting’, and Líkn 52/6 óttlaust með þér dróttinn ‘fearless with you, Lord’. Almost identical ll. occur three times in Leið, always in sts describing the peace of heaven, where the saved will live óttalauss með dróttni ‘fearless with the Lord’, either as a result of their own prayers (40/6), or of Christ’s intervention at the Last Judgement (41/8). The first refrain in Leið, which describes the praise of angels and men, contains the l. óttlaust ok lið dróttni (13/6). — [5-6] sjalfir englar … skjalfa ‘the very angels [of the Lord] will tremble’: Black (1971, 222) notes that HómÍsl sermon for All Saints’ Day has an interesting parallel: þar es ótte sva mikill oc andvare at þeim dóme at þa skiálfa englar guþs oc aller helger meɴ ‘there will be such great terror and trepidation at the Judgement that the angels of God and all holy men will tremble’ (HómÍsl 1872, 45). That the saints will tremble at the Second Coming is also mentioned in the sermon on the Holy Spirit: eɴda muno skiálfa aller helger. mikil mon þa ógn í heime vera. es conungr kømr reíþr ‘and so all the saints will tremble, there will be great terror in the world, when the king comes in anger’ (HómÍsl 1872, 214). That the earth, and its inhabitants, will tremble at the day of the Lord is a biblical commonplace (see, for example, Ps. CXIII.7; Joel II.1, 10).

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