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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 28 October 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, 106

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

38 — Gamlkan Has 38VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 38’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 106.

Þjóð á hart, sús hlýða
hildings boðum vildat
lofða kyns meðan lifði,
lýtum kend fyr hendi.
Sú rasar aum í aumar
óvísligar píslir;
ey grœtir þar ýta
uggr, en vætki huggar.

Þjóð, kend lýtum, sús vildat hlýða boðum {hildings {kyns lofða}} meðan lifði, á hart fyr hendi. Sú rasar aum í aumar, óvísligar píslir; uggr grœtir þar ýta ey, en vætki huggar.

That group of people, known for sins, who would not heed the commandments {of the prince {of the race of men}} [MANKIND > RULER = Christ] while it lived, faces hardship. It rushes wretched into wretched, uncertain tortures; fear grieves people there perpetually, and nothing affords comfort.

Mss: B(13r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [4] kend: ‘[...]’ B, ‘k[...]nd’ 399a‑bˣ    [8] huggar: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘huga[...]’ B

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 38: AI, 567, BI, 558, Skald I, 270, NN §§2805, 2926; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 25, Kempff 1867, 11-12, Rydberg 1907, 27, Black 1971, 236, Attwood 1996a, 231.

Notes: [4] kend ‘known’: B is badly worn, and it is not possible to identify the traces of possibly two letters which remain. 399a-bˣ read ‘k…nd’ with certainty, and a second hand (identified by Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 25 n. 48, as that of Jón Sigurðsson) supplied ‘kend’. This reconstruction is confirmed by the aðalhending with hendi, and has been adopted by all subsequent eds. — [6] óvísligar (f. acc. pl.) ‘uncertain’: So B, 399a-bˣ, Kempff and Rydberg; Skj A reads æ vísligar, which is followed by Skj B, Kock, Jón Helgason (1935-6, 252) and Black, the first word being understood as the adv. æ ‘always’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) construes sú rasar æ aum í aumar vísligar píslir, which he translates de styrter altid elendige i elendige visse pinsler ‘they rush always miserable into miserable certain torments’. Kock (NN §2805) takes the æ ‘always’ as modifying vísligar píslir, understood in apposition to aumar ‘wretched’.

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