This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Leiðarvísan (Leið) - 45

not in Skj

Leiðarvísan (‘Way-Guidance’) — Anon LeiðVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘ Anonymous, Leiðarvísan’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 137-78. <> (accessed 19 January 2022)

 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 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [2]. Leiðarvísan, et digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 618-26, BI, 622-33)

SkP info: VII, 162-3

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

24 — Anon Leið 24VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 24’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 162-3.

Lét Jóhannem ítran
einn dýrðarmann hreinan
ár í Jórðôn stýrir
alls tírar sik skíra.
Dáðstéttar kom dróttni
dags ok krismu lagði
líknarfúss í lesni
lands inn helgi andi.

{Stýrir alls tírar} lét ítran Jóhannem, einn hreinan dýrðarmann, skíra sik ár í Jórðôn. Inn helgi andi kom líknarfúss ok lagði krismu í lesni dróttni dáðstéttar dags lands.

{The steerer of all glory} [= God (= Christ)] allowed the remarkable John, a certain pure man of glory, to baptise him long ago in the [River] Jordan. The Holy Spirit came, eager with grace, and laid chrism in the headband {of the Lord {of the deed-host {of day’s land}}} [SKY/HEAVEN > ANGELS > = God (= Christ)].

Mss: B(10v), 624(89), 399a-bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 24: AI, 622-3, BI, 628, Skald I, 305, NN §1265; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 64, Rydberg 1907, 7-8, Attwood 1996a, 66, 176.

Notes: [2] einn ‘a certain’: Once again (cf. Note to 21/1) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) understands einn to qualify stýrir alls tírar in the sense den eneste styrer af al hæder ‘the sole steerer of all glory’, referring to Christ. Here einn is construed with hreinan dýrðarmann as ‘a certain pure man of glory’ (l. 2). — [5-8]: It is interesting to compare this helmingr with a lv. on Christ’s baptism preserved in the text of Skm in AM 242 fol and attributed there to Skáld-Þórir (Skáldþ LvIII). This poet is otherwise unknown (he is tentatively assigned by Skj B to the C12th). The noun krisma ‘chrism’ appears only in these two places in the skaldic corpus. — [6-7] lagði krismu í lesni ‘laid chrism in the headband’: Anointing with chrism (a mixture of consecrated oil and balsam) was a standard part of medieval baptismal practice. That Iceland was no exception to the norm is confirmed by Bishop Árni Þorláksson’s ‘Boðskapur’ (DI II, 23-37), a series of instructions to clergy in his Skálholt diocese, which are dated September 1269, shortly after Árni’s accession to the see. They claim to confirm and update a similar document of Bishop Magnús Gizurarson (bishop of Skálholt 1216-29, 1231-7; DI I, 423-63) which is dated 1224, but does not include detail of baptismal practice. The version of Árni’s ‘Boðskapur’ preserved in AM 456 12° fols 130-6 discusses infant baptism at some length: ... þa skal [prestrinn] signa þat [barn] ok gefa sallt vigt ok lesa gudspiall yfir ok giora krossa yfir med hraka sinum fyri eyrum ok nosum ok leida i kirkiu. smyria sidan ä brioste ok millum herde med oleo sancto ok sidan med krisma j hǫfdi. færa j skirnar klædi ok fa kerti loganda j hond ... ‘Then the priest must sign the child and give it consecrated salt and read the gospel over it and make the sign of the cross over its ears and nose with his saliva and lead it into the church; then [the priest must] annoint [the child’s] breast and between its shoulders with holy oil and then annoint its head with chrism, put it into baptismal clothes and set a burning candle in its hand...’ (DI II, 26). An alternative version of Árni’s instructions, preserved in AM 456 12° fols 93-4, gives further details of the headband used to seal the chrism (DI II, 51): dregla suo langa at uel megi knyta um hofudit. ok suo breida at hyli krisma krossinu. ... Þriar nætur skulu dreglar um hofudit barnanna ok skulu mædurnar at geyma ok lata eigi at falla ... sidan skulu þuozt hǫfud barnanna j lut ok j uormu uatni ok kasta j elld dreglinum ‘the band [should be] so long that it can be wound around the head, and so broad as to hide the chrism cross ... the children must wear the bands round their heads for three nights and their mothers must look after them and not allow them to fall ... then they must wash the heads of the children in lye and warm water and throw the bands into the fire’. Tveitane (1966, 131 n. 3) argued that the use of the word krisma ‘chrism’ indicates a direct borrowing from the Pseudo-Wulfstan homily Sermo angelorum nomina (Pseudo-Wulfstan Homily XLV, in Napier 1883, 226-32). However, there are considerable differences between the two accounts of the baptism. In the OE text, and its Lat. source Epistola Salvatoris Domini nostri Jesu Christi (Priebsch 1899, 130-4), Christ is anointed with both oil and chrism, while Leið mentions only chrism. Although the Lat. text includes no account of Christ’s salutation as the Son of God, the OE indicates that, after John had baptised and anointed him, an angel came from heaven and announced: Þis is min leofa sunu, on þæm ic me wel gelicode, geherað him wel ‘This is my dear son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen carefully to him’ (Napier 1883, 229). Leið credits John only with the baptism itself and asserts that the Holy Spirit performed the anointing (24/5-8).

© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.