Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Líknarbraut (Líkn) - 52

not in Skj

Líknarbraut (‘The Way of Grace’) — Anon LíknVII

George S. Tate 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Líknarbraut’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 228-86.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: C. 1. Líknarbraut (AII, 150-9, BII, 160-74)

SkP info: VII, 246

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

15 — Anon Líkn 15VII

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Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 15’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 246.

Þoldi halshögg hölda
hildingr með spýtingum;
vörðr hlaut fróns af fyrðum
flest skaup ok kinnhesta.
Hann bar hneyxl af mönnum
hverja lund ok stundir
— píndr var hann berr ok bundinn
barðr — viðfarar harðar.

{Hildingr hölda} þoldi halshögg með spýtingum; {fróns vörðr} hlaut af fyrðum flest skaup ok kinnhesta. Hann bar hneyxl hverja lund af mönnum ok harðar stundir viðfarar; berr var hann píndr ok barðr, bundinn.

{The king of men} [RULER = Christ] endured neck-blows along with spittings; {earth’s guardian} [RULER = Christ] received from men extreme mockery and slaps. He bore disgrace in every way from men and hard hours of mistreatment; bare, he was tortured and bound, beaten.

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 15: AII, 153, BII, 164, Skald II, 87, NN §1853C; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 39-40, Rydberg 1907, 14, 49, Tate 1974, 60.

Notes: [All]: The st. is remarkably similar to a passage from the OIcel. Lenten sermon (HómÍsl 1993, 49v; HómÍsl 1872, 109): oc hann þolþe bǫnd. oc hálshogg. kiɴhesta. oc hrækingar. oc bardaga ‘and he endured binding, and neck-blows, slaps, and spittings, and beating’. — [3] fróns vörðr ‘earth’s guardian [RULER = Christ]’: Elsewhere kennings employing vörðr ‘guardian’ as base-word and some form of ‘land’ or ‘earth’ as determinant (e.g. vörðr foldar ‘guardian of the earth’, vörðr grundar ‘guardian of the plain’, landvörðr ‘land-guardian’, láðvörðr ‘land-guardian’) refer only to earthly kings. On the need for context to determine whether such a kenning refers to Christ or an earthly king, see Snorri Sturluson’s discussion in Skm (SnE 1998 1, 78). Typically when vörðr is used in a God-kenning it is combined with ‘heaven’ or a heaven-kenning, as in Geisl 19/3, Leið 10/1, Has 30/4. The poet uses the latter in 29/3-4 (vörðr sólar slóðar ‘guardian of the sun’s track [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’). The poet’s choice of two kennings for ruler in this st. is probably intended to point up a contrast between the true status of Christ and his humiliation during the Flagellation. His humanity is underscored by the omission of kenning ornament in the second helmingr and by the repetition of the plain pron. hann, which is, however, unmetrical in l. 7. Stylistically the helmingr, like Christ at the Flagellation, is ‘bare’.

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