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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Gyðingsvísur (Gyð) - 10

not in Skj

Gyðingsvísur (‘Vísur about a Jew’) — Anon GyðVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Gyðingsvísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 515-26.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 

for reference only:  10 

Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 13]. Af et digt om en rig mand, der gav alt sit bort, Gyðingsvísur. (AII, 539-41, BII, 597-9)

SkP info: VII, 523-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Anon Gyð 7VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Gyðingsvísur 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 523-4.

Vellauðgan fór vallar
viggbeitir þá Meita
einráð var það eyðis
armlinns — gyðing finna.
Beiddi blára odda......
brak-Njörðr …
hodda láns af hánum
hugprúðr og fiesnúðar.

{{{Meita vallar} vigg}beitir} fór þá finna vellauðgan gyðing; það var einráð {eyðis {armlinns}}. {Hugprúðr {blára odda brak}-Njörðr} beiddi láns hodda og fiesnúðar af hánum.

{The steerer {of the horse {of Meiti’s <sea-king> plain}}} [(lit. ‘horse-steerer of Meiti’s plain’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] then went to find a Jew rich in gold; that was the resolution {of the destroyer {of the arm-serpent}} [RING > GENEROUS MAN]. {The noble Njǫrðr <god> {of the crash of dark spear-points}} [(lit. ‘crash-Njǫrðr of dark spear-points’) BATTLE > WARRIOR] asked for a loan of gold and for the favour of money from him.

Mss: B(14v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Vellauðgan: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘Vell[...]d[...]’ B, ‘Vellaud(gan)’(?) BRydberg, ‘Vellbiodr’ BFJ;    fór: so 399a‑bˣ, BFJ, ‘[...]r’ B, ‘(gǫ)r’(?) BRydberg    [3] einráð: ‘[...]rad’ all;    var: varat BFJ    [4, 5] finna Beiddi: ‘fi[...]ide’ B, ‘finn(a bei)ddi’(?) 399a‑bˣ, ‘fi(nn)[...](æ)ide’(?) BRydberg, ‘fi[...]e’ BFJ    [5] blára: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘bla[...]’ B, BRydberg, BFJ    [7] láns: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]ns’ B, ‘[...](an)s’(?) BRydberg, ‘[...]us’ BFJ    [8] fiesnúðar: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘fe[...]dar’ B, BRydberg, ‘fesnud[...]’ BFJ

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 13]. Af et digt om en rig mand, der gav alt sit bort 7: AII, 540, BII, 599, Skald II, 332, NN §§2981, 2982, 3393; Rydberg 1907, 42-3, 59, Attwood 1996a, 347.

Notes: [1] vellauðgan fór: The ms. is badly damaged, and only ‘Vell…d…r’ can be read with any degree of certainty. The 399a-bˣ copyist was sure of Vellauðgan fór, and this reading has been taken as the basis of the reconstruction here. Vellauðgan is taken as m. acc. sg. of vellauðigr (adj.) ‘well-stocked in gold, rich’, which is construed with m. acc. sg. gyðing ‘Jew’ (l. 4). The same adj. occurs in KormǪ Lv 35/4V. Finnur Jónsson reads ‘Vellbiodr’ in Skj A, but in Skj B reconstructs the first word as m. sg. nom. adj. vellsnauður ‘poorly off for gold’, which he construes with the man-kenning viggbeitir Meita vallar ‘steerer of the horse of Meiti’s plain’ (ll. 1, 2). Kock (NN §2981) again objects to Finnur’s use of the desyllabified -ur in his reconstruction (see Note to 5/5), and emends to the synonymous vella snauðr ‘needy in respect of gold’, in an attempt to regularise the metre. Both emendations are unnecessary, however, since the 399a-bˣ reading makes both semantic and metrical sense. — [2] Meita (gen. sg.): Meiti is listed among the heiti for sea-kings in Þul Sea-kings 1/3III and Þul Sækonunga 2/8III. — [3] einráð ‘resolution’: The beginning of the word is lost in a hole in the ms., and only ‘rad’ can be read with any certainty. In this edn Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction (made in a note to the 444ˣ transcript) to einráð m. sg. nom. is adopted. Finnur Jónsson suggests the rather more pejorative óráð, and translates det var en dårlig beslutning af manden ‘that was a poor decision by the man’ (Skj B). Such anti-Semitism may have been a feature of the original poem (see Introduction), but it is worth noting that there is no suggestion in what remains of it that the Jew’s wealth and function as a moneylender are treated in anything but an objective manner. Kock (NN §3393) is led astray by Skj A’s incorrect reading varat ‘was not’ (l. 3), and emends to n. nom. sing. ofráð ‘too great a task’ translating det var inte någon överlägsen utväg ‘there was no better expedient’. — [6] : B is completely illegible here, and it has not been possible to reconstruct the text satisfactorily. The essential sense of the st. is clear from what remains, and the missing word is most probably an adj. or adv. qualifying the rich man’s approach to the Jew. Kock proposes that a cpd with n. megin- ‘strength’, such as adv. meginharðla ‘very powerfully’ be inserted.

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