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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 62VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 62’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 633-4.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

text and translation

Hvað er tíðinda? Hraktr er fjandinn.
Hverr vann sigrinn? Skapari manna.
Hvað er tíðinda? Helgir leiðaz.
Hvert? Ágætir í tígnarsæti.
Hvað er tíðinda? Hjálpaz lýðir.
Hví nú? Því liet Jésús pínaz.
Hvað er tíðinda? Himnar bjóðaz.
Hverjum? Oss, vier prísum krossinn.

Hvað er tíðinda? Fjandinn er hraktr. Hverr vann sigrinn? {Skapari manna}. Hvað er tíðinda? Helgir leiðaz. Hvert? Ágætir, í tígnarsæti. Hvað er tíðinda? Lýðir hjálpaz. Hví nú? Því Jésús liet pínaz. Hvað er tíðinda? Himnar bjóðaz. Hverjum? Oss, vier prísum krossinn.
‘What is the news? The enemy is vanquished. Who won the victory? The Creator of men [= God (= Christ)]. What is the news? The holy are led. Where? Distinguished ones, to a seat of honour. What is the news? People are saved. Why now? Because Jesus caused himself to be tormented. What is the news? The heavens are offered. To whom? To us — we praise the Cross.

notes and context

The ms. tradition shows confusion about the order of the sequence of the ll. The alternating pattern of anaphora (hvað : hver-) suggests that Bb is the best of the surviving versions. — This st. uses the skaldic figures of sextánmælt ‘sixteen times spoken’, in which a st. contains sixteen separate utterances, and greppaminni ‘poets’ reminder’, a series of questions and answers (see SnSt Ht 9, 40III). Greppaminni resembles the Lat. rhetorical figures of ratiocinatio (reasoning with oneself by asking questions; see Lausberg 1998, §371) and erothema (asking rhetorical questions). See the definition and examples of erotema in FoGT (SnE 1848-87, II, 248). The repetition of initial phrases corresponds to the Lat. figure anaphora. The copious literature on the use of these figures in this st. and the possible relationship to Lat. rhetoric includes Helgi Sigurðarsson 1891, 71; Jón Helgason and Holtsmark 1941, 125-7; Laugesen 1966, 297; Vésteinn Ólason 1969; Foote 1982, 114-17; SnE 1999, 20, 61-2, 74-5. — [3-4]: Cf. Líkn 24/6-7.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 62: AII, 383, BII, 406, Skald II, 222.


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