Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 93 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 25)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 64.
‘Fersk undir hann foldu grœnni
ok eyja fjǫlð í úthafi,
Íra ok Engla ok Út-Skota,
víðum lǫndum valskra þjóða,
Nóregs síðu ok Norðr-Dana.
‘Fersk undir hann grœnni foldu ok fjǫlð eyja í úthafi, Íra ok Engla ok Út-Skota, víðum lǫndum valskra þjóða, síðu Nóregs ok Norðr-Dana.
‘‘Under him is brought the green land and a multitude of islands in the outer ocean, of the Irish and the English and the outlying Scots, extensive territories of the French people, the coast of Norway and [lands] of the northern Danes. ’
Cf. DGB 112 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 145.41; cf. Wright 1988, 102, prophecy 2): Insule occeani potestati ipsius subdentur, et Gallicanos saltus possidebit ‘The islands of the ocean will fall under his sway and he will occupy the glades of France’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 144). As noted by J. S. Eysteinsson (1953-7, 99), Gunnlaugr appears to draw on a wider knowledge of legends of Arthur’s conquests than this Latin sentence would supply, taken on its own, and shows interest in the North Atlantic and Scandinavian regions. This, along with the mention of the Romans in I 26, could have been derived direct from DGB IX-XI (see Introduction). It could also, however, with much greater convenience have been derived from a commentary. Alain de Flandres, for instance, annotates as follows (Wille 2015, 161): Hyberniam namque, Islandiam, Scotiam, Orcadum insulas, Gothlandiam, Norguegiam, Datiamque sub iugum misit et suo subiecit imperio ‘For he subjugated Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, the Orkney islands, Gotland, Norway and Denmark and subjected them to his imperial rule’ (cf. Hammer 1935, 26, and, for another commentary with similar content, Hammer 1935, 8). Arthurian incursions into Scandinavian territories would not necessarily have been judged improbable or incongruous by Gunnlaugr’s audience; Haukr Erlendsson makes occasional changes to the text of Bret ‘in order to reveal connections with Scandinavian history, particularly with Norwegian royal dynasties’ (Tétrel 2010, 494). On the other hand, there is no mention in Merl, at least as extant, of Iceland, which both Geoffrey and the commentators included in Arthur’s dominions (cf. Tatlock 1950, 107). Gunnlaugr appears to correct the designation of Denmark and Norway as islands, which again is a designation in Geoffrey that is reproduced by the commentators (cf. Tatlock 1950, 107), instead placing them in explicit parallel (Denmark) or implicit parallel (Norway) with France.
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.
Ferst vndir hann folldv grꝍni ok eyia fiolð i v́t | hafi ira ok engla ok vt skota viðvm londvm valskra þioða norex siþv ok norðr dana |
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