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

Menu Search

GunnLeif Merl I 30VIII (Bret 98)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 98 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 30)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 68.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

‘Líðr byskups stóll         Lundúnum ór
í ina breiðu         borg Kantara.
Ok langa tígn         Légíónum
taka mun in mæta         Menelógía.

‘Stóll byskups líðr ór Lundúnum í ina breiðu Kantaraborg. Ok in mæta Menelógía mun taka langa tígn Légíónum.
‘‘The bishop’s seat will move from London to the broad Canterbury. And the splendid Menelogia will take over the long-held distinction of Caerleon.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 112 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 145.46-7, 48-9; cf. Wright 1988, 102, prophecy 3): et transmutacio primarum sedium fiet. Dignitas Lundoniae adornabit Doroberniam … Meneuia pallio Vrbis Legionum induetur ‘and archbishoprics will be displaced. London’s honour will adorn Canterbury … St David’s [sic] will wear the pallium of Caerleon’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 144). London is described by Geoffrey as the seat of an archbishop in Romano-British times (DGB VI: Reeve and Wright 2007, 112-3; cf. Tatlock 1950, 264). The existence of a see of Caerleon and its pre-eminence in Britain before the arrival of the Saxons appear to be inventions on Geoffrey’s part (Tatlock 1950, 264-5, 266). Geoffrey recounts the death of David, archbishop of Caerleon, at Menevia (Welsh Mynyw), subsequently St Davids (Welsh Tyddewi) in DGB XI (Reeve and Wright 2007, 254-5). The prophecy appears to foreshadow the expression of Welsh aspirations to restore this see to the status of an archbishopric (cf. Tatlock 1950, 266, 415; Curley 1982, 220, 223; see II 16 Note to [All]). As noted in Bret 1848-9, two other locations mentioned in Geoffrey’s text, York and Ireland, are not represented in Merl, at least as extant.


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: Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínússpá II 30: AII, 26, BII, 30, Skald II, 19; Bret 1848-9, II, 48-9 (Bret st. 98); Hb 1892-6, 279; Merl 2012, 149-50.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.