Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Gamlkan Jóndr 1VII

[3-4] ráðeflandi liðs rekka ‘counsel-provider of the troop of men [MANKIND > APOSTLE]’: Since the base-word of this kenning ([ráð]eflandi) is in the nom. and the st. is addressed to S. John, Lange (1958a, 82) plausibly regards the nom. form eflandi as a vocative; the kenning is thus an apostrophe addressed to S. John. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes ráð ... liðs to be a phrase standing in apposition to the pron. þik ‘you’. As Lange points out, one would then expect an acc. form eflanda, rather than the nom. Bugge takes the kenning to be part of the intercalary cl. eigi mistir blezan Kristi, but it is more likely that he takes it as a vocative addressed to S. John than as a phrase standing in apposition to the gen. Kristi, as Lange asserts. The kenning reflects the Christian view that it was the function of the Apostles to teach mankind (cf. Matt. XXVIII.20).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Lange, Wolfgang. 1958a. Studien zur christlichen Dichtung der Nordgermanen 1000-1200. Palaestra 222. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.


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