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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Lil 46VII

[4-8]: Cf. Matt. XI.5/Luke VII.22: caeci vident claudi ambulant leprosi mundantur surdi audiunt mortui resurgunt pauperes evangelizantur ‘The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached’. These ll. are an elegant example of the rhetorical figure versus rapportati (Lausberg 1998, §716; Curtius 1953, 291) combined with zeugma (Lausberg 1998, §§692-708). Bede defines zeugma ‘yoking’ as a figure in which one word (here veitir) governs two or more parts of a sentence (Hurst and Fraipoint 1975, 144). The two phrases governed by veitir are, first, a series of adjectives in the dat., used substantively, and then a parallel series of nouns (or verbs used substantively) in the acc. The strict symmetry holds the two periods together. See Laugesen 1966, 298-9 for a discussion of this and related examples from Everardus Alemannus, Quintilian, Cicero, and Geoffrey of Vinsauf. Laugesen notes that zeugma is also discussed in TGT (TGT 1884-6, I, 92-3), but he maintains that the Lil poet learned his technique from Lat. sources and not there.


  1. Bibliography
  2. TGT 1884 = Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1884. Den tredje og fjærde grammatiske afhandling i Snorres Edda tilligemed de grammatiske afhandlingers prolog og to andre tillæg. SUGNL 12. Copenhagen: Knudtzon.
  3. Curtius, Ernst R. 1953. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Trans. Willard R. Trask. Bollingen Ser. 36. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Originally published 1948. Europäische literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter. Bern: Francke.
  4. Laugesen, Anker Teilgård. 1966. Middelalderlitteraturen: en orientering. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  5. Lausberg, Heinrich. 1998. Handbook of Literary Rhetoric: A Foundation for Literary Study. Trans. Matthew T. Bliss, Annemiek Jansen and David E. Orton. Ed. David E. Orton and R. Dean Anderson. Leiden: Brill.
  6. Internal references
  7. Tarrin Wills 2017, ‘The Third Grammatical Treatise’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  8. Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lilja’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 544-677.


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