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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Vitn 3VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 742.

Anonymous PoemsVitnisvísur af Máríu

Rieð í ríki góðu
— ritning berr svá vitni —
kóngr, sá átti unga,
óttlauss, framadóttur.
ðiz upp með Fríði
falds á bernskualdri
svinnr í sögðu ríki
sveinn af kynslóð hreinni.

Óttlauss kóngr, sá átti unga framadóttur, rieð í góðu ríki; ritning berr svá vitni. Svinnr sveinn af hreinni kynslóð fæðiz upp á bernskualdri með {Fríði falds} í sögðu ríki.

A fearless king who had a young, outstanding daughter, ruled in a good realm; writing bears witness to that. A clever boy of pure lineage grows up in childhood with {the Fríðr <goddess> of the head-dress} [WOMAN] in the said realm.

Mss: 713(83), 721(10v)

Readings: [3] kóngr: ‘k̄gur’ 713, 721    [5] ðiz: fæddisk 713, 721;    Fríði: so 721, fríðri 713    [8] af: om. 721

Editions: Skj AII, 483, Skj BII, 520, Skald II, 285; Kahle 1898, 50, Sperber 1911, 23, 70, Wrightson 2001, 28.

Notes: [2] ritning ‘writing’: The poet’s source was likely a written text about Mary’s miracles (see Introduction above). — [3] kóngr ‘king’: This noun is abbreviated ‘k̄gur’ in both mss. Skj A, Sperber and Wrightson resolve it as kóngr ‘king’ (Skald has konungr). Kóngr seems warranted because of the internal rhyme (-óng- : -ung-; but see st. 4/4 below). For the contracted form, see ANG §125.4. — [5] ðiz ‘grows [up]’: Both mss read fæddiz (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘grew up’, but the pres. tense of the verb (fæðiz) is required by the internal rhyme (-æð- : -íð-). — [7]: The l. lacks internal rhyme. Wrightson tentatively reads ríki ‘realm’ in 721 as ranni ‘house’ (so also Sperber, but, although it is smudged, the abbreviation stands for <ik> (and 713 has ríki without abbreviation). Furthermore, there is no mention of a house in the preceding text.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  5. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  6. Wrightson, Kellinde, ed. 2001. Fourteenth-Century Icelandic Verse on the Virgin Mary: Drápa af Maríugrát, Vitnisvísur af Maríu, Maríuvísur I-III. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 14. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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