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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (TGT) 27III

Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise 27’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 555.

Anonymous LausavísurStanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise

text and translation

Áðr djúphugaðr dræpi
dólga ramr með hamri
gegn á grœðis vagna
gagnsæll faðir Magna.

Áðr {djúphugaðr, ramr, gegn, gagnsæll faðir Magna} dræpi á {dólga {grœðis vagna}} með hamri.
‘Before the deep-minded, mighty, reliable, victory-blessed father of Magni <god> [= Þórr] struck at the enemies of the sea of wagons [LAND > GIANTS] with his hammer.

notes and context

This is the last of three examples (after Þul Sea-kings and Máni Lv 5) which Óláfr gives for the figure dialyton (‘dialiton’), the use of many nouns without a conjunction. The example is introduced as follows (TGT 1927, 73): En svipa heitir þat ef fleiri sannkenningar heyra einum hlut oklaust ‘But it is called “whip” if several sannkenningar refer to the same thing without [the conjunction] “and”’.

In the preceding paragraph, Óláfr equates dialyton with a native term klauf (‘cleft, cloven hoof, head of cattle’) which is the use of two sannkenningar or epithets without a conjunction (more properly asyndeton), exemplified by Máni Lv 5. In the present example, the figure is equated with another term, svipa (‘whip’), i.e. many epithets attached to the same noun without a conjunction. Neither the term klauf nor svipa are elsewhere attested with this particular grammatical sense. — This stanza is dated to the C10th by Finnur Jónsson (Skj), presumably on the basis of the pagan subject matter, but there is no other evidence to support such an early date.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [X], II. B. 3. Om Tor: AI, 182, BI, 171, Skald I, 92; SnE 1818, 326, SnE 1848, 193, SnE 1848-87, II, 156-7, 421, III, 147, TGT 1884, 26, 100, 212, TGT 1927, 73, 104.


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