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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (TGT) 18III

Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise 18’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 550.

Anonymous LausavísurStanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise

text and translation

Jarls hefir hann ágæti,        en ǫðlings kosti,
konungs kappgirni,        kynni landreka.

Hann hefir ágæti jarls, en kosti ǫðlings, kappgirni konungs, kynni landreka.
‘He has a jarl’s fame and a prince’s good qualities, a king’s competitiveness, a lord’s disposition.

notes and context

In the section on schemata lexeos, this is cited as an example of syllepsis (‘silemsis’), a figure related to zeugma (see st. 17; TGT 1927, 67): Silemsis bindr ójafnar klausur saman með einu orðSyllepsis binds unlike clauses together with a single verb’.

In this example, syllepsis occurs because the verb hefir ‘has’ has multiple objects (ágæti jarls ‘a jarl’s fame’, kosti ǫðlings ‘a prince’s good qualities’, etc.). — There are two other stanzas in this section of the treatise (Ólhv Frag 6 and st. 19) which are also in málaháttr. Björn Magnússon Ólsen (TGT 1884, 205) speculates that these belong to the same poem about a jarl (Skúli jarl Bárðarson or Knútr jarl Hákonarson) and all may be the work of Óláfr. They are also grouped together by Finnur Jónsson in Skj with the implication that they may have originally belonged to the same praise poem. Ólhv Frag 6 is attributed in this edn to Óláfr on the basis of its similarity with an example in a Hiberno-Latin commentary (see Ólhv Frag 6, Note to [All]), which may give further credence to Björn’s speculation, but the attribution of all three stanzas to Óláfr and to a single poem remains tenuous.


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 [XII], C. Vers om ubestemmelige personer og begivenheder 6: AI, 597, BI, 598, Skald I, 291; SnE 1818, 323, SnE 1848, 191, SnE 1848-87, II, 144-5, 418, TGT 1884, 23, 93, 204-5, TGT 1927, 67, 102.


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