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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (TGT) 1III

Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 537.

Anonymous LausavísurStanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise

text and translation

Reið Brynhildar bróðir
bort, sás hug né skorti.

{Bróðir Brynhildar}, sás né skorti hug, reið bort.
‘Brynhildr’s brother [= Atli], who did not lack courage, rode away.

notes and context

This stanza is cited among various examples of barbarismus involving changes to letters and syllables. It illustrates stafasnúning ‘letter-change’, i.e. a rearrangement of letters within a syllable (TGT 1927, 43-4): Hér er bort sett fyrir brott ok skipt svá stǫfum, at r stendr fyrir t til þess at hendingar sé jafnhávar, ok er þetta svá í einum staf sem í samstǫfu ‘Here bort is used instead of brott, and the letters transposed so that <r> comes before <t> to make the hendingar equally long, and this occurs in a single letter as well as in a syllable’. The second line is cited later as an example of metathesis, essentially the same phenomenon (TGT 1927, 65): Metatesis skiptir stǫfum sem fyrr er sagt ‘Metathesis transposes letters, as was said earlier’.

Brynhildr is probably to be identified with one of the female protagonists of the Vǫlsung legends, and, if so, her brother would be Atli Buðlason. It is unclear to which legend this particular fragment may refer, but Björn Magnússon Ólsen (TGT 1884) compares Akv 32/1-4 (NK 245) Atli lét | lanz síns á vit | ió eyrscán | aptr frá morði ‘Atli turned his gravel-treading horse towards his land, back from the murder’ (Larrington 2014, 209) and Anon Kálfv 4/3, which mentions his horse Glaumr.



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], D. Vers, hentydende til sagn og lign. 1: AI, 602, BI, 602, Skald I, 293; SnE 1818, 310, 322, SnE 1848, 182, 190, SnE 1848-87, II, 100-1, 140, 406, 417, 508, III, 138, TGT 1884, 14, 23, 65, 90, 169, TGT 1927, 43, 65, 91.


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