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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 2VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 8-9.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
123

þeirars heims (í heimi)
(heims) myrkrum brá (þeima)
ok (ljós meðan) var vísi
veðr- (kallaðisk) -hallar.
Sá lét bjartr frá bjartri
berask maðr und skýjaðri
(frægr stóð af því) flœðar
(fǫrnuðr) rǫðull stjǫrnu.

þeirar [sólar], [e]s brá myrkrum heims, ok var {vísi {veðr-hallar}}, meðan kallaðisk ljós heims í þeima heimi. Sá maðr, bjartr rǫðull, lét berask frá bjartri stjǫrnu flœðar und {skýjaðri}; frægr fǫrnuðr stóð af því.

of that [sun] which destroyed the darkness of the world, and was {the prince {of the wind-hall}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], while he called himself the light of the world in this world. That man, the bright sun, caused himself to be born from the bright star of the sea under {the cloud-rim} [SKY/HEAVEN]; renowned prosperity proceeded from that.

Mss: Flat(2ra), Bb(117ra)

Readings: [5] bjartr: so Bb, bert Flat    [6] maðr: mann Bb;    skýjaðri: skýranni Bb    [8] stjǫrnu: stjǫrnur Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 459, Skj BI, 427, Skald I, 211, NN §§925, 926, 2051; Flat 1860-8, I, 1, Cederschiöld 1873, 1, Chase 2005, 52, 125-7.

Notes: [All]: Sts 1-2 of Geisl are linked as the first l. of st. 2 is dependent on the final l. of st. 1 (cf. Kuhn 1983, 210-12). — [1-4]: The theologically sophisticated reading of these ll. offered here depends on elaborate word-play, tmesis and syntactic fragmentation. By emending veðr (l. 4) to veðrs, Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) produces the following sense: Þeirar [sólar], es brá heims myrkrum í þeima heimi ok kallaðisk ljós heims, meðan vas vísi veðrs hallar ‘Of that [sun], which made an end of the world’s darkness in this world and is called the world’s light, while he was king of the storm’s hall [SKY/HEAVEN]’. — [1] þeirar [sólar] ‘of that [sun]’: The gen. pron. refers back to sólar (1/8). — [1-2] heims ... heimi ... heims: In dróttkvætt metre aðalhending is not appropriate in an odd-numbered l., hence Kock’s emendation of l. 1 (Skald) to þeirar húms í heimi. But exceptions were tolerated, and the rhyming pattern here is iðurmælt, one of the special effects explained in Ht (SnE 1999, 22). The repetition of heims/heimi/heims is also an echo of the prologue to the Gospel of John: erat lux vera quae inluminat omnem hominem venientem in mundum / in mundo erat et mundus per ipsum factus est et mundus eum non cognovit ‘That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world: and the world was made by him: and the world knew him not’ (John I.9-10). The Bb reading bjartr frá bjartri (l. 5) follows a similar pattern and echoes the lumen de lumine ‘light from light’ of the Credo; it is probably a better reading than Flat’s bert ‘clearly’. See NN §2051 for a discussion of the use of identical rhyme in this st. and elsewhere in skaldic poetry. — [5, 8, 7] frá bjartri stjǫrnu flœðar ‘from the bright star of the sea’: A kenning-like circumloculation for the Virgin Mary, based on the Lat. phrase stella maris ‘star of the sea’, first appearing in the C9th hymn Ave maris stella (AH 51, 140). Although this epithet has the form of a kenning, such imitations of Lat. phrases have not been treated as kennings proper in this edn; for a discussion, see Introduction to this volume. — [6] und skýjaðri ‘under the cloud-rim’: Flat’s sky/heaven-kenning is the difficilior lectio but Bb’s und skýranni ‘beneath the cloud-hall [SKY/HEAVEN]’ together with the older nom. sg. form mannr (over Flat’s maðr, cf. ANG §§261 and 278.4b) provides aðalhending and is preferred by both Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald). Neither Skj B nor Skald explain how the nom. sg. can be found after lét berask (ll. 5, 6).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Cederschiöld, Gustaf J. Chr., ed. 1873b. ‘Bandamanna saga’. Acta Universitatis Lundensis 10.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. AH = Dreves, G. M., C. Blume and H. M. Bannister, eds. 1886-1922. Analecta hymnica medii aeui. 55 vols. Leipzig: Reisland. Rpt. 1961. New York: Johnson.
  7. 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.
  8. Cederschiöld, Gustaf J. Chr., ed. 1873a. Geisli eða Óláfs Drápa ens Helga er Einarr orti Skúlason: efter ‘Bergsboken’ utgifven. Acta Universitatis Lundensis 10. Lund: Berling.
  9. Chase, Martin, ed. 2005. Einarr Skúlason’s Geisli. A Critical Edition. Toronto Old Norse and Icelandic Studies 1. Toronto, Buffalo and London: Toronto University Press.
  10. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  11. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1983. Das Dróttkvætt. Heidelberg: Winter.
  12. SnE 1999 = Snorri Sturluson. 1999. Edda: Háttatal. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. Rpt. with addenda and corrigenda. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  13. Internal references
  14. Not published: do not cite (MberfII)
  15. Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘Háttatal’ 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].
  16. Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Geisli’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 5-65.
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