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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 49VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 49’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 619-20.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

text and translation

Fúsir hlupu og fundu Jésúm;
fundinn hröktu, lömdu og bundu;
bundinn leiddu; hæðnir hæddu;
hæddan, rægðan, slógu klæddan
fjandans börnin; þraungum þyrni
þessir spenna um blessað ennið;
þessir negldu Krist á krossinn;
keyra járn, svá að stökk um dreyrinn.

Fúsir hlupu og fundu Jésúm; fundinn hröktu, lömdu og bundu; bundinn leiddu; hæðnir hæddu; hæddan, rægðan, klæddan slógu {börnin fjandans}; þessir spenna þraungum þyrni um blessað ennið; þessir negldu Krist á krossinn; keyra járn, svá að dreyrinn stökk um.
‘Frenzied men ran and found Jesus; having found him, they abused him, struck him, and bound him; when he had been bound, they led him; those fond of mocking mocked him; when he had been mocked, reviled, and clothed the offspring of the fiend [= Jews] struck him; they wind a tight [crown of] thorn around the blessed forehead; they nailed Christ to the cross; they drive iron [nails] so that the blood spurted around [them].

notes and context

[1-4]: In skaldic poetics, the repetition of the last word of a l. at the beginning of the following l. is called dunhent ‘echoing rhymed’. See SnSt Ht sts 24, 47, and 48III (SnE 1999, 15, 22-3) and RvHbreiðm Hl sts 57, 58, 65, and 66III (Jón Helgason and Holtsmark 1941, 127-9), but, as Rudolf Meissner says (1922, 52), ‘What a difference between these school-examples and the stanzas of Lilja!’. In Lat. rhetoric, which may be the closer model here, the figure is called anadiplosis or reduplicatio (Lausberg 1998, §619; cf. e.g. the definition given by the Venerable Bede [Hurst 1975, 146] and the brief discussion in TGT 1884-6, I, 94). The ll. also exhibit climax or gradatio: the repeated word occurs first in the pret., and then as perf. participles (Lausberg 1998, §623; cf. e.g. the definitions in the Rhetorica ad Herennium [Marx 1923, 4.25.34] and Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana [Martin 1962, 123]) and polyptoton, the repetition of a word in various grammatical forms (Lausberg 1998, §§640-8; cf. e.g. the Venerable Bede [Hurst 1975, 150]. See also Laugesen 1966, 297-8, and cf. Lil 55 and 66).



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: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 49: AII, 379, BII, 403, Skald II, 220, NN §§1526, 1527.


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