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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 23VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 93.

Gamli kanókiHarmsól

Yðr nam annarr kveðja
illvirki svá, stillir
hás, þás hræddisk píslir,
hríðar nausts, með trausti:
‘minnsk þú, mildingr sunnu,
mín,’ kvað bauga tínir,
‘þ*itt — ák hag til hættan
heldr — es kemr í veldi.’

Annarr illvirki nam kveðja yðr svá með trausti, þás hræddisk píslir, {stillir {hás nausts hríðar}}: ‘{mildingr sunnu}, minnsk þú mín,’ kvað {tínir bauga}, ‘es kemr í veldi þ*itt: ák heldr til hættan hag.’

The other malefactor began to call on you thus with faith, when he dreaded torments, {ruler {of the high boatshed of the tempest}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]: ‘{prince of the sun} [= God (= Christ)], remember me,’ said {the gatherer of rings} [MAN], ‘when you come into your kingdom: I am in a rather too perilous situation’.

Mss: B(12v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] kveðja: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]edia’ B    [5] mildingr: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘milld[...]r’ B    [7] þ*itt: ‘þrott’ B

Editions: Skj AI, 565, Skj BI, 554, Skald I, 269; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 20, Kempff 1867, 7, Rydberg 1907, 24, Black 1971, 198, Attwood 1996a, 227.

Notes: [2-4] stillir hás nausts hríðar ‘ruler of the high boatshed of the tempest [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]’: A similar concept – stillir + ‘abode of the storm’ – also lies behind the God-kennings stillir býrskríns ‘regulator of the shrine of the breeze’ in Pl 3/2-3 and hár stillir hreggtjalda ‘high ruler of the storm-tents’ Has 1/1-2. — [6] tínir bauga ‘gatherer of rings’: Possibly an ironic use of a variation on a conventional kenning-type (Meissner, 256), when applied to a thief. Cf. auðbrjótr ‘destroyer of riches’ in 24/2. — [7] þ*itt ‘your’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson (note to 444ˣ transcript and 1844, 20 n. 29) suggests this emendation, which has been adopted by all subsequent eds. B’s reading þrótt m. acc. sg. is undoubtedly caused by the scribe’s eye-skip forward to hring-Þrótt (where Þróttr is a name for Óðinn) in 25/2 (fol. 12v l. 41), influenced by bauga in l. 6.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  4. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  5. Black, Elizabeth L. 1971. ‘Harmsól: an edition’. B. Litt. thesis. University of Oxford.
  6. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. Kempff, Hjalmar, ed. 1867. Kaniken Gamles ‘Harmsól’ (Sol i Sorgen): isländskt andligt qväde från medeltiden med öfversättning och förklaringar. Uppsala: Edquist & Berglund.
  8. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  9. Internal references
  10. Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 183-4.
  11. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 73-4.

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