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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 48VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 48’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 115.

Gamli kanókiHarmsól

text and translation

Frétt hafa* dyggvar dróttir,
Dávíð konungr síðan
snilli vanðr ept synðir
siðabót at tók skjóta.
Blíðr nam þengill þýðask
— þats bann — konu annars,
en réð, svát bar brôðum,
búandmann* af því svanna.

Dyggvar dróttir hafa* frétt, at Dávíð konungr, snilli vanðr, tók síðan skjóta siðabót ept synðir. Blíðr þengill nam þýðask konu annars — þats bann —, en réð af því búandmann* svanna, svát bar brôðum.
‘Worthy men have heard that King David, accustomed to eloquence, later made quick moral amends after his sins. The gentle king took pleasure in the wife of another man — that is forbidden — and for that reason brought about the death of the woman’s husband, in such a way that it happened by surprise.

notes and context

[5-8]: The story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the subsequent death of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah the Hittite, is recounted in 2 Sam. XI.



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: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 48: AI, 569, BI, 272, Skald I, 272, NN §3243; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 28, Kempff 1867, 14, Rydberg 1907, 28, Black 1971, 258, Attwood 1996a, 234.


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