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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Jóndr 1VII

Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Jónsdrápa 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 133-4.

Gamli kanókiJónsdrápa
12

frák ‘I have heard’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

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upphaf ‘elevation’

upphaf (noun n.): beginning

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eignask ‘acquired for yourself’

eigna (verb; °-að-): acquire

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eigi ‘you did not’

3. eigi (adv.): not

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mistir ‘go without’

mista (verb): lose

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ráð ‘Counsel’

ráð (noun n.; °-s; -): advice, plan, control, power < ráðeflandi (noun m.)

kennings

Ráðeflandi liðs rekka,
‘Counsel-provider of the troop of men, ’
   = APOSTLE

the troop of men, → MANKIND
Counsel-provider of the MANKIND → APOSTLE
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eflandi ‘provider’

eflandi (noun m.): strengthener, provider < ráðeflandi (noun m.)

kennings

Ráðeflandi liðs rekka,
‘Counsel-provider of the troop of men, ’
   = APOSTLE

the troop of men, → MANKIND
Counsel-provider of the MANKIND → APOSTLE
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risnu ‘in munificence’

risna (noun f.; °-u): munificence

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rekka ‘of men’

rekkr (noun m.; °; -ar): man, champion

kennings

Ráðeflandi liðs rekka,
‘Counsel-provider of the troop of men, ’
   = APOSTLE

the troop of men, → MANKIND
Counsel-provider of the MANKIND → APOSTLE
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rekka ‘of men’

rekkr (noun m.; °; -ar): man, champion

kennings

Ráðeflandi liðs rekka,
‘Counsel-provider of the troop of men, ’
   = APOSTLE

the troop of men, → MANKIND
Counsel-provider of the MANKIND → APOSTLE
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liðs ‘of the troop’

lið (noun n.; °-s; -): retinue, troop

kennings

Ráðeflandi liðs rekka,
‘Counsel-provider of the troop of men, ’
   = APOSTLE

the troop of men, → MANKIND
Counsel-provider of the MANKIND → APOSTLE
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liðs ‘of the troop’

lið (noun n.; °-s; -): retinue, troop

kennings

Ráðeflandi liðs rekka,
‘Counsel-provider of the troop of men, ’
   = APOSTLE

the troop of men, → MANKIND
Counsel-provider of the MANKIND → APOSTLE
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flærðar ‘of falsehood’

flærð (noun f.): falsehood, deceit

kennings

hnekki flærðar —
‘the suppressor of falsehood — ’
   = God

the suppressor of falsehood — → God
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hnekki ‘the suppressor’

hnekkir (noun m.): subduer

kennings

hnekki flærðar —
‘the suppressor of falsehood — ’
   = God

the suppressor of falsehood — → God
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sólar ‘of the sun’

sól (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir): sun

kennings

mærðar kœnn siklingr ranns sólar
‘the famous lord of the hall of the sun ’
   = God

the hall of the sun → SKY/HEAVEN
the famous lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
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sólar ‘of the sun’

sól (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir): sun

kennings

mærðar kœnn siklingr ranns sólar
‘the famous lord of the hall of the sun ’
   = God

the hall of the sun → SKY/HEAVEN
the famous lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
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ranns ‘of the hall’

rann (noun n.): house, hall

kennings

mærðar kœnn siklingr ranns sólar
‘the famous lord of the hall of the sun ’
   = God

the hall of the sun → SKY/HEAVEN
the famous lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
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ranns ‘of the hall’

rann (noun n.): house, hall

kennings

mærðar kœnn siklingr ranns sólar
‘the famous lord of the hall of the sun ’
   = God

the hall of the sun → SKY/HEAVEN
the famous lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
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siklingr ‘lord’

siklingr (noun m.; °; -ar): king, ruler

kennings

mærðar kœnn siklingr ranns sólar
‘the famous lord of the hall of the sun ’
   = God

the hall of the sun → SKY/HEAVEN
the famous lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
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unni ‘granted’

1. unna (verb): love

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seima ‘of gold wires’

2. seimr (noun m.; °dat. -i): gold

kennings

brjót* seima
‘to the breaker of gold wires ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

to the breaker of gold wires → GENEROUS MAN
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brjót* ‘to the breaker’

brjótr (noun m.): breaker

[6] brjót*: brjótr 649a

kennings

brjót* seima
‘to the breaker of gold wires ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

to the breaker of gold wires → GENEROUS MAN

notes

[6] brjót*: The ms. reading is ‘brjotr’ (nom. sg.). The subject of the sentence is the kenning siklingr ranns sólar ‘lord of the hall of the sun’ [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]; since the st. is addressed to S. John, it is to be expected that he be mentioned in the second part of the st. as well as in the first. All eds since Bugge therefore emend the nom. form brjótr to the dat. sg. brjót* (1874, 933 n. 3) assuming a m. dat. sg. a-stem noun without dat. ending -i (ANG §358.3). The man-kenning brjót seima ‘breaker of gold wires’ [GENEROUS MAN] then designates the Apostle John and forms part of the indirect object in the construction unni mætra lífs seima brjót ok móður sinni ‘granted a more worthy life to the breaker of gold wires [GENEROUS MAN = John] and to his mother’.

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[6] í þessum heimi ‘in this world’: Bugge, Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Lange (1958b, 17) regard this prepositional phrase as part of the subordinate cl. an aðrir gæti ‘than others were able to obtain’; Kock (NN §3124) argues that the w.o. suggests rather that í þessum heimi forms part of the cl. at siklingr ranns sólar unni seima brjót ok móður sinni mætra líf.

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þessum ‘this’

1. sjá (pron.; °gen. þessa dat. þessum/þeima, acc. þenna; f. sjá/þessi; n. þetta, dat. þessu/þvísa; pl. þessir): this

notes

[6] í þessum heimi ‘in this world’: Bugge, Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Lange (1958b, 17) regard this prepositional phrase as part of the subordinate cl. an aðrir gæti ‘than others were able to obtain’; Kock (NN §3124) argues that the w.o. suggests rather that í þessum heimi forms part of the cl. at siklingr ranns sólar unni seima brjót ok móður sinni mætra líf.

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heimi ‘world’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world

notes

[6] í þessum heimi ‘in this world’: Bugge, Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Lange (1958b, 17) regard this prepositional phrase as part of the subordinate cl. an aðrir gæti ‘than others were able to obtain’; Kock (NN §3124) argues that the w.o. suggests rather that í þessum heimi forms part of the cl. at siklingr ranns sólar unni seima brjót ok móður sinni mætra líf.

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mærðar ‘the famous’

mærð (noun f.): praise

kennings

mærðar kœnn siklingr ranns sólar
‘the famous lord of the hall of the sun ’
   = God

the hall of the sun → SKY/HEAVEN
the famous lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7] mærðar kœnn ‘famous’: This phrase can be translated as ‘wise in fame’ and is interpreted by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: mærð), Kahle (1901, 138) and Lange (1958b, 17) as ‘famous, much praised’ or (less plausibly) as ‘praised for his wisdom’ (LP: kœnn).

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kœnn ‘’

2. kœnn (adj.; °superl. kǿnstr/kǿnastr): wise, skilful

kennings

mærðar kœnn siklingr ranns sólar
‘the famous lord of the hall of the sun ’
   = God

the hall of the sun → SKY/HEAVEN
the famous lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7] mærðar kœnn ‘famous’: This phrase can be translated as ‘wise in fame’ and is interpreted by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: mærð), Kahle (1901, 138) and Lange (1958b, 17) as ‘famous, much praised’ or (less plausibly) as ‘praised for his wisdom’ (LP: kœnn).

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móður ‘own mother’

móðir (noun f.): mother

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Prefaced to this st. is the remark: ok kveðr svá til ástarlófs Jesu Cristi, er hann veitti sínum frænda ‘and he [Gamli] says this in praise of the love that Jesus Christ granted to his relative [John]’ (Jón4 1874, 510). On the idea of John as Christ’s relative, see Note to st. 2/4.

Apart from the intercalary cl. (eigi mistir blezan Kristi ‘you did not go without Christ’s blessing’) and the apostrophe addressed to S. John (ráðeflandi liðs rekka ‘fortifier of the condition of the troop of men’ [MANKIND > APOSTLE = John]), this st. consists of a single sentence, a main cl. and two subordinate cls. The main cl. is frák = frá ek ‘I have heard’, the first subordinate cl. has the form of an acc. and inf. (þik, risnu prúðan, eignask upphaf tignar af flærðar hnekki ‘you, splendid in prowess, acquired for yourself elevation in honour from {the suppressor of falsity} [= Christ]’); the second half of the st. contains the second subordinate cl., which is introduced by the conj. at ‘that’: at mærðar kœnn siklingr ranns sólar, unni brjót seima ok sinni móður mætra lífs í þessum heimi en aðrir gæti ‘that {the glorious lord {of the hall of the sun}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = Christ] granted {to the breaker of gold wires} [GENEROUS MAN = John] and to His own mother a more worthy life in this world than others were able to obtain’

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