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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Máni Lv 3II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Máni, Lausavísur 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 643-4.


Gígjan syngr, þars ganga
— grípa menn til pípu —
— fœra fólsku stóra —
framm leikarar bleikir.
Undrs, hvé augum vendir
umb, sás þýtr í trumbu;
kníðan lítk á kauða
kjapt ok blásna hvapta.

Gígjan syngr, þars bleikir leikarar ganga framm; menn grípa til pípu; fœra stóra fólsku. Undrs, hvé vendir augum umb, sás þýtr í trumbu; lítk kníðan kjapt ok blásna hvapta á kauða.

The fiddle sings where the pale minstrels walk forth; men grasp the flute; they bring great foolishness. It’s a marvel, how he who blows in the trumpet rolls his eyes; I see the stuffed cheeks and the distended mouth of the wretch.

Mss: 327(44v) (Sv)

Editions: Skj AI, 539, Skj BI, 520, Skald I, 254, NN §1166; ÍF 30, 131 (ch. 85), Sv 1920, 91.

Context: As st. 2 above.

Notes: [1-4]: In the present edn, bleikir leikarar ‘the pale minstrels’ (l. 4) function as the subject of the verb ganga ‘walk’ (l. 1). Skj B, Skald and ÍF 30 treat ll. 3-4 as one cl.: bleikir leikarar fœra framm stóra fólsku ‘the pale minstrels bring forth great foolishness’. — [1] gígjan ‘the fiddle’: Skj B and Skald omit the suffixed def. art., but that is unnecessary given the relatively late date of the st. (see ANG §472). For gígja, see Note to Lv 2/1 above. — [1] þars ganga ‘where walk’: Skj B construes ganga as the gen. pl. of gangr ‘continuous sound’ which is taken with pípu (f. gen. sg.) ‘flute’ (l. 2) (see also LP: gangr 2): menn grípa til pípu ganga ‘men grasp the flute’s continuous sound’ (so also ÍF 30). Kock emends ganga to gǫngu which he takes as the first element in a cpd gǫngumenn (NN §1166). ON gǫngumenn means ‘beggars’, but Kock construes the meaning vandrande spelmän ‘wandering minstrels’. — [2] pípu ‘the flute’: For this instrument, see Note to ESk Lv 3/6, 8. — [6] trumbu ‘the trumpet’: Trumba ‘trumpet’ was a larger straight wind-instrument, probably somewhat like the tuba ‘war-trumpet’ of Roman antiquity (see Panum 1934, 65).


  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. 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.
  7. Sv 1920 = Indrebø, Gustav, ed. 1920. Sverris saga etter Cod. AM 327 4°. Christiania (Oslo): Dybwad. Rpt. 1981. Oslo: Norsk historisk kjeldeskrift-institutt.
  8. ÍF 30 = Sverris saga. Ed. Þorleifur Hauksson. 2007.
  9. Panum, Hortense. 1934. ‘Middelalderens musikinstrumenter’. In Andersson 1934, 50-69.
  10. Internal references
  11. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Lausavísur 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 570-1.

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