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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ólsv Kristdr 2III

Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson, Kristsdrápa 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 315.

Óláfr svartaskáld LeggssonKristsdrápa

text and translation

Tungl gaft, tryggvinr engla,
talið dœgr megin lœgis,
— fekk hlýrnir stað stjǫrnum —
sterkr, ok aldir merkja.

{Sterkr tryggvinr engla}, gaft tungl merkja talið dœgr, megin lœgis ok aldir; hlýrnir fekk stjǫrnum stað.
‘Powerful faithful friend of angels [= God], you gave celestial bodies to mark the number of days and nights, the power of the sea and the ages; the sky found a place for the stars.

notes and context

As st. 1 above.

Given the theme of creation, the referent of the kenning tryggvinr engla ‘faithful friend of angels’ (l. 1) must be ‘God’ rather than ‘Christ’. The content of the stanza is very reminiscent of the creation of the world according to Vsp (sts 5-6), especially st. 6/5-10 (NK 2): nótt oc niðiom | nǫfn um gáfo, | morgin héto | oc miðian dag, | undorn oc aptan, | árom at telia ‘[they] gave names to the night and the waning moon, they named the morning and the middle of the day, the afternoon and the evening, so as to keep count of the years’. See also Vafþr 22-5. Ártali ‘year-counter’ is also a heiti for ‘moon’ (see Þul Tungls l. 6, Alv 14/6 and Skm, SnE 1998, I, 85). See also Gen. I.14.



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: Óláfr Leggsson, svartaskáld, 3. En drape om Kristus (?) 2: AII, 85, BII, 96, Skald II, 52, NN §1333; SnE 1848-87, II, 629, III, 193, LaufE 1979, 372-3.


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