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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 18VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 18’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 156-7.

Anonymous PoemsLeiðarvísan

text and translation

Fylgði lýðr af láði
lagavísum Móísi;
sundr sprakk vágr fyr vendi;
vas þat sunnudag unnit.
Þusti hafs með hreysti
heiðit folk á leiðir;
brátt vann lǫgr inn ljóti
líftjón Pharaóni.

Lýðr fylgði lagavísum Móísi af láði; vágr sprakk sundr fyr vendi; þat vas unnit sunnudag. Heiðit folk þusti með hreysti á leiðir hafs; brátt vann inn ljóti lǫgr Pharaóni líftjón.
‘The people followed law-wise Moses from the land; the sea burst apart before the staff; that was accomplished on a Sunday. The heathen people rushed with valour onto the ocean’s paths; quickly the ugly sea brought about a loss of life for Pharaoh.

notes and context

Sts 18-20 tell of events in the Old Testament book of Exodus. The account of the exodus from Egypt is in Exod. XII.31-42. The Egyptians’ pursuit of the Israelites, and the subsequent drowning of the Pharaonic army in the Red Sea is described in Exod. XIV.23-8.


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: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 18: AI, 621, BI, 626-7, Skald I, 304-5; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 62, Rydberg 1907, 6-7, Attwood 1996a, 64, 175.


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