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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 30VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 30’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 167-8.

Anonymous PoemsLeiðarvísan

text and translation

Dag reið sinn með sigri
siklingr blíðr til víðrar
sólbryggju — hratt seggja
sorg — Jórsalaborgar.
En fyr ǫðling ríkjan
óhræðinn litklæði
þar vann lýðr á láði
lopthjalms borit palma.

{Blíðr siklingr {sólbryggju}} reið dag sinn með sigri til víðrar Jórsalaborgar — sorg seggja hratt —, en lýðr þar á láði vann borit litklæði, palma fyr {óhræðinn, ríkjan ǫðling {lopthjalms}}.
‘The joyful prince of the sun-pier [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] rode on his day with victory to the extensive city of Jerusalem — men’s sorrow was ended —, and the people in that country put coloured cloths [and] palms before the fearless, powerful prince of the sky-helmet [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)].

notes and context

Sts 30, 31 and 32 describe, respectively, Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday, and the granting of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles at Pentecost. Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday is described in Matt. XXI.1-11, Mark XI.1-10, Luke XIX.28-44 and John XII.12-15. The accounts in Matt. and Mark mention that the crowd spread cloaks and branches on the road before him. — [5-8]: Kock (NN §2561) proposed that óhræðinn ‘unafraid, fearless’ (l. 6) should be taken in apposition to ríkjan ‘powerful’ (l. 5), qualifying ǫðlingr ‘king’ (l. 5). Although there is no reason why the adj., which may be interpreted as nom. or acc. here, should not be taken, as Skj B does, as describing the lýðr ‘people’ (l. 7), it may, as Kock suggests, suit Christ better at this juncture than the people strewing cloths and palms before him. However, it could be argued equally well that the adj. applies to people whose sorrow is said to have been removed from them (ll. 3-4).



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 30: AI, 624, BI, 629-30, Skald I, 306, NN §2561; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 65-6, Rydberg 1907, 8-9, Attwood 1996a, 67-8, 178.


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