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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 12VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 243-4.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
111213

‘The’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

[1] * baztr: Sá er baztr B, 399a‑bˣ

kennings

Sá * baztr mildingr heiða tjalds
‘The best prince of heaths’ tent ’
   = God

heaths’ tent → SKY/HEAVEN
The best prince of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[1] : Ms. ‘Sá er’; the relative particle er as pron. is problematic, and this ed. follows Skj B and Skald in omitting it. A scribal error seems possible both because of the infrequency of + strong adj. + noun constructions and because of recent occurrences of sá er (1/7) and sú er (10/6). Sveinbjörn Egilsson and Rydberg retain er, but this is problematic since it requires deferring the relative particle syntactically (‘The best prince ... who willed to be born’) rather than keeping it contiguous with (i.e. ‘That one who’). Such postponement would not allow Sá er to be cliticised and would thus produce a seventh syllable. Then, too, it would seem odd, construing ok as ‘also’ (or ‘in addition’), to say ‘The best prince ... who willed to be born ... also took on flesh’.

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* ‘’

(non-lexical)

[1] * baztr: Sá er baztr B, 399a‑bˣ

kennings

Sá * baztr mildingr heiða tjalds
‘The best prince of heaths’ tent ’
   = God

heaths’ tent → SKY/HEAVEN
The best prince of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[1] : Ms. ‘Sá er’; the relative particle er as pron. is problematic, and this ed. follows Skj B and Skald in omitting it. A scribal error seems possible both because of the infrequency of + strong adj. + noun constructions and because of recent occurrences of sá er (1/7) and sú er (10/6). Sveinbjörn Egilsson and Rydberg retain er, but this is problematic since it requires deferring the relative particle syntactically (‘The best prince ... who willed to be born’) rather than keeping it contiguous with (i.e. ‘That one who’). Such postponement would not allow Sá er to be cliticised and would thus produce a seventh syllable. Then, too, it would seem odd, construing ok as ‘also’ (or ‘in addition’), to say ‘The best prince ... who willed to be born ... also took on flesh’.

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baztr ‘best’

betri (adj. comp.; °superl. beztr/baztr; pos. „ góðr adj.): better, best

[1] * baztr: Sá er baztr B, 399a‑bˣ

kennings

Sá * baztr mildingr heiða tjalds
‘The best prince of heaths’ tent ’
   = God

heaths’ tent → SKY/HEAVEN
The best prince of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

frá ‘from’

frá (prep.): from

notes

[1] frá mey mæztri ‘from a most precious maiden’: The dat. of mær is usually meyju (acc. mey), truncated here for metrical reasons. The non-superlative form of the adj. is used of Mary in Lil 24/5-6 meyju mætri and the late medieval Gimsteinn 12/1 (also of Nativity) af meyju mætri (ÍM I.2, 307).

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mey ‘maiden’

mær (noun f.; °meyjar, dat. meyju; meyjar): maiden

notes

[1] frá mey mæztri ‘from a most precious maiden’: The dat. of mær is usually meyju (acc. mey), truncated here for metrical reasons. The non-superlative form of the adj. is used of Mary in Lil 24/5-6 meyju mætri and the late medieval Gimsteinn 12/1 (also of Nativity) af meyju mætri (ÍM I.2, 307).

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mæztri ‘a most precious’

2. mærr (adj.): famous

[1] mæztri: ‘mez[...]’ B, ‘ṃe᷎ztri’ 399a‑bˣ

notes

[1] frá mey mæztri ‘from a most precious maiden’: The dat. of mær is usually meyju (acc. mey), truncated here for metrical reasons. The non-superlative form of the adj. is used of Mary in Lil 24/5-6 meyju mætri and the late medieval Gimsteinn 12/1 (also of Nativity) af meyju mætri (ÍM I.2, 307).

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mildingr ‘prince’

mildingr (noun m.; °-s): ruler, generous one

[2] mildingr: ‘[...]lldin[...]’ B, ‘ṃilldingr’ 399a‑bˣ

kennings

Sá * baztr mildingr heiða tjalds
‘The best prince of heaths’ tent ’
   = God

heaths’ tent → SKY/HEAVEN
The best prince of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[2] mildingr ‘prince, generous ruler’: Restoration based upon 399a-bˣ, confirmed in part by alliteration and aðalhending.

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heiða ‘of heaths’’

3. heiðr (noun f.; °heiðar, dat./acc heiði; heiðar): heath

kennings

Sá * baztr mildingr heiða tjalds
‘The best prince of heaths’ tent ’
   = God

heaths’ tent → SKY/HEAVEN
The best prince of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] heiða tjalds ‘of heaths’ tent [SKY/HEAVEN]’: This is the poem’s first use of tjald ‘tent’ in a heaven-kenning extended as a tvíkennt kenning for God or Christ; cf. 24/5-7 fróns tjald ‘earth’s tent’, 25/4 heiðtjald ‘heath-tent’, 50/8 veðra tjald ‘winds’ canopy’. The greatest concentration of this kenning type occurs in Christian poetry and especially in Líkn’s model Has 1/2, 10/4, 14/6-8, 20/2, 28/2, 31/3, 41/4, 44/5-6, and 65/6. Such kennings may be informed by the biblical idea of the heavens as a tabernacle; see Isa. XL.22 qui extendit velut nihilum caelos et expandit eos sicut tabernaculum ad inhabitandum ‘he that stretcheth out the heavens as nothing and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in’. (With respect to God’s ‘stretching out the heavens’ see -spennandi ‘who spans [the heavens]’ 9/2.) See Eisler 1910, II for comparative discussion of the Himmelszelt ‘tent of heaven’ in ancient cultures.

Close

heiða ‘of heaths’’

3. heiðr (noun f.; °heiðar, dat./acc heiði; heiðar): heath

kennings

Sá * baztr mildingr heiða tjalds
‘The best prince of heaths’ tent ’
   = God

heaths’ tent → SKY/HEAVEN
The best prince of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] heiða tjalds ‘of heaths’ tent [SKY/HEAVEN]’: This is the poem’s first use of tjald ‘tent’ in a heaven-kenning extended as a tvíkennt kenning for God or Christ; cf. 24/5-7 fróns tjald ‘earth’s tent’, 25/4 heiðtjald ‘heath-tent’, 50/8 veðra tjald ‘winds’ canopy’. The greatest concentration of this kenning type occurs in Christian poetry and especially in Líkn’s model Has 1/2, 10/4, 14/6-8, 20/2, 28/2, 31/3, 41/4, 44/5-6, and 65/6. Such kennings may be informed by the biblical idea of the heavens as a tabernacle; see Isa. XL.22 qui extendit velut nihilum caelos et expandit eos sicut tabernaculum ad inhabitandum ‘he that stretcheth out the heavens as nothing and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in’. (With respect to God’s ‘stretching out the heavens’ see -spennandi ‘who spans [the heavens]’ 9/2.) See Eisler 1910, II for comparative discussion of the Himmelszelt ‘tent of heaven’ in ancient cultures.

Close

tjalds ‘tent’

tjald (noun n.; °-s; *-): tent, awning

kennings

Sá * baztr mildingr heiða tjalds
‘The best prince of heaths’ tent ’
   = God

heaths’ tent → SKY/HEAVEN
The best prince of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] heiða tjalds ‘of heaths’ tent [SKY/HEAVEN]’: This is the poem’s first use of tjald ‘tent’ in a heaven-kenning extended as a tvíkennt kenning for God or Christ; cf. 24/5-7 fróns tjald ‘earth’s tent’, 25/4 heiðtjald ‘heath-tent’, 50/8 veðra tjald ‘winds’ canopy’. The greatest concentration of this kenning type occurs in Christian poetry and especially in Líkn’s model Has 1/2, 10/4, 14/6-8, 20/2, 28/2, 31/3, 41/4, 44/5-6, and 65/6. Such kennings may be informed by the biblical idea of the heavens as a tabernacle; see Isa. XL.22 qui extendit velut nihilum caelos et expandit eos sicut tabernaculum ad inhabitandum ‘he that stretcheth out the heavens as nothing and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in’. (With respect to God’s ‘stretching out the heavens’ see -spennandi ‘who spans [the heavens]’ 9/2.) See Eisler 1910, II for comparative discussion of the Himmelszelt ‘tent of heaven’ in ancient cultures.

Close

tjalds ‘tent’

tjald (noun n.; °-s; *-): tent, awning

kennings

Sá * baztr mildingr heiða tjalds
‘The best prince of heaths’ tent ’
   = God

heaths’ tent → SKY/HEAVEN
The best prince of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] heiða tjalds ‘of heaths’ tent [SKY/HEAVEN]’: This is the poem’s first use of tjald ‘tent’ in a heaven-kenning extended as a tvíkennt kenning for God or Christ; cf. 24/5-7 fróns tjald ‘earth’s tent’, 25/4 heiðtjald ‘heath-tent’, 50/8 veðra tjald ‘winds’ canopy’. The greatest concentration of this kenning type occurs in Christian poetry and especially in Líkn’s model Has 1/2, 10/4, 14/6-8, 20/2, 28/2, 31/3, 41/4, 44/5-6, and 65/6. Such kennings may be informed by the biblical idea of the heavens as a tabernacle; see Isa. XL.22 qui extendit velut nihilum caelos et expandit eos sicut tabernaculum ad inhabitandum ‘he that stretcheth out the heavens as nothing and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in’. (With respect to God’s ‘stretching out the heavens’ see -spennandi ‘who spans [the heavens]’ 9/2.) See Eisler 1910, II for comparative discussion of the Himmelszelt ‘tent of heaven’ in ancient cultures.

Close

sik ‘himself’

sik (pron.; °gen. sín, dat. sér): (refl. pron.)

notes

[5] sik síðan ‘himself ... later’: Restoration based upon 399a-bˣ (including conjecture ‘síðan?’ in Jón Sigurðsson’s note), supported in part by the needs of alliteration and skothending; a trace of possible <k> followed by descender of possible <s> remain. A six-syllable l. requires that the final word be disyllabic, but the lacuna has space for only three letters, with possible abbreviation (‘-an’, ‘-ar’).

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sik ‘himself’

sik (pron.; °gen. sín, dat. sér): (refl. pron.)

[5] sik ðan: ‘si[...]’ B, ‘ṣịḳ s[...]’ 399a‑bˣ

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ðan ‘later’

síðan (adv.): later, then

[5] sik ðan: ‘si[...]’ B, ‘ṣịḳ s[...]’ 399a‑bˣ

notes

[5] sik síðan ‘himself ... later’: Restoration based upon 399a-bˣ (including conjecture ‘síðan?’ in Jón Sigurðsson’s note), supported in part by the needs of alliteration and skothending; a trace of possible <k> followed by descender of possible <s> remain. A six-syllable l. requires that the final word be disyllabic, but the lacuna has space for only three letters, with possible abbreviation (‘-an’, ‘-ar’).

Close

dáða ‘with regard to his deeds’

dáð (noun f.; °; -ir): feat, deed

notes

[6, 8] vísi dáða ‘prince of deeds’: The kenning calls attention to the root meaning of vísir (< vísa ‘to show, demonstrate, point the way’). Christ is not only the ‘prince of deeds’ but the model of deeds, showing by his example how his followers should act. See, e.g., John XIII.15 quemadmodum ego feci vobis, ita et vos faciatis ‘as I have done to you, go and do also’ and XIV.12 qui credit in me opera, quae ego facio, et ipse faciet ‘he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do’.

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vísi ‘the prince’

vísi (noun m.; °-a): leader

notes

[6, 8] vísi dáða ‘prince of deeds’: The kenning calls attention to the root meaning of vísir (< vísa ‘to show, demonstrate, point the way’). Christ is not only the ‘prince of deeds’ but the model of deeds, showing by his example how his followers should act. See, e.g., John XIII.15 quemadmodum ego feci vobis, ita et vos faciatis ‘as I have done to you, go and do also’ and XIV.12 qui credit in me opera, quae ego facio, et ipse faciet ‘he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do’.

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sjálfr ‘himself’

sjalfr (adj.): self

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[1-2]: The first couplet echoes descriptions of the Nativity in the poet’s two chief C12th models: Leið 23/3-4 and Has 19/1-4.

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