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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 19VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 19’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 250.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
181920

megi ‘could be’

mega (verb): may, might

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græta ‘make weep’

grœta (verb): weep

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kannar ‘ponders’

3. kanna (verb): know, be able

notes

[2] kannar ‘ponders’: The usual meaning of the verb is to search through/out something in order to gain knowledge of it (Fritzner). Here the sense seems to be ‘to ponder, contemplate’, perhaps even imaginatively to share in the sufferings of Christ through compassion. The verb is used again in 22/4 in the sense ‘to explore, search out’ with reference to the Harrowing of Hell.

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röðla ‘of suns’’

rǫðull (noun m.; °dat. rǫðli): heavenly body

kennings

ríks ræsis röðla býs,
‘of the mighty ruler of suns’ dwelling, ’
   = God

suns’ dwelling, → SKY/HEAVEN
the mighty ruler of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] ræsis röðla býs ‘of the ruler of suns’ dwelling [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]’: Cf. Has 59/3-4 and Kálf Kátr 39/3-4. The gen. pl. röðla ‘of suns’ (contrasting with the sg. in Has 59/4) is attested elsewhere; the extended sense is probably ‘heavenly bodies’, i.e. sun and stars. (Guðrún Nordal 2001, 292 translates it as sg. ‘lord of the dwelling of the sun’, and indeed pl. forms can substitute for sg. in skaldic poetry.)

Close

röðla ‘of suns’’

rǫðull (noun m.; °dat. rǫðli): heavenly body

kennings

ríks ræsis röðla býs,
‘of the mighty ruler of suns’ dwelling, ’
   = God

suns’ dwelling, → SKY/HEAVEN
the mighty ruler of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] ræsis röðla býs ‘of the ruler of suns’ dwelling [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]’: Cf. Has 59/3-4 and Kálf Kátr 39/3-4. The gen. pl. röðla ‘of suns’ (contrasting with the sg. in Has 59/4) is attested elsewhere; the extended sense is probably ‘heavenly bodies’, i.e. sun and stars. (Guðrún Nordal 2001, 292 translates it as sg. ‘lord of the dwelling of the sun’, and indeed pl. forms can substitute for sg. in skaldic poetry.)

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býs ‘dwelling’

býr (noun m.; °býjar/bjár/bjór/bjárs, dat. -; gen. býa/bjá, dat. bjóm/bjám, acc. býi/býa/bjá): dwelling, down

kennings

ríks ræsis röðla býs,
‘of the mighty ruler of suns’ dwelling, ’
   = God

suns’ dwelling, → SKY/HEAVEN
the mighty ruler of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] ræsis röðla býs ‘of the ruler of suns’ dwelling [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]’: Cf. Has 59/3-4 and Kálf Kátr 39/3-4. The gen. pl. röðla ‘of suns’ (contrasting with the sg. in Has 59/4) is attested elsewhere; the extended sense is probably ‘heavenly bodies’, i.e. sun and stars. (Guðrún Nordal 2001, 292 translates it as sg. ‘lord of the dwelling of the sun’, and indeed pl. forms can substitute for sg. in skaldic poetry.)

Close

býs ‘dwelling’

býr (noun m.; °býjar/bjár/bjór/bjárs, dat. -; gen. býa/bjá, dat. bjóm/bjám, acc. býi/býa/bjá): dwelling, down

kennings

ríks ræsis röðla býs,
‘of the mighty ruler of suns’ dwelling, ’
   = God

suns’ dwelling, → SKY/HEAVEN
the mighty ruler of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] ræsis röðla býs ‘of the ruler of suns’ dwelling [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]’: Cf. Has 59/3-4 and Kálf Kátr 39/3-4. The gen. pl. röðla ‘of suns’ (contrasting with the sg. in Has 59/4) is attested elsewhere; the extended sense is probably ‘heavenly bodies’, i.e. sun and stars. (Guðrún Nordal 2001, 292 translates it as sg. ‘lord of the dwelling of the sun’, and indeed pl. forms can substitute for sg. in skaldic poetry.)

Close

ræsis ‘ruler’

ræsir (noun m.): ruler

kennings

ríks ræsis röðla býs,
‘of the mighty ruler of suns’ dwelling, ’
   = God

suns’ dwelling, → SKY/HEAVEN
the mighty ruler of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3] ræsis röðla býs ‘of the ruler of suns’ dwelling [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]’: Cf. Has 59/3-4 and Kálf Kátr 39/3-4. The gen. pl. röðla ‘of suns’ (contrasting with the sg. in Has 59/4) is attested elsewhere; the extended sense is probably ‘heavenly bodies’, i.e. sun and stars. (Guðrún Nordal 2001, 292 translates it as sg. ‘lord of the dwelling of the sun’, and indeed pl. forms can substitute for sg. in skaldic poetry.)

Close

ríks ‘of the mighty’

ríkr (adj.): mighty, powerful, rich

kennings

ríks ræsis röðla býs,
‘of the mighty ruler of suns’ dwelling, ’
   = God

suns’ dwelling, → SKY/HEAVEN
the mighty ruler of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

slíkar ‘such’

2. slíkr (adj.): such

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dýrr ‘the precious’

dýrr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -str/-astr): precious

kennings

dýrr, hreinn siklingr hauðrfjörnis
‘the precious, pure king of earth’s helmet ’
   = God

earth’s helmet → SKY/HEAVEN
the precious, pure king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
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siklingr ‘king’

siklingr (noun m.; °; -ar): king, ruler

kennings

dýrr, hreinn siklingr hauðrfjörnis
‘the precious, pure king of earth’s helmet ’
   = God

earth’s helmet → SKY/HEAVEN
the precious, pure king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

hreinn ‘pure’

2. hreinn (adj.; °compar. hreinari/hreinni, superl. hreinastr/hreinstr): pure

kennings

dýrr, hreinn siklingr hauðrfjörnis
‘the precious, pure king of earth’s helmet ’
   = God

earth’s helmet → SKY/HEAVEN
the precious, pure king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

hjálpar ‘the salvation [lit. help]’

hjǫlp (noun f.; °hjalpar; hjalpir/hjalpar): help, salvation

notes

[7] hjálpar (gen. sg.) ‘salvation [lit. help]’: The extended sense of hjálp ‘help’ as ‘salvation’ occurs also in 24/4, 32/2 and 41/3.

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hauðr ‘of earth’s’

hauðr (noun n.): earth, ground < hauðrfjǫrnir (noun m.): [earth-helmet]

kennings

dýrr, hreinn siklingr hauðrfjörnis
‘the precious, pure king of earth’s helmet ’
   = God

earth’s helmet → SKY/HEAVEN
the precious, pure king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

hauðr ‘of earth’s’

hauðr (noun n.): earth, ground < hauðrfjǫrnir (noun m.): [earth-helmet]

kennings

dýrr, hreinn siklingr hauðrfjörnis
‘the precious, pure king of earth’s helmet ’
   = God

earth’s helmet → SKY/HEAVEN
the precious, pure king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

fjörnis ‘helmet’

fjǫrnir (noun m.): helmet < hauðrfjǫrnir (noun m.): [earth-helmet]

kennings

dýrr, hreinn siklingr hauðrfjörnis
‘the precious, pure king of earth’s helmet ’
   = God

earth’s helmet → SKY/HEAVEN
the precious, pure king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

fjörnis ‘helmet’

fjǫrnir (noun m.): helmet < hauðrfjǫrnir (noun m.): [earth-helmet]

kennings

dýrr, hreinn siklingr hauðrfjörnis
‘the precious, pure king of earth’s helmet ’
   = God

earth’s helmet → SKY/HEAVEN
the precious, pure king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

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The two kennings of this st. emphasise the theological point that humans crucified God himself when Jesus died on the Cross.

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