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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 23VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 253-4.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
222324

kennir ‘The knower’

kennir (noun m.): teacher

kennings

Kennir krapts
‘The knower of strength ’
   = POWERFUL MAN

The knower of strength → POWERFUL MAN

notes

[1, 2] kennir krapts ‘knower of strength [POWERFUL MAN = Christ]’: The agent noun kennir occurs only in poetry; of God elsewhere only in Pl 8/1 kennir engla ‘knower of the angels’. Besides ‘knower’ kennir (from kenna) might also mean ‘perceiver’, ‘tester’, ‘announcer’, or ‘teacher’. The kenning is a variation on a common type, in which a man is described as a kennir of gold, battle, weapons, etc.

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keykja ‘to quicken’

2. kveikja (verb): kindle

notes

[1] keykja ‘to quicken’: Skj B and Skald emend to the usual keykva. The -ja form does not appear in LP, CVC, or Fritzner but occurs as a headword in AEW. This is the only occurrence of either in ON poetry. The verb is rich in christological significance; cf., with respect to Resurrection, Lat. vivifico (Gk ζωοποιέω) ‘to quicken, give life’ in such passages as John V.21, Rom. IV.17, and VIII.11.

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krapts ‘of strength’

1. kraftr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/- ; -ar): power

kennings

Kennir krapts
‘The knower of strength ’
   = POWERFUL MAN

The knower of strength → POWERFUL MAN

notes

[1, 2] kennir krapts ‘knower of strength [POWERFUL MAN = Christ]’: The agent noun kennir occurs only in poetry; of God elsewhere only in Pl 8/1 kennir engla ‘knower of the angels’. Besides ‘knower’ kennir (from kenna) might also mean ‘perceiver’, ‘tester’, ‘announcer’, or ‘teacher’. The kenning is a variation on a common type, in which a man is described as a kennir of gold, battle, weapons, etc.

Close

sæll ‘the blessed’

sæll (adj.): happy, blessed

kennings

sæll dróttinn sólar hauðrs
‘the blessed Lord of sun’s land ’
   = God

sun’s land → SKY/HEAVEN
the blessed Lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God
Close

reis ‘arose’

rísa (verb): rise, raise

[3] reis: ‘re[...]’ B, reiṣ 399a‑bˣ

notes

[3-4] dróttinn sólar hauðrs reis af dauða ‘the Lord of sun’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] arose from death’: In combination with the kenning, the verb equates Christ’s Resurrection with the rising of the sun, a common theme in hymns for prime. Line 4 is identical to Leið 31/4, which also concerns the Resurrection.

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dróttinn ‘Lord’

dróttinn (noun m.; °dróttins, dat. dróttni (drottini [$1049$]); dróttnar): lord, master

kennings

sæll dróttinn sólar hauðrs
‘the blessed Lord of sun’s land ’
   = God

sun’s land → SKY/HEAVEN
the blessed Lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3-4] dróttinn sólar hauðrs reis af dauða ‘the Lord of sun’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] arose from death’: In combination with the kenning, the verb equates Christ’s Resurrection with the rising of the sun, a common theme in hymns for prime. Line 4 is identical to Leið 31/4, which also concerns the Resurrection.

Close

sólar ‘of sun’s’

sól (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir): sun

kennings

sæll dróttinn sólar hauðrs
‘the blessed Lord of sun’s land ’
   = God

sun’s land → SKY/HEAVEN
the blessed Lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3-4] dróttinn sólar hauðrs reis af dauða ‘the Lord of sun’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] arose from death’: In combination with the kenning, the verb equates Christ’s Resurrection with the rising of the sun, a common theme in hymns for prime. Line 4 is identical to Leið 31/4, which also concerns the Resurrection.

Close

sólar ‘of sun’s’

sól (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir): sun

kennings

sæll dróttinn sólar hauðrs
‘the blessed Lord of sun’s land ’
   = God

sun’s land → SKY/HEAVEN
the blessed Lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3-4] dróttinn sólar hauðrs reis af dauða ‘the Lord of sun’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] arose from death’: In combination with the kenning, the verb equates Christ’s Resurrection with the rising of the sun, a common theme in hymns for prime. Line 4 is identical to Leið 31/4, which also concerns the Resurrection.

Close

hauðrs ‘land’

hauðr (noun n.): earth, ground

kennings

sæll dróttinn sólar hauðrs
‘the blessed Lord of sun’s land ’
   = God

sun’s land → SKY/HEAVEN
the blessed Lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3-4] dróttinn sólar hauðrs reis af dauða ‘the Lord of sun’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] arose from death’: In combination with the kenning, the verb equates Christ’s Resurrection with the rising of the sun, a common theme in hymns for prime. Line 4 is identical to Leið 31/4, which also concerns the Resurrection.

Close

hauðrs ‘land’

hauðr (noun n.): earth, ground

kennings

sæll dróttinn sólar hauðrs
‘the blessed Lord of sun’s land ’
   = God

sun’s land → SKY/HEAVEN
the blessed Lord of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[3-4] dróttinn sólar hauðrs reis af dauða ‘the Lord of sun’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] arose from death’: In combination with the kenning, the verb equates Christ’s Resurrection with the rising of the sun, a common theme in hymns for prime. Line 4 is identical to Leið 31/4, which also concerns the Resurrection.

Close

af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

notes

[3-4] dróttinn sólar hauðrs reis af dauða ‘the Lord of sun’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] arose from death’: In combination with the kenning, the verb equates Christ’s Resurrection with the rising of the sun, a common theme in hymns for prime. Line 4 is identical to Leið 31/4, which also concerns the Resurrection.

Close

dauða ‘death’

1. dauðr (noun m.; °-s): death

notes

[3-4] dróttinn sólar hauðrs reis af dauða ‘the Lord of sun’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] arose from death’: In combination with the kenning, the verb equates Christ’s Resurrection with the rising of the sun, a common theme in hymns for prime. Line 4 is identical to Leið 31/4, which also concerns the Resurrection.

Close

allir ‘All’

allr (adj.): all

Close

angr ‘at the harm’

1. angr (noun m.; °angrs, dat. angri/angr): grief < angrhegnandi (noun m.)

kennings

angrhegnanda,
‘at the harm-suppressor, ’
   = God

at the harm-suppressor, → God
Close

hegnanda ‘suppressor’

hegnandi (noun m.): [suppressor] < angrhegnandi (noun m.)

kennings

angrhegnanda,
‘at the harm-suppressor, ’
   = God

at the harm-suppressor, → God
Close

elsku ‘of love’

1. elska (noun f.; °-u): love

kennings

aldyggs fæðis elsku
‘of the fully loyal nourisher of love ’
   = God

the fully loyal nourisher of love → God

notes

[7] fæðis elsku ‘of the nourisher of love [= God (= Christ)]’: Fæðir might have the extended sense here of ‘creator’; cf. líknfæðir ‘author of grace’ 47/8 and fæðir fremðarráðs ‘nourisher of propitious counsel’ 26/7. Both senses play off the theme of abundance in the poem.

Close

fæðis ‘nourisher’

fœðir (noun m.): feeder, nourisher

kennings

aldyggs fæðis elsku
‘of the fully loyal nourisher of love ’
   = God

the fully loyal nourisher of love → God

notes

[7] fæðis elsku ‘of the nourisher of love [= God (= Christ)]’: Fæðir might have the extended sense here of ‘creator’; cf. líknfæðir ‘author of grace’ 47/8 and fæðir fremðarráðs ‘nourisher of propitious counsel’ 26/7. Both senses play off the theme of abundance in the poem.

Close

al ‘of the fully’

al- ((prefix)): very < aldyggr (adj.): very excellent

kennings

aldyggs fæðis elsku
‘of the fully loyal nourisher of love ’
   = God

the fully loyal nourisher of love → God
Close

dyggs ‘loyal’

dyggr (adj.; °dyggvan/dyggan; compar. -vari/-ari/-ri, superl. -vastr/-astr/-str): trustworthy < aldyggr (adj.): very excellent

kennings

aldyggs fæðis elsku
‘of the fully loyal nourisher of love ’
   = God

the fully loyal nourisher of love → God
Close

bani ‘the death’

bani (noun m.; °-a; -ar): death, killer

[8] bani: bana B, 399a‑bˣ

notes

[8] bani (nom.) ‘the death, slayer of’: Ms. bana. All subsequent eds accept the emendation of Sveinbjörn Egilsson, which is supported, as he notes, by the similar nom. dauði ‘the death of’ in Has 28/7, a st. also on the Resurrection and which employs in its final l., as here, the rhyme aldygg- : hryggði (l. 8), as well as fegn- : áðr þá in the same positions in ll. 6-7.

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hryggði ‘grieved’

hryggja (verb): distress

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

[5-8]: Generally analogous to the second helmingr is a passage from the OIcel. Resurrection homily: Sa vas oc margfaldr fǫgnoþr i þessom heime af upriso criz es tóko ástmeɴ hans. þeir áþr vǫro hryɢver oc daprer af dauþa hans ‘Thus there was also manifold happiness in this world at the Resurrection of Christ when he met his beloved [followers]; they were before despondent and downcast at his death’ (HómÍsl 1993, 34r; HómÍsl 1872, 72).

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