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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 31VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 31’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 261-2.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
303132

Heill ‘Hail’

3. heill (adj.; °heilan; compar. heilli, superl. -astr/-str): healthy, hale, hail

notes

[1] heill ver kross ‘hail, Cross’: A characteristic beginning of hymns on the Cross: e.g. Salve crux sancta ‘Hail, holy Cross’ (Mone 1853-5, I, 111; cf. 103, 109), Salve crux, arbor / vitae praeclara ‘Hail, Cross, celebrated tree of life’ (AH 54, 192; cf. 194); cf. the late medieval Krossþulur 2/1 Heill serttu krucius | kross enn helge ‘Hail, excruciating holy Cross’ (ÍM I.2, 240).

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ver ‘’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

notes

[1] heill ver kross ‘hail, Cross’: A characteristic beginning of hymns on the Cross: e.g. Salve crux sancta ‘Hail, holy Cross’ (Mone 1853-5, I, 111; cf. 103, 109), Salve crux, arbor / vitae praeclara ‘Hail, Cross, celebrated tree of life’ (AH 54, 192; cf. 194); cf. the late medieval Krossþulur 2/1 Heill serttu krucius | kross enn helge ‘Hail, excruciating holy Cross’ (ÍM I.2, 240).

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kross ‘Cross’

kross (noun m.; °-, dat. -i; -ar): cross, crucifix

notes

[1] heill ver kross ‘hail, Cross’: A characteristic beginning of hymns on the Cross: e.g. Salve crux sancta ‘Hail, holy Cross’ (Mone 1853-5, I, 111; cf. 103, 109), Salve crux, arbor / vitae praeclara ‘Hail, Cross, celebrated tree of life’ (AH 54, 192; cf. 194); cf. the late medieval Krossþulur 2/1 Heill serttu krucius | kross enn helge ‘Hail, excruciating holy Cross’ (ÍM I.2, 240).

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kallaz ‘is called’

kalla (verb): call

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Krists ‘Christ’s’

Kristr (noun m.; °-s/-, dat. -i; -ar): Christ

kennings

Krists mark,
‘Christ’s sign, ’
   = CROSS

Christ’s sign, → CROSS

notes

[2] Krists mark ‘Christ’s sign [CROSS]’: Cf. Geisl 34/7 Mark stendr Krists í kirkju ‘the sign of Christ stands in the church’. Meissner, 432 lists Krists mark among Cross-kennings; on the term ‘sign’ for the Cross, see Reijners 1965, 118-23, 160-87 (cf. krossmark ‘cross-sign’ 13/6 and fríðarmerki ‘peace-sign’ 32/2).

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mark ‘sign’

mark (noun n.; °-s; *-): sign

kennings

Krists mark,
‘Christ’s sign, ’
   = CROSS

Christ’s sign, → CROSS

notes

[2] Krists mark ‘Christ’s sign [CROSS]’: Cf. Geisl 34/7 Mark stendr Krists í kirkju ‘the sign of Christ stands in the church’. Meissner, 432 lists Krists mark among Cross-kennings; on the term ‘sign’ for the Cross, see Reijners 1965, 118-23, 160-87 (cf. krossmark ‘cross-sign’ 13/6 and fríðarmerki ‘peace-sign’ 32/2).

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lýðs ‘of mankind’s’

lýðr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ir): one of the people

kennings

lýðs læknis;
‘of mankind’s healer; ’
   = Christ

mankind’s healer; → Christ

notes

[3] af dauða lýðs læknis ‘from the death of mankind’s [lit. people’s] healer [= Christ]’: The letter form of <a> in af is unusual, like an alpha; Rydberg 1907, 16 reads of but emends to af (51). Christ is also called læknir ‘healer, physician’ in Geisl 57/8 and Mdr 14/1. This common appellation is based upon Christ’s reference to himself as medicus ‘physician’ in Matt. IX.12 (Mark II.17, Luke V.31). For liturgical occurrences see Manz 1941, 292, no. 588-91 (medicus bonus, m. caelistis, m. salutaris, m. verus); Augustine’s use of the metaphor is discussed by Arbesmann 1954, 1-28. It is, of course, a sacred paradox that the physician heals by means of his own death. (On the Cross as healer, see Note to 40/1.)

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af ‘through’

af (prep.): from

notes

[3] af dauða lýðs læknis ‘from the death of mankind’s [lit. people’s] healer [= Christ]’: The letter form of <a> in af is unusual, like an alpha; Rydberg 1907, 16 reads of but emends to af (51). Christ is also called læknir ‘healer, physician’ in Geisl 57/8 and Mdr 14/1. This common appellation is based upon Christ’s reference to himself as medicus ‘physician’ in Matt. IX.12 (Mark II.17, Luke V.31). For liturgical occurrences see Manz 1941, 292, no. 588-91 (medicus bonus, m. caelistis, m. salutaris, m. verus); Augustine’s use of the metaphor is discussed by Arbesmann 1954, 1-28. It is, of course, a sacred paradox that the physician heals by means of his own death. (On the Cross as healer, see Note to 40/1.)

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læknis ‘healer’

læknir (noun m.; °lǽknis, dat. & acc. lǽkni (dat. lǽknir(JBpC(2003)— 146¹⁰)); lǽknar): doctor

kennings

lýðs læknis;
‘of mankind’s healer; ’
   = Christ

mankind’s healer; → Christ

notes

[3] af dauða lýðs læknis ‘from the death of mankind’s [lit. people’s] healer [= Christ]’: The letter form of <a> in af is unusual, like an alpha; Rydberg 1907, 16 reads of but emends to af (51). Christ is also called læknir ‘healer, physician’ in Geisl 57/8 and Mdr 14/1. This common appellation is based upon Christ’s reference to himself as medicus ‘physician’ in Matt. IX.12 (Mark II.17, Luke V.31). For liturgical occurrences see Manz 1941, 292, no. 588-91 (medicus bonus, m. caelistis, m. salutaris, m. verus); Augustine’s use of the metaphor is discussed by Arbesmann 1954, 1-28. It is, of course, a sacred paradox that the physician heals by means of his own death. (On the Cross as healer, see Note to 40/1.)

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dauða ‘the death’

dauði (noun m.; °-a; -ar): death

notes

[3] af dauða lýðs læknis ‘from the death of mankind’s [lit. people’s] healer [= Christ]’: The letter form of <a> in af is unusual, like an alpha; Rydberg 1907, 16 reads of but emends to af (51). Christ is also called læknir ‘healer, physician’ in Geisl 57/8 and Mdr 14/1. This common appellation is based upon Christ’s reference to himself as medicus ‘physician’ in Matt. IX.12 (Mark II.17, Luke V.31). For liturgical occurrences see Manz 1941, 292, no. 588-91 (medicus bonus, m. caelistis, m. salutaris, m. verus); Augustine’s use of the metaphor is discussed by Arbesmann 1954, 1-28. It is, of course, a sacred paradox that the physician heals by means of his own death. (On the Cross as healer, see Note to 40/1.)

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lykill ‘the key’

lykill (noun m.; °dat. lykli/lukli; lyklar/luklar): [key]

notes

[4] lykill ‘key’: Only occurrence in skaldic poetry. The Cross as key is a fairly common image, based primarily upon the ‘key of David’ in Isa. XXII.22 and Rev. III.7. See, e.g., Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos XLV (Augustinus Hipponensis, col. 514) crux Domini nostri clavis fuit, qua clausa aperirentur ‘the Cross of our Lord was a key by which closed things were opened’ and Bonaventure ipsa crux ... comparatur et assimilitatur in Sacra Scriptura clavi domus David ‘the Cross itself is compared and in holy scripture likened to the key of the house of David’ (Bonaventure 1882-1902, IX, 222). The image is also found in Cross hymns, often, as here, with specific reference to opening heaven: e.g. Ave, clavis reserans / Portas paradisi / Adam quas exasperans / Clausit ‘Hail, key, unlocking the gates of Paradise, which Adam, making them harsh, closed’ (AH 38, 88, cf. 128; 40, 33; 8, 30); see also Gimsteinn 111/1 Hægur lykill himna ʀikis ‘convenient key of heaven’ (ÍM I.2, 329).

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örr ‘the generous’

ǫrr (adj.): generous, brave

kennings

örr harri élskríns
‘the generous lord of the storm-shrine ’
   = God

the storm-shrine → HEAVEN
the generous lord of the HEAVEN → God
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upp ‘’

upp (adv.): up

[5] upp lauk*: ‘[...]pp laukt’ B, upplaukt 399a‑bˣ

notes

[5] lauk upp ‘opened’: All eds emend from ms. ‘laukt’, which the scribe apparently understood to refer to kross ‘Cross’ (l. 1), perhaps construing harri ‘lord’ (l. 5) as vocative, hence 2nd pers. But the subject of the verb has to be harri, with þik ‘you’ (l. 6) referring to the Cross. Restoration of <u> based upon 399a-bˣ.

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lauk* ‘opened’

1. lúka (verb): end, close

[5] upp lauk*: ‘[...]pp laukt’ B, upplaukt 399a‑bˣ

notes

[5] lauk upp ‘opened’: All eds emend from ms. ‘laukt’, which the scribe apparently understood to refer to kross ‘Cross’ (l. 1), perhaps construing harri ‘lord’ (l. 5) as vocative, hence 2nd pers. But the subject of the verb has to be harri, with þik ‘you’ (l. 6) referring to the Cross. Restoration of <u> based upon 399a-bˣ.

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harri ‘lord’

1. harri (noun m.; °-a): lord

kennings

örr harri élskríns
‘the generous lord of the storm-shrine ’
   = God

the storm-shrine → HEAVEN
the generous lord of the HEAVEN → God
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él ‘of the storm’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm < élskrín (noun n.)

kennings

örr harri élskríns
‘the generous lord of the storm-shrine ’
   = God

the storm-shrine → HEAVEN
the generous lord of the HEAVEN → God
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él ‘of the storm’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm < élskrín (noun n.)

kennings

örr harri élskríns
‘the generous lord of the storm-shrine ’
   = God

the storm-shrine → HEAVEN
the generous lord of the HEAVEN → God
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skríns ‘shrine’

skrín (noun n.; °-s; -): shrine < élskrín (noun n.)

kennings

örr harri élskríns
‘the generous lord of the storm-shrine ’
   = God

the storm-shrine → HEAVEN
the generous lord of the HEAVEN → God
Close

skríns ‘shrine’

skrín (noun n.; °-s; -): shrine < élskrín (noun n.)

kennings

örr harri élskríns
‘the generous lord of the storm-shrine ’
   = God

the storm-shrine → HEAVEN
the generous lord of the HEAVEN → God
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er ‘which’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[7] er: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘e[...]’ B

notes

[8] er var læst ‘which was locked’: Restoration of <r> (er) and var based upon 399a-bˣ and trace of possible <v> in B. Cf. Gimsteinn 110/5-6 Lukuzt vpp dyr þær eʀ læstar voru | med lykli ‘The doors which were locked were opened with a key’ (ÍM I.2, 329).

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læst ‘locked’

læstr (adj.): [locked]

notes

[8] er var læst ‘which was locked’: Restoration of <r> (er) and var based upon 399a-bˣ and trace of possible <v> in B. Cf. Gimsteinn 110/5-6 Lukuzt vpp dyr þær eʀ læstar voru | med lykli ‘The doors which were locked were opened with a key’ (ÍM I.2, 329).

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var ‘was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[7] var: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]’ B

notes

[8] er var læst ‘which was locked’: Restoration of <r> (er) and var based upon 399a-bˣ and trace of possible <v> in B. Cf. Gimsteinn 110/5-6 Lukuzt vpp dyr þær eʀ læstar voru | med lykli ‘The doors which were locked were opened with a key’ (ÍM I.2, 329).

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lífs ‘life’s’

líf (noun n.; °-s; -): life

kennings

lífs höll
‘life’s hall ’
   = SKY/HEAVEN

life’s hall → SKY/HEAVEN
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höll ‘hall’

1. hǫll (noun f.; °hallar, dat. -u/-; hallir): hall

kennings

lífs höll
‘life’s hall ’
   = SKY/HEAVEN

life’s hall → SKY/HEAVEN
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öllum ‘for all’

allr (adj.): all

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

This st. is the first in a catalogue (sts 31-7) devoted to figures of the Cross: as key, blossom, ship, ladder, bridge, scales and altar. Several of these figures, with attendant details, appear in Pange lingua and Vexilla regis, the famous Cross hymns of Venantius Fortunatus (C6th) used in Good Friday liturgy as well as in feasts of the Cross (Connelly 1957, 79). Almost all of them occur in the Lat. hymns collected by Dreves and Blume in AH, which range from mid C11th to early C13th, as well as in exegetical texts and iconography. (Such analogues are pointed out in the Notes to the individual sts.) The late medieval Gimsteinn (102-15) contains a similar catalogue of figurur (102/1): ladder, road, altar, Noah’s ark, ointment, key, rod of Aaron, David’s staff (ÍM I.2, 327-30).

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