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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 38VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 38’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 273.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
373839

Snjallr, ert orðinn öllum
ofrníðingum síðan
djöflum leiðr ept dauða,
dýrr kross, himinstýris.
Leggr andskota undan
ætt fyr göfgum mætti
opt ok yðrum krapti
óttagjörn á flótta.

Dýrr kross, ert snjallr orðinn öllum ofrníðingum síðan, djöflum leiðr ept dauða {himinstýris}. Andskota ætt, óttagjörn, leggr undan opt á flótta fyr yðrum göfgum mætti ok krapti.

Precious Cross, you have afterwards attained power over all arch-villains, [you are] hateful to devils since the death {of heaven’s ruler} [= God (= Christ)]. The devil’s clan, eager with fear, flees often before your noble might and power.

Mss: B(12r), 399a-bˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 157, Skj BII, 170, Skald II, 90; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 47, Rydberg 1907, 18, 51, Tate 1974, 83.

Notes: [All]: Sts 38-41 (especially 39-40) appear to be based largely on a list of virtues and powers of the Cross in the Icel. homily De sancta cruce (HómÍsl 1993, 18r; HómÍsl 1872, 39; cf. HómNo, 105), beginning with fyr crosse drotteɴs fløia dioflar. hræþesc helvite ‘devils flee before the Cross of the Lord; hell is afraid’. The devils’ fear of, or flight from, the Cross (or its sign) is a common motif. See, e.g., Pseudo-Augustine, Sermo 247 (Auctor incertus [Augustinus Hipponensis?], col. 2203) Hoc signo daemones fugantur ‘At this sign demons are put to flight’, and, from hymns, O crux praeclara, / quam impia / tremunt tartara ‘O famous Cross, which the ungodly, infernal regions fear’ (AH 9, 25); the idea occurs also in the late medieval Icel. Gimsteinn 113/8 enn giædi hans [i.e. krossins] munu dioflaʀ hrædazt ‘but devils will fear its [the Cross’s] virtue’ (ÍM I.2, 329; cf. Máríublóm 18/5-6, ÍM I.2, 176). — [1] snjallr ‘powerful, valiant’: Perhaps striving for equality in adj. distribution, Skj B, followed by Skald, emends to gen. snjalls to modify himinstýris ‘heaven’s ruler’ (l. 4), but this is unnecessary. — [4] himinstýris ‘of heaven’s ruler [= God (= Christ)]’: The kenning occurs elsewhere only in Mdr 40/4, where dýr- and stýr- are again rhymed. — [5] leggr undan ... á flótta ‘flees’: Skj B construes undan as prep. with krapti, i.e. ‘under [your] power’, but LP (1860): leggja, translates leggja undan (adv.) á flótta simply as ‘to flee’. The verbal phrase combines leggja undan (e.g. GunnLeif Merl I 18/8VIII) and leggja á flótta (e.g. Geisl 29/5-6), both of which mean ‘to flee’. — [5] andskota ‘the devil’s’: Lit. ‘counter-shooter’; although the noun occurs frequently in the general sense ‘enemy’, it occurs in skaldic poetry only here and in Jón Lv 1/3IV in its theological sense (common in prose) ‘the devil’.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  5. AH = Dreves, G. M., C. Blume and H. M. Bannister, eds. 1886-1922. Analecta hymnica medii aeui. 55 vols. Leipzig: Reisland. Rpt. 1961. New York: Johnson.
  6. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. Tate, George S. 1974. ‘Líknarbraut: A Skaldic Drápa on the Cross’. Ph.D. thesis. Cornell University. DAI 35:6112A.
  8. HómÍsl 1872 = Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1872. Homiliu-bók: Isländska homilier efter en handskrift från tolfte århundredet. Lund: Gleerup.
  9. HómÍsl 1993 = de Leeuw van Weenen, Andrea, ed. 1993. The Icelandic Homily Book: Perg. 15 4° in the Royal Library, Stockholm. Íslensk handrit/Icelandic Manuscripts Series in quarto 3. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar á Íslandi.
  10. HómNo = Indrebø, Gustav. 1931. Gamal norsk homiliebok, Cod. AM 619, 4°. Det norske historiske Kjeldeskrift Fond, Skrifter 54. Oslo: Dybwad. Rpt. 1966. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
  11. ÍM = Jón Helgason, ed. 1936-8. Íslenzk miðaldarkvæði: Islandske digte fra senmiddelalderen. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  12. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  13. Internal references
  14. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 40’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 511-12.
  15. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 29’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 30-1.
  16. Not published: do not cite (Jón Lv 1IV)
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