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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 39VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 39’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 274-5.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
383940

Crúx ‘Cross’

krúx (noun m.): cross

[1] Crúx: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]’ B

notes

[1] Crúx ‘Cross’: Lacuna; restoration based upon 399a-bˣ, supported by skothending. Here and in 52/1 (mæztr/crúcis) Skj B and Skald employ an Icelandicised paradigm for Lat. crux/crucis (i.e. krúx/krúzis); cf. LP and Lange 1958a, 90. The evidence for such a paradigm does not seem strong. In addition to the two instances in Líkn, the only other occurrences LP lists (the Icel. forms do not appear in CVC or Fritzner) are EKúl Kristdr1/1III (Skj A hroz/kruzi, B hróts/krúzi) and Anon BjúgvísIII (Skj A hves/krusi, B hvé’s/krúsi), both C12th. In each case rhyme is a possible indicator, but each of the rhymes is different, which may suggest nothing more than confusion about (or variety in) the pronunciation of Lat. crucis/cruci.

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lemið ‘you cripple’

lemja (verb): beat, make lame

notes

[1] lemið angr ‘you cripple grief’: In 399a-bˣ Jón Sigurðsson reads ‘lein’ with superscript tittle, but in a note he writes ‘(m)’ over ‘in’ and is uncertain whether the abbreviation is <ið> or <er>. Lemið and æxlið (l. 1) are 2nd pers. pl. forms used here (perhaps honorifically) with a sg. subject; cf. sg. ert ‘are’ (l. 3) of the same subject. Cf. also yðrum ‘your’ (pl.) 38/7. The power of the Cross to console in grief is addressed in the homily above, where it is described as huɢon viþ harme ‘a comfort in sorrow’.

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angr ‘grief’

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

notes

[1] lemið angr ‘you cripple grief’: In 399a-bˣ Jón Sigurðsson reads ‘lein’ with superscript tittle, but in a note he writes ‘(m)’ over ‘in’ and is uncertain whether the abbreviation is <ið> or <er>. Lemið and æxlið (l. 1) are 2nd pers. pl. forms used here (perhaps honorifically) with a sg. subject; cf. sg. ert ‘are’ (l. 3) of the same subject. Cf. also yðrum ‘your’ (pl.) 38/7. The power of the Cross to console in grief is addressed in the homily above, where it is described as huɢon viþ harme ‘a comfort in sorrow’.

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gótt ‘good things’

góðr (adj.): good

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seggja ‘to men’s’

seggr (noun m.; °; -ir): man

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sigr ‘victory’

sigr (noun m.; °sigrs/sigrar, dat. sigri; sigrar): victory < sigrtrúr (adj.)

notes

[3-4]: This couplet refers to the medieval use of the Cross as a sign of victory in battle. In the homily the Heilagr cros es sigrmarc goþs ‘The holy Cross is the victory-sign of God’ and sigr i orrostom ‘triumph in battles’ (cf. sigrstoð ‘victory pillar’ 42/2). The idea depends ultimately on Constantine’s famous dream before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (Eusebius, De vita Constantini I, 28 in Winkelmann 1991, 29-30).

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trúr ‘faithful’

trúr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): faithful < sigrtrúr (adj.)

notes

[3-4]: This couplet refers to the medieval use of the Cross as a sign of victory in battle. In the homily the Heilagr cros es sigrmarc goþs ‘The holy Cross is the victory-sign of God’ and sigr i orrostom ‘triumph in battles’ (cf. sigrstoð ‘victory pillar’ 42/2). The idea depends ultimately on Constantine’s famous dream before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (Eusebius, De vita Constantini I, 28 in Winkelmann 1991, 29-30).

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[3-4]: This couplet refers to the medieval use of the Cross as a sign of victory in battle. In the homily the Heilagr cros es sigrmarc goþs ‘The holy Cross is the victory-sign of God’ and sigr i orrostom ‘triumph in battles’ (cf. sigrstoð ‘victory pillar’ 42/2). The idea depends ultimately on Constantine’s famous dream before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (Eusebius, De vita Constantini I, 28 in Winkelmann 1991, 29-30).

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gný ‘the din’

gnýr (noun m.): din, tumult

kennings

gný vigra.
‘the din of spears. ’
   = BATTLE

the din of spears. → BATTLE

notes

[3-4]: This couplet refers to the medieval use of the Cross as a sign of victory in battle. In the homily the Heilagr cros es sigrmarc goþs ‘The holy Cross is the victory-sign of God’ and sigr i orrostom ‘triumph in battles’ (cf. sigrstoð ‘victory pillar’ 42/2). The idea depends ultimately on Constantine’s famous dream before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (Eusebius, De vita Constantini I, 28 in Winkelmann 1991, 29-30).

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vigra ‘of spears’

3. vigr (noun f.): spear

[4] vigra: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]gr[...]’ B

kennings

gný vigra.
‘the din of spears. ’
   = BATTLE

the din of spears. → BATTLE

notes

[3-4]: This couplet refers to the medieval use of the Cross as a sign of victory in battle. In the homily the Heilagr cros es sigrmarc goþs ‘The holy Cross is the victory-sign of God’ and sigr i orrostom ‘triumph in battles’ (cf. sigrstoð ‘victory pillar’ 42/2). The idea depends ultimately on Constantine’s famous dream before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (Eusebius, De vita Constantini I, 28 in Winkelmann 1991, 29-30).

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Opt ‘Often’

opt (adv.): often

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éls ‘storm’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm

kennings

viðum rítar éls
‘trees of the shield’s storm ’
   = WARRIORS

the shield’s storm → BATTLE
trees of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
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éls ‘storm’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm

kennings

viðum rítar éls
‘trees of the shield’s storm ’
   = WARRIORS

the shield’s storm → BATTLE
trees of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

notes

[5-6] ítr lausn ... í höptum ‘a glorious liberation ... [to men] in fetters’: In the homily (above) the Cross is described as laúsn i hoftom ‘liberation in [from] bonds’ and láusnarmarc maɴa ‘sign of men’s liberation’.

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höptum ‘fetters’

haft (noun n.; °; *-): fetter

notes

[5-6] ítr lausn ... í höptum ‘a glorious liberation ... [to men] in fetters’: In the homily (above) the Cross is described as laúsn i hoftom ‘liberation in [from] bonds’ and láusnarmarc maɴa ‘sign of men’s liberation’.

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ítr ‘a glorious’

ítr (adj.): glorious

notes

[5-6] ítr lausn ... í höptum ‘a glorious liberation ... [to men] in fetters’: In the homily (above) the Cross is described as laúsn i hoftom ‘liberation in [from] bonds’ and láusnarmarc maɴa ‘sign of men’s liberation’.

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lausn ‘liberation’

lausn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir/-ar (RbHM (*1315)³ 113²‡)): liberation, redemption

notes

[5-6] ítr lausn ... í höptum ‘a glorious liberation ... [to men] in fetters’: In the homily (above) the Cross is described as laúsn i hoftom ‘liberation in [from] bonds’ and láusnarmarc maɴa ‘sign of men’s liberation’.

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viðum ‘trees’

1. viðr (noun m.; °-ar, dat. -i/-; -ir, acc. -u/-i): wood, tree

kennings

viðum rítar éls
‘trees of the shield’s storm ’
   = WARRIORS

the shield’s storm → BATTLE
trees of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
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rítar ‘of the shield’s’

rít (noun f.): shield

kennings

viðum rítar éls
‘trees of the shield’s storm ’
   = WARRIORS

the shield’s storm → BATTLE
trees of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
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rítar ‘of the shield’s’

rít (noun f.): shield

kennings

viðum rítar éls
‘trees of the shield’s storm ’
   = WARRIORS

the shield’s storm → BATTLE
trees of the BATTLE → WARRIORS
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gerla ‘completely’

gǫrla (adv.): quite, fully

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grandi ‘from injury’

grand (noun n.): injury

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

The enumerative quality of the st., in which each couplet is a separate syntactic unit, focusing on a particular virtue of the Cross, derives from its rather close following of the powers of the Cross listed in the Icel. homily De sancta cruce (HómÍsl 1993, 18r; HómÍsl 1872, 39; cf. HómNo, 105). — [7-8]: Cf. the homily, in which the Cross is leiþrétteng fra synþum ‘redress from sins’.

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