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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 23VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 497-8.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa
222324

mildra ‘of merciful’

mildr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -astr): mild, gentle, gracious, generous

notes

[1-2] mildust mildra meyja ‘most merciful of merciful maidens’: The 399a-bˣ copyist corrects B’s reading mey acc. sing. to gen. pl. meyja. This correction has been adopted by all subsequent eds. The phrase is a calque on the Marian commonplace virgo virginum ‘virgin of virgins’. Both Skj and Skald reverse mildra meyja to meyja mildra.

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meyja ‘maidens’

mær (noun f.; °meyjar, dat. meyju; meyjar): maiden

[1] meyja: mey B

notes

[1-2] mildust mildra meyja ‘most merciful of merciful maidens’: The 399a-bˣ copyist corrects B’s reading mey acc. sing. to gen. pl. meyja. This correction has been adopted by all subsequent eds. The phrase is a calque on the Marian commonplace virgo virginum ‘virgin of virgins’. Both Skj and Skald reverse mildra meyja to meyja mildra.

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mildust ‘most merciful’

mildr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -astr): mild, gentle, gracious, generous

notes

[1-2] mildust mildra meyja ‘most merciful of merciful maidens’: The 399a-bˣ copyist corrects B’s reading mey acc. sing. to gen. pl. meyja. This correction has been adopted by all subsequent eds. The phrase is a calque on the Marian commonplace virgo virginum ‘virgin of virgins’. Both Skj and Skald reverse mildra meyja to meyja mildra.

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vildi ‘would wish’

vilja (verb): want, intend

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‘…’

(non-lexical)

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helgum ‘with the holy’

heilagr (adj.; °helgan; compar. -ari, superl. -astr): holy, sacred

[3] helgum: ‘m[...]elgum’ B, 399a‑bˣ

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hirðar ‘of the retinue’

hirð (noun f.; °-ar; -ir/-ar(FskB— 53‡)): retinue

[4] hirðar: ‘hirdr’ B, 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, hirð ok BFJ

kennings

hirðar himna.
‘of the retinue of the heavens. ’
   = ANGELS

the retinue of the heavens. → ANGELS

notes

[4] hirðar himna ‘of the retinue of the heavens [ANGELS]’: B clearly reads ‘hírdr hímna’. It is not possible to make grammatical sense of hirðr, and the l. has over-alliteration on <h>. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (n. to the 444ˣ transcript) emended to hirðar gen. sg. of hirð ‘court’, forming the angel-kenning hirð himna ‘retinue of the heavens’, which also occurs in a fragment of a C12th Christian poem, Ekúl Kristdr 2/1III.

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himna ‘of the heavens’

himinn (noun m.; °himins, dat. himni; himnar): heaven, sky

kennings

hirðar himna.
‘of the retinue of the heavens. ’
   = ANGELS

the retinue of the heavens. → ANGELS

notes

[4] hirðar himna ‘of the retinue of the heavens [ANGELS]’: B clearly reads ‘hírdr hímna’. It is not possible to make grammatical sense of hirðr, and the l. has over-alliteration on <h>. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (n. to the 444ˣ transcript) emended to hirðar gen. sg. of hirð ‘court’, forming the angel-kenning hirð himna ‘retinue of the heavens’, which also occurs in a fragment of a C12th Christian poem, Ekúl Kristdr 2/1III.

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dýrðum ‘glories’

dýrð (noun f.; °-ar/-a(NoDipl(1279) 44²ˆ); -ir): glory

[4] dýrðum: ‘dýrd[...]’ B, ‘dyrdụṃ’ 399a‑bˣ

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alls ‘in all’

allr (adj.): all

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vafðan ‘embroiled’

2. vefja (verb): wrap

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minni ‘my’

minn (pron.; °f. mín, n. mitt): my

[7] minni: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]inne’ B

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‘…’

(non-lexical) < (unknown) (unclassified)

[8] gnótt: ‘[...]r gnott’ B, ‘[...]gnótt’ 399a‑bˣ, BFJ, ‘(s) [...] gnott’(?) BRydberg

notes

[8] …gnótt ‘…-abundance’: It is not possible to read more of the first syllable of the first word in B than an <r> preceding gnótt. Initial <s> is confirmed by the alliteration. Rydberg (1907, 36 n. 7) notes traces of possible s…grgnótt and tentatively reconstructs sigrgnótt ‘abundance of victory’. Jón Sigurðsson (note to 444ˣ transcript) suggests reconstruction to sælugnótt ‘abundance of bliss’.

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gnótt ‘abundance’

gnótt (noun f.): abundance < (unknown) (unclassified)

[8] gnótt: ‘[...]r gnott’ B, ‘[...]gnótt’ 399a‑bˣ, BFJ, ‘(s) [...] gnott’(?) BRydberg

notes

[8] …gnótt ‘…-abundance’: It is not possible to read more of the first syllable of the first word in B than an <r> preceding gnótt. Initial <s> is confirmed by the alliteration. Rydberg (1907, 36 n. 7) notes traces of possible s…grgnótt and tentatively reconstructs sigrgnótt ‘abundance of victory’. Jón Sigurðsson (note to 444ˣ transcript) suggests reconstruction to sælugnótt ‘abundance of bliss’.

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frið ‘the peace’

friðr (noun m.): peace

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[2-4]: There are numerous difficulties with B’s readings in these ll., and the full sense of the text is probably irrecoverable. — [3] : B is badly damaged here, and it is not possible to reconstruct the missing word, which must be monosyllabic, with any certainty. Initial <m> is visible, and Jón Sigurðsson (n. to 444ˣ transcript) suggested reconstruction to minn pron., qualifying hugr ‘soul’. Initial <h> in helgum is confirmed by the alliteration. — [5-8]: Cf. Gamlkan’s confession in Has 16/5-8 that ek, yðvarr aumligr þræll, hefi mik vafðan í ǫllum afgerðum ‘I, your wretched servant, have wrapped myself in all misdeeds’. Line 6 is identical to Has 16/8.

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