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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 26VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 26’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 499-500.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

Heil, Máría hærri
hier funnin miskunnar
guðs full, gæzku allri
gnótt, er með þier dróttinn.
Blessuð ert, er birtiz
bót lífs, framar snótum;
tignaz, bless bragna
blóm, þíns kviðar sómi.

Heil, Máría, hier funnin full allri hærri gnótt gæzku guðs miskunnar, dróttinn er með þier. Blessuð ert, er birtiz bót lífs, framar snótum; sómi kviðar þíns tignaz, bless blóm bragna.

Hail Mary, here found full of the whole higher abundance of the goodness of God’s mercy, the Lord is with you. You who appear as the remedy of life are blessed foremost among women; the honour of your womb is exalted, blessed flower of men.

Mss: B(14r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Heil Máría: ‘[ ...]a[...]ia’ B, ‘Heil Ṃaria’ 399a‑bˣ    [2] funnin: ‘f[...]nnen’ B, ‘fụnnen’ 399a‑bˣ    [3] gæzku: ‘gęz[...]’ B, 399a‑bˣ;    allri: ‘all[...]’ B, 399a‑bˣ    [4] með þier: ‘[...]’ B, 399a‑bˣ, ‘(m)[...]’ BRydberg    [7] bless: ‘blezud’ B;    bragna: ‘[...]gna’ B, ‘ḅṛạgna’ 399a‑bˣ    [8] þíns: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]s’ B;    sómi: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘som[...]’ B

Editions: Skj AII, 468-9, Skj BII, 502, Skald II, 274, NN §1652; Rydberg 1907, 37, 56, Attwood 1996a, 109, 310.

Notes: [All]: This st. is a close translation of the Ave Maria, which is a conflation of the salutations of Gabriel and Elizabeth in Luke I.28 and I.42. Because of B’s damaged state, one must rely on previous readings and reconstructions, notably the 399a-bˣ transcription. Reconstructions have been checked against the Lat. — [1] Heil, Máría ‘Hail Mary’: The 399a-bˣ reading is confirmed by comparison with the Lat., a direct rendering of Ave Maria. — [3] gæzku ‘goodness’: The second syllable is illegible in B. Jón Sigurðsson (n. to 444ˣ transcript) suggests reconstruction to gæzku, which is confirmed by the Lat. gratia plena ‘full of grace’. — [4] dróttinn er með þier ‘The Lord is with you’: No traces remain of the third and fourth syllables of l. 4, though Rydberg (1907, 37 n. 4) claims to have seen traces of an <m> and a superscript abbreviation. He suggests reconstruction to með þér, and construes dróttinn er með þér ‘the Lord is with you’, which is followed by Skj B. Kock (NN §1652 and Skald) emends to dróttins, arranging gnótt gæzku allrar dróttins er með þér ‘the abundance of the Lord’s whole grace is with you’. Comparison with the Lat. text: Ave Maria, gratia plena. Dominus tecum ‘Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you’ makes it clear that this emendation is unnecessary. — [7-8]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends B’s ‘blezuð’ to the n. sg. form blessat, probably assuming dittography from blessuð (l. 5). He construes þíns kviðar sómi tignaz, blessat blóm bragna, translating dit moderlivs hæder æres, menneskenes velsignede blomst ‘your womb’s honour is exalted, mankind’s blessed flower’. Kock (Skald) accepts this interpretation without comment and it has been adopted here. Both Rydberg and Attwood 1996a, 309 and 333-4 keep the ms. reading blessuð and construe with blóm (n. pl.), viz. blessuð blóm þíns kviðar; sómi bragna tígnaz ‘blessed [are] the flowers of your womb; the honour of men is glorified’. This reading is possible, but makes for great syntactic fragmentation of ll. 7-8.


  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  6. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.

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