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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 3VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 480-1.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa
234

Máría ‘Mary’

María (noun f.): Mary

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allri ‘than all’

allr (adj.): all

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betri ‘better’

betri (adj. comp.; °superl. beztr/baztr; pos. „ góðr adj.): better, best

[2] betri: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]etri’ B

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greinir ‘discernment [lit. discernments]’

grein (noun f.): reason, period, branch

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gjarna ‘eagerly’

gjarna (adv.): readily

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sjóvar ‘of the sea’

sjór (noun m.): sea

notes

[4] stjarna sjóvar ‘star of the sea’: That is, stella maris ‘star of the sea’, a common Lat. epithet for Mary, which was popularised in the Christian West in the antiphon Ave maris stella for the Feast of the Assumption and became a commonplace in Marian poetry, though it was the result of a serendipitous scribal error. It originates in Jerome’s Liber Interpretationis Hebraicorum Nominum (or Onomasticon), an etymological dictionary of biblical names (Antin 1959). Jerome glosses Miriam, one of several Hebrew renditions of the Virgin’s name, more or less correctly as stilla maris ‘a drop of the ocean’ (cf. Antin 1959, 137). An early copyist mistook the i in stilla for an e, and the image of the ‘star of the sea’ was born (Warner 2000, 262-3). On the relationship between the Antiphon Ave maris stella and Mdr, see Notes to sts 30-6 below.

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stjarna ‘star’

stjarna (noun f.; °*-u; *-ur): star

notes

[4] stjarna sjóvar ‘star of the sea’: That is, stella maris ‘star of the sea’, a common Lat. epithet for Mary, which was popularised in the Christian West in the antiphon Ave maris stella for the Feast of the Assumption and became a commonplace in Marian poetry, though it was the result of a serendipitous scribal error. It originates in Jerome’s Liber Interpretationis Hebraicorum Nominum (or Onomasticon), an etymological dictionary of biblical names (Antin 1959). Jerome glosses Miriam, one of several Hebrew renditions of the Virgin’s name, more or less correctly as stilla maris ‘a drop of the ocean’ (cf. Antin 1959, 137). An early copyist mistook the i in stilla for an e, and the image of the ‘star of the sea’ was born (Warner 2000, 262-3). On the relationship between the Antiphon Ave maris stella and Mdr, see Notes to sts 30-6 below.

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öllum ‘than all’

allr (adj.): all

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skipar ‘establishes’

1. skipa (verb): change, place

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hæsta ‘the highest’

hœgri (adj. comp.): higher, highest

kennings

hæsta drottning heims
‘the highest queen of the world ’
   = Mary

the highest queen of the world → Mary
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heims ‘of the world’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world

kennings

hæsta drottning heims
‘the highest queen of the world ’
   = Mary

the highest queen of the world → Mary
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drottning ‘queen’

dróttning (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-, acc. -u/-; -ar): queen

kennings

hæsta drottning heims
‘the highest queen of the world ’
   = Mary

the highest queen of the world → Mary
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lið* ‘The company’

lið (noun n.; °-s; -): retinue, troop

[8] lið*: liði B

notes

[8] lið*: B’s liði must be emended (as also in 12/8 and 21/8) to provide a nom. subject for the cl.; liði is also unmetrical.

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[1-4]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) follows Rydberg (1907, 53) in construing betri adj. as part of the second cl., agreeing with greinir (f. acc. pl.) to give guð sýnir þér gjarna, sjóvar-stjarna, betri greinir, translated as gud viser dig gærne, sø-stjærne, bedre ting ‘God eagerly shows you, sea-star, better things’. The present edn follows Kock (NN §1635) in taking meira metin ‘more valued’ (ll. 1-2) and betri ‘better’ (l. 2) as parallel. Greinir acc. pl. is interpreted in the sense ‘discernment’. — [5-8]: This is the first occurrence of the first of the three refrains in Mdr. The helmingr is written out in full, and is marked by an obelos in the left-hand margin. The refrain is repeated in sts 12 and 21, being abbreviated in B both times (13v, 42; 14r, 7).

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