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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 31VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 31’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 503-4.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

Upp nam þú hjálp með höppum
háva dýrð og áve,
ást vár og kær Kristi,
kunn af Gabríels munni.
Í friði guðs góðum
grundvöllr ertu sprunda
nafn skiptandi †að nafni
… f† Éva †funnið†.

Þú, ást vár og kær Kristi, nam upp hjálp með höppum, háva dýrð og áve, kunn af Gabríels munni. Í góðum friði guðs ertu grundvöllr sprunda, skiptandi nafn Éva †að nafni …f funnið†.

You, our beloved and dear to Christ, took up help with good fortune, high glory and the Ave, known from Gabriel’s mouth. In God’s good peace, you are the foundation of women, changing the name Eva …

Mss: B(14r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] áve: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]ue’ B    [4] kunn af Gabríels: ‘kunn[...]g[...]s’ B, BFJ, ‘kunnịg̣ gabriels’ with ‘kunn af gabriels’ in margin 399a‑bˣ, ‘kunn [...] g(a)[...]s’(?) BRydberg    [7] nafni: ‘na[...]’ B, ‘n[...]’ 399a‑bˣ, BFJ    [8] f: ‘[...]f’ B, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘[...]fer’ 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 469-70, Skj BII, 503, Skald II, 275, NN §§2676, 2856, 2983, 2997A, 3353; Rydberg 1907, 38, 57, Attwood 1996a, 110, 311.

Notes: [1-4]: This helmingr translates and expands the first two ll. of the second verse of Ave maris stella: Sumens illud ave / Gabrielis ore ‘taking up that Ave (‘Hail’) from Gabriel’s mouth’, a reference to Gabriel’s salutation of Mary at the Annunciation, related in Luke I.28. As Schottmann remarks (1973, 67 n. 5), both Kock (NN §3353) and the Skj translation completely misunderstand that nam upp must refer to all three noun objects of the cl. Elsewhere Kock (NN §2856) suggests that háva dýrð og áve ‘high glory and the Ave’ should be taken as vocative, in apposition to ást vár og kær Kristi ‘our beloved and dear to Christ’ (l. 3), but this is clearly wrong in light of the Lat. text. — [4] kunn af Gabríels munni ‘known from Gabriel’s mouth’: It is clear from the Lat. text (see Note to ll. 1-4) that this phrase qualifies áve not, as Finnur Jónsson and Kock understand it, the vocatives ást vár og kær Kristi (l. 3). Kunn must be taken as n. acc. pl., qualifying not only the f. nouns dýrð ‘glory’ and hjálp ‘help’, but also áve, which must be taken to be n. in Icel., as in Lat. — [4] Gabríels: Here, but not in st. 25/8, where stress is on the last syllable (Gabriél), the name is treated as disyllabic, with neutralisation in position 4, so –íels. — [5-8]: These ll. should correspond to ll. 3-4 of the second verse of Ave maris stella: funda nos in pace, / mutans nomen Evae ‘establish us in peace, changing the name of Eve’, the last l. being a reference to Mary as the antitype of Eve, signalled by the spelling inversion of Eva as Ave. Lines 7-8 of the Icel. text clearly attempt a rendition of mutans nomen Evae, but B is so defective that it is impossible to see exactly what the poet intended, though this did not stop Kock (NN §§2856, 2676) from somewhat fanciful speculation. — [5]: The l. is hypometrical.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  5. 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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