Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 38VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 38’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 509-10.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

Heil - vertu, - drottning - dýrðar,-
dáð - lífs og vit ráða,
himins … og hjálp aumum,

ll guðs, frægðar fylling,
friðar gnótt og líkn ótta,
skuggsjó bjartra …

Heil vertu, drottning dýrðar, dáð lífs og vit ráða, himins … og hjálp aumum, … höll guðs, fylling frægðar, gnótt friðar og líkn ótta, skuggsjó bjartra …

Hail to you, queen of glory, courage of life and understanding of counsels, heaven’s … and help to the wretched; … hall of God, fulfilment of renown, abundance of peace and salve of fear, mirror of the bright …

Mss: B(14r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Heil: ‘[...]’ B, BRydberg, ‘Ḥẹịḷ’ 399a‑bˣ;    vertu drottning dýrðar: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘uer[...]g[...]dar’ B, ‘vertu [...]rottning [...]ýrðar’ BRydberg    [3] himins: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘hi[...]s’ B, ‘hi‑mins’ BRydberg;    …: ‘[...]’ B, ‘[...]id’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(f)[...]id’ BRydberg;    aumum: ‘aum[...]’ B, BFJ, ‘auṃụṃ gu(mn)a’(?) BRydberg    [5] ll guðs: ‘[...]’ B, BRydberg, ‘hǫḷḷ guðs’ 399a‑bˣ;    frægðar: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘fre[...]dar’ B;    fylling: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]ýlling’ B    [6] gnótt: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘gnot[...]’ B;    ótta: ‘[...]ta’ B, ‘[...]tta’ 399a‑bˣ    [7] skuggsjó bjartra: ‘sk[...]gsío[...]’ B, ‘skuggsió ḅjartra’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘sk(u)gsio[...] biartra’(?) BRydberg, ‘skvgsio hiart[...]’ BFJ

Editions: Skj AII, 470Rydberg 1907, 40, 58, Attwood 1996a, 113.

Notes: [3] aumum (dat. pl.) ‘to the wretched’: Only ‘aum…’ is legible in B. Skothending with himins requires a short vowel followed by <m>. This edn follows the 399a-bˣ copyist’s reconstruction to aumum m. dat. pl. ‘wretched, miserable’, used substantivally to refer to poor sinners, of whom Mary is the hjálp ‘help’. Rydberg’s suggested reconstruction gumna gen. pl. ‘of men’, which he construes with hjálp to form a Mary-epithet on the same model, does not provide adequate alliteration. — [6] ótta ‘of fear’: Only the two final letters remain of this word in B. Jón Sigurðsson suggested reconstructing to ótta here (marginal n. to 444ˣ), which provides the required aðalhending with gnótt. — [7] skuggsjó ‘mirror’: The word is rare in skaldic poetry (LP: skuggsjó, skuggsjón) and is always used in a religious context, though not elsewhere of the Virgin. Rydberg (1907, 40 n. 7) claimed to be able to see traces of a final <n>.


  1. Bibliography
  2. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  3. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  4. 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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