Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 6VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 483-4.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

Lýtr Máríu mætri
— mátt hennar guð váttar
dýrð — öll … hirðar
hjörð og fólk á jörðu.
Blíð og blessuð móðir
blóm heilagra dóma
— dugir himna guð gumnum —
gjörvallra má kallaz.

{Öll hjörð {hirðar …}} og fólk á jörðu lýtr mætri Máríu; guð váttar mátt hennar dýrð. Blíð og blessuð móðir má kallaz blóm gjörvallra heilagra dóma; guð himna dugir gumnum.

{The entire flock {of the court …}} [? > ANGELS] and people on earth bow to excellent Mary; God affirms her power [with] glory. The gentle and blessed mother may be called the flower of all holy judgements; the God of the heavens helps men.

Mss: B(13v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [3] …: ‘[...]’ B, ‘allh[...]’ 399a‑bˣ    [7] himna guð: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘h[...]mna[...]’ B

Editions: Skj AII, 465, Skj BII, 498, Skald II, 272, NN §§1637, 2670; Konráð Gíslason 1860, 556, Rydberg 1907, 33, 54, Attwood 1996a, 103, 304.

Notes: [3] : B is defective at this point. Rydberg (1907, 33 n. 2) notes that the text is badly damaged, and interprets the remains as traces of an initial h and a nasal stroke. He suggests reconstruction to himna ‘of the heavens’. This reconstruction was adopted by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), giving the heaven-kenning hirð himna ‘court of the heavens’, which produces a very acceptable angel-kenning öll hjǫrð hirðar himna ‘the entire flock of the court of the heavens’. Kock adopts this reconstruction without comment. — [5-8]: This helmingr represents the first occurrence of the second of Mdr’s three refrains. The helmingr is written out in full and is marked by an obelos in the left-hand margin. This stef is repeated in sts 15 and 24, where it is abbreviated in B (13v, 47; 14r, 12). — [6-8] blóm gjörvallra heilagra dóma ‘the flower of all holy judgements’: A kenning-like periphrasis for the Virgin Mary, comparing her to a flower, and coupling this base-word with an abstract determinant, dómr ‘judgement’. On this type of expression, which probably echoes the Lat. flosculus sanctitatis ‘ornament of holiness’, see Schottmann 1973, 24. Kock (NN §2670) prefers a rather more interpretative translation blomman (kronen) bland alla heligheter ‘the flower (crown) among all holy things’.


  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.
  7. Schottmann, Hans. 1973. Die isländische Mariendichtung. Untersuchungen zur volkssprachigen Mariendichtung des Mittelalters. Münchner germanistische Beiträge 9. Munich: Fink.
  8. Internal references
  9. Not published: do not cite (LdnIV)
  10. Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Máríudrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 476-514.

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