Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Gyð 4VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Gyðingsvísur 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 520-1.

Anonymous PoemsGyðingsvísur

Ófs fekk orðstír hæfan
auðar mildr, sem vildi,
gráns fyr gjöfli sína
grafþveings boði veingis.
Átti vin, því að veitti
vell …dr ímu svellir,
hann und hverjum runni
Hamdis bríkr af slíku.

{Boði {veingis {gráns grafþveings}}}, mildr auðar, fekk hæfan orðstír, sem vildi, fyr sína ófs gjöfli. Hann átti vin und hverjum {runni {Hamdis bríkr}} af slíku, því að {…dr svellir ímu} veitti vell.

{The offerer {of the land {of the grey grave-thong}}} [SNAKE > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], generous with wealth, secured a fitting reputation, as he wanted, for his excessive munificence. He had a friend in every {bush {of Hamðir’s <hero> board}} [SHIELD > MAN] on account of such [generosity], because {the … sweller of battle} [WARRIOR] gave out gold.

Mss: B(14v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] sem vildi: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘s[...]llde’ B, ‘s[...]illde’ BRydberg, BFJ    [4] veingis: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘v[...]ngiss’ B    [6] vell: ‘ve[...]’ all;    …dr: ‘[...]dr’ B, 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘[...]ndr’ BFJ    [8] Hamdis: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘hamd[...]ss’ B;    bríkr: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘brik[...]’ B

Editions: Skj AII, 540, Skj BII, 598, Skald II, 331, NN §§1850, 2980; Rydberg 1907, 42, 59; Attwood 1996a, 347.

Notes: [6] vell: Sveinbjörn Egilsson (note to 444ˣ transcription) suggests reconstruction to vell, which has been adopted by all subsequent eds. — [6] …dr: The beginning of this word is lost in a large hole, though ‘dr’ is certain. Finnur Jónsson (Skj A) indicated that ‘ndr’ were visible to him. The essential sense of the st. is clear from the remaining words, and the most likely loss is therefore some monosyllabic adj. qualifying svellir ímu or an additional part of the determinant of the warrior-kenning. Jón Sigurðsson, in a n. to his 444ˣ transcript, suggests that the missing word might be mildr but this seems unlikely, since that word occupies the corresponding position in the first helmingr. Kock (NN §2980) reconstructs endr, which, he claims, acts in conjunction with the pret. to form a version of the pluperfect tense. He construes þvít ímu svellir veitti endr vell ‘because the sweller of battle had given out gold’. — [7-8] runni Hamðis bríkr ‘bush (dat. sg.) of Hamðir’s board [SHIELD > MAN]’: The story of the hero Hamðir and his brother Sǫrli, sons of Guðrún Gjúkadóttir by Jónakr, is recounted in a number of ON poems and prose texts, e.g. Hamð, Bragi Rdr 3-7III; Skm (SnE 1998, I, 49-50); Vǫls, chs 41-4. The name Hamðir occurs frequently in kennings for stone, mailcoat and, here, for shield (LP: Hamðir). On the gen. sg. of brík, f., which may be in -ar or -r, see LP: brík and Thomson 1987, 148.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. 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. 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.
  6. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  7. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Thomson, Colin D. 1987. Íslenzk Beygingafræði. Isländische Formenlehre. Icelandic Inflections. Hamburg: Buske.
  9. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  10. Vǫls = Vǫlsunga saga.
  11. Internal references
  12. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  13. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Ragnarsdrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 31.
  14. Not published: do not cite ()

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