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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mgr 23VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Drápa af Máríugrát 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 776.

Anonymous PoemsDrápa af Máríugrát

‘* Krisnum á sig lýð til lausnar
lofðung hauðrs tók písl og dauða
sólar; tók að sínum vilja
syndalauss með fullu yndi.
Ætti guði að þakka þetta
þjóðin öll,’ kvað dróttins móðir,
‘lærðir menn til lofs og dýrðar
laungum prýð*i honum ýmsa saungva.’

‘{Lofðung {hauðrs sólar}} tók á sig písl og dauða til lausnar * krisnum lýð; syndalauss tók að vilja sínum með fullu yndi. Öll þjóðin ætti að þakka guði þetta’, kvað {móðir dróttins}, ‘lærðir menn prýð*i laungum ýmsa saungva til lofs og dýrðar honum.’

‘{The lord {of the land of the sun}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] took upon himself torture and death for the salvation of Christian people; sinless, he accepted it of his own will with full pleasure. All people ought to thank God for this’, said {the mother of the Lord} [= Mary], ‘may learned men for a long time ornament various songs to his praise and glory.’

Mss: 713(126), 1032ˣ(66v), 920ˣ(207v)

Readings: [1] * Krisnum: Fyrir kristnum 713    [4] yndi: so 1032ˣ, 920ˣ, ‘yn[...]’ 713    [5] Ætti: so 1032ˣ, ‘[...]’ 713, ‘...’ 920ˣ    [7] til lofs og: ‘[...]’ 713, ‘til lofs ọc̣’ 1032ˣ, ‘til ḷọf̣ṣ ọc̣’ 920ˣ    [8] prýð*i honum: prýddi hann 713

Editions: Skj AII, 477, Skj BII, 511-12, Skald II, 280, NN §§2680B, 2688; Kahle 1898, 60, 104, Sperber 1911, 35, 75, Wrightson 2001, 12.

Notes: [1-4]: Cf. Mar (1871, 1008): ok til þess let ek festa mik ꜳ krossinn, at ek skylldi med minum dauda leysa mankynit ‘and for this reason I let myself be fastened onto the Cross, that I should save all mankind with my death’. — [1] * krisnum (m. dat. sg.) ‘Christian’: The prep. fyrir ‘for’ (so 713) is extrametrical and ungrammatical. It has been deleted in previous eds. The form krisnum ‘Christian’ has been introduced to restore the internal rhyme (see ANG §291.11). — [2] lofðung (m. nom. sg.) ‘lord’: For this nom. form, see ANG §358.1, Anm. 1. — [7-8]: These ll. cannot be made sense of without emendation. The present edn follows Skj B and Skald. Wrightson retains the ms. reading, but emends ýmsa saungva (m. acc. pl.) ‘various songs’ (l. 8) to ýmsum söngum (m. dat. pl.) ‘with various songs’ and translates the ll. as ‘learned people have adorned Him for a long time with various songs to His praise and glory’. That construction is ungrammatical, because prýddi (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘adorned’ cannot be construed with the pl. subject lærðir menn ‘learned men’ (see NS §70).


  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. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  6. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  7. Wrightson, Kellinde, ed. 2001. Fourteenth-Century Icelandic Verse on the Virgin Mary: Drápa af Maríugrát, Vitnisvísur af Maríu, Maríuvísur I-III. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 14. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  9. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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