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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv I 25VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur I 25’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 696-7.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur I

Sungu sætt og leingi
sannfróðir guðs móður
lýðir lof, þá er brúði
litu hvíta þar sitja.
Lietu síðan sætu
seimstalls viðir allir
fara í friði og æru;
fljóð var sátt og þjóðir.

Sannfróðir lýðir sungu lof {móður guðs} sætt og leingi, þá er litu brúði sitja þar hvíta. Síðan lietu {allir viðir {seimstalls}} sætu fara í friði og æru; fljóð og þjóðir var sátt.

The truth-knowing people sang the praise {of the mother of God} [= Mary] sweetly and for a long time when they saw the woman sitting there unblemished [lit. white]. Then {all the trees {of the gold-seat}} [ARM > MEN] let the lady go in peace and honour; the woman and the people were reconciled.

Mss: 721(13r)

Readings: [3] lýðir: lýðr 721    [5] sætu: sæta 721

Editions: Skj AII, 491, Skj BII, 531, Skald II, 291, NN §§2869, 3397K; Kahle 1898, 36, 98-9, Sperber 1911, 7, 60-1, Wrightson 2001, 52.

Notes: [3] lýðir (m. nom. pl.) ‘people’: Lýðr ‘people’ (so 721) is in the sg. and the pl. form is required both by the syntax and by the metre. — [5] sætu (f. acc. sg.) ‘lady’: Sæta ‘lady’ is in the nom. and the syntax requires the acc. case. — [6] viðir seimstalls ‘trees of the gold-seat [ARM > MEN]’: This is an unusual kenning for ‘men’ because seimstalls ‘of the gold-seat’ (i.e. ‘of the arm’) is usually a determinant in kennings for ‘women’ (see Note to st. 23 above). Kock tries to solve that crux in various ways (seimstalls ‘of the snake-seat’ is ‘of gold’, NN §2869; seimstalls ‘of the gold-seat’ is ‘of the shield’, NN §3397K). Both interpretations are unparalleled and very strained. — [7] æru ‘honour’: This is a late loanword from MLG ēre ‘honour’ (see AEW: æra 1). — [8] var (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘was’: The verb is in the sg. and the subject in the pl. (see NS §70).


  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. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  5. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  6. 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.
  7. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  8. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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