Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 28I/3 — hersihersir

Endr réð engla senda
Jórðánar gramr fjóra
— fors þó hans á hersi
heilagt skopt — ór lopti.

Gramr Jórðánar réð endr senda fjóra engla ór lopti; fors þó heilagt skopt á hersi hans.

The prince of the Jordan [CHRIST] once sent four angels from the sky; a waterfall washed the holy hair of his hersir.


[3] hersi: hersis U, A


[3] hersi hans ‘his hersir’: Faulkes (1987, 127) translates ‘its lord’ but it is not clear what this refers to, since neither Jórðán f. ‘Jordan’ nor lopt n. ‘sky’ can be the antecedent of m. hans ‘his’, while fors m. ‘waterfall’ would trigger a refl. poss. (sinn ‘his’ rather than hans). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends to hersi heims ‘chieftain of the world’, i.e. God. The other early examples of the Christian god being the ‘ruler of all’ use the word allr ‘all’ (Meissner 369), however, and it is preferable to attempt to interpret the text without emendation.



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