Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 32VII/1 — ǫðlings ‘of the prince’

Vôru ǫðlings ærir
alkunnan dag sunnu
heiðar bœs í húsi
hreins luktaðir einu.
Þá gaf skjǫldungr skýja
skríns postolum sínum
— ítr firri goð gotna
grandi — helgan anda.

Ærir ǫðlings hreins bœs heiðar vôru luktaðir í einu húsi alkunnan sunnudag. Þá gaf skjǫldungr skríns skýja postolum sínum helgan anda; ítr goð firri gotna grandi.

The envoys of the prince of the pure dwelling of the heath [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ) > APOSTLES] were shut up in a certain house on a well-known Sunday. Then the king of the shrine of the clouds [HEAVEN > = God] gave his Apostles the Holy Spirit; may glorious God save men from harm.


[1] ǫðlings: egg þings BRydberg, B, af þingi 624, ‘ạf̣ þings’ 399a‑bˣ


[1, 3, 4] Ærir ǫðlings hreins bœs heiðar ‘servants of the prince of the pure dwelling of the heath [SKY/HEAVEN > = God ( = Christ) > APOSTLES]’: The ms. readings of the first part of the second word of l. 1 are confusing, though they seem to agree on the second part, presenting it as some form of the noun þing ‘meeting, assembly’. This is, however, difficult to fit into what appears to be a kenning for the Apostles as the subject of the first helmingr. If B’s reading eggþings ‘blade-meeting [BATTLE]’ is kept (so Skald and NN §2144), a standard kenning results: eggþings ærir ‘envoys of the blade-meeting [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, but heiðar bœs ‘of the dwelling of the heath [SKY/HEAVEN]’ is unaccounted for, unless the idea of ‘heaven’s warriors’, invoked by Kock in NN is correct. Finnur Jónsson’s suggested emendation of B’s eggþings to ǫðlings ‘prince, ruler’ has been followed here, except that hreins ‘pure’ is taken with bœs rather than ǫðlings. The resulting kenning is parallel to ǫðlingr salar rǫðla ‘prince of the hall of heavenly bodies [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’ in 33/2.




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