Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv I 10VII/7 — vissu ‘found out’

Deildi krakleik köldum
kvinna einu sinni
líns við lærðan kenni
leidd, svá að bæði reidduz.
Prestr varð óðr og æstiz
eymdum lagðr og sagði
þar, sem þjóðir vissu,
þenna glæp eftir henni.

Einu sinni deildi kvinna, leidd köldum krakleik, við lærðan kenni líns, svá að bæði reidduz. Prestr varð óðr og æstiz, lagðr eymdum, og sagði þenna glæp eftir henni þar, sem þjóðir vissu.

One time the woman, moved by cold quarrelsomeness, had dealings with a learned tester of the maniple [PRIEST], so that both became enraged. The priest became angry and was provoked, stung by misfortunes, and reported her crime there, where people found out about it.


[7] þar, sem þjóðir vissu ‘there, where people found out about it’: Lit. ‘there, where people found out’. The l. is difficult to make sense of. Þar ‘there’ is an adv. with full stress carrying alliteration and followed by sem ‘where’. The internal rhyme falls on the two syllables þar-sem (assimilation of rs to ss). Skj B emends þar ‘there’ to þat ‘that which’ and tentatively translates the cl. as hvad folk mente at vide (?) ‘that which people thought they knew (?)’, which leaves the l. without internal rhyme. Kock (Skald; NN §2864) emends to þess sem þjóðir vissu ‘as people knew’. Wrightson has ‘although people knew about it already’. All these translations make little sense, because, according to Mar, the woman had confessed the crime to the priest, who later became so enraged that he broke his confidentiality. He reported the crime sva at allir mega heyra ‘so that all are able to hear’ (Mar 1871, 277) or fyrir morgum monnum ‘before many people’ (Mar 1871, 1203). Accordingly, he announced it in a public place where many people, who did not know about the crime, heard about it.



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