Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 5VII/6 — ǫðlinga ‘of princes’

Sonr sté upp með ynði
auðar mildr frá hauðri,
jǫfra beztr, til œztrar
alls ráðanda hallar.
Lofaðr sitr englum efri
ǫðlinga hnígr þingat
dǫglings hirð — á dýrðar
dagbóls konungr stóli.

Sonr alls ráðanda mildr auðar, beztr jǫfra, sté upp með ynði frá hauðri til œztrar hallar. Lofaðr konungr dagbóls sitr efri englum á stóli dýrðar; hirð dǫglings ǫðlinga hnígr þingat.

The son of the ruler of all [= God], generous with riches [= Christ], the best of princes, ascended with joy from earth to the highest hall. The praised king of the day-home [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] sits above the angels on the throne of majesty; the cohort of the prince of princes [= God > THE BLESSED] bows down to him [lit. to there, to it].


[6, 7] dǫglings ǫðlinga ‘of the prince of princes [= God]’: Kennings of this type (‘king of kings’) signify Viking kings in earlier skaldic poetry (see Meissner, 371). Their use as God-kennings in Geisl (cf. dróttinn harra 25/7) and Anon Heildr (hæsta konungr jǫfra ‘the highest king of kings’ 12/3-4) may be either a borrowing from skaldic tradition or an imitation of the biblical variations on the theme (cf. Ezek. XXVI.7; 2 Macc. XIII.4; 1 Tim. VI.15; Rev. I.5, XVII.14, XIX.16). The figure appears frequently in Lat. and OE poetry.




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