Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 12VII/2 — holdi ‘flesh’

Svá er líðandi maðr af móður-
moldu — þó er með skæru holdi
Ádám nefndur, er alls í heimi
átti ráð með frelsi og náðum.
Höfginn rann svá hægr á þenna
heims stýranda; fekk hann skýra
andagift, og síðan sýndi,
svá vorðinna spádómsorða.

Svá er maðr líðandi af móður-moldu, nefndur Ádám — þó er með skæru holdi —, er átti ráð alls í heimi með frelsi og náðum. Svá rann höfginn hægr á þenna stýranda heims; fekk hann skýra andagift, og sýndi síðan, spádómsorða svá vorðinna.

Thus a man proceeds from mother-earth, named Adam, though he is with unsullied flesh, who had power over everything in the world, with freedom and peace. Then a light slumber came upon that ruler of the world [= Adam]: he received a clear spiritual gift — and later demonstrated [it] — of prophetic words which came to fulfilment.


[2] holdi: holdu 720a VIII


[2-3] þó er með skæru holdi Ádám nefndur: Cf. Gen. II.7: formavit igitur Dominus Deus hominem de limo terrae ‘the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth’. In the reading of Bb, adopted here, the skald sees a paradox in the creation of an unsullied being from mud. He may have known that the Hebrew text of Gen. plays on the words אָדָם (adam) ‘human being’ and אֲדָמָה (’adamah) ‘clay, soil’. In the ON Eluc the disciple asks, Hui scapaþe Goþ mann ór sua herue-lego efne ‘Why did God create man out of such wretched material?’ (Eluc 1992, 16-17). Other mss, followed by Skj B and Skald, read l. 2 as ok þó með skæru holdi ‘and yet with unsullied flesh’.


case: dat.
number: sg.


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