Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 37VII/1 — Vígðiz ‘consecrated himself’

Vígðiz oss, þá er vatni dögðiz,
valdr himnanna á þrítugsaldri,
í Jórdán við æðar hreinar;
Jón baptista drottni þjónar.
Þessi ástvinr Jésú Kristi
er nú váttr, er þann dag mátti
sjá skínandi á grænni grundu
guðs þrenning með lýðum kennaz.

Valdr himnanna vígðiz oss á þrítugsaldri, þá er dögðiz vatni, við æðar hreinar í Jórdán; Jón baptista þjónar drottni. Þessi ástvinr Jésú Kristi er nú váttr, er þann dag mátti sjá þrenning guðs, skínandi á grænni grundu kennaz með lýðum.

The ruler of the heavens [= God (= Christ)] consecrated himself to us at the age of thirty, when he was sprinkled with water by the pure springs in the Jordan; John the baptist serves the Lord. This, the belovedfriend of Jesus Christ [= John], is now the witness, who that day could see God’s Trinity, shining on the green earth, make itself known among men.


[1] Vígðiz: Vígði hann 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ


[1] vígðiz oss ‘consecrated himself to us’: The poet continues to emphasize Christ’s active and volitional role: cf. 24/7-8, 29/7-8, and 36/7-8. The Baptism of Jesus was traditionally regarded as Christ’s dedication of himself to humanity. Cf. the Meditaciones Vite Christi of Iohannis de Caulibus: Desponsat enim uniuersalem ecclesiam et singulariter omnes animas fideles. Nam in fide baptismatis desponsantur Domino Iesu Christo, dicente propheta in persona ipsius; Desponsabo te mihi in fide ‘He wedded to himself the universal Church and all faithful souls individually. In the faith of Baptism they are espoused to the Lord Jesus Christ, as Hosea said of Christ, “I shall wed you to myself in faith” (Hos. II:20)’ (Stallings-Taney 1997, 82; Taney 2000, 71). In ON vígja ‘to consecrate’ is used in reference to priestly ordination or monastic consecration; later it came to be used also in reference to marriage (see Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4: vígja).



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