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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Drápa af Máríugrát, 30 [Vol. 7, 780-1]

[8] sem krafði edik ‘as if he had asked for vinegar’: For the addition of the def. art. for metrical reasons, see Note to 1/6 and NN §1664A. Edik ‘vinegar’ is a loanword from MLG edik ‘vinegar’ (from Lat. acetum ‘vinegar’). See AEW, ONP: edik. Earlier eds translate the cl. as ‘who asked for vinegar’. That translation makes little sense, because all gospels record that Jesus did not ask for the vinegar; rather, it was given to him as part of the torture when he said he was thirsty (see Matt. XXVII.48; Mark XV.36; John XIX.29; see also Sperber 1911, 75). Unless we assume that the poet did not know what vinegar was and thought it was drinkable, the verb krafði ‘asked for’ must be taken as subj. Although krefði would be expected, the <a> is established by the aðalhending with hafða, and perhaps also necessitated by it. Cf. Mar (1871, xvii): Oc her næst mællti minn sæti son Jesus: þyrstir mic. En ivdar gafo hanum edik við galli blandit ‘And after this my sweet son Jesus said: “I thirst.” But the Jews gave him vinegar mixed with gall’.


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