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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamli kanóki (Gamlkan)

12th century; volume 7; ed. Katrina Attwood;

1. Harmsól (Has) - 65

Skj info: Gamli kanóki, Islandsk gejstlig og skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 561-72, BI, 547-65).

Skj poems:
1. Jóansdrápa
2. Harmsól

Gamli kanóki ‘canon Gamli’ (where the name Gamli, ‘the old one’ may itself be a nickname) is best known as the author of the poem Harmsól ‘Sun of Sorrow’, which is explicitly ascribed to him in a marginal note at the beginning of the poem on fol. 12r, l. 42 of the sole surviving ms., AM 757 a 4° (B): Harmsol er gamle orti kanokeHarmsól, which canon Gamli composed’. Gamli is also mentioned by name in Jóns saga postula (Jón4), where the author of the prose text prefaces the quotation of four sts from Gamli’s Jónsdrápa with the information: Annan mann til óðgirðar signaðum Johanni nefnum vér Gamla kanunk austr í Þykkvabœ, hann orti drápu dyrligum Johanni ‘As the second man to have composed a poem to blessed John we [I] name canon Gamli in the east at Þykkvabœr, he composed a drápa to S. John’ (Jón4 1874, 510). In a remark before the fourth st. Gamli is referred to as bróðir Gamli ‘Brother Gamli’ (Jón4 1874, 511). Þykkvabœr was an Augustinian monastery in south-eastern Iceland founded in 1168; Gamli was thus an Augustinian canon (or canon regular) of this community. His floruit can be inferred from the date of the foundation of Þykkvabœr as being in the mid- to late C12th.

file 2006-12-15 - Gamli kanoki w. MCR corrections

Harmsól (‘Sun of Sorrow’) — Gamlkan HasVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Gamli kanóki, Harmsól’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 70-132.

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Skj: Gamli kanóki: 2. Harmsól, „er gamle orti kanoke“ (AI, 562-72, BI, 548-65)

SkP info: VII, 82

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Gamlkan Has 10VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 10’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 82.

Þinn hefir þunglig unnit
(þat fœrir mjǫk) sœri
synðugr þjónn (frá svinnu)
sóltjalds konungr (aldir).
Mæltak mart, þats spillti,
(mætr, vissir þat, gætir
ranns) í rausan minni,
(rǫðuls) fyr mér ok ǫðrum.

{Konungr {sóltjalds}}, synðugr þjónn þinn hefir unnit þunglig sœri; þat fœrir aldir mjǫk frá svinnu. Mæltak mart í rausan minni, þats spillti fyr mér ok ǫðrum; vissir þat, {mætr gætir {ranns rǫðuls}}.

{King {of the sun-tent}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], your sinful servant has sworn heavy oaths; that removes men a lot from good sense. I said many things in my bragging which had a corrupting effect on myself and others; you knew that, {excellent keeper {of the house of the sun}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God].

Mss: B(12v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Þinn: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘Þí[...]’ B    [2] mjǫk: mik B

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 10: AI, 551, BI, 563, Skald I, 267; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 16, Kempff 1867, 3-4, Rydberg 1907, 22, Black 1971, 163, Attwood 1996a, 224.

Notes: [2] mjǫk ‘very’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson (note to 444ˣ transcript and 1844 edn) suggests emendation of B’s mik to mjǫk, which has been adopted by all subsequent eds. — [4] konungr sóltjalds ‘king of the sun-tent [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. 14/6-8 and the God-kenning stillir sóltjalda ‘regulator of the sun-tents’ in Arn Rǫgndr 3/1-2III. The heaven-kenning may derive its inspiration from Ps. XVIII.6: in sole posuit tabernaculum suum ‘he hath set his tabernacle in the sun’.

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