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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.

files
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, 118

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

51 — Gamlkan Has 51VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 51’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 118.

Því lét seggja sveitar
sinn postola finna
— raun lýsir þat — ræsir
ríkr óstyrkðir slíkar,
at bæri mun meiri
malmrunnum várkunnir,
menn þótt misgǫrt vinni,
margfríðr skǫrungr síðan.

Því lét {ríkr ræsir {sveitar seggja}} postola sinn finna slíkar óstyrkðir — raun lýsir þat —, at margfríðr skǫrungr bæri síðan mun meiri várkunnir {malmrunnum}, þótt menn vinni misgǫrt.

For this reason {the powerful king {of the company of men}} [MANKIND > = God (= Christ)] caused his Apostle to feel such weaknesses — experience shows that —, so that the very beautiful leader should later have considerably greater compassion for {sword-trees} [WARRIORS], even though men commit sins.

Mss: B(13r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [4] óstyrkðir: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘os[...]kter’ B    [5] meiri: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]eire’ B    [8] skǫrungr: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]rungr’ B

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 51: AI, 569, BI, 561, Skald I, 272; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 29, Kempff 1867, 15, Rydberg 1907, 29, Jón Helgason 1935-6, 252, Black 1971, 265, Attwood 1996a, 234.

Notes: [3] raun lýsir þat ‘experience shows that’: Cf. 43/3, where the intercalated phrase is raun finna þess ‘[men] gain experience of that’. — [7] vinni (3rd pers. pl. pres. subj.) ‘commit’: Skj B emends to ynni, 3rd pers. pl. pret subj., but the pres. tense makes good sense here. — [8] margfríðr skǫrungr ‘the very beautiful leader’: The Apostle Peter. Cf. Geisl 26/2, where S. Óláfr is described as margfríðr jǫfurr ‘very beautiful prince’. Given that the two ll. are remarkably similar – Geisli has margfríðr jǫfurr síðan –, and that margfríðr is not otherwise attested in ON poetry or prose, it is possible that Gamli is borrowing from Einarr Skúlason here.

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