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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Andréasdrápa, 4 [Vol. 7, 849-51]

[8] hann er þandur á guðs kross ‘he is stretched onto God’s cross’: The second half of l. 8 has been the subject of speculation, beginning with Árni Magnússon (ÁM). To provide the expected aðalhending in the line, Kock (NN §2296) proposes emendation to góðs er hann mannflokks ljóði ‘he is the leader of the good congregation’. 194 8° is unclear at this point, but such a drastic emendation is not supported by what can be read with any certainty: ‘gvds ær hann | […]o[…]s […]nde’. The first letter of each of the last two words in the st. appears to be written with a tall ascender. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) would read the l.: Guðs er hann flos ljómandi ‘He is the shining flos [‘flower’] of God', a reading based in part on ÁM's first attempt (in 669cˣ, 1v) at reading the penultimate word in the l., which he first transcribed as floress, then altered with expunction marks to floss, before finally crossing this tentative reading out altogether. In any case, hannljómandi hardly supplies the appropriate aðalhending, and there is no evidence that Guðs ... flos is supported by any Lat. tradition referring to Andrew as a ‘flower of God’ (flos Dei / Domini). In a superscript addition to his transcript in 669cˣ, 1v, ÁM finally interprets the last l.: guds ær hann kross so᷎mande (cf. Kålund 1888-1894, II, 83). Although it has received the least attention, and still does not supply the expected aðalhending, ÁM’s interpretation is in other respects a less problematic reading of this fragmentary l. His reading could mean either ‘He honours the Cross of God’, or ‘He is fitting for, worthy of God’s Cross’. If the latter interpretation is followed, then kross sœmande may be intended as an elaboration of Lat. dignus, an epithet regularly applied to Andrew, as in the antiphon: Andreas Christi famulus, dignus Deo apostolus ‘Andrew servant of Christ, Apostle worthy of God’ (CAO III, 47 no. 1396; cf. Ordo Nidr. 296/14). Description of Andrew as if cruce dignus ‘suitable for, fit for, worthy of the cross’ might be intended to recall Matt. X.38: et qui non accipit crucem suam et sequitur me non est me dignus ‘And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me’. If either of the emendations proposed by Kock or Finnur Jónsson were accepted, this would be the only one of the surviving sts which does not contain the word kross. Since we might expect the poet to play on repeated reference to the saint’s best known attribute, S. Andrew’s cross, this may add another reason for preferring a reading which includes this word. It is interesting that before electing to interpret the last word of the st. as ‘so᷎mande’, ÁM seems to have first attempted to read the word as a form of þenja ‘to stretch’, writing þande before adding expunction marks under ‘þa’. This suggests another interpretation. The original text may have read guðs er hann kross á þandr ‘he is stretched onto God’s cross’, with disyllabic articulation of the last word in the line, and the form þandr may have been subsequently miscopied as þande, although all that remains of this mistranscription in the only surviving ms. are the final letters ‘...nde’ . For miscopying of final <r>-rotunda as <i>, cf., for example, Anon Pét 23/7: ms. ‘sendi’, emended to sendur. If a form of þenja is retained here, the l. would recall the description in the Passio Sancti Andreae apostoli 10 (Bonnet 1898, 23/9-24/1: ut ligatis pedibus et manibus quasi in eculeo tenderetur ‘that with his feet and hands bound he should be stretched as if on a rack’; cf. Andr2A, 379/1-3: at þeir skylldi binda hendr hans ok fætr ꜳ krossinum ok þenia hann ut sva sem i stagli ‘that they should bind his hands and feet on the cross, and stretch him out as if on a rack’ (see Note to st. 2/2 above; and cf., for example, description of the passion of S. Vincent, Vinc 322.13-14: hann var upphafdr ok þandr i stagli ‘he was raised up and stretched on a rack’). This suggested emendation of the final word in the l. to þandr = þandur is nevertheless problematic, since none of the other ll. in the poem shows desyllabification of final -r as -ur (cf. 1/3: fýstr, 1/6: æstr, 2/3: festr, 3/4: aldr, 4/4: almáttigr, 4/7: prýddr), and such an emendation would still leave the l. without an acceptable form of aðalhending.


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