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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 46 [Vol. 7, 616-17]

[4-8]: Cf. Matt. XI.5/Luke VII.22: caeci vident claudi ambulant leprosi mundantur surdi audiunt mortui resurgunt pauperes evangelizantur ‘The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached’. These ll. are an elegant example of the rhetorical figure versus rapportati (Lausberg 1998, §716; Curtius 1953, 291) combined with zeugma (Lausberg 1998, §§692-708). Bede defines zeugma ‘yoking’ as a figure in which one word (here veitir) governs two or more parts of a sentence (Hurst and Fraipoint 1975, 144). The two phrases governed by veitir are, first, a series of adjectives in the dat., used substantively, and then a parallel series of nouns (or verbs used substantively) in the acc. The strict symmetry holds the two periods together. See Laugesen 1966, 298-9 for a discussion of this and related examples from Everardus Alemannus, Quintilian, Cicero, and Geoffrey of Vinsauf. Laugesen notes that zeugma is also discussed in TGT (TGT 1884-6, I, 92-3), but he maintains that the Lil poet learned his technique from Lat. sources and not there.


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