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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Líknarbraut (Líkn) - 52

not in Skj

Líknarbraut (‘The Way of Grace’) — Anon LíknVII

George S. Tate 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Líknarbraut’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 228-86.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: C. 1. Líknarbraut (AII, 150-9, BII, 160-74)

SkP info: VII, 254-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

24 — Anon Líkn 24VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 24’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 254-5.

Lands sté gramr af grundu
guðblíðr dögum síðarr
— eykz af öllu slíku
ór hjálp — tugum fjórum.
Fróns skal sikling* sínu
sveit, hin er Krists vill leita,
tjalds í tígnarveldi
trúa mann ok guð sannan.

{Guðblíðr gramr lands} sté af grundu fjórum tugum dögum síðarr; ór hjálp eykz af öllu slíku. Sveit, hin er vill leita Krists, skal trúa {sikling* {fróns tjalds}} sannan mann ok guð í sínu tígnarveldi.

{The godly-tender king of the earth} [= God (= Christ)] ascended from the ground forty days later; our salvation is increased by all such [acts]. The company that wishes to seek Christ must believe {the king {of the earth’s tent}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] [to be] true man and [true] God in his glorious power.

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [3] eykz: ‘eyksz’ B, ‘eyks ok’ 399a‑bˣ;    slíku: ‘[...]ku’ B, 399a‑bˣ    [4] ór: ‘vo᷎r’ B, 399a‑bˣ    [5] sikling*: siklings B, 399a‑bˣ    [7] tjalds: ‘tialld[...]’ B, tjaldṣ 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 24: AII, 154-5, BII, 166, Skald II, 88; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 42, Rydberg 1907, 15, 50, Tate 1974, 69.

Notes: [2, 1] guðblíðr gramr lands ‘the godly-tender king of the earth [= God (= Christ)]’: Apparently in an effort to achieve a heaven-kenning Skj B (cf. LP: guðblíðr), followed by Skald, separates guð and emends it to glyggs (i.e. glyggs gramr lands ‘king of gale’s land’). However, the kenning type earth + king for God is not uncommon; Meissner, 328 lists nine instances including (from Líkn) fróns vörðr ‘the earth’s guardian’ 15/3 and fróns konungr ‘the earth’s king’ 33/1-2, as well as Pl 57/1, 4 jarðar gramr ‘the earth’s king’. The st. concerns itself with Christ’s human and divine natures (mann ok guð ‘man and God’, l. 8). The kenning of the first helmingr (‘king of the earth’) may emphasise his humanity, while that of the second underscores his divinity (‘king of the earth’s tent [SKY/HEAVEN]’). The adj. guðblíðr also occurs (of the sun) in Skúli Lv 1/2III. An alternative arrangement would be to separate its elements and place them in apposition to gramr lands, i.e. ‘the king of the earth, tender God, ascended’. — [3] eykz ‘is increased’: Following 399a-bˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson construes the final <z> of ms. ‘eyksz’ as Tironian nota, i.e. eyks ok ‘is also increased’. — [3] slíku ‘such’: Proposed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson, the restoration has been accepted by all subsequent eds; the referent is unspecified. — [4] ór ‘our’: Ms. ‘vo᷎r’ (vár); normalisation as variant ór allows rhyme with fjórum and vowel alliteration with eykz and öllu (l. 3). — [5] sikling* ‘king’: Ms. siklings; Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s emendation has been accepted by all subsequent eds. Salvaging the ms. reading leaves one with a strained construction: sveit siklings fróns tjalds, hin er vill leita Krists í tignarveldi sínu, skal trúa mann ok guð sannan ‘the company of the king of the earth’s tent, which desires to seek Christ in his glorious power, must believe man and God true’. — [7] tígnarveldi (dat. sg.) ‘glorious power’: The basic meaning of veldi is ‘power’, but its extended sense is ‘empire’ or ‘kingdom’; hence Skj B translates the cpd as höjheds rige ‘kingdom of sovereignty’. — [8] trúa sannan mann ok guð ‘believe [him to be] true man and [true] God’: The adj. sannan ‘true’ can qualify both mann ‘man’ and guð ‘God’, or only one of the two nouns. Although in the Nicene Creed ‘true’ qualifies only God: Deum verum de deo vero ... et homo factus est ‘true God of true God ... and was made man’, the later Council of Chalcedon (451) assigns ‘true’ to Christ’s human nature as well. This position is reflected in a number of Lat. and ON texts. See e.g. the hymn ll. Ut deus verus / homo verus fieret ‘that he might become true God and true man’ (Mone 1853-5, I, 113/5), Mar (Unger 1871, 416) hann er ... sannr guð ok sannr maðr ‘he is ... true God and true man’, and Mdr 16/8 guð og mann borinn sannan ‘true God and man born [of your womb]’.

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