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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Sól 39VII

Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 39’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 322-3.

Anonymous PoemsSólarljóð
383940

sanna ‘the true’

2. sannr (adj.; °-an; compar. -ari, superl. -astr): true

[2] sanna dagstjörnu: samað at stjörnu 738ˣ

notes

[2] sanna dagstjörnu ‘true day-star’: cf. Rev. XXII.16: stella splendida et matitutina ‘the bright and morning star’. Lange 1958a, 188, 243-5 discusses the possibility of sun-worship among early Icel. settlers; see also Amory 1985, 5-8; 1990, 255-6 for extensive discussion of the sol salutis ‘the sun of salvation’ and the sol iustitiae ‘the sun of justice’ in Carolingian and later theology.

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dag ‘day’

dagr (noun m.; °-s, dat. degi/dag/dagi(Thom¹ 332¹‡n.); -ar): day < dagstjarna (noun f.): °day-star, morning star; of the brightest star in the constellation Boötes); prob. of the planet Venus)

[2] sanna dagstjörnu: samað at stjörnu 738ˣ

notes

[2] sanna dagstjörnu ‘true day-star’: cf. Rev. XXII.16: stella splendida et matitutina ‘the bright and morning star’. Lange 1958a, 188, 243-5 discusses the possibility of sun-worship among early Icel. settlers; see also Amory 1985, 5-8; 1990, 255-6 for extensive discussion of the sol salutis ‘the sun of salvation’ and the sol iustitiae ‘the sun of justice’ in Carolingian and later theology.

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stjörnu ‘star’

stjarna (noun f.; °*-u; *-ur): star < dagstjarna (noun f.): °day-star, morning star; of the brightest star in the constellation Boötes); prob. of the planet Venus)

[2] sanna dagstjörnu: samað at stjörnu 738ˣ

notes

[2] sanna dagstjörnu ‘true day-star’: cf. Rev. XXII.16: stella splendida et matitutina ‘the bright and morning star’. Lange 1958a, 188, 243-5 discusses the possibility of sun-worship among early Icel. settlers; see also Amory 1985, 5-8; 1990, 255-6 for extensive discussion of the sol salutis ‘the sun of salvation’ and the sol iustitiae ‘the sun of justice’ in Carolingian and later theology.

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drjúpa ‘bow down’

drúpa (verb; °-pð-): droop

[3] drjúpa: drúpa 2797ˣ

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dyn ‘the noisy’

dynr (noun m.; °dat. -; -ir): din < dynheimr (noun m.)

[3] dynheimum í: so 738ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, ‘dimheimuṁ i’ or ‘dinheimum i’ 166bˣ, ‘dyrheimum i’ papp15ˣ, ‘i dynheimum’ 214ˣ

notes

[3] dynheimum (dat. pl.) ‘noisy world’: As in 738ˣ, and a large number of other mss, pl. is taken for sg. here. 166bˣ’s common mark of abbreviation could be read as giving din- (dyn- ‘noise’) or dim- (dimm- ‘dark’) heimum ‘dark world’, and both are plausible readings in context. Falk, Skj B and Skald have dynheimum. Dýrheimum ‘precious world’, found in papp15ˣ and 7 other mss is also an attractive reading.

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heimum ‘world’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world < dynheimr (noun m.)

[3] dynheimum í: so 738ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, ‘dimheimuṁ i’ or ‘dinheimum i’ 166bˣ, ‘dyrheimum i’ papp15ˣ, ‘i dynheimum’ 214ˣ

notes

[3] dynheimum (dat. pl.) ‘noisy world’: As in 738ˣ, and a large number of other mss, pl. is taken for sg. here. 166bˣ’s common mark of abbreviation could be read as giving din- (dyn- ‘noise’) or dim- (dimm- ‘dark’) heimum ‘dark world’, and both are plausible readings in context. Falk, Skj B and Skald have dynheimum. Dýrheimum ‘precious world’, found in papp15ˣ and 7 other mss is also an attractive reading.

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[3] dynheimum í: so 738ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, ‘dimheimuṁ i’ or ‘dinheimum i’ 166bˣ, ‘dyrheimum i’ papp15ˣ, ‘i dynheimum’ 214ˣ

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heljar ‘of Hell’

1. hel (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -ju): death, Hel, hell

[4] heljar grind: so 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, helgrind 166bˣ, heljar grund papp15ˣ

notes

[4] heljar grind ‘gate of Hell’: Two late mss, 10575ˣ and 2797ˣ, have this reading, which produces a metrically regular fornyrðislag l., whereas the cpd helgrind, the reading of 166bˣ, 738ˣ, and a significant number of other mss gives a kviðuháttr l. Papp15ˣ reads heljar grund ‘the abyss of Hell’, as do 13 other mss; this is also metrically acceptable, and roaring might be more likely from an abyss than a gate. However the gates of death (portae mortis) are referred to in Job XXXVIII.17, Psalm IX.15 and the gates of Hell (portae inferi) in Matt. XVI.18. The image is also present in a pagan context, cf. nágrindr ‘corpse-gate’ Skí 35/3, Lok 63/6 and helgrindr ‘Hell-gate’ SnE 1982, 9, 47.

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grind ‘the gate’

grind (noun f.): gate, pen

[4] heljar grind: so 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, helgrind 166bˣ, heljar grund papp15ˣ

notes

[4] heljar grind ‘gate of Hell’: Two late mss, 10575ˣ and 2797ˣ, have this reading, which produces a metrically regular fornyrðislag l., whereas the cpd helgrind, the reading of 166bˣ, 738ˣ, and a significant number of other mss gives a kviðuháttr l. Papp15ˣ reads heljar grund ‘the abyss of Hell’, as do 13 other mss; this is also metrically acceptable, and roaring might be more likely from an abyss than a gate. However the gates of death (portae mortis) are referred to in Job XXXVIII.17, Psalm IX.15 and the gates of Hell (portae inferi) in Matt. XVI.18. The image is also present in a pagan context, cf. nágrindr ‘corpse-gate’ Skí 35/3, Lok 63/6 and helgrindr ‘Hell-gate’ SnE 1982, 9, 47.

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heyrða ‘heard’

2. heyra (verb): hear

[5] heyrða: so papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, ‘hedi’ 166bˣ, heyrði 214ˣ

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annan ‘the other’

1. annarr (pron.; °f. ǫnnur, n. annat; pl. aðrir): (an)other, second

[5] annan: á annan papp15ˣ, 2797ˣ

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þjóta ‘roaring’

þjóta (verb): roar

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þungliga ‘weightily’

þungliga (adv.): heavily

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

This st. is the first of a series of anaphoric sts (39-45), beginning Sól ek sá ‘I saw the sun’. The significance of the sun in these sts is disputed: Falk 1914, 22 interprets it as symbolising Christ; Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 42 sees it as the actual sun, seen with the narrator’s dying eyes. Paasche 1948, 181 argues that the sun is to be interpreted on both naturalistic and symbolic levels, an argument broadly endorsed by Fidjestøl 1979, 46.

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