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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 62VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 62’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 633-4.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

Hvað er tíðinda? Hraktr er fjandinn.
Hverr vann sigrinn? Skapari manna.
Hvað er tíðinda? Helgir leiðaz.
Hvert? Ágætir í tígnarsæti.
Hvað er tíðinda? Hjálpaz lýðir.
Hví nú? Því liet Jésús pínaz.
Hvað er tíðinda? Himnar bjóðaz.
Hverjum? Oss, vier prísum krossinn.

Hvað er tíðinda? Fjandinn er hraktr. Hverr vann sigrinn? {Skapari manna}. Hvað er tíðinda? Helgir leiðaz. Hvert? Ágætir, í tígnarsæti. Hvað er tíðinda? Lýðir hjálpaz. Hví nú? Því Jésús liet pínaz. Hvað er tíðinda? Himnar bjóðaz. Hverjum? Oss, vier prísum krossinn.

What is the news? The enemy is vanquished. Who won the victory? {The Creator of men} [= God (= Christ)]. What is the news? The holy are led. Where? Distinguished ones, to a seat of honour. What is the news? People are saved. Why now? Because Jesus caused himself to be tormented. What is the news? The heavens are offered. To whom? To us — we praise the Cross.

Mss: Bb(115va), 99a(12v), 622(34), 713(11), Vb(252), 41 8°ˣ(125), 705ˣ(15v-16r), 4892(34v-35r)

Readings: [1] Hraktr er fjandinn: hjalpaz lýðir 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [2] Hverr vann sigrinn Skapari manna: Hví nú því? Liet Jésús pínaz 99a, 705ˣ, Því að liet nú Jésús pínaz 622, Eða hví liet nú Jésús pínaz 713, Hví nú? Því að Jésús píniz Vb, 41 8°ˣ, Ok hví liet nú Jésús pínaz 4892    [3] Hvað er tíðinda: om. 713;    Helgir leiðaz: Hraktr er fjandinn 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 705ˣ, 4892, Hraktr er fjandi 41 8°ˣ    [4] Hvert Ágætir í tígnarsæti: Hverr vann sigr? Skapari manna 99a, 705ˣ, Hverr vann sigr nema hjálpari manna? 622, 713, Hverr vann sigrinn? Skaparinn manna Vb, Hverr vann sigr? Skaparinn manna 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [5] Hvað: Það 622;    Hjálpaz lýðir: Helgir leiðaz 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [6] Hví Því liet Jésús pínaz: Hverr er ágætr í tígnarsæti 99a, 705ˣ, Hvítir ágætir í tígnarsæti 622, Hverr ágætir í tígnarsæti 713, Hvert? Ágæt í tígnarsæti Vb, 4892, Hvert? Í ágæt tígnarsæti 41 8°ˣ    [7] Hvað: það 622;    er: so 99a, 713, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892, om. Bb, Vb;    tíðinda: tíðinda er Vb    [8] Hverjum: Öllum 622;    vier: er 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    prísum: tígnum 622, prísum og 41 8°ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 383, Skj BII, 406, Skald II, 222.

Notes: [All]: The ms. tradition shows confusion about the order of the sequence of the ll. The alternating pattern of anaphora (hvað : hver-) suggests that Bb is the best of the surviving versions. — [All]: This st. uses the skaldic figures of sextánmælt ‘sixteen times spoken’, in which a st. contains sixteen separate utterances, and greppaminni ‘poets’ reminder’, a series of questions and answers (see SnSt Ht 9, 40III). Greppaminni resembles the Lat. rhetorical figures of ratiocinatio (reasoning with oneself by asking questions; see Lausberg 1998, §371) and erothema (asking rhetorical questions). See the definition and examples of erotema in FoGT (SnE 1848-87, II, 248). The repetition of initial phrases corresponds to the Lat. figure anaphora. The copious literature on the use of these figures in this st. and the possible relationship to Lat. rhetoric includes Helgi Sigurðarsson 1891, 71; Jón Helgason and Holtsmark 1941, 125-7; Laugesen 1966, 297; Vésteinn Ólason 1969; Foote 1982, 114-17; SnE 1999, 20, 61-2, 74-5. — [3-4]: Cf. Líkn 24/6-7. — [3] leiðaz ‘are led’: In MIcel. the reflexive form of leiða means ‘to walk hand in hand’. Niðrst tells that God reached out his hand to the saints (þa reti guþ hønd sina) and took Adam in his right hand (toc dominus i hønd ena høgre Adams) to lead them into paradise (Niðrst1, 7). — [4] ágætir ‘distinguished’: The meaning of the word is somewhat loose: ONP defines ‘excellent, outstanding, known, famous’. It appears commonly as a complimentary form of address or as a stock description of an important person. It is used here as a substantive: the distinguished and holy saints are led to a seat of honour. — [4] tígnarsæti ‘seat of honour’: In Stjórn, it is the word used for Solomon’s throne (Unger 1862, 551, 561); Oddur Gottskálksson (Sigurður Nordal 1933) uses it to translate cathedras in synagogis (‘high seats in synagogues’, Luke XI.43, XX.46). He uses the analogous tignarstóll for sedes maiestatis (Matt. XIX.28) or sedes magnitudinis (Heb. VIII.1), the ‘seat of majesty’, from which Christ will judge the world.


  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Unger, C. R., ed. 1862. Stjorn. Gammelnorsk bibelhistorie fra verdens skabelse til det babyloniske fangenskab. Christiania (Oslo): Feilberg og Landmarks forlag.
  5. Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1933. Hið Nya Testament 1540: Oddur Gottskálksson’s Translation of the New Testament (Roskilde, Hans Barth, 1540). Monumenta typographica Islandica 1. Facsimile edn. Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard.
  6. Foote, Peter G. 1982. ‘Latin Rhetoric and Icelandic Poetry: Some Contacts’. Saga och sed, 107-27. Rpt. in Foote 1984a, 249-70.
  7. ONP = Degnbol, Helle et al., eds. 1989-. A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose / Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog. 1-. Copenhagen: The Arnamagnæan Commission.
  8. Jón Helgason and Anne Holtsmark, eds. 1941. Háttalykill enn forni. BA 1. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  9. Laugesen, Anker Teilgård. 1966. Middelalderlitteraturen: en orientering. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  10. Lausberg, Heinrich. 1998. Handbook of Literary Rhetoric: A Foundation for Literary Study. Trans. Matthew T. Bliss, Annemiek Jansen and David E. Orton. Ed. David E. Orton and R. Dean Anderson. Leiden: Brill.
  11. SnE 1999 = Snorri Sturluson. 1999. Edda: Háttatal. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. Rpt. with addenda and corrigenda. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  12. Internal references
  13. Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘The Fourth Grammatical Treatise’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  14. 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.
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 9’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1114.
  16. Not published: do not cite ()

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