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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 22VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 92-3.

Gamli kanókiHarmsól
212223

tók ‘began’

2. taka (verb): take

[1] tók þannig: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘t[...]k þ[...]neg’ B

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þannig ‘thus’

þannig (adv.): thus, there, that way

[1] tók þannig: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘t[...]k þ[...]neg’ B

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þrif ‘of well-being’

þrif (noun n.; °; -): prosperity < þrifvaldr (noun m.)

kennings

gǫfugr þrifvaldr:
‘noble promoter of well-being: ’
   = God

noble promoter of well-being: → God
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valdr ‘promoter’

valdr (noun m.): ruler < þrifvaldr (noun m.)

kennings

gǫfugr þrifvaldr:
‘noble promoter of well-being: ’
   = God

noble promoter of well-being: → God
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gǫfugr ‘noble’

gǫfugr (adj.; °gǫfgan/gǫfugan; compar. gǫfgari/gǫfugri, superl. gǫfgastr/gǫfugstr/gǫfugastr): noble, glorious

kennings

gǫfugr þrifvaldr:
‘noble promoter of well-being: ’
   = God

noble promoter of well-being: → God
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aldar ‘of men’

ǫld (noun f.; °; aldir): people, age

kennings

gram aldar,
‘the prince of men, ’
   = God

the prince of men, → God
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ófs ‘excessively’

ófs (adv.): excessively

notes

[3] ófs ‘excessively’: Kock (NN §1192) suggests that the manuscript reading ófs, which he takes to be an intensifying adverbial expression meaning ‘excessively’, is preferable to ofs, which was suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson in a note to 444ˣ, and was adopted by Skj B. LP lists no other occurrence of ofs, which is glossed overmodig ‘arrogant’, as it is in Skj B, though the form is common in MIcel. The intensifier ófs is found also in Has 9/7, and is the preferred reading here.

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gram ‘the prince’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

kennings

gram aldar,
‘the prince of men, ’
   = God

the prince of men, → God
Close

ins ‘of the’

2. inn (art.): the

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eina ‘one’

2. einn (pron.; °decl. cf. einn num.): one, alone

[5] eina: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘e[...]a’ B

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alls ‘since’

allr (adj.): all

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kallask ‘call yourself’

kalla (verb): call

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stíg ‘step’

stíga (verb): step

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

The story of the two thieves, one repentant, the other not, is found only in S. Luke’s Gospel (XXIII.39-43). The other synoptic gospels state baldly that both thieves joined the bystanders in mocking Christ (cf. Matt. XXVII.44, Mark XV.32). Gamli appears to be conflating the thief’s words si tu es Christus salvum fac temet ipsum et nos ‘if thou be Christ, save thyself and us’ (Luke XXIII.39) with the more specific jibes of the bystanders: si Filius Dei es descende de cruce ‘if thou be the Son of God, come down from the Cross’ (Matt. XXVII.40; cf. Matt. XXVII.42, Mark XV.30). The effect is to heighten the dramatic irony of the taunt.

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