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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 14VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 14’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 153-4.

Anonymous PoemsLeiðarvísan
131415

skóp ‘created’

2. skapa (verb): form

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sunnudag ‘on a Sunday’

sunnudagr (noun m.): Sunday

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siklingr ‘the king’

siklingr (noun m.; °; -ar): king, ruler

kennings

siklingr himinríkis
‘the king of the heaven-kingdom ’
   = God

the king of the heaven-kingdom → God
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himin ‘of the heaven’

himinn (noun m.; °himins, dat. himni; himnar): heaven, sky < himinríki (noun n.): Heaven

kennings

siklingr himinríkis
‘the king of the heaven-kingdom ’
   = God

the king of the heaven-kingdom → God
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ríkis ‘kingdom’

ríki (noun n.; °-s; -): kingdom, power < himinríki (noun n.): Heaven

kennings

siklingr himinríkis
‘the king of the heaven-kingdom ’
   = God

the king of the heaven-kingdom → God
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heim ‘world’

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

[5] heimstýrir: heimstýris B, 624

kennings

heppinn heimstýrir
‘the fortunate world-ruler ’
   = God

the fortunate world-ruler → God
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stýrir ‘ruler’

stýrir (noun m.): ruler, controller < heimstýrir (noun m.)

[5] heimstýrir: heimstýris B, 624

kennings

heppinn heimstýrir
‘the fortunate world-ruler ’
   = God

the fortunate world-ruler → God
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harra ‘of lords’

1. harri (noun m.; °-a): lord

[5] harra: ‘harre’ B, 624

kennings

dróttinn harra,
‘the lord of lords, ’
   = God

the lord of lords, → God
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heppinn ‘the fortunate’

heppinn (adj.; °comp. heppnari, superl. heppnastr): fortunate

kennings

heppinn heimstýrir
‘the fortunate world-ruler ’
   = God

the fortunate world-ruler → God
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skóp ‘brought’

2. skapa (verb): form

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dróttinn ‘the lord’

dróttinn (noun m.; °dróttins, dat. dróttni (drottini [$1049$]); dróttnar): lord, master

kennings

dróttinn harra,
‘the lord of lords, ’
   = God

the lord of lords, → God
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

St. 14 begins the stefjabalkr, in which the poet enumerates a number of significant events in Christian history that took place on a Sunday. Sts 14-16 deal with events from the Book of Genesis. — [5-8]: Sveinbjörn Egilson offers an alternative interpretation in a marginal note to Jón Sigurðsson’s transcription of the 624 text in 444(2)ˣ. He retains B’s readings heimstýris harri in l. 5, taking heimstýrir ‘steerer of the world’ as a kenning for the sun, whose harri m. ‘lord, king’ is God. He construes ok þá’s heppinn harri heimstýris skóp skepnu, setti dýrðarmildr dróttinn þann dag til hvílðar ‘and when the fortunate lord of the steerer of the world [SUN > = God] created the race of men, the glory-generous lord established that day as a time of rest’. This makes for a neat, balanced arrangement, in which the two couplets make independent sense. However, the sun is not generally, in Leið or the other C12th drápur, designated by a cpd, figurative expression, but is invariably the prosaic element in kennings for both heaven and God, rendered by sunna, sól or rǫðull. Stýrir appears elsewhere in Leið only in expressions for God (see 3/5, 27/2, 21/3). It therefore seems unlikely that Leið would adopt such a different technique only here as Sveinbjörn’s interpretation would require. Here ms. ‘harre’ has been emended to harra ‘of lords’ to produce a God-kenning; cf. Geisl 25/7-8 dyrr lét dróttinn harra | dáðmilds. — [5-8]: God’s establishment of Sunday as a day of rest is recorded in Gen. II.2: conplevitque Deus die septimo opus suum quod fecerat et requievit die septimo ab universo opere quod patrarat ‘and on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done’. — [5-6]: These ll. are echoed in 21/3-4: heims stýrandinn hár*i | hallar skepnu allri.

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