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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 38VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 38’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 273.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
373839

Snjallr ‘power’

snjallr (adj.): quick, resourceful, bold

notes

[1] snjallr ‘powerful, valiant’: Perhaps striving for equality in adj. distribution, Skj B, followed by Skald, emends to gen. snjalls to modify himinstýris ‘heaven’s ruler’ (l. 4), but this is unnecessary.

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öllum ‘over all’

allr (adj.): all

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síðan ‘afterwards’

síðan (adv.): later, then

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himin ‘of heaven’s’

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

kennings

himinstýris.
‘of heaven’s ruler. ’
   = God

heaven’s ruler. → God

notes

[4] himinstýris ‘of heaven’s ruler [= God (= Christ)]’: The kenning occurs elsewhere only in Mdr 40/4, where dýr- and stýr- are again rhymed.

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stýris ‘ruler’

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

kennings

himinstýris.
‘of heaven’s ruler. ’
   = God

heaven’s ruler. → God

notes

[4] himinstýris ‘of heaven’s ruler [= God (= Christ)]’: The kenning occurs elsewhere only in Mdr 40/4, where dýr- and stýr- are again rhymed.

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Leggr ‘flees’

leggja (verb): put, lay

notes

[5] leggr undan ... á flótta ‘flees’: Skj B construes undan as prep. with krapti, i.e. ‘under [your] power’, but LP (1860): leggja, translates leggja undan (adv.) á flótta simply as ‘to flee’. The verbal phrase combines leggja undan (e.g. GunnLeif Merl I 18/8VIII) and leggja á flótta (e.g. Geisl 29/5-6), both of which mean ‘to flee’.

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andskota ‘The devil’s’

andskoti (noun m.; °-a; -ar): enemy, devil

notes

[5] andskota ‘the devil’s’: Lit. ‘counter-shooter’; although the noun occurs frequently in the general sense ‘enemy’, it occurs in skaldic poetry only here and in Jón Lv 1/3IV in its theological sense (common in prose) ‘the devil’.

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undan ‘’

undan (adv.): away, away from

notes

[5] leggr undan ... á flótta ‘flees’: Skj B construes undan as prep. with krapti, i.e. ‘under [your] power’, but LP (1860): leggja, translates leggja undan (adv.) á flótta simply as ‘to flee’. The verbal phrase combines leggja undan (e.g. GunnLeif Merl I 18/8VIII) and leggja á flótta (e.g. Geisl 29/5-6), both of which mean ‘to flee’.

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opt ‘often’

opt (adv.): often

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á ‘’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[5] leggr undan ... á flótta ‘flees’: Skj B construes undan as prep. with krapti, i.e. ‘under [your] power’, but LP (1860): leggja, translates leggja undan (adv.) á flótta simply as ‘to flee’. The verbal phrase combines leggja undan (e.g. GunnLeif Merl I 18/8VIII) and leggja á flótta (e.g. Geisl 29/5-6), both of which mean ‘to flee’.

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flótta ‘’

flótti (noun m.): flight, fleeing

notes

[5] leggr undan ... á flótta ‘flees’: Skj B construes undan as prep. with krapti, i.e. ‘under [your] power’, but LP (1860): leggja, translates leggja undan (adv.) á flótta simply as ‘to flee’. The verbal phrase combines leggja undan (e.g. GunnLeif Merl I 18/8VIII) and leggja á flótta (e.g. Geisl 29/5-6), both of which mean ‘to flee’.

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Sts 38-41 (especially 39-40) appear to be based largely on a list of virtues and powers of the Cross in the Icel. homily De sancta cruce (HómÍsl 1993, 18r; HómÍsl 1872, 39; cf. HómNo, 105), beginning with fyr crosse drotteɴs fløia dioflar. hræþesc helvite ‘devils flee before the Cross of the Lord; hell is afraid’. The devils’ fear of, or flight from, the Cross (or its sign) is a common motif. See, e.g., Pseudo-Augustine, Sermo 247 (Auctor incertus [Augustinus Hipponensis?], col. 2203) Hoc signo daemones fugantur ‘At this sign demons are put to flight’, and, from hymns, O crux praeclara, / quam impia / tremunt tartara ‘O famous Cross, which the ungodly, infernal regions fear’ (AH 9, 25); the idea occurs also in the late medieval Icel. Gimsteinn 113/8 enn giædi hans [i.e. krossins] munu dioflaʀ hrædazt ‘but devils will fear its [the Cross’s] virtue’ (ÍM I.2, 329; cf. Máríublóm 18/5-6, ÍM I.2, 176).

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