Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv I 4VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur I 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 681-2.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur I

Áðr var eiginbrúðar
andaðr í því landi
(átti hun eina dóttur)
unnandi (vel kunna).
Hennar bað með heiðri
heiðursmaðr, og greiðiz
mundrinn; fyldiz frændum
frægð, en tókuz mægðir.

Áðr var unnandi eiginbrúðar andaðr í því landi; hun átti eina dóttur, vel kunna. Heiðursmaðr bað hennar með heiðri, og mundrinn greiðiz; frægð fyldiz frændum, en mægðir tókuz.

Earlier the husband [lit. lover] of the wife had died in that land; she had one daughter, well accomplished. A man of honour asked for her hand with honour, and the dowry is paid; fame was achieved for the relatives, and the kinship by marriage was established.

Mss: 721(12v)

Readings: [1] eigin‑: ægir 721

Editions: Skj AII, 488, Skj BII, 526-7, Skald II, 289; Kahle 1898, 32, 97, Sperber 1911, 2, 56, Wrightson 2001, 41.

Notes: [1, 4] unnandi eiginbrúðar ‘the husband [lit. lover] of the wife’: I.e. ‘husband’. The ms. reading ægir (m. nom. sg.) ‘terror’ or ‘ocean’ (l. 1), makes no sense in this context and must be a scribal error. Sperber suggests ægir auðs brúðar ‘the terror of wealth of the woman’ i.e. ‘the man of the woman’. Skj B emends to eiginn unnandi brúðar, lit. ‘the own lover of the wife’. The present reading follows Skald, and the word eiginbrúðr ‘wife’ also occurs in Anon Pl 17/7. See also Note to Vitn 13/5-8. — [3] hun ‘she’: The pron. is extrametrical. — [8] mægðir ‘kinship by marriage’: Lit. ‘relationships’. Mægð means ‘relationship brought about by marriage’, here looking forward to that between the woman and her son-in-law.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  5. Wrightson, Kellinde, ed. 2001. Fourteenth-Century Icelandic Verse on the Virgin Mary: Drápa af Maríugrát, Vitnisvísur af Maríu, Maríuvísur I-III. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 14. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. Internal references
  8. Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 17’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 192-3.
  9. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu 13’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 749.

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