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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

Þjófr annarr tók þannig,
þrifvaldr gǫfugr, aldar
— sôl vas hans ófs ok ælig
ósæl — við gram mæla:
‘Nú sýn afl, ins eina
alls þú guðs sonr kallask,
ok með ǫflgu ríki,
oss, stíg niðr af krossi!’

Annarr þjófr — sôl hans vas ófs ósæl ok ælig — tók mæla þannig við {gram aldar}, {gǫfugr þrifvaldr}: ‘Nú sýn oss afl, alls þú kallask sonr ins eina guðs, ok stíg niðr af krossi með ǫflgu ríki!’

One thief — his soul was excessively wretched and vile — began to speak thus to {the prince of men} [= God (= Christ)], {noble promoter of well-being} [= God (= Christ)]: ‘Now show us your might, since you call yourself the son of the one God, and step down from the Cross with your mighty power!’

Mss: B(12v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] tók þannig: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘t[...]k þ[...]neg’ B    [5] eina: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘e[...]a’ B    [6] sonr: son B

Editions: Skj AI, 565, Skj BI, 555, Skald I, 268, NN §1192; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 20, Kempff 1867, 7, Rydberg 1907, 24, Black 1971, 196, Attwood 1996a, 227.

Notes: [All]: 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. — [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.

References

  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  7. Black, Elizabeth L. 1971. ‘Harmsól: an edition’. B. Litt. thesis. University of Oxford.
  8. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Kempff, Hjalmar, ed. 1867. Kaniken Gamles ‘Harmsól’ (Sol i Sorgen): isländskt andligt qväde från medeltiden med öfversättning och förklaringar. Uppsala: Edquist & Berglund.
  10. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  11. Internal references
  12. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 9’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 81-2.
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