mansöngr (ON) noun

Literally ‘maiden-song’. The first element man is thought to be an old word for a maid or female servant similar to an ambátt (see ambat). There is some disagreement among scholars over what constitutes a mansöngr, but from the context of Grg Misc 238 it has been interpreted by many as defamatory love poetry or erotic libel. This specifically legal usage of obscene love poetry has been identified in certain literary texts, such as Vatnsdæla saga and Jóns saga helga. Others have interpreted mansöngr more broadly as love poetry inspired by French troubadour literature and German Minnesang, and it is in this context that they appear in late medieval Icelandic rímur.

love-verse OIce Grg Misc 238 Refs:

Bjarni Einarsson 2003; CV s.v. mansöngr; Fritzner s.v. mansöngr; GAO s.v. Liebesdichtung; KLNM s.v. kjærlighetsdiktning; Marold 2007

  • ‘mansöngr’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.