The 'Canterbury Charm'?
[See below for updates]
Help! I have to do a TV taping tomorrow in New York, and the producers just provided me with a gigantic list of questions they want to ask. One set of the questions is about "The Canterbury Charm," which supposedly mentions Thor.
The problem: I know nothing about "The Canterbury Charm." I did some research, and I can find almost nothing. So I plead with my readers to help me.
Here's what I have figured out:
Wikipedia thinks there is such a thing as the Canterbury Charm and other, possibly questionable sites say:
171. Canterbury Charm:
kuril sarþuara far þu nu funtin is tu þur uigi þik þ(u)rsa trutin kuril sarþuara uiþr aþrauari
Kuril wound-causer, go now, you are found. Thor hallow you, Lord of Troll, Kuril wound-causer. Againstblood-vessel pus.
Since Thor hallows with his hammer, the ‘Thor hallow you’ must be understood as ‘Thor strike you with hishammer!’, which makes sense in this curse against a sickness.
Supposedly the charm is found in the margin of a 1073 manuscript. Another site says it is in Cotton Caligula A.xv., which indeed dates in part to 1073.
There is no mention in Ker's Catalogue of such a charm.
Searching on the strings of words in the DOE corpus produces nothing (trying sar Taura, sarTaura, funtin, trutin, etc.)
The charm is supposedly written in runes, but there is no mention of it that I can find in Ray Page's An Introduction to English Runes
These problems could be explained if the charm is considered Old Norse. C.f., the inscription on the Glavendrup stone, "þor uiki þasi runar" (Thor bless these runes). But there is no mention of it in Heather O'Donoghue's excellent intro to Old Norse/Icelandic, and it's not familiar to my go-to person on charms, magic and medicine in Anglo-Saxon England, either.
Guillame Schiltz presented a paper at ISAS in 2003 in Arizona on the charm (The Canterbury Charm: Evidence for Mutual Exchange During Conversion?), and later there was this publication:
Schiltz, G. (2004) Der Canterburyspruch oder "wie finden dänische Runen und englische Komputistik zusammen?" Ein Beitrag zur historischen Textlinguistik. In: Th. Honegger (ed.): 'Riddles, Knights and Cross-dressing Saints: Essays on Medieval English Language and Literature' (Collection Variations). Bern: Lang, p.115-138.
I don't have a copy of Stanley's The Search for Anglo-Saxon Paganism anywhere close, so I can't check if he mentions it.
So, dear readers, so much better informed than I am:
Does anyone know the full context of the charm?
Is the use of "Thor" an example of a Scandinavian deity being invoked in an A-S manuscript?
Why isn't the Canterbury charm in the OE corpus?
[UPDATE: See John Cowan's comments below, which pretty much answer most of my questions. Far better internet search skills than I possess. And K.A. Laity via Scott Nokes sent this link, where Alaric Hall mentions it on page 4. So the charm is legit. and not just something that got dumped into Wikipedia.
I conclude that the charm isn't in Ker or Page or the DOE corpus because it is Old Norse (I guess it says something about my glacially improving ON that I just read the charm and it didn't really register what language it was in), and that it really does say something about Thor. That will have to do for the crazy TV shoot tomorrow. Thank you all!!]