Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Heilagra manna drápa, 15 [Vol. 7, 883]

[All]: Stanzas 15-19 concern S. Blaise (Blasius, bishop of Sebastea in Armenia, c. C4th), a martyr popular in Medieval Europe and in Iceland, who was attributed with miracle-working powers, particularly in respect of diseased animals and humans, on account of some of the miracles ascribed to him. He was regarded as particularly effective in curing afflictions of the throat (see st. 15/8 and Cormack 1994, 68). Cormack (1994, 85) surmises that the cult of Blaise in Iceland may have been stimulated by pilgrims to the monastery of Reichenau, of which he was patron, and by the dedication to him (along with S. Giles) of an altar in the crypt of Lund Cathedral in 1131. Blasíus saga appears to have been translated first into Norw.; a fragment from c. 1150 is extant and there is another, Icel. fragment, based on this translation, from C13th (Unger 1877, I, 256-71; Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 303; Foote 1962, 23). In Iceland, the cult of Blaise seems to have been confined to the south-western part of the island.


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