Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa, 56 [Vol. 7, 926-7]

[All]: S. Scholastica was the sister of S. Benedict of Nursia, and is said to have established a convent at Plombariola, a short distance from her brother’s foundation of Monte Cassino. The story referred to here in ll. 5-8 was told in Gregory the Great’s Dialogues, a work translated into Icel. in the late C12th, though now preserved only in fragments (Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 311). It relates that brother and sister used to meet once a year at a house near the monastery. On the last of these occasions, Scholastica wanted her brother to stay the night so they could go on talking, but he would not. Scholastica began to pray and soon such a fierce storm arose that Benedict was unable to leave. Three days later she died. There were several Benedictine houses in Iceland which might have been specially interested in this legend, including Þingeyrar (founded 1133), Munkaþverá (founded 1155), Viðey (1344-52) and Hítardalr (1166-1202), and the convents of Kirkjubær (founded 1186) and Staður on Reynisnes (founded 1296). See further Cormack 1994, 84.


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