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Runic Dictionary

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Kálfr Hallsson (Kálf)

14th century; volume 7; ed. Kirsten Wolf;

Kátrínardrápa (Kátr) - 51

The name of the poet of Kátrínardrápa can be deduced from sts 1, 49 and 51 as Kálfr Hallsson (Kálfr would have been Kálfur in C14th). In st. 1/8 he describes himself as ‘the son of Hallur’ (arfi Halls) and at the end of the poem gives his name in both Icelandic (Kálfr [= ‘calf’] 49/1) and Lat. (Vitulus [= Kálfur] 51/3) and says he is now a monk (frater, st. 51/4). The implication of sts 45-51 is that Kálfr had previously led a sinful secular life, but this may be stereotypical self-deprecation. The Lat. phrase Vítulus vátes ‘the poet Kálfr’ by which the poet refers to himself in st. 51/3-4 also appears in Völsungs rímur hins óborna and this has led some scholars to propose that Kálfr Hallsson was the author of both poems (see Note to st. 51). Nothing is known of Kálfr’s monastic affiliation nor his precise dates, though the mid-C14th seems a likely floruit (Vésteinn Ólason 1993, 316).

Kátrínardrápa (‘Drápa about S. Catherine’) — Kálf KátrVII

Kirsten Wolf 2007, ‘ Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 931-64. <> (accessed 4 December 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51 

Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa (AII, 516-26, BII, 569-82)

SkP info: VII, 939

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

12 — Kálf Kátr 12VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 939.

‘Einráðið hefi eg, orðum þínum
ekki trúi eg nie mínir rekkar’;
þannig mælti hvítra hjalta
hristir reiðr við fljóðið kristið.
Fimm tigu valdi fróðra hölda
fannar lófa spekt prófa
eigandi við ambátt fræga
eingla dýrðar þeingils.


I have resolved that neither I nor my men will believe your words’; thus spoke {the angry shaker of shining hilts} [WARRIOR] to the Christian woman. {The owner {of the snowdrift of the palm}} [SILVER > MAN] chose fifty wise men to compete in wisdom with {the famous handmaid {of the king of the glory of angels}}. [= God (= Christ) > HOLY WOMAN]

notes: [5-8]: In the prose saga, the emperor orders fifty of his wisest men to debate (at disputa) with Catherine and overcome her with eloquence and the truth of their books (med orðsnilld ok sannleik boka sinna) (Unger 1877, I, 405; cf. Wolf 2003, 128).

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 12 (AII, 519; BII, 572); Skald II, 314, NN §§2958D, 2959, 2960, Kahle 1898, 69, 106, Sperber 1911, 45-6, 79-80.


AM 713 4° (713) 130 - 130  transcr.  image  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) 7 - 7  
AM 920 4°x (920x) 214r - 214v  image  
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