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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 30 November 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, 941

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

15 — Kálf Kátr 15VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 15’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 941.

Vitrir báðu vella Þrúði
vargfæðendur þá að bjarga
sál og önd við svælum fjanda:
‘sætt* oss við guð Jákóbs ættar’.
Kátrín tjáði Krists fyr lýðum
kraftaverk og dýrðir sterkar;
eigendr tóku iðran fagra
öglis túns af dæmum fögrum.

{Vitrir vargfæðendur} báðu {Þrúði vella} þá að bjarga sál og önd við fjanda svælum: ‘sætt* oss við guð Jákóbs ættar’. Kátrín tjáði fyr lýðum Krists kraftaverk og sterkar dýrðir; {eigendr {öglis túns}} tóku fagra iðran af fögrum dæmum.

{The wise wolf-feeders} [WARRIORS] asked {the Þrúðr <goddess> of gold} [WOMAN] then to save their souls and spirits from the devil’s smoke: ‘reconcile us with the god of Jacob’s tribe’. Catherine explained to the people Christ’s miracles and strong glories; {the owners {of the snake’s dwelling}} [GOLD > MEN] made a beautiful repentance as a result of the beautiful examples.

Mss: 713(130), 399a-bˣ(9), 920ˣ(214v)

Readings: [2] þá: so 920ˣ, þeim 713, 399a‑bˣ    [4] sætt*: sættu all    [8] túns: so 399a‑bˣ, tún 713, túna 920ˣ

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 15: AII, 519, BII, 573, Skald II 315, NN §§2958B, 2962, Kahle 1898, 70, 107, Sperber 1911, 46, 80.

Notes: [8] eigendr öglis túns ‘owners of the snake’s dwelling [GOLD > MEN]’: see Note to st. 14/3-4. — [8] túns (n. gen. sg.) ‘dwelling’: Sperber emends to túna (n. gen. pl.) ‘dwellings’ with reference to st. 45/7.

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