This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

login: password: stay logged in: help

Níkulás Bergsson (Ník)

12th century; volume 7; ed. Beatrice La Farge;

Jónsdrápa postula (Jóndr) - 3

Modern scholars consider the Icelandic Benedictine monk Níkulás Bergsson (d. 1159 or 1160) to be the ‘Abbot Nikulás’ who wrote Leiðarvísir (‘Guide pointing out the way’), a guidebook for pilgrims about the routes from Northern Europe to Rome and Jerusalem (Hill 1993a, 390). Níkulás became the abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Þverá (Munkaþverá, founded 1155) in Northern Iceland (Eyjafjörður).

Jónsdrápa postula (‘Drápa about the Apostle John’) — Ník JóndrVII

Beatrice La Farge 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Níkulás Bergsson, Jónsdrápa postula’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 66-9.

stanzas:  1   2   3 

Skj: Níkulás Bergsson: 1. Jóansdrápa postola (AI, 560, BI, 546-7)

SkP info: VII, 68-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Ník Jóndr 3VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2007, ‘Níkulás Bergsson, Jónsdrápa postula 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 68-9.

Sjalfr unni þér sinna
snjallr postola allra
sal deilandi sólar
siklingr framast miklu.
Hátt gengr vegr, s veitir
vagnbryggju þér tyggi;
Jón, est hreinstr und háva
hjarlborg skapaðr karla.


The wise Lord himself, sharing out {the hall of the sun}, [SKY/HEAVEN] loved you by far the most of all his Apostles. The honour which {the ruler {of the wagon-bridge}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] grants to you rises high; John, you are created the most pure of men under {the high earth-castle}. [SKY/HEAVEN]

context: In Jón4 this st. is introduced with the remark: I þriði stað segir hann sva blezaðr af sama sętleik elskunnar ‘In third place [in the poem] it says that he [John] was thus blessed with the same sweetness of love’.

notes: This st. refers to S. John’s status as ‘the Apostle whom Jesus loved’ (cf. John XIII.23, XIX.26, XXI.7 and 20). — [1-4]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), Lange (1958a, 79; 1958b, 17) as well as Bugge (1874, 933) and possibly Kock (Skald) construe the syntax of this helmingr slightly differently from what is presented here: Finnur Jónsson regards the adjectives sjálfr and snjallr as attributives modifying the noun siklingr ‘lord’ and sees the kenning sal deilandi sólar ‘the one ruling the hall of the sun’ as an apposition to sjálfr snjallr siklingr ‘the wise lord himself’ (see Lange 1958a, 79; Lange 1958b, 17). Both phrases are thus the subject of the sentence in the first helmingr. Kock on the contrary sees the two adjectives sjálfr and snjallr as modifying deilandi ‘the ruling one’, the subject of the sentence is thus Sjálfr snjallr sal deilandi sólar ‘the wise one himself, ruling the hall of the sun’. It is unclear whether Kock regards siklingr ‘lord’ as another term for ‘God’ standing in apposition to Sjalfr ... sólar or rather as an term of address for John himself. Bugge appears to regard sjálfr, snjallr and sal-deilandi sólar as three modifiers of the noun siklingr, in this case the pres. part. deilandi would be used as an adj. rather than as a noun.

texts: Jón4 3

editions: Skj Níkulás Bergsson: 1. Jóansdrápa postola 3 (AI, 560; BI, 546); Skald I, 265; Jón4 1874, 510, Bugge 1874, 933, Lange 1958a, 79.


AM 649 a 4° (649a) 46r, 20 - 46r, 24 (Jón4)  transcr.  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated