Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Allra postula minnisvísur, 10 [Vol. 7, 866-7]

[6] í miðri kirkju siðar ‘in the middle of ‘the church of faith’ (? i.e. a Christian church)’: A reading proposed by Kock (NN §1761), literally ‘in the middle of the church of the (new) faith’ (i.e. ‘in the middle of a Christian church’). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) would remove siðar from its immediate context and read it as part of a cl. siðar ... virðum mætum (ll. 6, 7), and he interprets siðar with ll. 7-8: ‘May he grant men excellent in their faith good help in their prayers’. Kock argues that removing siðar from what appears to be a separate cl. in ll. 5-6 requires a syntactical construction which is inconsistent with the prosaic style of the rest of the poem. Meissner (1930, 232) objects to the collocation kirkja siðar ‘church of the (new) faith’, and would instead emend siðar to síðarr ‘later’ in order to read the l. ‘He was later stabbed ... in the middle of a church’. However, as Meissner admits himself, this emendation violates the required aðalhending. The detail that Matthew was stabbed ‘in a church’ is included in the Passio Sancti Mathei Apostoli et Evangelistae (Mombr., II, 263: in ecclesia; cf. Mth1ˣ 805/34; Mth1Frg 811/37: i kirkiu / kirkio).


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