Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Heilagra meyja drápa (Mey) - 60

not in Skj

Heilagra meyja drápa (‘Drápa about Holy Maidens’) — Anon MeyVII

Kirsten Wolf 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Heilagra meyja drápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 891-930.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 12]. Af heilogum meyjum, Heilagra meyja drápa. (AII, 526-39, BII, 582-97)

SkP info: VII, 905-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

22 — Anon Mey 22VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 905-6.

Mestar liet á mönnum Kristi
Maxencíus píslir vaxa;
eina liet hann jungfrú væna
óteljandi meinum kvelja.
Kátrína vann sigr hin sæta
sæt og fögr á spekinga þrætu;
barg hun þeim og brögnum mörgum;
brúður kóngs á guðs son trúði.

Maxencíus liet mestar píslir vaxa á mönnum Kristi; hann liet kvelja eina væna jungfrú óteljandi meinum. Hin sæta Kátrína, sæt og fögr, vann sigr á þrætu spekinga; hun barg þeim og mörgum brögnum; brúður kóngs trúði á guðs son.

Maxentius had the greatest tortures fall to Christ’s men’s share; he had one beautiful maiden tortured with innumerable torments. The sweet Catherine, sweet and handsome, won the victory in the dispute with wise men; she saved them and many men; the wife of the king believed in the son of God.

Mss: 721(11v), 713(24)

Readings: [1] á: so 713, om. 721    [4] óteljandi: óteljanda 713;    meinum: píslum 713    [8] kóngs: guðs 713

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 12]. Af heilogum meyjum 22: AII, 531, BII, 587-8, Skald II, 324-5, NN §3391B.

Notes: [All]: Stanzas 22-4 praise the virgin martyr S. Catherine of Alexandria, also the subject of Kálf Kátr (q.v.) and a C14th saga (Unger 1877, I, 400-21; Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 304-5; Wolf 2003, 123-41, 174-6). Her cult in Iceland, though popular, appears not to have taken hold until C13th (Cormack 1994, 86-8). According to legend, Catherine of Alexandria was a high-born, learned and beautiful virgin who denounced the worship of pagan idols to the emperor Maxentius and successfully debated this issue with fifty philosophers, who then converted to Christianity. She refused to deny her Christian faith and marry the emperor, for which she was beaten and then imprisoned. Later she was tortured on a spiked wheel, but it fell to pieces, leaving her unhurt. Finally, Catherine was beheaded, and milk, not blood, flowed from her severed veins. Angels carried her body to Mount Sinai. — [4] óteljandi meinum ‘with innumerable torments’: On the inflexion -i for dat. pl. of pres. part. in later Icel., see ANG §435 Anm. 1. — [8] brúður kóngs trúði á guðs son ‘the wife of the king believed in the son of God’: According to her vita, Maxentius’s wife and the leader of his troops, Porphyry, visited Catherine in prison, and were persuaded by her to become Christians, whereupon they were themselves martyred.

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