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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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 23 May 2022)

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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, 910-11

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

30 — Anon Mey 30VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 30’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 910-11.

Agnes var með elsku tígnuð
Jésú blóm í sjálfri Róma;
þrautir háði þrettán vetra
þessi mey við grimman hessi.
Níðingrinn bað nökta leiða
Nönnu gulls hjá heiðnum mönnum;
vildi hann, skammaz skyldi
skrautlig mær, ef allsber væri.


Agnes, the flower of Jesus, was honoured with love in Rome itself; this maiden, thirteen years old, was tortured by the wicked chieftain. The villain requested that {the Nanna of gold} [WOMAN] be led naked past heathen men; he wanted the splendid maid to be ashamed, if she was completely nude.

notes: Stanzas 30-2 celebrate S. Agnes, a Roman martyr who died at the age of thirteen, after refusing marriage to a young suitor and the undertaking of pagan rites. She was tortured and killed by being stabbed in the throat. A basilica was built on the site of her supposed remains c. 350AD and her name is mentioned in the traditional Canon of the Roman Mass. In Iceland her cult may have been introduced by Bishop Þorlákr (Cormack 1994, 18-21) but was not generally popular. Her feast day was adopted as a holy day of obligation in 1179 but removed in 1275 (Cormack 1994, 24). There are three fragmentary versions of a saga of S. Agnes in mss dating from C14-16th (Unger 1877, I, 15-22; Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 298; Foote 1962, 27; Cormack 1994, 75; Wolf 2003, 3-10, 153-4).

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 12]. Af heilogum meyjum 30 (AII, 532-3; BII, 589); Skald II, 326.


AM 721 4° (721) 9r - 9r (Mey)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 713 4° (713) 25, 19 - 25, 21 ()  image  image  
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