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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Poems, 1. Nikulásdrápa, 1 [Vol. 3, 566]

[All]: This stanza bears some resemblance to ch. 12 of Bergr Sokkason’s C14th Nikulás saga erkibiskups (Unger 1877 II, 60-1). The relevant passages are quoted in FoGT 1884, 243-4. SnE 1848-87, II, 194-5 cites sts 7-10 from the priest Hallur’s Nikulásdrápa on the same subject. The background story is that the sinful and depraved people of the wealthy city of Patara were harrassed by a basilisk, sent by God on account of their sins, an episode that forms a prelude to the legend’s account of the birth of the saintly Nicholas. To judge from its position in the narrative sequence of the legend of S. Nicholas, the subject of this stanza would have been treated either late in the drápa’s introduction (upphaf), probably after some reference to the poet’s devotion to God or S. Nicholas, or shortly after the first refrain (see Context to st. 2 below).


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