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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

III. 1. Nikulásdrápa (Nikdr) - 3

2.3: Nikulásdrápa (‘Drápa about Nikulás’) — Anon NikdrIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Nikulásdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 565. <> (accessed 27 January 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: C. [2]. Nikulásdrápa (AII, 160, BII, 174-5); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2 | 3

SkP info: III, 566

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Anon Nikdr 1III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Nikulásdrápa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 566.

Firð stóð í bygð breiðri
borg Pátera sorgum,
mest áðr lýðr frá losta
lítt gættr í fættiz.


The city of Patara, removed from sorrows, stood in a broad settlement, until the people, not at all guarded against lust, diminished greatly in the town.

context: The author of FoGT cites this helmingr to illustrate the rhetorical figure of topographia, the description of, or reference to, a specific place, here the city of Patara in Lycia.

notes: 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).

texts: FoGT 6, Gramm 131

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: C. [2]. Nikulásdrápa 3 (AII, 160; BII, 175); Skald II, 92, NN §2334; SnE 1848-87, II, 194-5, III, 154, FoGT 1884, 122, 243-4, FoGT 2004, 32, 60, 90-1, FoGT 2014, 4-5, 57-8.


AM 242 fol (W) 112, 1 - 112, 2 (FoGT)  transcr.  image  image  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated