Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Allra postula minnisvísur (Alpost) - 13

not in Skj

Allra postula minnisvísur (‘Celebratory Vísur about All the Apostles’) — Anon AlpostVII

Ian McDougall 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Allra postula minnisvísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 852-71.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 9]. Allra postula minnisvísur (AII, 509-11, BII, 559-62)

SkP info: VII, 866-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Anon Alpost 10VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Ian McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Allra postula minnisvísur 10’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 866-7.

Giftu giefr með kröftum
guðspjallamaðr snjalla
mildr Mathéas öldum;
miskunnar guðs unni.
Hann var særðr með sverði
siðar í kirkju miðri;
veiti hann virðum mætum
væna hjálp í bænum.
Hier er Mathéas minni
mjög þekkiligt inni.

Mildr guðspjallamaðr Mathéas giefr öldum snjalla giftu með kröftum; unni guðs miskunnar. Hann var særðr með sverði í miðri kirkju siðar; veiti hann mætum virðum væna hjálp í bænum. Mathéas minni er mjög þekkiligt hier inni.

The gentle evangelist Matthew gives people resounding good fortune with miracles; he granted [them] God’s mercy. He was mortally wounded with a sword in the middle of ‘the church of faith’. May he grant to worthy men fair help in their prayers. Matthew’s memorial toast is very agreeable herein.

Mss: 721(15v)

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 9]. Allra postula minnisvísur 10: AII, 511, BII, 561, Skald II, 307-8, NN §§1761, 3376B.

Notes: [1, 3] mildr ... Mathéas giefr öldum ... giftu með kröftum ‘gentle ... Matthew gives people ... good fortune with miracles’: Kock (NN §3376B) objects to the interpretation provided by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), that Matthew ‘gives good fortune with strength to people’. He points out that með kröftum here is more likely to mean ‘with mighty works, miracles’, through which the saint affords the faithful ‘good fortune’, i.e. assistance or remedies for their ills. (Cf. Fritzner: kraptr 3; LP: kraptr and see Ant 76/24, where kraptr translates miraculum in a rendering of Matt. VII.22). — [2, 3] guðspjallamaðr Mathéas: On S. Matthew the Apostle, see Cross and Livingstone 1983, 890; Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 324-5; Kilström 1966a, 505; Foote 1976, 168-9; Cormack 1994, 131, 243. — [5] hann var særðr með sverði ‘he was mortally wounded with a sword’: A sword or halberd is the iconographic symbol of Matthew’s martyrdom (see Kilström 1956, 175; Roeder 1956, 23). Occasionally the saint is represented with a sword piercing his back (Braun 1943, 523 [Abb. 280], 525; Foote 1976, 169), a detail which appears in most descriptions of the saint’s death at the hands of a king named Hyrtacus (see Cross 1979, 169); cf. the Auctaria (‘Supplements’) to the Martyrology of Usuard: Hircatus [sic] ... apostolum Matthæum ... gladio a tergo percuti fecit et martyrem Christi consecravit ‘Hyrtacus ... had the Apostle Matthew ... cut down from behind with a sword and consecrated him as a martyr of Christ’ (Usuardus Sangermanensis, Martyrologium, col. 493A). The list of Apostles in Holm perg 5 fol, 59vb likewise records that Matthew was med sverdi stangadr ꜳ baki ‘stabbed in the back with a sword’ (Foote 1976, 154, 168-9); cf. AM 764 4°, 16v. — [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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