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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Plácitusdrápa (Pl) - 59

not in Skj

Plácitusdrápa (‘Drápa about S. Eustace’) — Anon PlVII

Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills 2007, ‘ Anonymous, Plácitusdrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 179-220. <> (accessed 28 January 2022)

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [1]. Plácítúsdrápa, Digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 607-18, BI, 606-22)

SkP info: VII, 186-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Anon Pl 7VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 186-7.

Ok annan dag unnar
elg-Þróttr í stað sótti,
fyrr þanns flærðar þverri
framlyndum goð sýndisk.
Sannhugguðr leit seggja
snildar framr á hamri
hauks í hjartar líki
hirðvandan gram standa.

Ok annan dag sótti {{unnar elg-}Þróttr} í stað, þanns goð sýndisk fyrr {framlyndum þverri flærðar}. {Sannhugguðr hauks}, framr snildar, leit {hirðvandan gram seggja} standa á hamri í líki hjartar.

And the next day {the Þróttr <= Óðinn> {of the elk of the wave}} [(lit. ‘the elk-Þróttr of the wave’) SHIP > SEAFARER] sought the place where God had shown himself previously {to the brave diminisher of falsehood} [HOLY MAN]. {The true comforter of the hawk} [WARRIOR], outstanding in courage, beheld {the ruler of men, careful chooser of his retainers} [= God], standing on a cliff in the shape of a hart.

Mss: 673b(1v)

Readings: [4] framlyndum: ‘framlund[...]’ 673b, framlyndum 673bÞH;    goð: om. 673b    [8] ‑vandan: ‑vandin 673b, bandin 673bÞH

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [1]. Plácítúsdrápa 7: AI, 608-9, BI, 608, Skald I, 296; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1833, 13-14, 42, Finnur Jónsson 1887, 231, Louis-Jensen 1998, 96.

Notes: [All]: According to the Eustace legend, the morning after Plácitus and his family had been baptised, Plácitus went back to the place where he had first encountered the Christ-hart, and was granted a second vision. It is at this point that Christ tells him that he must be tried for his faith. — [4] goð ‘God’: This emendation was proposed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson. It reflects the wording of the C version of the saga: enn um morguninn fór Evst(asius) til þess sama stadar sem gud hafdi ádur vitr[ast honum ...] (Tucker 1998, 23) ‘and the next day Eustace went to the same place where God had previously appeared to him’. — [5, 7] sannhugguðr hauks ‘the true comforter of the hawk [WARRIOR]’: Slightly unusual, in that the determinant in kennings of this type is normally an expression for raven or eagle, sometimes in the form of a kenning with haukr as its base-word; see Meissner, 310 (including examples with haukr), 346. — [7-8]: Cf. the wording of the C text síndist honum hann þar kominn í hiartarmind þeirri ‘he [God] appeared to him to have come there in the form of the hart’ (Louis-Jensen 1998, cxxii). The alliterating á hamri ‘on a cliff’ (l. 6) reflects the demands of the poetic form and is based on the location of Plácitus’s vision on a mountain (mons) in the Lat. text (cf. the A version’s fjall). The symbolic significance of the hart was particularly appropriate to the legend of the Christian convert Plácitus and would have been well understood by the poet and audience of Pl. On the one hand, the hart panting for cooling streams mentioned in Ps. XLII.1 was understood to represent the soul saved through baptism, and, on the other, the hart who tramples a serpent was understood as a type of Christ overcoming Satan according to the Physiologus. If 673b was originally part of a compilation together with 673a, there would have been a thematic connection between Pl and the Physiologus text in 673a, which includes the hart among the animals whose allegorical meaning is expounded (Halldórr Hermansson 1938, 20).

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