Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa, 13 [Vol. 7, 806-7]

[5-7]: Both Finnur Jónsson and Kock emend ms. ‘syn’ to synd to provide skothending with frænda. Finnur (Skj B) translates: sin synd tilstår han først for gud og forkyndte sin anger? ‘he first confesses his sin before God and proclaimed his repentance?’. Kock (NN §1719) instead takes the ll. to mean that John revealed the sin of Peter and Andrew (synd ... frænda gen. pl.) and proclaimed their repentance before God (accepting Finnur’s emendation in Skj B of guð [l. 7] to guði). Neither of these interpretations, however, is supported by either the gospels or Pétr and neither takes account of the word fingri (l. 5). (The two disciples of John mentioned in Pétr 2/12-13 are not ‘the kinsmen’ Andrew and Peter, but Andrew and annarr er eigi [er] nefndr ‘another [man], who is not named’; cf. John I.40.) The passage undoubtedly refers to John’s affirmation of the divinity of Christ at John I.29, 36; cf. Pétr 2/6-11: ꜳ einum degi, þa er sæll Johannes baptista stoð i þeim stað, er hann veitti monnum skirn i Jordan, sa hann varn herra Jesum Kristum koma til sin, ok mællti sva til hans: ‘See her lamb guðs þat er tekr syndir af heiminum’ ‘On a certain day, when the blessed John the Baptist stood in that place where he baptized men in the Jordan, he saw our Lord Jesus Christ come to him, and he spoke thus to him: “Behold here the Lamb of God, which takes away sins from the world.”’. That John did not merely proclaim the advent of Christ with words, but pointed him out ‘with his finger’ is a commonplace found, for instance in JBapt2A 927/1-2: syndi Jesum með eiginligum fingri ... þa er hann sagði: Se her lamb guðs ‘he revealed Jesus with his own finger ... when he said: Behold here the Lamb of God’, and Andr2A 354/24-5: drottin varn ... auðsyndi með sinum fingri ‘with his finger he revealed ... our Lord’. The detail appears in the hymn Antra deserti, attributed to Paul the Deacon, which was sung at Matins on the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist (AH 50, 120 §96, st. 7; DH 327-8 §86/2, st. iii): tu quidem mundi scelus auferentem indice prodis ‘with your forefinger you make known the one who takes away the sin of the world’. Cf. Ordo Nidr. 354/22. For further examples of the motif, see Ælfric, Catholic Homilies (Clemoes 1997, XXV.136-8, XXXVI.52-4; Godden 2000, 206 and 301).

references

© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.