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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Mey 22VII

[All]: Stanzas 22-4 praise the virgin martyr S. Catherine of Alexandria, also the subject of Kálf Kátr (q.v.) and a C14th saga (Unger 1877, I, 400-21; Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 304-5; Wolf 2003, 123-41, 174-6). Her cult in Iceland, though popular, appears not to have taken hold until C13th (Cormack 1994, 86-8). According to legend, Catherine of Alexandria was a high-born, learned and beautiful virgin who denounced the worship of pagan idols to the emperor Maxentius and successfully debated this issue with fifty philosophers, who then converted to Christianity. She refused to deny her Christian faith and marry the emperor, for which she was beaten and then imprisoned. Later she was tortured on a spiked wheel, but it fell to pieces, leaving her unhurt. Finally, Catherine was beheaded, and milk, not blood, flowed from her severed veins. Angels carried her body to Mount Sinai.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Unger, C. R., ed. 1877. Heilagra manna søgur. Fortællinger og legender om hellige mænd og kvinder. 2 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Bentzen.
  3. Cormack, Margaret. 1994. The Saints in Iceland: Their Veneration from the Conversion to 1400. Studia Hagiographica 78. Brussels: Société des Bollandistes.
  4. Wolf, Kirsten, ed. 2003. Heilagra meyja sögur. Íslenzk trúarrit 1. Reykjavík: Bókmenntafræðistofnun Háskóla Íslands.
  5. Internal references
  6. Kirsten Wolf 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 931-64.

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