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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Heil 10VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra manna drápa 10’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 879-80.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra manna drápa

text and translation

Dýrðar læt* eg dásemd verðan
Díonísíum guðs vin prísað;
heilagan gerði hinn hæsti Paulus
hann af einum villumanni.
Clémens páfi guðspjalls geymi
Gallíam bauð að kristna alla;
fekk hann það með frægð og lukku,
að Frakkar sneruz til drottins þakka.

Eg læt* prísað Díonísíum, guðs vin, verðan dásemd dýrðar; hinn hæsti Paulus gerði hann heilagan af einum villumanni. Clémens páfi bauð {geymi guðspjalls} að kristna alla Gallíam; með frægð og lukku fekk hann það, að Frakkar sneruz til þakka drottins.
‘I praise Dionysius, God’s friend, to be [who is] a marvel of glory; the highest Paul turned him into a holy man from a heretic. Pope Clement asked the guardian of the Gospel [HOLY MAN] to convert all of Gaul to Christianity; with fame and luck he brought it about that the Franks turned to thanks to [lit. of] the Lord.

notes and context

Sts 10-13 celebrate S. Dionysius (Denis or Denys), bishop of Paris, d. c. 250, for a long time regarded as the patron saint of France. According to Gregory of Tours (Krusch 1937, 23) he is supposed to have been sent into Gaul as a missionary by Pope Clement I (active c. 96 AD; on his cult in Scandinavia see Hofmann 1997 and Carron 2005) and to have been beheaded a few years later at Montmartre, along with a priest named Rusticus and a deacon, Eleutherius. Two fragments of a Dionysius saga are preserved in late ON mss (Unger 1877, I, 312-22, Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 307; Foote 1962, 22). S. Dionysius was co-patron of churches at Engey (C14th) and Reykholt, and co-patron of the altar at Viðey monastery (Cormack 1994, 93).



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 10]. Af et digt om hellige mænd 10: AII, 513, BII, 565, Skald II, 309, NN §§1767, 1770, 2889; Kahle 1898, 92, 112.


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