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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Heil 20VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra manna drápa 20’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 886-7.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra manna drápa

text and translation

Börðuz menn, þar Benedict varði
bróður sinn af drengskap góðum;
Knútr var staddr í musteri mætu
mildr og eigi stríða vildi.
Oframmliga Eyvind bifra
innar giekk að kóngi svinnum;
góðan dag rieð gram bjóða

Menn börðuz, þar Benedict varði bróður sinn af góðum drengskap; mildr Knútr var staddr í mætu musteri og vildi eigi stríða. Eyvind bifra giekk oframmliga innar að svinnum kóngi; rieð bjóða gram góðan dag...
‘Men fought, where Benedikt defended his brother with great manliness; gentle Knútr was situated in the magnificent church and did not want to fight. Eyvind bifra forcefully went inside to the wise king; he bade the king a good day...

notes and context

Sts 20-1 describe the martyrdom of Knútr, King of Denmark (Dan. Knud den Hellige), who was killed in S. Alban’s church, Odense on 10 July 1086, together with his brother Benedikt (Dan. Bendt) and seventeen others. He was canonised in 1101. Although Knútr’s cult was widespread in Denmark (Gad 1961, 151-62; Gad 1963; Kahle 1898, 15), he does not appear to have been especially venerated in Iceland, which makes Heil’s treatment of him somewhat unusual.



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 20: AII, 515, BII, 567, Skald II, 311, NN §§1763, 1772, 2680B, 2892, 2983, 3378B; Kahle 1898, 95, 113.


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