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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Jóndr 2VII

Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Jónsdrápa 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 134-5.

Gamli kanókiJónsdrápa

text and translation

Brigð kómu þess brátt, es hugði
bǫlfyldr konungr verða skyldu,
harðla fljótt, þvít huggan veitti
hreggskríns jǫfurr frænda sínum.
Alla náði eirar stillis
ítr postoli dýrð at líta,
humra nausts þás hǫfðu flestir
hreina þollar fréttir einar.

Brigð kómu brátt þess, es bǫlfyldr konungr hugði skyldu verða, þvít {jǫfurr {hreggskríns}} veitti huggan frænda sínum harðla fljótt. Ítr postoli náði at líta alla dýrð {stillis eirar}, þás {flestir þollar {hreina {nausts humra}}} hǫfðu einar fréttir.
‘Changes came about abruptly in that which the baleful king thought should happen, for the lord of the storm-shrine [HEAVEN > = God] granted comfort to his relative very quickly. The noble Apostle was able to see all the glory of the disposer of mercy [= God], of which most fir-trees of the reindeer of the boat-house of lobsters [SEA > SHIP > SEAFARERS] have only reports.

notes and context

Prefaced to this st. is the explanation: Af eitrliga grímd Domiciani keisara ok veizlum várs dróttins til Johannem i Pathmos segir hann svá ‘About the poisonous enmity of the emperor Domitian and the aid of Our Lord to John on Patmos he says the following’ (Jón4 1874, 510). This is a reference to the torture to which Domitian is said to have subjected John in Rome (he was placed in a vat of boiling oil, from which he emerged unscathed) and to John’s banishment to the stone-quarries on the island of Patmos, where he was granted the visions described in the Book of Revelation (cf. Jón4 1874, 474-8).



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: Gamli kanóki, 1. Jóansdrápa 2: AI, 561, BI, 547, Skald I, 265; Jón4 1874, 510, Bugge 1874, 934, Lange 1958a, 82.


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