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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 19VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 19’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 943-4.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Kátrín sagðiz kóngi heitin
kraftafull, þeim er alt gott skafti;
öllum neitti ófnis palla
orðum fylkis heilög skorða.
Reiðir skipaði geima glóða
græðara heims að fletta klæðum
fyrðum sínum fast að berja
falda strönd og kvelja í böndum.

Kraftafull sagðiz Kátrín heitin kóngi, þeim er alt gott skafti; {heilög skorða {palla ófnis}} neitti öllum orðum fylkis. {Reiðir {glóða geima}} skipaði fyrðum sínum að fletta {strönd falda {græðara heims}} klæðum, að berja fast og kvelja í böndum.
‘Full of strength Catherine said that she was betrothed to that king who created all good things; the holy prop of the benches of the serpent [GOLD > WOMAN] said no to all the words of the king. The spreader of red-hot embers of the sea [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] commanded his men to strip the beach of the headdress of the Saviour of the world [= God (= Christ) > HOLY WOMAN] of her clothes, beat her hard, and torture her in fetters.

notes and context

Catherine’s long speeches of reproach and attempted instruction to Maxentius in the prose text (Unger 1877, I, 408-9; Wolf 2003, 130-1) are reduced to essentials here (barring the kennings), but ll. 5-8 follow the prose closely (Unger 1877, I, 409; Wolf 2003, 131): Ok fyrir þa søk let hann færa hana af klæðum ok beria lengi ‘And for that reason he had her stripped of her clothes and beaten for a long time’.



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. 11]. Katrínar drápa 19: AII, 520, BII, 574, Skald II, 316, Kahle 1898, 71, 107, Sperber 1911, 80.


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