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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 20VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 20’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 944-5.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Berja frá eg staungum stórum
stillis rekka ljótrar villu
milda ambátt mána foldar
mildings frægs og vöndum gildum.
Blóðið flaut af búki hvítum
bragnings meyjar sólar vagna;
síðan byrgðu seggir heiðnir
svanna guðs í myrku ranni.

Eg frá rekka stillis ljótrar villu berja {milda ambátt {frægs mildings {foldar mána}}} stórum staungum og gildum vöndum. Blóðið flaut af hvítum búki {meyjar {bragnings {vagna sólar}}}; síðan byrgðu heiðnir seggir svanna guðs í myrku ranni.
‘I heard that the men of the ruler in ugly delusion hit the gentle handmaid of the famous prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God > HOLY WOMAN] with large sticks and thick rods. The blood poured from the white body of the maiden of the prince of the wagons of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God > HOLY WOMAN]; subsequently, heathen men locked the woman of God in a dark house.

notes and context

[1-6]: This account of Catherine’s torture is not paralleled in the prose text, which is more restrained. — [7-8]: Cf. Unger 1877, I, 409; Wolf 2003, 131: En siðan let hann byrgia hana i myrkvastofu ... ‘And afterwards he had her locked in a dark room [prison] ...’.



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 20: AII, 520, BII, 574, Skald II, 316, Kahle 1898, 71, 107, Sperber 1911, 47, 80.


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