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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 28VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 28’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 948-9.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Helga siðu tók dreingr og dólga
dúcenti í myrku húsi
lægis — var það líkn — af fögrum
listarorðum bríma skorðu.
Porphíríus hiet princeps þessi;
pells kendi þeim guðsorð þella;
fleygir trúði sá fálka teiga
fannar hverr á drottin sannan.

Dreingr tók helga siðu og dúcenti dólga í myrku húsi af fögrum listarorðum {skorðu {bríma lægis}}; það var líkn. Porphíríus hiet þessi princeps; {þella pells} kendi þeim guðsorð; {hverr sá fleygir {fannar {fálka teiga}}} trúði á sannan drottin.
‘The man accepted the holy faith along with two hundred enemies in the prison [lit. dark house] because of the beautiful words of excellence of the prop of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN]; it was an act of mercy. Porphyry was the name of this chieftain; the young pine of velvet [WOMAN] taught them God’s word; each distributor of the snow-drift of the falcon’s land [ARM > SILVER > GENEROUS MAN] believed in the true Lord.

notes and context

[1-3]: Kahle considers dólga the gen. pl. of dólg ‘enmity’ and associates it with líkn to create the phrase ‘forgiveness of enmity’. As Sperber points out, it seems more reasonable to regard var það líkn as an independent cl. and associate dólga (gen. pl. of dólgr ‘enemy’, viz. ‘heathen’) with dúcentí (so also Skj B and Skald). Dúcenti is from Lat. ducenti ‘two hundred’, not in LP.



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 28: AII, 522, BII, 576, Skald II, 317, NN §2965, Kahle 1898, 73, 107, Sperber 1911, 49, 81.


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