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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 4VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 934-5.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Kæna setti Kosti dóttur
(kunni hun ung að mæla tungur
allar þær) til bóknáms báru
Baldur eims (er geingu í heimi).
Ástargjörn hefir allar listir
ambátt himna drottins framdar;
fegri var sjá en flestar meyjar
falda Þrúðr og hátta prúðust.

{Baldur {eims báru}} setti {kæna dóttur Kosti} til bóknáms; hun kunni ung að mæla allar þær tungur er geingu í heimi. {Ástargjörn ambátt {drottins himna}} hefir allar listir framdar; {sjá Þrúðr falda} var fegri en flestar meyjar og prúðust hátta.
‘The Baldur <god> of the fire of the wave [GOLD > MAN] set Kostus’s skilful daughter [= Catherine] to book-learning; at a young age she could speak all the languages that were current in the world. The loving handmaid of the Lord of the heavens [= God > HOLY WOMAN] has performed all arts; that Þrúðr <goddess> of headdresses [WOMAN] was more beautiful than most maidens and the best mannered.

notes and context

Cf. the prose legend (Unger 1877, I, 401; Wolf 2003, 124): Þessi mær svo sem hun var ættgo᷎fug, svo var hun ok agæt at speki sinni, numit hafdi hun allar þær iþrottir a bokum, er liberalis heita. Hun kunni margar tungur at skilia ok spakliga allar spurningar at leysa, þær er fyrir hana voro bornar ‘This maiden, to the extent that she was of noble birth, was equally noble in her wisdom, and had learnt all those arts from books, that are called the liberal arts. She could understand many languages and could wisely solve all questions that were brought before her’.



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 4: AII, 517, BII, 570, Skald II, 313, Kahle 1898, 67, 105, Sperber, 1911, 44, 78-9.


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