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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 44VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 44’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 959.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

Linna huldi líkam hennar
leitis Njörðr í grænni jörðu;
öndin fór með einglum stýris
imnasaungs á bjarta himna.
Tákna fjöld má trauðla reikna
tunga mín, er Káterína
vann einart, á grundu grænni;
grein sönn er það kristnum mönnum.

{Njörðr {leitis linna}} huldi líkam hennar í grænni jörðu; öndin fór með einglum {stýris imnasaungs} á bjarta himna. Tunga mín má trauðla reikna fjöld tákna, er Káterína vann einart á grænni grundu; það er sönn grein kristnum mönnum.

{The Njörðr <god> {of the hill of serpents}} [GOLD > MAN] buried her body in the green earth; the soul went with the angels {of the ruler of hymn-singing} [= God] to the clear skies. My tongue can hardly count the number of miracles, which Catherine incessantly worked on the green earth; it is a true fact for Christian men.

Mss: 713(133), 399a-bˣ(24), 920ˣ(218r-v)

Readings: [1] líkam hennar: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘likam [...]’ 713, ‘líka[...]’ 920ˣ    [4] himna: ‘h[...]’ 713, ‘(himna)’(?) 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]’ 920ˣ    [6] er: en 713, 920ˣ, sem 399a‑bˣ    [7] vann: ‘vn[...]’ 713, 920ˣ, unnið 399a‑bˣ;    einart: ‘[...]art’ 713, ‘(læ)tur’(?) 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]t’ 920ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 525, Skj BII, 580, Skald II, 320, NN §§2968, 3386D, Kahle 1898, 76, 108, Sperber 1911, 53, 82-3.

Notes: [1-2]: There is no parallel for this detail in the prose text, where angels carry off Catherine’s body (see Note to st. 43), nor is the detail of the man who buried her body known from the prose saga. — [3] öndin (f. nom. sg.) ‘the soul’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) emend öndin to andinn; the emendation seems unnecessary. — [7] vann ‘worked’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj A) was able to read ‘vnir’ in 713, but now only ‘vn’ is visible. In Skj B he proposes innir ‘performs, carries out’. Skald prefers vann, as here.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  7. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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