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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 6VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 936.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

Blótin vildi bragningr láta
beldinn efla í sínu veldi
hvern þann brjót, er af honum girniz
heiðr að þiggja, orma leiðar.
Afarkostum liet ýtendr rastar
alla sæta skeljungs fjalla
glæstrar rekkju, ef gjöra ei treystaz,
glóða hreytir, Þór eða Óðni.

Beldinn bragningr vildi láta {hvern þann brjót {orma leiðar}}, er girniz að þiggja heiðr af honum, efla blótin í sínu veldi. {Hreytir {glóða rastar}} liet {alla ýtendr {glæstrar rekkju {skeljungs fjalla}}} sæta afarkostum, ef gjöra ei treystaz Þór eða Óðni.

The arrogant prince wanted to let {every breaker {of the serpent’s path}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], who desires to obtain honour from him, strengthen the sacrifices in his country. {The distributer {of red-hot embers of the current}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] let {all the offerers {of the shining bed {of the whale of the mountains}}} [SNAKE > GOLD > GENEROUS MEN] be exposed to hard conditions, if they did not trust Þórr or Óðinn.

Mss: 713(129), 399a-bˣ(4), 920ˣ(213v)

Readings: [1] bragningr: bragning all    [8] hreytir: hreyti all

Editions: Skj AII, 517-18, Skj BII, 570, Skald II, 313; NN §2958A, Kahle 1898, 68, 105-6, Sperber 1911, 44, 79.

Notes: [All]: The substance of this st. is based loosely on the prose saga (Unger 1877, I, 400-1; Wolf 2003, 123-4), but the pre-Christian Norse gods Þórr and Óðinn are not specifically mentioned. — [1] bragningr ‘prince’: Kock (NN §2958A, Skald) uses bragning based on a ‘rule’ he invented, but the rule is not tenable.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Unger, C. R., ed. 1877. Heilagra manna søgur. Fortællinger og legender om hellige mænd og kvinder. 2 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Bentzen.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  6. Wolf, Kirsten, ed. 2003. Heilagra meyja sögur. Íslenzk trúarrit 1. Reykjavík: Bókmenntafræðistofnun Háskóla Íslands.
  7. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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