Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Ník Jóndr 2VII

Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2007, ‘Níkulás Bergsson, Jónsdrápa postula 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 68.

Níkulás BergssonJónsdrápa postula

text and translation

Þeim unni guð geymi
guðdóms, es vel sómir,
hreinum himna sýnar,
hirðar vist með Kristi.
Jón, heyrðir þú orða
eilífs fǫður deili,
hollr við oss, ok allan
almôtt séa knáttir.

Guð unni sýnar himna {þeim hreinum geymi guðdóms}, es vist hirðar með Kristi vel sómir. Jón, hollr við oss, þú heyrðir deili orða eilífs fǫður ok knáttir séa allan almôtt.
‘God granted a vision of the heavens to that pure guardian of divinity [APOSTLE], whom an abode in the court with Christ well beseems. John, gracious towards us, you heard the distinctive features of the words of the eternal Father and were able to see all [his] omnipotence.

notes and context

In Jón4 this st. is introduced with the remark: Af somu elsku talar hann i oðrum stað, hvert innsigli sonr guðs lagði til hennar i Pathmós, þa er hann segir sva ‘Of this love [i.e. which Christ bore S. John] and of what confirmation the son of God placed upon it in Patmos he [i.e. Níkulás] speaks in another place [i.e. in the poem], where he says as follows’.

This st. appears to refer to the vision granted to John, upon which the biblical Book of Revelation is based (cf. the remark in Jón4 1874, 509; Rev. I.9-20; Lange 1958a, 81, 83). — [1-4]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj BI) and Bugge (in Jón4 1874, 933) take the phrase vist hirðar með Kristi ‘abode in the court with Christ’ to be the subject of the subordinate cl. es vel sómir ‘whom well beseems’. The word order might, however, suggest that this phrase stands in apposition to sýnar himna. The verb unna ‘grant’ is usually construed with the gen. of the thing granted (sýnar ‘sight’) and only occasionally with the acc. of the thing granted (in LP: unna only one example is adduced: KrákÁsl Lv 8/1VIII (Ragn 26); cf. Fritzner: unna). Interpreting vist hirðir með Kristi as an apposition to sýnar himna would thus presuppose that an acc. (vist) in this case is used in apposition to a gen. (sýnar) and is therefore hardly plausible. — [5-8]: A reference to the Revelation of John on Patmos, for which the phrase himna sýn is attested for the first time in ON. It is also in Veraldar saga (Jakob Benediktsson 1944, 54): Þar [on Patmos] sa Joan postvli himna syn ok het sv bok Apokalipsis er hann gerþi þar ‘There John the Apostle saw a vision of the heavens and was called the book he wrote there “Apocalypse”’. The same idea is in Gamlkan Jóndr 2. Bugge (1874, 933) takes the gen. phrase eilífs fǫður ‘of the eternal father’ to modify allmátt ‘omnipotence’ rather than deili orða ‘distinctive features of words’.


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: Níkulás Bergsson, 1. Jóansdrápa postola 2: AI, 560, BI, 546, Skald I, 265; Jón4 1874, 509-10, Bugge 1874, 933, Lange 1958a, 78.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.