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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mey 11VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 11’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 898-9.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra meyja drápa

text and translation

Kvinna var með heiti hennar
henni kær og drottni skærum;
mildliga skal sú Máría kallaz;
Magðaléna jafnan sagðiz.
Fyst var þessi full af löstum;
fann hun Krist í vænu ranni;
gjörði hann hana með einu orði
alprúðastan gimstein brúða.

Kvinna var með hennar heiti, kær henni og skærum drottni; mildliga skal sú Máría kallaz, Magðaléna jafnan sagðiz. Fyst var þessi full af löstum; hun fann Krist í vænu ranni; með einu orði gjörði hann hana alprúðastan gimstein brúða.
‘There was a woman with her name, dear to her and to the bright Lord; graciously she shall be called Mary; she always named herself Magdalene. First she was full of vices; she found Christ in a beautiful house; with one word he made her the finest gem among women.

notes and context

The cult of Mary Magdalene ‘appears to have been a late arrival in Iceland’ (Cormack 1994, 130-1). Evidence is confined to C13th and particularly C14-15th. For her saga, see Unger 1877, I, 513-53; Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 320-1; Wolf 2003, xxxiii-iv, 50-92, 159-70. — [5-8]: See Unger 1877, I, 514-17; Wolf 2003, 50-4. According to both the gospels and her saga, Mary Magdalene was possessed by seven devils which Christ exorcised. The beautiful house in which she met Christ is probably that of Simon the Pharisee (Unger 1877, I, 514-16).



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. 12]. Af heilogum meyjum 11: AII, 529, BII, 585, Skald II, 323.


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