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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mey 46VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 46’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 919-20.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra meyja drápa

text and translation

Eufémía ágæt meyja
eigi vildi goðunum hneigja;
Priskus jarl liet pína feska
plómu guðs að raungum dómi.
Ágætust úr ofni heitum
jungfrú giekk og sakaði ekki;
síðan skyldu sagirnar meiða
sætu þá, sem drottinn gætir.

Eufémía, ágæt meyja, vildi eigi hneigja goðunum; Priskus jarl liet {feska plómu guðs} pína að raungum dómi. Ágætust jungfrú giekk úr heitum ofni og sakaði ekki; síðan skyldu sagirnar meiða þá sætu, sem drottinn gætir.
‘Euphemia, an excellent maiden, would not pay homage to the gods; Earl Priscus had the fresh plum-tree of God [HOLY WOMAN] tormented in accordance with a wrong judgement. The most excellent maiden walked out of a hot oven and was unscathed; later the saws were intended to injure that woman whom the Lord watches over.

notes and context

S. Euphemia, celebrated in sts 46-7, was not the object of a cult in Iceland, nor is there any extant prose saga of her life. She is said to have been martyred at Chalcedon (in Asia Minor), after being subjected to many tortures, because she refused to attend a festival in honour of the pagan god Ares. She miraculously survived these assaults until she was thrown to wild beasts.



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 46: AII, 536, BII, 593, Skald II, 328, NN §2971C.


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