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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pét 25VII

David McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa 25’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 817-18.

Anonymous PoemsPétrsdrápa

Pétr Jóhannis játar;
Jésús spyrr hann fyrri
þannveg þrysvar sinnum
þegn af guðdóms megni:
‘Elskar þú mig? Þvíað milskaz
mitt nafn fyr þier jafnan;
fæði að föður míns ráði
fremd þín sauði mína!’

Pétr Jóhannis játar; af guðdóms megni spyrr Jésús hann, þegn, fyrri þrysvar sinnum þannveg: ‘Elskar þú mig? Þvíað mitt nafn milskaz jafnan fyr þier; að ráði föður míns fæði þín fremd mína sauði!’

Peter, [the son] of Johannes answers yes; with the might of divinity Jesus asks him, his follower, first three times thus: ‘Do you love me? Because my name is always sweet to you; by the authority of my father may your glory feed my sheep!’

Mss: 621(58v)

Readings: [1] Jóhannis: ‘johannes’ 621

Editions: Skj AII, 504, Skj BII, 551, Skald II, 302, NN §§1726, 1727, 2877; Kahle 1898, 83, 110.

Notes: [All]: Cf. John XXI.15-17; Pétr 16/31-17/12. This st. should logically follow st. 16/1-4 (see Introduction and 16 Note to [All]). — [1-6]: The interpretation followed here is that proposed by Kock (NN §1726). — [1] Jóhannis ‘[son] of Johannes’: Cf. John XXI.15: Simon Iohannis ‘Simon son of John’; Pétr 16/31: Simon Jons son ‘Simon son of John’; sts 11/1, 24/1-2 and Notes. — [1] játar ‘answers yes’: Cf. Pétr 17/2: birti með merkiligri iatning sitt hiarta ‘revealed his heart with a clear affirmation’. — [3] þrysvar sinnum ‘three times’: Cf. Pétr 17/15: þrysvar ‘thrice’ (B .iii. sinnum hins sama ‘three times the same way’). — [4] af guðdóms megni ‘with the might of divinity’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes this phrase as describing Peter’s reply (l. 1) rather than Christ’s question (ll. 2-4). — [5] Þvíað ‘because’: Kock (NN §2877) argues that this word makes the l. too heavy and is probably a scribal addition. — [5] milskaz ‘is sweet’: Finnur Jónsson (LP: milska) translates: mit navn blandes, bliver utydeligt (?) for dig ‘my name is muddled, becomes unclear (?) for you’ (cf. Skj B: fordunkles, ved Petri fornægtelse, vistnok ‘is obscured, doubtless through Peter’s denial’). But as Kock observes (NN §1727), the sense of milska here is rather to be compared with that of OE miliscian ‘to become sweet, mellow’ (cf. Bosworth and Toller 1898: milisc, miliscian; Bosworth and Toller, 1921 Supplement: gemilscod; AEW: milska 2). — [7-8]: Cf. Pétr 17/12: Fæð þu sauði mina ‘Feed my sheep’; John XXI.17: pasce oves meas ‘feed my sheep’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  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. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. Bosworth, Joseph and T. Northcote Toller. 1898. An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Supplement, ed. T. Northcote Toller. 1921. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Enlarged Addenda and Corrigenda, ed. A. Campbell. 1972. Oxford: Clarendon.
  8. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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