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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pét 31VII

David McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa 31’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 823.

Anonymous PoemsPétrsdrápa

Mætti hann mundangsháttum
— menn birta svá — tvennum;
stóð með æztri iðju
óhallr á siðapalli.
Lagði laun fyr dygðar
lærisveini hreinum
orð, sá er stjörnum stýrði,
stinn*, þau er eg vil inna.

Hann mætti tvennum mundangsháttum — svá birta menn; stóð með æztri iðju óhallr á siðapalli. Sá er stjörnum stýrði, lagði stinn* orð, þau er eg vil inna, hreinum lærisveini fyr laun dygðar.

He met with two balanced ways — so men proclaim; he stood with the highest zeal upright on the step of faith. He who ruled the stars [i.e. God] gave strong words, which I wish to report, to the pure disciple as reward for virtue.

Mss: 621(58v)

Readings: [8] stinn*: stinnir 621

Editions: Skj AII, 505, Skj BII, 552, Skald II, 303; NN §§1733, 3373; Kahle 1898, 85, 111.

Notes: [1, 2] hann mætti tvennum mundangsháttum ‘he met with two balanced ways’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) translates: Han mødte to slags adfærd (?) ‘He met with two types of behaviour (?)’. Kock (NN §3373A) argues that the sense of mundangsháttr ‘moderate mode of action, behaviour’ is intentionally ironic (cf. GunnlI Lv 1/1V mundangssterkr ‘middlingly strong’), and that the reference is to two harsh treatments suffered by Peter: his imprisonment in Jerusalem, and crucifixion in Rome. It seems more likely, however, that the two mundangshættir referred to are the balanced actions of binding and loosing on earth and in heaven referred to in st. 32. — [4] á siðapalli ‘on the step of faith’: Cf. st. 8/8 pall siðlætis ‘the step of virtue’ and Note. — [5] fyr laun dygðar ‘as reward for virtue’: For parallels see NN §1733. For fyr [= fyrir] ‘as’, see Fritzner: fyrir 28. — [8] stinn* ‘strong’: Ms. ‘stinnir’ emended to agree with orð (n. acc. pl.), l. 7.


  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. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  6. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite (GunnlI Lv 1V (Gunnl 1))

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