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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pét 9VII

David McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa 9’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 803-4.

Anonymous PoemsPétrsdrápa

text and translation

Kápharnáum — korni
Kristr sáði þar lista —
borgin bar sú mörgum
blóm ítarlig sóma.
Ágætismenn ýtum
upp runnir þar kunnir
(annan stað má eg inna)
oft þar vóru (stóran).

Kápharnáum, sú borgin bar ítarlig blóm sóma mörgum — Kristr sáði þar korni lista. Ágætismenn, ýtum þar kunnir, vóru oft upp runnir þar; eg má inna annan stóran stað.
‘Capernaum, that city bore glorious fruits of honour for many — Christ sowed there the seed of virtues. Outstanding persons, who there were well known to men, had often grown up there; I can speak of another great city.

notes and context

[1-4]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends ms. ‘morgum’ (l. 3) to mǫrgu, agreeing with korni (l. 1), and translates Kristus såde dér mangt et udmærket frøkorn (= korni ... lista, ll. 1-2) ‘Christ sowed there many an excellent seed’. Kock (NN §1717) retains the ms. reading, but takes mǫrgum with sóma (l. 4) and renders ll. 3-4: Denna stad med mycken heder bar den härligaste frukt ‘This city with great honour bore the most glorious fruit’. He takes lista korn (ll. 1-2) to mean kunskapssäden ‘the seed of knowledge’. — [7-8]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) translates en anden stor stad kan jeg (også) nævne dig ‘I can (also) tell you of another great city’. Kock (NN §1718, cf. §2774) objects to the syntactical discontinuity introduced by retaining ms. ‘þer’, ‘to you’ (l. 8), and points out that nowhere else in Pét is a reader/listener addressed in the 2nd pers. sg. His emendation of þér to þar is adopted here.



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. 7]. En drape om apostlen Peder 9: AII, 502, BII, 547, Skald II, 300, NN §§1717, 1718, 2774; Kahle 1898, 80, 109.


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