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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pl 1VII

Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 182.

Anonymous PoemsPlácitusdrápa

text and translation

... gengit,
fjǫrnis valdr kvað foldar
frægr: ‘nú mun þér lægjask.
Mjúks, skalt mannraun slíka,
morðlinns boði, finna
— vestu í frægri freistni
framr — sem Jób inn gamli’.

...gengit, {frægr valdr {fjǫrnis foldar}} kvað: ‘nú mun þér lægjask. Finna skalt, {boði {mjúks morðlinns}}, slíka mannraun sem Jób inn gamli; vestu framr í frægri freistni’.
‘...gone, the renowned ruler of the helmet of the earth [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] spoke: ‘now you will be humbled. Messenger of the smooth battle-serpent [SWORD > WARRIOR], you will undergo such an ordeal as Job the old [did]; be bold in a trial [which will be] famous.

notes and context

The beginning of the poem must have introduced Plácitus as a righteous pagan in the service of the Emperor Trajan, and told of the stag hunt that Plácitus and other men undertook, during which he became isolated from the others and confronted a hart larger than the rest of the herd with a crucifix between its horns, which revealed itself as a manifestation of Christ. In the prose texts, Christ’s indication that Plácitus must be tried like Job comes after his baptism and his return to meet the Christ-hart for a second time (see sts 7-10).



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 [XII], G [1]. Plácítúsdrápa 1: AI, 607, BI, 606-7, Skald I, 295; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1833, 11, 39, Finnur Jónsson 1887, 230, Louis-Jensen 1998, 93.


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