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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Alpost 7VII

Ian McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Allra postula minnisvísur 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 861-2.

Anonymous PoemsAllra postula minnisvísur

Fullr af fagnað öllum
Filippus að guðs vilja
geisli gladdr í píslum
gleði veiti nú sveitum.
Hann laði kall og kvinnu,
krossfestr í veg mestan
sæll til hæstrar hallar
háleitra guðs sveita.
Fari hier með fagnað inni
Filippus postula minni.

Filippus, fullr af öllum fagnað, geisli gladdr í píslum, veiti gleði nú sveitum að guðs vilja. Krossfestr, sæll laði hann kall og kvinnu í mestan veg til hæstrar hallar guðs háleitra sveita. Með fagnað fari hier inni minni postula Filippus.

May Philip, full of all joy, a ray of light gladdened in torments, grant joy now to the company with God’s will. Crucified, blessed, may he invite man and woman into the greatest glory to the highest hall of God’s sublime company. With joy let there proceed herein a memorial toast to the Apostle Philip.

Mss: 721(15v)

Readings: [2] Filippus: ‘filípus’ 721    [6] krossfestr: ‘[...](ro)stfestr’(?) 721

Editions: Skj AII, 510, Skj BII, 560-61, Skald II, 307.

Notes: [1] fagnað: On this dat. sg. form (instead of fagnaði) in u-stems in late texts, see, e.g. Iversen 1961, 70.1, Anm. 1. Kock (Skald) emends to fǫgnuð, a late dat. sg. form of fǫgnuðr. — [2] Filippus: Ms. ‘filípus’, Finnur Jónsson (Skj A) misreads as ‘philippus’. On S. Philip the Apostle, see Cross and Livingstone 1983, 1080; Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 330; Foote 1976, 163-4; Cormack 1994, 151, 244. — [3] geisli ‘ray of light’: The metaphor very likely plays on the traditional etymology of Philip’s name: os lampadis ‘mouth of the lamp’; cf. Isidore, Etym. 7.9.16 Philippus os lampadarum ‘Philip mouth of lamps’; cf. Brev. 4/5, and hymns for the feast of S. Philip (1 June): e.g. AH 51, 122 (no. 107, v. 5/2); CH, 88; DH, 111. The detail is also included in prayers to Philip (cf. Gjerløw 1980, I, 181 [Mortemer]). — [6] krossfestr ‘crucified’: <K> erased, superscript ‘ro’ partly illegible. According to a tradition which can be traced as far back as Polycrates of Ephesus (C2nd), Philip is said to have died a peaceful death (cf. Beda, Martyrologium, col. 896C: apud Hierapolim dormivit in pace ‘At Hierapolis he fell to sleep in peace’); according to another tradition, he was crucified and stoned to death, see Brev. 4/5-7: Philippus ... in Hierapuli Frigiae provinciae crucifixus et lapidatus obiit ‘Philip ... died in Hierapolis of the province of Phrygia, after being crucified and stoned’; cf. IO 72; Cynewulf, Fates 37-41 (in Brooks 1961, 57): Philipus ... ece lif | þurh rode cwealm ricene gesohte, | syððan on galgan in Gearapolim | ahangen wæs hildecorðre ‘Phillip ... sought eternal life at once through death on the cross, when he was hanged on a gallows in Hierapolis by a troop of armed men’. This version of the Apostle’s martyrdom is repeated in many Icel. sources, cf. Holm perg 5 fol, 59vb (Foote 1976, 154); cf. Ph 737, AM 660 4°, 23v (Foote 1976, 153) and AM 764 4°, 16v. A long cross is one of Philip’s traditional iconographic attributes (see Braun 1943, 607-8; Kilström 1956, 175), and the Apostle is regularly represented as crucified on a tall cross (Roeder 1956, 23). — [9, 10] fari ... minni ‘let a memorial toast ... proceed/go forth’: Cf. e.g. Egils saga ch. 44 (ÍF 2, 108) fóru minni mǫrg ok skyldi horn drekka í minni hvert ‘many memorial toasts proceeded and a horn had to be drained at each toast’. Cf. the refrain of Ceciliudiktur 31 (ÍM II, 346): Fari hier med fagnad inni | fru Ceceliu minni ‘With joy let there proceed herein a memorial toast to our Lady Cecilia’; see Introduction.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. AH = Dreves, G. M., C. Blume and H. M. Bannister, eds. 1886-1922. Analecta hymnica medii aeui. 55 vols. Leipzig: Reisland. Rpt. 1961. New York: Johnson.
  5. Braun, Joseph. 1943. Tracht und Attribute der Heiligen in der deutschen Kunst. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung.
  6. Brev. = [Anonymous] ‘Incipit breviarium Apostolorum ex nomine vel locis ubi praedicaverunt, orti vel obiti sunt’. In Acta Sanctorum Novembris collecta digesta illustrata II.2, 3-4.
  7. Brooks, Kenneth R., ed. 1961. Andreas and the Fates of the Apostles. Oxford: Clarendon.
  8. CH = Wieland, Gernot R., ed. 1982. The Canterbury Hymnal. Toronto Medieval Latin Texts 12. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
  9. Cormack, Margaret. 1994. The Saints in Iceland: Their Veneration from the Conversion to 1400. Studia Hagiographica 78. Brussels: Société des Bollandistes.
  10. Cross, F. L. and E. A. Livingstone. 1983. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 2nd edn. 4th impression. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 3rd rev. edn 2005 by E. A. Livingstone. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  11. DH = Milfull, Inge B. 1996. The Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church: A study and edition of the ‘Durham Hymnal’. Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England 17. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  12. Gjerløw, Lilli. 1980. Liturgica Islandica. 2 vols. BA 35-6. Copenhagen: Reitzel.
  13. ÍM = Jón Helgason, ed. 1936-8. Íslenzk miðaldarkvæði: Islandske digte fra senmiddelalderen. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  14. IO = Gómez, César C., ed. 1985. [Isidore of Seville] De ortu et obitu patrum. Auteurs Latins du Moyen Age. Paris: Société d’Editions ‘Les Belles Lettres’.
  15. Iversen, Ragnvald. 1961. Norrøn Grammatik. 6th rev. edn. Oslo: Aschehoug.
  16. Kilström, B. I. 1956. ‘Apostelframställningar’. KLNM 1, 173-6.
  17. ÍF 2 = Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar. Ed. Sigurður Nordal. 1933.

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