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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 14VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 14’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 940-1.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa
131415

Meistarliga vann mentir leystar
mærin glödd af himna röddu
allar þær, er öflgir þollar
öglis stiettar hána friettu.
Spektarlauss bað spekinga þessa
spennir málms í eldi brenna,
riettvís mærin — ræsir þótti
reiðuligr — þann hvern, er sigrar.

Mærin, glödd af röddu himna, vann meistarliga allar þær mentir leystar, er {öflgir þollar {öglis stiettar}} friettu hána. {Spektarlauss spennir málms} bað þann hvern spekinga þessa, er riettvís mærin sigrar, brenna í eldi; ræsir þótti reiðuligr.

The maiden, gladdened by the voice from the heavens, masterfully gave answers to all of the learned questions, which {the strong fir-trees {of the snake’s path}} [GOLD > MEN] asked her. {The unwise clasper of metal} [MAN = Maxentius] requested that each of these sages, over whom the righteous maiden wins victory, should be burned in a fire; the king seemed angry.

Mss: 713(130), 399a-bˣ(8), 920ˣ(214v)

Readings: [5] bað: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘b[...]d’ 713, ‘b[...]ð’ 920ˣ    [7] ræsir: ræsi all    [8] reiðuligr: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘reidv[...]gr’ 713, ‘reið u[...]g[...]’ 920ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 519, Skj BII, 572-3, Skald II, 315, NN §3384, Kahle 1898, 70, 106, Sperber 1911, 46, 80.

Notes: [All]: According to the prose saga, Catherine debated first with the leader of the wise men and, after she had vanquished him, the others gave up the contest, whereupon the angry emperor ordered them all to be burnt (Unger 1877, I, 406; Wolf 2003, 128): Vard hann nu sva reiðr, at hann bauð, at þa skylldi alla i elldi brenna ‘He was now so angry that he ordered that they should all be burned in a fire’. — [3-4] öflgir þollar öglis stiettar ‘the strong fir-trees of the snake’s path [GOLD > MEN]’: In skaldic poetry the base-word öglir invariably means ‘hawk’, but it took on the changed meaning ‘snake’ in the compositions of rímur-poets (cf. Finnur Jónsson 1926-8, 418), and must be understood in that sense here and in 15/8 öglis tún, 33/2 öglis ness and 45/7 öglis túna.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Unger, C. R., ed. 1877. Heilagra manna søgur. Fortællinger og legender om hellige mænd og kvinder. 2 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Bentzen.
  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. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  6. Wolf, Kirsten, ed. 2003. Heilagra meyja sögur. Íslenzk trúarrit 1. Reykjavík: Bókmenntafræðistofnun Háskóla Íslands.
  7. Finnur Jónsson. 1926-8. Ordbog til de af samfund til udg. af gml. nord. litteratur udgivne Rímur samt til de af Dr. O. Jiriczek udgivne Bósarímur. SUGNL 51. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  8. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.
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