Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pét 31VII/2 — tvennum ‘with two’

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.


[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.



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