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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa, 9 [Vol. 7, 897-8]

[All]: The Apostles James the Great and John are said to be the sons of Zebedee in gospel accounts (Matt. IV.21 and Mark I.19). The notion that John (and therefore James) was the son of the Virgin Mary’s sister is found in many medieval sources and was well known in Iceland; cf. this poem, st. 10/1 and Gamlkan Jóndr 3/1, where John is also called Christ’s systrungr ‘sister’s son, cousin whose mothers are sisters’; see also Jón4 1874, 466 and I, 56.


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