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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Níkulás Bergsson (Ník)

12th century; volume 7; ed. Beatrice La Farge;

Jónsdrápa postula (Jóndr) - 3

Skj info: Níkulás Bergsson, Islandsk abbed og skjald, d. 1159. (AI, 560, BI, 546-7).

Skj poems:
1. Jóansdrápa postola
2. Kristsdrápa(?)

Modern scholars consider the Icelandic Benedictine monk Níkulás Bergsson (d. 1159 or 1160) to be the ‘Abbot Nikulás’ who wrote Leiðarvísir (‘Guide pointing out the way’), a guidebook for pilgrims about the routes from Northern Europe to Rome and Jerusalem (Hill 1993a, 390). Níkulás became the abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Þverá (Munkaþverá, founded 1155) in Northern Iceland (Eyjafjörður).

Jónsdrápa postula (‘Drápa about the Apostle John’) — Ník JóndrVII

Beatrice La Farge 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Níkulás Bergsson, Jónsdrápa postula’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 66-9.

 1   2   3 

Skj: Níkulás Bergsson: 1. Jóansdrápa postola (AI, 560, BI, 546-7)

SkP info: VII, 68-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Ník Jóndr 3VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2007, ‘Níkulás Bergsson, Jónsdrápa postula 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 68-9.

Sjalfr unni þér sinna
snjallr postola allra
sal deilandi sólar
siklingr framast miklu.
Hátt gengr vegr, sás veitir
vagnbryggju þér tyggi;
Jón, est hreinstr und háva
hjarlborg skapaðr karla.

Sjalfr snjallr siklingr, deilandi {sal sólar}, unni þér miklu framast allra sinna postola; vegr, sás {tyggi {vagnbryggju}} veitir þér, gengr hátt; Jón, est skapaðr hreinstr karla und {háva hjarlborg}.

The wise Lord himself, sharing out {the hall of the sun} [SKY/HEAVEN], loved you by far the most of all his Apostles. The honour which {the ruler {of the wagon-bridge}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] grants to you rises high; John, you are created the most pure of men under {the high earth-castle} [SKY/HEAVEN].

Mss: 649a(46r) (Jón4)

Editions: Skj: Níkulás Bergsson, 1. Jóansdrápa postola 3: AI, 560, BI, 546, Skald I, 265; Jón4 1874, 510, Bugge 1874, 933, Lange 1958a, 79.

Context: In Jón4 this st. is introduced with the remark: I þriði stað segir hann sva blezaðr af sama sętleik elskunnar ‘In third place [in the poem] it says that he [John] was thus blessed with the same sweetness of love’.

Notes: [All]: This st. refers to S. John’s status as ‘the Apostle whom Jesus loved’ (cf. John XIII.23, XIX.26, XXI.7 and 20). — [2-3] deilandi sal sólar ‘sharing out the hall of the sun’: Following Bugge (1874, 933), this phrase is understood as ‘who gives/is giving (men) a share in the hall of the sun [HEAVEN]’ and thus as a reference to the entrance to heaven granted by Christ to men by means of his death on the Cross. — [6] vagnbryggju ‘of the wagon-bridge’: That is, bridge of the Great Bear. The constellation Ursa Major ‘Great Bear’ or ‘Big Dipper’ is called vagn ‘Wagon’ in ON ( II, cxlv, 250), cf. the OE name for this constellation, carles wæn ‘wagon of the churl’, later ‘Charles’s Wain’. The word ‘wagon’ is appropriate to the metaphor ‘bridge of the Wagon’ as a kenning for sky or heaven.

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