Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Pét 32VII

[5-8]: The interpretation here follows Finnur Jónsson, who takes iels ... palla (ll. 7-8) as a heaven-kenning (cf. Meissner, 433, 378), and kalligra as a form of kaldligr ‘cold’ (cf. ANG §275 and, e.g., ǪnÓf Lv 4/8V Kallbak, Þul Jǫtna II 2/2III, Kaldgrani, var. kallgrani]). See LP: pallr, kaldligr; cf. Skj B, where jöfurr iels kalligra palla is paraphrased: den snekolde himmels konge ‘the king of snow-cold heaven’. Finnur treats jörðu (l. 7) as parallel with himni (l. 6): løst på jorden, og bundet i himlen ‘loosed on earth and bound in heaven’. Kock (NN §1734) takes jöfurr kalligra palla on its own as a God-kenning (kalla sätens furste ‘the prince of cold seats’) and iels jörðu (l. 7) as a heaven-kenning in apposition with himni. Kahle translates ll. 5-8: ‘The prince of the land of the storm (that is, of heaven), said: let everything bound in heaven be loose that the tree of the benches of manly virtues (Peter) desires’, and suggests that the author of Pét may have simply misunderstood the scriptural parallel. This seems intrinsically unlikely, and Kahle’s rendering does not fit the text as it stands: his God-kenning (‘prince of the land of the storm’) requires emendation of ms. ‘jordu’ to jarðar, and his Peter-kenning (‘tree of the benches of manly virtues’) does not accommodate kalligra (l. 8), unless männlich ‘manly’ is meant to render both the first element of manndýrða (l. 7) and kalligra, taken as gen. pl. of karlligr ‘male, manly, virile’ (cf. ANG §272.1). One might perhaps read (though the syntax is very awkward): Jöfurr iels kvað alt það er lund kalligra palla manndýrða lystir laust, bundið á himni, jörðu ‘The king of the storm [= God] said that everything which the tree of the manly steps of human virtues [HOLY MAN = Peter] wishes is loose [and] bound in heaven [and on] earth’. Pallar manndýrða might then be compared with st. 8/8 pallr siðlætis (see Note ad loc.), st. 31/4 siðapallr, and, interpreting kalligra as a form of karlligr, might perhaps suggest an etymological pun on vir-tus (cf. Maltby 1991, 649: virtus ... a virilitate, etc.).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  7. Maltby, Robert. 1991. A Lexicon of Ancient Latin Etymologies. Arca Classical and Medieval Texts, Papers and Monographs 25. Leeds: Cairns.
  8. Internal references
  9. Not published: do not cite (HarðV)
  10. David McDougall 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Pétrsdrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 796-844.
  11. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Jǫtna heiti II 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 721.
  12. Not published: do not cite (ǪnÓf Lv 4V (Gr 5))


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