Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Nkt 64II

[7] Sunnifu ‘of Sunnifa’: Sunnifa was an Irish princess who fled Ireland on a ship because of the invasion of a heathen king who wanted to marry her. She and her people landed in Selja, an island off the western coast of Norway. They took refuge in a cave on that island, and when they were threatened by the heathen Hákon jarl of Lade (see sts 17-18), they prayed to God for their escape, and a landslide covered the mouth of the cave with rocks. Later light was reported coming from the cave, and when it was explored by King Óláfr Tryggvason and his men at the end of the C10th (see sts 19-22), they found the body of Sunnifa undecayed. For the legend and the translation of S. Sunnifa see Acta Sanctorum in Selio (MHN 145-52) and Flat 1860-8, I, 242-5. For her life, see also Anon Mey 53VII, Note to [All].


  1. Bibliography
  2. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  3. MHN = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1880. Monumenta historica Norvegiæ: Latinske kildeskrifter til Norges historie i middelalderen. Kristiania (Oslo): Brøgger. Rpt. 1973. Oslo: Aas & Wahl.
  4. Internal references
  5. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 383.
  6. Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 53’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 924-5.


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