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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pét 23VII

David McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 815-16.

Anonymous PoemsPétrsdrápa
222324

text and translation

Svaraði Símón dýrum
sólranns kóngi þannveg
einarðar- fystr -orði
— orð það er þarfligast vorðið —
‘Þú ert Kristr inn kæsti
kunnr af hjálpar brunni
lifandi sonr guðs sendur
sannr og eins nie annars’.

Fystr svaraði Símón {dýrum kóngi {sólranns}} einarðarorði þannveg — það orð er vorðið þarfligast — : ‘Þú ert inn kæsti Kristr, kunnr af brunni hjálpar, sendur sannr sonr lifandi og eins guðs nie annars’.
 
‘Simon first answered the precious king of the sun-hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] with a statement of sincerity thus — that remark has become most salutary — : ‘You are the most beloved Christ, known for the spring of salvation, sent [as] the true son of the living and one God and of no other’.

notes and context

Cf. Matt. XVI.16: respondens Simon Petrus dixit tu es Christus Filius Dei vivi ‘answering Simon Peter said:  Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God’; Pétr 5/33-6/1: Sæll Petrus svaraði einn fyrir alla: ‘Þu ert Kristr son guðs lifanda’. ‘Blessed Peter answered alone for all: “You are Christ, Son of the living God”.’ — [3-4]: Both Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) take ms. fystr as p.p. of fýsa ‘to urge’ (cf. LP: fýsa: part. f. einarðar omtr. = einarðr). Finnur translates einarðar fýstr: opflammet af sin djærvhed ‘spurred by his boldness’, though ‘roused to boldness’ or ‘urged to frankness’ would fit the construction better (cf. Fritzner: fýsa: ‘tilskynde en til noget [e-n e-s]’). Finnur also silently omits the word orði in l. 3, and merely translates Svaraði Símón ... þannveg: Simon svarede således ‘Simon answered thus’. Taking einarðar ... orði as a tmetic form of einarðarorð ‘a sincere, truthful statement’ (see Fritzner) and ms. fystr as the scribe’s normal spelling of fyrstr ‘first’ provides a more satisfactory reading. The tmesis of einarðarorð introduces the emphatic use of dunhenda ‘echoing rhyme’ in the repetition of orð at the end of l. 3 and the beginning of l. 4 and, more importantly, highlights the fact that Peter is the first to acknowledge that Jesus is ‘the Christ’, the son of the living God. (Note the triumphal framing of the superlatives fystr and þarfligast in ll. 3 and 4.) The beginning of st. 23 has to be read in conjunction with the end of the preceding st. (22/7-8): ‘No one dared to give a response to the Lord except Peter’ (23/1-3) ‘Simon first answered ... with a statement of sincerity’. Patristic parallels for the passage are legion: cf., e.g., Hilary of Poitiers: hoc in Petro considerandum est, fide eum caeteros anteisse: nam ignorantibus caeteris, primus respondit: Tu es Filius Dei vivi ‘this ought to be observed in Peter – that he went before the others in faith: for while the rest knew not, he first answered: Thou art the Son of the living God’ (Hilarius Pictaviensis, Commentarius, col. 1002); Ambrose: licet caeteri apostoli sciant, Petrus tamen respondit prae caeteris: Tu es Christus ... ‘though the other apostles may know, Peter however answers before the others: Thou art Christ …’ (Ambrosius Mediolanensis, Expositio, col. 1693).

readings

sources

Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 7]. En drape om apostlen Peder 23: AII, 504, BII, 550, Skald II, 302, NN §§1724, 2876, 2997C; Kahle 1898, 83.

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