Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 39 [Vol. 7, 322-3]

[4] heljar grind ‘gate of Hell’: Two late mss, 10575ˣ and 2797ˣ, have this reading, which produces a metrically regular fornyrðislag l., whereas the cpd helgrind, the reading of 166bˣ, 738ˣ, and a significant number of other mss gives a kviðuháttr l. Papp15ˣ reads heljar grund ‘the abyss of Hell’, as do 13 other mss; this is also metrically acceptable, and roaring might be more likely from an abyss than a gate. However the gates of death (portae mortis) are referred to in Job XXXVIII.17, Psalm IX.15 and the gates of Hell (portae inferi) in Matt. XVI.18. The image is also present in a pagan context, cf. nágrindr ‘corpse-gate’ Skí 35/3, Lok 63/6 and helgrindr ‘Hell-gate’ SnE 1982, 9, 47.

references

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