Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 78 [Vol. 7, 352-3]

[4] hjartarhorn ‘hart’s horn’: For Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 51-2) the horn is a surface on which the runes of the next st. are carved; for Bugge and Paasche (1914a, 159 and 1914b, 71) the hart’s horn is the weapon used in Christ’s (the sólar hjört ‘hart of the sun’ of st. 55) fight with the devil in serpent or dragon form, i.e. the Cross. After this he casts off his old horns and grows new ones, a token of redemption which he brings out of the grave-mound in l. 4. Falk (1914a, 51-2) cites Anon Mhkv 8/4III: Niðjungr skóf af haugi horn ‘Niðjungr shaved (sc. brought into being a new) horn from the mound’, suggesting that the horn is the horn of our salvation (cornu salutis nobis) of Luke I.69, though Amory (1985, 24 n. 42 and 1990, 262 n. 43) argues that in this st. the word horn means the corner of the haugr. Cf. also Hávm 139 where Óðinn brings up occult wisdom from below. Amory (1985, 12; 1990, 261) suggests that the runes carry the message of sin and its consequences from beyond the grave (haugr) and are to be equated with the Gospel. Brennecke’s suggestion that the reference is to Christ the unicorn has little merit.


© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.