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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 27 [Vol. 7, 593-4]

[8] gimsteinn vífa ‘jewel of women’: The same kenning-like phrase is used for Mary in Mgr 39/4. Cf. gimsteinn brúða ‘jewel of women’ in 89/4 and gimstein sprunda ‘jewel of women’ in Árni Gd 10/6IV, as well as the later Icel. poem Gimsteinn (ÍM I.2, 285-332). In Lat. hymns Mary is commonly referred to as gemma ‘gem’, eg. gemma puellarum ‘gem of maidens’ (AH 30, 129) and gemma virginum ‘gem of virgins’ (AH 32, 88, 236; 40, 95). Mary Magdalene is called gimstein brúða ‘jewel of women’ in Anon Mey 11/8, and Bishop Guðmundr is gimsteinn lærðra manna ‘jewel of learned men’ in Árni Gd 69/4IV.


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