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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 77 [Vol. 7, 649-50]

[All]: The theme of sts 77-8 is the seven deadly or capital sins (see Kilström 1962b). Lists of capital sins appear frequently in ON religious literature: notable examples include HómNo (1-31, 35-8), HómÍsl (HómÍsl 1993, 29v-31r) and Konungs Skuggsjá (Holm-Olsen 1983, 80). The number of sins and the order in which they appear vary in these texts and others. The list in Lil follows a later tradition and corresponds to the one established by Gregory the Great in his Moralia in Iob: superbia ‘pride’ (or inanis gloria ‘vainglory’), invidia ‘envy’, ira ‘wrath’, tristitia ‘sloth, sadness’, avaritia ‘avarice’, ventris ingluvies ‘gluttony’, and luxuria ‘lust’ (Adriaen 1979, 143B:1610-13 [31.45]). It may be derived from a manual for priests by William of Pagula entitled Oculus sacerdotis, which was widely circulated in Europe and the British Isles. ON versions survive in the C15th mss AM 626 4° and AM 672 4° (see Widding 1960 and Þorvaldur Bjarnarson 1878, 159-61). St. 77 deals with the sins of pride (ofbeldi), envy (öfund), wrath (reiðigall), and spiritual despair (hrygð).


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