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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 36VII l. 4

háleitr — High


háleitr (adj.): glorious, sublime



[4, 3] háleitr ljóss himna ‘high, radiant one of the heavens [CROSS]’: Ljóss ‘radiant’ is here construed as a substantival adj., which with háleitr ‘high’ qualifies the 2nd pers. subject, deriving m. gender from implied kross ‘Cross’. LP (1860), construing a sun-kenning, renders the phrase alte in solem suspiciens ‘gazing [from -leitr] high toward the sun’. Skj B and Skald emend to n. háleitt ljós and combine the phrase with friðar ‘of peace’ (l. 4). Skj B (cf. LP: háleitr) then takes this to refer to God, but NN §1394 to the Cross as ‘peace-light of heaven’. (Using Skj B’s emended text, Guðrún Nordal 2001, 293 cites himna ljós ‘light of the heavens’ as the only time ljós occurs as a base-word in a kenning for Christ in C12th-C13th.)



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