Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 37 [Vol. 7, 271-3]

[All]: The Cross as altar (altári, l. 4), on which the Lamb of God is sacrificed, is a frequent Christian image. See, e.g., the final st. of Fortunatus’ Vexilla regis which begins Salve, ara, salve victima ‘Hail, altar, hail, victim’ (Bulst 1956, 129), and st. 5 of the sequence Laudes crucis attollamus, attr. Adam of S. Victor (C12th) O quam felix, quam praeclara / Fuit haec salutis ara / Rubens agni sanguine ‘O how blessed, O how famous, was this altar of salvation, growing red with the blood of the Lamb’ (AH 54, 188; cf. AH 8, 26 and 30). The idea occurs also in Icel. liturgical mss: ara crucis ‘altar of the Cross’ in De sancta cruce missa, AM 98 I 8° (C13th, Gjerløw 1980, I, 35) and tu amara crucis ara ‘you bitter altar of the Cross’ in the hymn for Vespers, attr. Bonaventure (C13th), in AM 241 a fol (early C14th, Gjerløw 1980, I, 223); cf. Gimsteinn 104/1 Alltare erttu gudz ‘you are the altar of God’ (ÍM I.2, 327).

references

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