Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 14 [Vol. 7, 579]

[1] verðleikrinn ‘their [lit. the] merit’: In the ON Eluc the Master uses this word to explain why God created the angels with free will: Fvr retlete at þeir mętte retta ombon taka fyr verþleic sinn. Ef þeir vere sua scapaþer at þeir mętte eige misgera. þa hefþe þeir enge verþleic viþ Goþ þuiat þeir gerþe sua sem nauþger gott ‘For the sake of justice, so that they could receive their just reward for their worth [verðleik]. Had they been created without the ability to sin, they would not have had any merit [verðleik] before God because they would have acted well only out of necessity’ (Eluc 1992, 12-13). This st. expresses the same rationale for human freedom.


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