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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Gamlkan Has 50VII

[2-3] festi* fróns musteris rítar ‘securer (dat.) of the shield of the temple of the land [HEAVEN > SUN > = God (= Christ)]’: This striking expression appears to be a conflation of two kenning-types found elsewhere in Has. In locutions like rítar ranns éla ‘(of the) shield of the house of storms’ (26/3-4), the sun is characterised as the shield of heaven. The lexical parallels noted above may indicate that Gamli intends his readers/hearers to recall that image here. He superimposes it on the concept of heaven as a shrine or temple, which occurs in skrín skýja ‘shrine of the clouds’ (19/7-8) and skrín skýstalls ‘shrine of the sky-platform’ (29/7-8). Gamli uses the OFr loanword musteri, which derives from Lat. monasterium (AEW: mustari) and is used to designate a Christian or Jewish temple or church, rather than a hof, a heathen temple (CVC: musteri). The word is used of a Christian church in Anon Vitn 15/3 and Anon Mv I 15/2.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  3. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  4. Internal references
  5. Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Gamli kanóki, Harmsól’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 70-132.
  6. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu 15’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 750.

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