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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Sól 78VII

[3] synir Sólkötlu ‘the sons of Sólkatla’: The woman’s name is otherwise unknown. It is etymologically transparent, from sól ‘sun’ + f. form of ketill ‘cauldron, container’. For Falk (1914a, 53), as also for Amory (1985, 12); 1990, 261-2, Sólkatla is the mulier amictae sole ‘woman clothed with the sun’ of Rev. XII.1, the Virgin Mary, the Church and the New Jerusalem at once. Her sons are the citizens of the New Jerusalem, the righteous. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 62) contends that the sons of Sólkatla are the father’s companions in heaven, and that their mother is a virtuous dead woman; there may be some connections with Sólblinda synir ‘the sons of Sun-Blind’ in Fj 10. Brennecke 1985 comments extensively on this st.; he notes Paasche’s reference to the epithet vas gratiae ‘the vessel of grace’ for the Virgin Mary in Finnur Jónsson et al. (1916, 174) and compares a number of similar epithets in later German religious verse. The sons of Sólkatla would thus be the Apostles, since Christ designated the Apostle John as Mary’s son in John XIX.26. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 103) more simply suggests that sólkatla may be a heiti for heaven; the sons of heaven are then the righteous.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Amory, Frederic. 1985. ‘Norse-Christian Syncretism and interpretatio christiana in Sólarljóð’. In [n. a.]. 1985. Workshop Papers of the Sixth International Saga Conference, 28.7-2.8 1985. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Det arnamagnæanske Institut, I, 1-25.
  3. Brennecke, Detlev. 1985. ‘Zur Strophe 78 der Sólarljóð’. ANF 100, 97-108.
  4. Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1915a. Sólarljóð: gefin út með skíringum og athugasemdum. Safn til sögu Íslands og íslenzkra bókmenta 5.1. Reykjavík: Prentsmiðja Gutenberg.
  5. Falk, Hjalmar, ed. 1914a. Sólarljóð. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter II. Hist.-filos. kl. 7. 2 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  6. Njörður P. Njarðvik, ed. 1991. Sólarljóð. Útgáfa og umfjöllun. Íslensk Rit 10. Reykjavík: Bókmenntafræðistofnun Háskóla Íslands og Menningarsjóður.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite ()


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