Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Lil 60VII

[1] sæta ‘sweet’: The use of sætr to describe a person first appears in ON in later Christian texts: it is likely a borrowing from Lat. dulcis. The prologue to Mar speaks of Mary’s saal miklu sætara ‘very sweet soul’ (Mar 1871, 336), and a letter from Bishop Audfinn of Bergen to Queen Isabella in 1324 refers to Mary as the sæto modor ‘sweet mother’ of Jesus (DN 2, 131). Cf. the hymn Gaude, virgo, stella maris, with its refrain, Dulcis Jesus, dulcis Maria ‘Sweet Jesus, sweet Mary’ (AH 15, 34) and Lil 63/1, 79/1, and 80/1. Fritzner has no examples of the word used to describe Jesus.


  1. Bibliography
  2. AH = Dreves, G. M., C. Blume and H. M. Bannister, eds. 1886-1922. Analecta hymnica medii aeui. 55 vols. Leipzig: Reisland. Rpt. 1961. New York: Johnson.
  3. DN = Lange, C. A. and C. R. Unger, eds. 1847-. Diplomatarium Norvegicum: oldbreve til kundskab om Norges indre og ydre forholde, sprog, slægter, sæder, lovgivning og rettergang i middelalderen. Vols 1-. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  4. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  5. Internal references
  6. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 63’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 634-5.


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