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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Lil 61VII

[1] járnhlið ‘iron gates’: The gates of hell are typically described as being made of brass, in reference to Ps. CVI.16 (quia contrivit portas aereas et vectes ferreos confregit ‘because he hath broken gates of brass, and burst iron bars’, cf. Isa. XLV.2). The only other occurrence of the word cited by dictionaries is the translation of Acts XII.10 in Postola Sögur (Unger 1874, 78); it also occurs in Oddur Gottskálksson’s translation of the same verse (Sigurður Nordal 1933).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Unger, C. R., ed. 1874. Postola sögur: Legendariske fortællinger om Apostlernes liv, deres kamp for kristendommens udbredelse, samt deres martyrdød. Christiania (Oslo): Bentzen.
  3. Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1933. Hið Nya Testament 1540: Oddur Gottskálksson’s Translation of the New Testament (Roskilde, Hans Barth, 1540). Monumenta typographica Islandica 1. Facsimile edn. Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard.


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