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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Líkn 20VII

[1, 2] á síðu und hægri hendi ‘on his side under the right arm’: This specific iconographic detail locating the wound from the lance on the right side accords with the more common medieval tradition. Mꜽle 1958, 190-5 indicates that the wound on the right side represents the founding of the church (Ecclesia), but the tradition is not fixed. See Gurewich 1957, 358-62, who suggests that when on the left, the wound points to Christ’s ‘bleeding heart’. Late medieval Icel. Passion poems vary the position of the wound, either leaving it unspecified but penetrating the heart (Rósa 106), locating it on the right side (Blómarós 55), or on the right but still reaching to the heart (Gimsteinn 55) (ÍM I.2, 29; I.2, 93; I.2, 316).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Gurewich, Vladimir. 1957. ‘Observations on the Iconography of the Wound in Christ’s Side, with Special Reference to its Position’. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 20, 358-62.
  3. ÍM = Jón Helgason, ed. 1936-8. Íslenzk miðaldarkvæði: Islandske digte fra senmiddelalderen. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.


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