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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Líkn 36VII

[4, 3] háleitr ljóss himna ‘high, radiant one of the heavens [CROSS]’: Ljóss ‘radiant’ is here construed as a substantival adj., which with háleitr ‘high’ qualifies the 2nd pers. subject, deriving m. gender from implied kross ‘Cross’. LP (1860), construing a sun-kenning, renders the phrase alte in solem suspiciens ‘gazing [from -leitr] high toward the sun’. Skj B and Skald emend to n. háleitt ljós and combine the phrase with friðar ‘of peace’ (l. 4). Skj B (cf. LP: háleitr) then takes this to refer to God, but NN §1394 to the Cross as ‘peace-light of heaven’. (Using Skj B’s emended text, Guðrún Nordal 2001, 293 cites himna ljós ‘light of the heavens’ as the only time ljós occurs as a base-word in a kenning for Christ in C12th-C13th.)


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  7. Guðrún Nordal. 2001. Tools of Literacy: The Role of Skaldic Verse in Icelandic Textual Culture of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press.


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