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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 26VII/6 — alþingis ‘the Althing’

Enn mun kross dýrð kynnaz
— kemr ótti þá — dróttins
fyr hnigstöfum hjörva
hljóms at efsta dómi.
Meiðr skal hverr ór hauðri
hringmóts til alþingis
fremðarráðs á fæðis
fund hvatliga skunda.

Dýrð dróttins kross mun enn kynnaz fyr hnigstöfum hljóms hjörva at efsta dómi; ótti kemr þá. Hverr meiðr hringmóts skal skunda hvatliga ór hauðri til alþingis á fund fæðis fremðarráðs.

The glory of the Lord’s Cross will yet be made known to bowing staves of swords’ din [BATTLE > WARRIORS] at the Last Judgement; fear will come then. Each tree of the sword-meeting [BATTLE > WARRIOR] shall hasten quickly from out of the ground to the Althing to meet the nourisher of propitious counsel [= God (= Christ)].


[6] til alþingis ‘to the Althing’: This conception of the Last Judgement in terms of the Althing is apparently unique in ON. In an Icel. poem the term cannot but evoke the country’s general assembly, the highest court of the land, though in Norway the cpd has a less specific sense, simply ‘a general meeting’ (Fritzner). The Last Judgement is also characterised as a þing ‘assembly’ (not alþingi) in 27/1, Has 32/1, Líkn 27/1, Lil 72/1, and in the late medieval Píslardrápa 32/1, 34/1 (ÍM I.2, 62); cf. mót ‘meeting’ in the ONorw. Doomsday homily (HómNo, 101). In poetry, alþingi otherwise occurs only in HǫrðG Lv 7/2 (Harð 14)V, where it refers to the Icel. general assembly.



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