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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Einarr Skúlason (biog. vol. 2), Geisli, 63 [Vol. 7, 58-9]

[8] friðarsýn ‘vision of peace’: I.e. ‘the Heavenly Jerusalem’. The cpd is a direct translation of Lat. visio pacis, which was believed to be the meaning of the name Jerusalem (Augustinus Hipponensis, Enarrationes in Psalmos, col. 598). This etymology was well known in the Middle Ages and appears frequently in theological writings and in hymns, the most famous being Urbs beata Hierusalem, dicta pacis visio (AH 51, 119; Ordo Nidr., 292-3, 335-6). The image of the martyrs and confessors living in endless heavenly bliss, ultimately derived from Scripture (Rev. VII.13-17, XXI. 3-4, etc.), is a commonplace in hymns for the feasts of saints. Cf. Ník Jóndr 2/3 himna sýnar ‘a vision of the heavens’ and the Icel. Christmas homily:  Méttem ver þa fꜵþor oc sun oc anda helgan i eino velde. oc fagrt eþle yver engla. þar monom ver siá helga friþar sýn þa er vár bíþr meþ sinom trúlegom borgmꜵɴom ‘We will then meet the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in one kingdom. And [it will be] a beautiful homeland above the angels. There we will see the holy vision of peace which awaits us with its faithful citizens’ (HómÍsl 1993, fol. 23v).


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