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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Gamli kanóki, 1. Harmsól, 50 [Vol. 7, 117-18]

[2-3] festi* fróns musteris rítar ‘securer (dat.) of the shield of the temple of the land [HEAVEN > SUN > = God (= Christ)]’: This striking expression appears to be a conflation of two kenning-types found elsewhere in Has. In locutions like rítar ranns éla ‘(of the) shield of the house of storms’ (26/3-4), the sun is characterised as the shield of heaven. The lexical parallels noted above may indicate that Gamli intends his readers/hearers to recall that image here. He superimposes it on the concept of heaven as a shrine or temple, which occurs in skrín skýja ‘shrine of the clouds’ (19/7-8) and skrín skýstalls ‘shrine of the sky-platform’ (29/7-8). Gamli uses the OFr loanword musteri, which derives from Lat. monasterium (AEW: mustari) and is used to designate a Christian or Jewish temple or church, rather than a hof, a heathen temple (CVC: musteri). The word is used of a Christian church in Anon Vitn 15/3 and Anon Mv I 15/2.

references

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