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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 11 [Vol. 7, 573-5]

[All]: Behind this st. is the traditional notion that after creating the cosmos, God set out on a new, analogous course of action, and created man, the microcosmos. Cf. the ON Eluc: callasc hann af þui enn minne heimr. þuiat hann hafþe hold af iorþo enn bloþ af vatne blost af lofste enn hita af elde ‘he is therefore called microcosm, the small world. He got his flesh from the earth and his blood from the water, his breath from the air, and his warmth from the fire’ (Eluc 1992, 14-15). There is also a shift from the creation of the lower animals to the creation of man, who has a rational soul and thus can know God. Cf. Stjórn (Unger 1862, 20): Madrinn med sinni skynsemd [cf. Lil 5/2] er eigi þaleidis skapaðr lutr ok nidr leitr sem skynlaus kuikendi. er hans likams uo᷎xtr rettr formeradr upp til himinsins sua sem sealfan hann aaminnandi. at hann hafi aa þann haat sin hugskotz augu ok skilningaruit til himneskra hluta. sem hans likamligh augu skilningaruit ok aaseona ueit upp til himinsins ‘The man with his discernment is not thus created bowed over and bent downward like insensible creatures. The growth of his body is upright toward heaven, so he can remind himself that, in that way, he should have his mind’s eye and his discernment turned towards heavenly things: like his bodily eyes, his discernment also turns its glance up towards heaven’.


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