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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 65 [Vol. 7, 636-7]

[All]: The st. contrasts Lucifer’s inflated idea of his power with the greater might of both Jesus and Mary. Peter Foote (1982, 118) points out that much of the content of this st. and the following is ‘clearly a verbatim transfer of the Poetria nova’ of Geoffrey of Vinsauf. Cf. Geoffrey on subjectio and gradatio: Serpens invidiae nostraeque propaginis auctor, / Cur cruce damnasti Christum? Meruitne? Sed expers / Omnis erat maculae. Corpus fantasma putasti? / Sed veram carnem sumpsit de virgine. Purum / Credebas hominem? Sed de virtute probavit / Esse Deum. Quare merita damnare ‘Serpent of envy and foe of our race, why did you seek Christ’s death on the cross? Did he deserve it? But he was free of all guilt. Did you think his body a phantom? But he assumed true flesh of a virgin. Did you think him mere man? But by his power he proved himself God...’ (Nims 1967, 57; Faral 1924, 232).


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