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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 18 [Vol. 7, 248-9]

[2] na hauðrs ‘moon’s land [SKY/HEAVEN]’: Restoration based upon 399a-bˣ (including Jón Sigurðsson’s note ‘likely mánahauðrs’) as well as <ð> for aðalhending. The same kenning recurs (and, as here, hauð- is rhymed with dauð-) in Mgr 30/2 and 34/8, again with reference to Mary’s weeping at Jesus’s death. The alliterative linkage of máni ‘moon’ with Mary (mær ok móðir ‘maiden and mother’ (l. 1)) may evoke the widespread association of Mary with the moon in the patristic period (as the Christmas moon from whose radiance Christ as ‘sun of justice’ proceeds, Rahner 1963, 161-7) and with the growth of Marian devotion in the C12th-13th (see Salzer 1886-93, 377-84). In his Sermon on the Nativity of our Lady, S. Anthony of Padua (early C13th) writes, e.g., that Mary is called the full moon (luna plena) of Eccles. L.6 quia ex omni parte perfecta ‘because she is in every way perfect’ (Costa, Frasson and Luisetto 1979, II, 107-8). Cf. the Speculum Beatae Mariae Virginis of Conrad of Saxony (C13th), long attributed to Bonaventure; commenting on pulchra ut luna ‘fair as the moon’ in Cant. VI.9, he writes: Luna ergo est Maria.... Lunae plenae bene Maria comparata est, quae lumine sapientiae et veritatis a sole aeterno plene illuminata est ‘The moon is therefore Mary.... Well is Mary likened to the full moon, which is fully illuminated by the eternal sun with the light of wisdom and truth’ (VII.1; Martinez 1975, 269-70, cf. 378). Mary is also often identified with the radiant woman standing on the moon (et luna sub pedibus eius) in Rev. XII.1 (see Kirschbaum et al. 1968-76, I, 146-8).

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