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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 89VII l. 3

geisli — light-beam


geisli (noun m.): beam of light


[3] geisli: geislin 99a, 705ˣ, gimsteinn 41 8°ˣ(420)


[3] geisli lofta ‘light-beam of the skies’: This epithet is likewise unusual. The image of a ray or beam of light is normally associated with Christ, in ON as well as in Lat. literature (cf. geisli miskunnar sólar ‘beam of the sun of mercy’ Geisl 1/6 etc.). In Lil 27/3, geisli sólar ‘ray of the sun’ is used of the archangel Gabriel. The meaning is more metaphorical (something like ‘shining example’) when geisli brúða ‘light-beam of women’ refers to S. Anastasia in Mey 42/6 and Íslands gǫfugr geisli ‘Iceland’s splendid beam’ to Bishop Guðmundr in Árni Gd, 67/1IV; perhaps it should be understood in a similar way here.



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