Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Gamlkan Has 32VII

[5-6] sjalfir englar … skjalfa ‘the very angels [of the Lord] will tremble’: Black (1971, 222) notes that HómÍsl sermon for All Saints’ Day has an interesting parallel: þar es ótte sva mikill oc andvare at þeim dóme at þa skiálfa englar guþs oc aller helger meɴ ‘there will be such great terror and trepidation at the Judgement that the angels of God and all holy men will tremble’ (HómÍsl 1872, 45). That the saints will tremble at the Second Coming is also mentioned in the sermon on the Holy Spirit: eɴda muno skiálfa aller helger. mikil mon þa ógn í heime vera. es conungr kømr reíþr ‘and so all the saints will tremble, there will be great terror in the world, when the king comes in anger’ (HómÍsl 1872, 214). That the earth, and its inhabitants, will tremble at the day of the Lord is a biblical commonplace (see, for example, Ps. CXIII.7; Joel II.1, 10).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Black, Elizabeth L. 1971. ‘Harmsól: an edition’. B. Litt. thesis. University of Oxford.
  3. HómÍsl 1872 = Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1872. Homiliu-bók: Isländska homilier efter en handskrift från tolfte århundredet. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. HómÍsl = Íslensk hómilíubók (The Icelandic Homily Book).


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