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Edward Pettit

Published On


Page Range

pp. 315-338

Print Length

23 pages

13. The Solar Antler in Sólarljóð

  • Edward Pettit (author)
Chapter 13 attempts to interpret two obscure stanzas concerning a buried, probably solar, antler in ‘The Song of the Sun’, an Old Norse poem which refers explicitly to a solar stag. Pettit endeavours to interpret them on two levels—Christian and heathen Germanic—and relate them to the mere-episode of Beowulf. The Christian interpretation sees the antler, which is recovered by God from a dwarf (probably), as a symbol of the Cross, or perhaps also of the souls of the righteous in Hell. From a Germanic perspective, Pettit suggests that these stanzas may represent another recreation of a heathen myth about a lunar creature’s illicit concealment of sunlight and its repossession by a sun-god or his emissaries. Pettit also draws links between the solar antler, the giant sword and the close relatives of the god Freyr.


Edward Pettit