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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Þulur, 31. Skipa heiti, 2 [Vol. 3, 863]

[7] langskip (n.) ‘longship’: A term for various types of warships, attested only in West Norse sources (and with a parallel in OE langscip ‘longship’; see Falk 1912, 101-2). Falk (1912, 101) suggests that langskip could be a loan translation from Lat. navis longa ‘long ship’ (see lung ‘long-boat’ in l. 7 above). The word is common in prose, but not frequently found in verse (Jesch 2001a, 123). Hedeby 1 and Roskilde 6 are examples of longships. The estimated original length of the latter is around 36 metres, and it could possibly have had as many as 78 oars (39 pairs). This ship would have exceeded the size of Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’), Óláfr Tryggvason’s famous warship (manning 68 oars). See Crumlin-Pedersen (2010, 88).


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