This interface will no longer be publicly available from 1 September 2020. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

1. 1. Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, 1. Ynglingatal, 27 [Vol. 1, 58]

[6] stjóri reiðar ‘the steerer of the carriage [RULER]’: (a) This interpretation (also adopted in Bugge 1894, 138; Yng 1912, 70; Noreen 1912b, 135; Brøgger 1916, 39) preserves the normal meaning of reið f. (LP: 1. reið). The use of carriages is proven by the Oseberg ship burial, which is dated to approximately the same period and contained a richly ornamented carriage as well as a tapestry depicting figures riding on carriages (Graham-Campbell 1994, 42-3). That Rǫgnvaldr is associated with a carriage is perhaps indicative of his involvement in cultic or royal processions akin to the Swedish custom of Eriksgata (cf. ARG I, 473-4). The base-word stjóri is primarily used to refer to a ruler and appears with designations for people, entourage etc. (Meissner 328; for a few exceptions see LP: stjóri). Here, however, stjóri may have a meaning comparable to that of the verb stýra ‘to steer’, which can be used for ships and carriages but also for countries and people (cf. LP: stýra). (b) Others (Wadstein 1895a, 82; Storm 1899, 139; Brøgger 1925, 185; Hkr 1991) have interpreted reið as ‘ship’, citing a ship heiti in Þul Skipa 3/8III. However, reið ‘carriage’ is normally used not as a ship-heiti but as the base-word in ship-kennings, with determinants such as hlunna ‘of launching-rollers’ or the name of a sea-king (see LP: 1. reið 1). (c) Noreen (Yt 1925; cf. Lindquist 1929, 73) suggests that reið meant a troop of riders, but the word is not attested in this meaning, and mounted warriors were not common in the Viking Age.


© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.