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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 34. Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr, 3 [Vol. 1, 475]

[4] Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’): Óláfr Tryggvason’s famous warship and the focus of attention in the present poem. The phrase reappears in stef-like fashion in sts 4/4, 5/8 and 8/4 (see Introduction). Hkr (ÍF 26, 336) describes the ship as follows: Á Orminum langa váru fjǫgur rúm ok þrír tigir. Hǫfuðin ok krókrinn var allt gullbúit. Svá váru há borðin sem á hafskip. Þat hefir skip verit bezt gǫrt ok með mestum kostnaði í Nóregi ‘There were thirty-four rowing stations on Ormr inn langi. The heads and the curved stem and stern were all adorned with gold. The sides were as high as on an ocean-going ship. That was the best-made and mostly costly ship ever to be built in Norway’. The name Ormr appears frequently in skaldic poetry, both directly and through word-play: see Note to Hfr ErfÓl 10/1.


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