Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 35. Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa, 4 [Vol. 1, 494]

[2] glæheims ‘on the glistening world [sea]’: (a) This hap. leg. is taken here (as in Skj B, ÍF 26 and ÍF 29) as a cpd of adj. glær ‘bright, shining, clear’ and noun heimr ‘world, region’, meaning ‘sea’. This departs from the normal noun + noun structure of kennings: contrast glójǫrð ‘gleaming earth’ (Anon Óldr 23/5), which is further qualified by a ship-kenning to give ‘sea’. However, such compounds occur elsewhere, e.g. Þloft Tøgdr 5/6 svalheimr ‘cool world [sea]’ and similar examples in Meissner 3, and attempts to produce a regular kenning structure by supplying a determinant here are not satisfactory (see Note to l. 2 mævar). (b) Simplex glær ‘sea’ seems to be attested in the phrases verpa, kasta, bera á glæ ‘throw, carry into the sea’ (CVC, LP, Fritzner: glær; see also Mberf Lv 5/2II and Note), and it is possible that the first element of the cpd should be understood thus (cf. Anon (ÓH) 1/4 unnheimr ‘wave-world [SEA]’; Meissner 93). The syntactic function of glæheims is also uncertain. The gen. form is understood adverbially here (so ÍF 26; ÍF 29). Alternatively, it is possible to construe it with gunni, hence at gunni glæheims ‘towards the battle of the glistening region [sea]’, i.e. a sea-battle, which is syntactically simple but stylistically unlikely. Skj B prefers acc. sg. glæheim, taking it as an acc. of place with skriðu ‘glided’, but this is the reading of J1ˣ alone, and there is only one further instance of skríða with acc. (HSt Rst 15/5-6).

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