Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

1. 3. Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, 1. Glymdrápa, 2 [Vol. 1, 78]

[6, 8] nǫkkva tanna lagar ‘ships of the teeth of the sea [STONES (steinar ‘colours’)]’: I.e. painted ships. The kenning ‘teeth of the sea’ is interpreted as an ofljóst here; the interpretations given in ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 are similar though sceptical. Steinn means not only ‘stone’ but also ‘colour (mineral paint)’. Ships may have been painted, as suggested by references to colour, also using the word steinn, in Þfagr Sveinn 3/5, 6-7II glæsidýr lauks … fagrdrifin steini ‘the splendid beasts of the mast [SHIPS] … beautifully covered with colour’ and Refr Ferðv 3/1, 3-4III runnit rauðum steini ‘covered with red paint’, in reference to a ship’s bow; while in Hallm Hallkv 9/5V steinnǫkkva must be not a ‘stone ship’ but a ‘painted ship’. While in the first two examples steini is a dat. with a p. p. (fagrdrifin, runnit, both ‘covered’), the use of stein- in the cpd steinnǫkkva can be regarded as a parallel to the use of tanna lagar as a gen. with adjectival function (cf. NS §135). The use of the pl. tanna ‘teeth’ in the present case may be explained as necessary to fulfil metrical requirements. 


© 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 Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor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.