This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. 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

3. Eilífr Goðrúnarson, 1. Þórsdrápa, 14 [Vol. 3, 105]

[1, 4] í hringbalka* ‘into the circular rooms’: Beginning with Finnur Jónsson (1900b, 392), all eds have emended the mss’ ‘hrin-’ (R, , W) to hring-, which results in a better aðalhending (hring : ging). There have been several proposed interpretations of the cpd hringbalka: (a) This edn takes hringbalka as acc. pl. of hringbalkr ‘circular room’. For balkr as an a-stem, see Fritzner: balkr. The emendation to hringbalka is justifiable because this is the only word that can designate a place with the prep. í ‘in, into’ (l. 1). Hringbalka is not following the prep. directly, but the gap is partially filled by the genitives qualifying hringbalka. If one accepts that genitives can also precede the word they qualify, an almost natural syntax arises: í þróttarhersa Þornranns hringbalka which is only interrupted by the subject of the sentence hugumbornir ‘the courageous ones’. Hringbalka ‘circular room’ could be combined with the giant-kenning þróttarhersa Þornranns ‘of the strength-hersar of the house of Þorn <giant> [CAVE > GIANTS]’ to form a kenning for ‘cave’, but that kenning would contain the referent ‘cave’ twice, once in Þornranns ‘of the house of Þorn [CAVE]’ and again as the referent of the whole kenning itself. Snorri apparently interpreted hringbalkr as a stall for goats (geitahús; Skm, SnE 1998, I, 25). Other eds have retained the nom. hringbalkar. (b) Finnur Jónsson (1900b, 393) interprets the cpd as ‘round enclosure, fence’ and combines it with hellis ‘of the cave’ in a kenning for ‘mountains’ (the rocks enclosing the cave), which again functions as the determinant in the giant-kenning ‘Cumbrians of the round enclosure of the cave’ (so also Kock, NN §§460, 2514). Reichardt (1948, 372) does not explain the expression but translates it simply as ‘Cumbrians of the cave’. (c) Lindquist (1929, 99, followed by Mohr 1933, 5) interprets hringbalkar as a man-kenning, ringförsedda balkar ‘ringed beams’, and takes it as the subject of the clause. Reichardt’s (1948, 371) objections to this interpretation are justified. ONP: bǫlkr records 33 tokens of the word but only two have the (uncertain) meaning ‘beam’.

references

© 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.