Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, 1. Gamanvísur, 2 [Vol. 2, 36-7]

[4] vengis (n. gen. sg.) ‘of the cabin’: According to Falk, this was most likely a cabin in the stern of a ship (cf. ModNorw. dialects væng ‘ship-cabin’; see Falk 1912, 10; LP: vengi 3; Fritzner: vængr). Alternatively, Haraldr, who had served in the Byzantine army, could refer to structures aboard Byzantine ships, either castles or the berth for commanders in the stern, surrounded by a round tent (see Pryor and Jeffreys 2006, 227-38, 448). Otherwise, the word is attested poetically in the meaning ‘pillow’ (LP: vengi 1) or ‘plain, field’ (LP: vengi 2). Jesch (2001a, 153-4) suggests that vengis ‘of the plain’ is a half-kenning for ‘sea’ (hjǫrtr vengis ‘the stag of the sea’, i.e. ‘ship’).


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