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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 3. Fragments, 4A couplet mentioning Sleipnir [Vol. 3, 59]

[2] lung ‘the longship’: Here presumed to be the base-word of a horse-kenning. From Lat. [navis] longa, probably via OIr. long (Falk 1912, 89; Jesch 2001a, 123; see also Note to Þul Skipa 2/7). Lungr occurs as a horse-name in Anon Þorgþ I 1/7 and Þul Hesta 2/4 and (possibly) in an obscure fragment attributed to Egill Skallagrímsson (Egill Frag), cited in TGT (TGT 1884, 86) in the same chapter as Bragi’s couplet (it also includes a reference to Gungnir). Horse-kennings are rare in skaldic poetry, the only comparable example being Sigv Frag 2/3 knǫrr rastar ‘the ship of the league’. Both these kennings invert the common metaphor ‘horse of the sea’ for ‘ship’; see Note to Sigv Frag 2/3.


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