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. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 5 [Vol. 3, 35]

[2] sá golfhǫlkvis ‘the vat of the floor-steed [HOUSE > BED]’: Some commentators (e.g. Dronke 1969, 211-12) have understood as the 3rd pers. pret. sg. of the verb sjá ‘see’, but this requires emendation of ‑hǫlkvis to ‑hǫlkvi and adoption of R’s and ’s fylkir ‘ruler’ as subject of the clause. A majority of scholars, including the present ed., understand as acc. sg. of sár m. ‘vessel, tub, vat’, forming the base-word of a tvíkent bed-kenning. Golfhǫlkvir ‘floor-steed’ is then a house-kenning (cf. Meissner 430-1), referring to Jǫrmunrekkr’s hall. Hǫlkvir occurs as a horse-heiti in several contexts (e.g. Akv 30/7, SnE 1998, I, 89, Anon Kálfv 4/5, where it refers to the hero Hǫgni’s horse). Kock (NN §1916) regards hǫlkvir as a ship-heiti, and it is possible that the word could have had both senses (AEW: hǫlkvir). Bed-kennings are uncommon in skaldic verse, and sár, with its probably mundane associations, is never used elsewhere in the corpus (see LP: sár). Bragi is likely to have chosen it at least partly a) for metrical reasons (Gade 1995a, 29-30); b) because it extends the metaphor of the verb gyrða ‘encircle’ (with a band or hoop); and c) because it connotes a vessel containing liquid, the implicit parallel being with Jǫrmunrekkr’s maimed and bleeding body, shorn of arms and legs. Marold (1994c, 569-71), however, sees the referent of sár as Jǫrmunrekkr’s sleeping chamber, formed from planks of wood.

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 Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor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