Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 4. Sexstefja, 20 [Vol. 2, 134-5]

[6, 7, 8] troll brutu hrís í hleypikjóla hæls ‘trolls broke brushwood in the speeding ships of the heel [SHOES]’: Troll here seems to be a rather general, even tongue-in-cheek, reference to supernatural beings, such as the ones invoked in various oaths and curses, usually consigning enemies to the trolls, e.g. HólmgB Lv 11/5V, KormǪ Lv 44/8V, VígVest Lv l. 2V. The kenning hleypikjóla hæls designates a shoe using a term for ‘ship’ as base-word qualified by a determinant referring to the foot. This is unusual but not unparalleled: see Meissner 434. The idea seems to be that trolls break off twigs of brushwood and stuff it in the shoes of Haraldr’s enemies to prevent their progress, hence cause trouble generally (so Andersson and Gade 2000, 477). There are no close parallels to this idiom (brjóta hrís, attested in Fritzner: hrís 2, is literal, not figurative), though LP: brjóta 5 compares another figurative usage from Þjóðolfr, brjóta sér byrðar, lit. ‘break off a burden for oneself’, hence ‘make difficulties for oneself’, st. 25/5, 8.


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 Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor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