Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

2. Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur, 21 [Vol. 2, 599-600]

[2, 4] Hlín svalteigar ‘Hlín <goddess> of the cool plot [SEA > WOMAN]’: Svalteigr ‘cool plot’ is very clearly a kenning for ‘sea’, albeit an unusual one, since the determinant would normally be a noun referring to an attribute of the sea such as a sea-king, sea-creature or waves (Meissner 92-8). Bibire 1988 links this with hreggi ‘storm’ in l. 1 and leaves the goddess-name Hlín isolated as a heiti for ‘woman’; such half-kennings are uncharacteristic of Rǫgnvaldr. Skj B solves the problem by emending Hlín to a verb hvínn (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of hvína ‘squeak’) and construing the cl. differently (svǫrðr hvínn ‘the hawser squeaks’). The interpretation here follows ÍF 34: while the woman-kenning Hlín svalteigar ‘goddess of the cool plot (of ground)’ is unparalleled, it appears to belong to a type identified by Meissner in which a word for ‘fire, light’ has been omitted and which eventually becomes a recognised type (Meissner 419). It is possible that at some stage in its textual history the st. may have become irretrievably corrupted by association with a woman-kenning such as Hlín valteigar ‘goddess of the falcon-plot (arm)’, which is of a common type (cf. LP: Hlín), but is impossible here since it would not provide the requisite alliteration.


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 Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor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