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Runic Dictionary

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KrákÁsl Lv 11VIII (RagnSon 1) (Kráka/Áslaug) l. 2

á — on


3. á (prep.): on, at



[2] á hálsum borgar ‘on the heights of the fortress’: The basic sense of háls is ‘neck’ (of a human or animal), but it also has the transferred sense of ‘hill, ridge, mountain pass’, describing a feature of the landscape (Fritzner, ONP: hals). Finnur Jónsson appears to have understood the word in the latter sense (på borgens höje ‘on the hills of the fortress’), in Hb 1892-6, as does the present ed.; in Skj B, however, Finnur emends borgar ‘of the fortress, rampart’ (LP: borg) to bragna, gen. of m. pl. bragnar ‘men’, and translates ‘on the necks of men’, evidently understanding the ravens to be perched on the bodies of the slain. Kock (NN §1469A) suggests either ‘fortress’ or ‘mountain’ for borg as its meaning in the present instance. The translation ‘the heights of the fortress’ is adopted here with an admission that this leaves unexplained which fortress (or (fortified) mountain?) is in question. The prose context in RagnSon gives no help on this point.



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