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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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EBrún Lv 1III l. 3

snekkjur — warships


snekkja (noun f.; °-u; -ur): warship



[3-4] austrœnar snekkjur ilja ‘eastern warships of footsoles [SHOES]’: The adj. austrœnar (f. acc. pl.) can only qualify snekkjur (f. acc. pl.) ‘warships’ (l. 3). and is often used to refer to goods from Norway, seen from an Icelandic point of view (ONP: austrǿnn). Austrœnar snekkjur ilja ‘eastern warships of footsoles [SHOES]’ most likely means here that these are shoes from Norway. Kennings denoting ‘foot’ or ‘shoe(s)’ are attested elsewhere in poetry (Meissner 434), and the noun il f. ‘footsole’ is used as a determinant in several of these (see ÞjóðA Lv 6/6II, ÞjóðA Lv 8/2II, Eil Þdr 3/7). A ship-term as the base-word of such a kenning also appears in ÞjóðA Sex 20/7II hleypikjólar hæls ‘the speeding ships of the heel [SHOES]’. In Skj A, Finnur Jónsson used only ms. 743ˣ, and he emended the reading ‘austrer aser’ to austrœnna (gen. pl.) sér to construe Orðrakkr rr austrœnna flausta ‘The word-bold captain of a Norwegian ship [a Norwegian merchant]’ (Skj B). Finnur’s emendation was adopted by Kock (Skald).



case: acc.
number: pl.

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