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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Sigv Vestv 1I

[3] bǫrð ‘the stem’: Bǫrð, the pl. of n. barð, is chosen not only as the reading of the main ms., but also because it refers specifically to the stem of a ship, often the fore-stem or the prow, and so is particularly appropriate in a context which concerns tying up at a landing-place (Jesch 2001a, 148-50). The pl. bǫrð here may designate a single prow, perhaps because barð designated a feature on both sides of the prow, hence the prow itself (see LP: barð 3). Alternatively, it could refer to both stems, and the ship could be tied up at both ends. The common variant reading borð ‘plank(s)’, as a pars pro toto for ‘ship’, is also possible.


  1. Bibliography
  2. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  3. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.


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