Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Leið 10VII

[5, 6, 7] vegrunnar elds varrelgs ‘way-trees of the fire of the wake-elk [SHIP > SEA > GOLD > SEAFARERS]’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844, 60) follows 624’s and 399a-bˣ’s readings to give varðelg ‘guardian-elk’, but B reads ‘vareelgs’, though it is possible that the first <e> is meant to be a <d> (cf. Rydberg 1907, 5 n. 14). Skj B and Kock emend to varrelg, compounding elgr ‘elk’ with the poetic word vǫrr ‘wake of a ship’. Although varrelgr is not otherwise attested, elgr is often used in kennings for ships (LP: elgr). Vegr varrelgs ‘way of the wake-elk’ i.e. ‘way of the ship’ makes for an acceptable sea-kenning.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. 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.
  4. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.


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