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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þhorn Harkv 17I

[5-6] at brjóta hǫmlur en at slíta hái ‘to break thongs and to shatter oarports’: A hamla is a leather thong, loop or strap, while a hár is an oarport, which is ‘[a hole] in the top strake or sometimes lower’ (see Jesch 2001a, 155-6). Some eds reverse the position of the two verbs to give brjóta hái ‘break oarports’ and slíta hǫmlur ‘snap, split, tear thongs’, comparing Am 37/5-6 hǫmlor slitnoðo, háir brotnoðo ‘thongs split, oarports broke’ (NK 252; so Wisén 1886-9; Fsk 1902-3; Skj B; Skald). The verbs do indeed seem better applied thus; yet Jón Helgason (1946, 138) notes that hamla has been retained in Norway, where it designates a wider variety of mechanisms for retaining oars than simply thongs, and thus emendation may not be advisable.


  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  5. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  6. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Jón Helgason. 1946. ‘Haraldskvæði’. Tímarit Máls og menningar, 131-46.
  9. Internal references
  10. Not published: do not cite ()


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