Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Ól 3I

[2] af hesti ... ‘from the horse ...’: Hesti ‘horse’ is certain, and in the context is most likely to be the base-word of a ship-kenning. The determinant may be a sea-kenning incorporating bekkjar ‘of the bench’ as determinant (see LP: 2. bekkr 1 for examples), or possibly bekkjar alone in the sense ‘ship’ (LP: 2. bekkr 2). Af ‘from’ is less clear: Finnur Jónsson reads ‘a’, which he takes as a scribal error for af, but Ólafur Halldórsson (AM 61 1982, 23) thinks the ms. has a ligature of ‘a’ + ‘f’, i.e. af. Kock (NN §3346) suggests emendation to ráhesti (m. dat. sg.) ‘sailyard-horse’, hence á ráhesti báru ‘on the sailyard-horse of the waves [SHIP]’, but this (overdetermined) kenning is not justified, given the fragmentary state of the text, and neither is his reading in Skald of af for á (l. 1).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. 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.
  5. AM 61 1982 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1982. The Great Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and Olaf the Saint: AM 61 fol. EIM 14. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.


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