Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Skipa heiti 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 861.
Nú mun ek skýra of skipa heiti:
ǫrk, árakló, askr, sessrúmnir,
skeið, skúta, skip ok Skíðblaðnir,
nór, Naglfari, nǫkkvi, snekkja.
Nú mun ek skýra of heiti skipa: ǫrk, árakló, askr, sessrúmnir, skeið, skúta, skip ok Skíðblaðnir, nór, Naglfari, nǫkkvi, snekkja.
Now I shall explain the names of ships: ark, oar-claw, ash, roomy-seater, warship, vessel, ship and Skíðblaðnir, nór, Naglfari, rowing boat, warship.
Mss: R(43v), Tˣ(45v), C(13r), A(19v), B(9r), 744ˣ(75v-76r) (SnE)
Readings:  Nú: ‘[…]’ C, ‘[…]v’ B, ‘Nv’ 744ˣ; mun ek: ‘[…]’ C, man ek A  ǫrk ára‑: ‘aur kara’ C  ‑rúmnir: hrungnis C, ‘rymir’ B  skúta: ‘skú[…]’ C  ok: om. Tˣ  nǫkkvi: nǫkkvi ok A, B
Notes:  ǫrk (f.) ‘ark’: A loanword from Lat. arca ‘chest’. ON ǫrk usually means ‘coffin, chest’, but it occurs in religious prose texts with the meaning ‘ark’ (for references, see Fritzner: örk). It seems that the implied meaning of the word in the present context is ‘the Ark’, which is suggested by the fact that this heiti occupies the initial position in the entire list of nautical terms. Otherwise ǫrk denotes a kind of boat used on the Elbe in Saxony (MLG ark; see Falk 1912, 90; SnE 1998, II, 442). —  árakló (f.) ‘oar-claw’: An otherwise unattested cpd from ár f. ‘oar’ and kló f. ‘claw’ (cf. klœr pl. ‘claws’ among Heiti á skipi in st. 9/6 and Note there). It is likely that the word denotes a kind of rowlock and, if so, it would belong among the heiti for parts of a ship. Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 235) suggests that the correct form could be arakló ‘eagle-claw’ and perhaps the proper name of a particular ship. That is unlikely, however, because two short syllables in metrical positions 2-3 would render the line unmetrical. —  askr (m.) ‘ash’: I.e. a small ship made of ash-wood (cf. LP: askr B.2 and ESkál Vell 4/2I). There is evidence that the word denoted ‘Viking ship’ in the older Germanic languages (Falk 1912, 87; Jesch 2001a, 135-6). Cf. Ascomannos ‘Ashmen’ used synonymously with Wichingos ‘Vikings’ by Adam of Bremen (Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum; Schmeidler 1917, Book II, ch. 29), OE æsc ‘light vessel’ and æscman ‘sailor, pirate’. Askr is used several times for Hjálmarr’s and Oddr’s ship in Ǫrvar-Odds saga (e.g. ch. 13, FSN II, 206) and also as the first element in the nickname askmaðr ‘ship-man’ (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 284). —  sessrúmnir (m.) ‘roomy-seater’: In Gylf (SnE 2005, 25), Sessrúmnir is the name of Freyja’s hall, but as a heiti for ‘ship’ the cpd occurs only in the present þula. This fact suggests that the term had changed its referent in the þulur, perhaps owing to the reinterpretation of the first element as a nautical term, i.e. sess m. ‘bench of a boat’ (on the transformation of mythical names into heiti, see Gurevich 1992c, 42-7). —  skeið, skúta ‘warship, vessel’: For skeið f. ‘warship’, see Jesch (2001a, 124-6) and Falk (1912, 104-5). Skúta f. was a smaller, faster ship that could carry a sail but could also be propelled by oars (Falk 1912, 95-7). —  Skíðblaðnir: The name of Freyr’s ship, which the dwarfs made for him (Grí 44/3; Gylf, SnE 2005, 34, 36). The cpd probably means ‘one built of thin planks’ (so LP: Skíðblaðnir; from a cpd *skíðblað ‘piece of wood blade’ plus the suffix ‑nir; cf. Blaðnir ‘single-bit blade’, the name of a sword; Falk 1914b, 47). —  nór (m.): According to Falk (1912, 85), this was originally a boat made from a hollowed tree-trunk and hence the same as nǫkkvi ‘rowing boat’ (l. 8 below). Cf. New Norw. nu, nuv ‘vessel, boat’, Lat. navis ‘ship’ (ÍO: nór 1). The word occurs only in poetry (Þjóð Yt 17/10I brandnór ‘fire-ship [HOUSE]’) and as the first element in the cpd Nóatún (lit. ‘field of ships’), the name of the ocean home of the god Njǫrðr (cf. Grí 16/1). It is not possible to ascertain exactly what kind of boat this was. —  Naglfari: A mythical ship, lit. ‘nail-goer’, also attested as Naglfar in Vsp 50/8 and Gylf (SnE 2005, 36, 50-1). In Gylf (loc. cit.), Nagl- is interpreted as nagl m. ‘nail’ and the ship is said to have been made of dead people’s nails. The first element of the cpd is more likely to have been derived from nagli m. ‘spike’, however, referring to the seam of nails in a ship’s planking (naglar í skipi ‘nails in a ship’ = saumfǫr ‘rivet-row’). Hence, according to Lie (1954), Naglfar(i) was originally a common noun, a ship-heiti of the pars pro toto type similar to saumfǫr ‘rivet-row’ (st. 5/3 below), subsequently reinterpreted as a mythical proper name. Naglfari ‘riveted, decorated with nails or studs’ is also a sword-heiti (Þul Sverða 8/4), as well as the name of Nótt’s husband in Gylf (SnE 2005, 13). —  nǫkkvi, snekkja ‘rowing boat, warship’: According to Falk (1912, 85), nǫkkvi m. was originally a boat made from a hollowed tree-trunk (see Note to l. 7 above). Cf. OE naca, OS nako and OHG nahho ‘ship, boat’ (AEW: 1. nǫkkvi). A snekkja f. was a larger warship, which appears to have been somewhat smaller than a skeið ‘warship’ (l. 5 above). See Falk (1912, 102-3) and Jesch (2001a, 126-7).
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