Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Arn Þorfdr 7II/2 — skilit ‘decisively’

At lǫgðu skip skatnar
skilit; fell herr á þiljur;
svômu jôrn í ômu
óðhǫrð Skota blóði.
Stall drapa — strengir gullu;
stál beit, en rann sveiti;
broddr fló; bifðusk oddar
bjartir — þengils hjarta.

Skatnar lǫgðu skip skilit at; herr fell á þiljur; óðhǫrð jôrn svômu í ômu blóði Skota. Hjarta þengils drapa stall; strengir gullu; stál beit, en sveiti rann; broddr fló; bjartir oddar bifðusk.

Men steered ships decisively to the attack; troops slumped to the decking; rage-hard iron blades swam in the dark blood of Scots. The ruler’s heart was not struck with terror; bow-strings shrilled; steel bit, and gore flowed; the spear-head flew; shining sword-points quivered.


[2] skilit: ‘skilid’ R702ˣ


[2] skilit ‘decisively’: The ms. form ‘skilit’ in 332ˣ and Flat is most likely to be n. nom./acc. sg. of the p. p. from skilja ‘separate, discern’. ‘Skilid’ in R702ˣ is ambiguous, since in the orthography of that ms. it could represent either -it or -. (a) Skilit is taken here as an adverbial use of the n. sg. p. p. of skilja. This usually has the sense ‘clearly, distinctly’ and occurs in phrases involving ‘distinct’ hearing or telling, e.g. Hfr ErfÓl 12/7I skilit frá ek ‘I heard clearly’. The adj. skilinn, however, can be applied to human actions as well as words in the sense ‘astute, reasonable’ (see Fritzner: skilinn 2), and this supports the interpretation ‘decisively, unhesitatingly’ adopted here (so also Finnur Jónsson in Skj B and Finnbogi Guðmundsson in ÍF 34, 47 n.). (b) Skilið, if n. acc. pl. applied to skip ‘ships’ would mean ‘separate’, i.e. not linked together. But the writer of Orkn (ch. 20) certainly did not understand the words thus, for he states that both leaders tied their fleets together.



Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Word in text

This view shows information about an instance of a word in a text.