Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 12I/3 — hrings ‘sword’

Hafglóð hilmir sáði
hjaldrríkr ok gaf skjǫldu
— stétthrings stofnum veitti
stikka — vôpn ok skikkjur.
Stórráðr steinda knǫrru
stillir fekk, en ekki
hildings hœfði mildi.
Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna.

Hjaldrríkr hilmir sáði hafglóð ok gaf skjǫldu, vôpn ok skikkjur; veitti stofnum stétthrings stikka. Stórráðr stillir fekk steinda knǫrru, en ekki hœfði mildi hildings. Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna …

The battle-mighty prince sowed sea-ember [GOLD] and gave away shields, weapons and cloaks; he provided cloak-pins (?) for the poles of the path-sword [SHIELD > WARRIORS]. The ambitious ruler gave painted merchant ships, and nothing could match the generosity of the war-leader. He was the mightiest of royal men …


[3] stétthrings ‘of the path-sword [SHIELD]’: If the text is not corrupt, these kenning elements must, exceptionally, be construed in reverse order: the shield is the ground or path of the sword. See LP: 2. hringr and Note to Þhorn Harkv 1/1 for hringr in the sense ‘sword’ and Meissner 169 for semantically similar shield-kennings. An alternative possibility suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 12, 53LP (1860): stétt) is that hringr is ‘serpent’, whose stétt ‘path’ is gold; the elements are still in reverse order.



case: gen.


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