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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 18I/2 — Linna ‘Linni (‘Serpent’)’

Ǫrbragðs ærir lǫgðu
annat sinn at Linna
— grimmt varð Gǫndlar borða
gnaust — sextigum flausta.
Danskr herr dýran harra,
drótt hné mǫrg, þars sótti;
hirð fell; hrafnar gullu.
Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna.

Ærir ǫrbragðs lǫgðu annat sinn at Linna sextigum flausta; gnaust borða Gǫndlar varð grimmt. Mǫrg drótt hné, þars danskr herr sótti dýran harra; hirð fell; hrafnar gullu. Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna …

The messengers of the arrow-flight [WARRIORS] attacked Linni (‘Serpent’) a second time with sixty ships; the noise of the planks of Gǫndul <valkyrie> [SHIELDS > BATTLE] became fierce. Many a troop fell, where the Danish army attacked the precious ruler; the retinue fell; ravens shrieked. He was the mightiest of royal men …


[2] sinn at Linna: ‘o[…]’ 325VIII 2 b


[2] Linna ‘Linni (“Serpent”)’: Taken here as acc. sg. of linni, referring to Óláfr’s longship Ormr inn langi ‘the Long Serpent’, mentioned by name in sts 15/5, 19/4, 21/4, 22/4, 23/4 (variant to drekinn), 29/8. It is not certain whether Linni is to be thought of as a name or a common noun here. For the skalds’ use of word-play when referring to this famous vessel, see Note to Hfr ErfÓl 10/1, and for the ship, see Note to Hókr Eirfl 3/4. Linna could also be acc. pl. of weak linni or strong linnr (also meaning serpent) and would then refer to Óláfr’s two ships Ormr inn langi and Ormr inn skammi ‘the Short Serpent’.



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