Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv ErfÓl 4I/6 — land ‘land’

Goll buðu opt, þeirs ollu
úthlaupum, gram kaupask
rautt, en ræsir neitti,
ríklunduðum undan.
Skǫr bað hann með hjǫrvi
— herland skal svá verja —
— ráns biðu rekkar sýna
refsing — firum efsa.

Buðu, þeirs ollu úthlaupum, opt ríklunduðum gram rautt goll kaupask undan, en ræsir neitti. Hann bað efsa skǫr firum með hjǫrvi; svá skal verja herland; rekkar biðu sýna refsing ráns.

Those who carried out plundering expeditions often offered the mighty-spirited prince red gold to buy themselves off, but the ruler refused. He ordered men’s hair to be cut with the sword; that is how to defend the people’s land; the warriors suffered visible punishment for their robbery.


[6] ‑land: lǫndum 321ˣ, ‑lǫnd 73aˣ


[6] herland ‘the people’s land’: This follows the suggestion of Kock (NN §1871) that this is a cpd equivalent to fólkland ‘the people’s land’. This is plausible, particularly in view of the fact that herr can mean ‘population, inhabitants of a country’ (LP: herr 2); and cf. Ótt Hfl 7/3, 4 varða þjóðlǫnd ‘defend the nation’s lands’. (b) ÍF 27, followed by Jón Skaptason (1983) and Hkr 1991, understands it as land, sem verður fyrir hernaði ‘land that is subject to raids’. However, there are no close parallels for such a construction among the large number of nominal compounds in her-. (c) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) treats this as two unconnected words, taking land as the object of verja and her (dat.) as the hostile army against which the land must be defended.



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