Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þhorn Gldr 6I/8 — stik ‘a stake’

Grennir þrǫng at gunni
gunnmôs fyr haf sunnan
(sá vas gramr) ok gumnum
(goðvarðr) und sik jǫrðu.
Ok hjalmtamiðr hilmir
holmreyðar lét olman
lindihjǫrt fyr landi
lundprúðr við stik bundinn.

Grennir gunnmôs þrǫng jǫrðu ok gumnum und sik at gunni fyr sunnan haf; sá gramr vas goðvarðr. Ok lundprúðr holmreyðar hjalmtamiðr hilmir lét olman lindihjǫrt bundinn við stik fyr landi.

The feeder of the battle-gull [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR] forced the land and people under himself in battle south across the sea; that ruler was god-protected. And the splendid-minded ruler, used to the helmet of the island-salmon [SNAKE], had the fierce mast-hart [SHIP] moored to a stake before the shore.


[8] stik: stig J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 761aˣ


[6, 8] lét ... bundinn við stik ‘had ... moored to a stake’: According to the prose of Hkr these stakes were erected for defence (cf. Falk 1912, 26). Modéer (1944, 203-9) and von See (1977b, 77-8) doubt this and think they were simple moorings. However, archaeologists have found evidence of offshore barricades in Denmark as early as the year 700 (Nørgård Jørgensen 2002b, 125). Tying up unopposed in an adversary’s harbour may have had symbolic importance as a demonstration of power, much like the designation of the ruler as the wearer of the œgishjalmr (see Note to st. 5/6). The impression would be even greater if the stakes were indeed defensive.



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