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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 12. Guthormr sindri, Hákonardrápa, 7 [Vol. 1, 166]

[8] snekkjum ‘warships’: The type of ship referred to here is unclear. (a) Editors have favoured snekkjum, yielding a regular aðalhending with the second syllable of Eirekr. This occurrence of snekkja, if accepted, would mark the first attestation in OWN; the word may be derived from OE snacc ‘type of ship’ (Jesch 2001a, 126) or it might originate in a Gmc lingua franca used in maritime contexts. (b) The mss of ÓT have skeiðum, which is also possible since r : ð, here eir : skeiðum, is also an acceptable rhyme type, which occurs in st. 5/5 above (see Note, and cf. Jesch 2001a, 126, who similarly allows for the possibility of either snekkjum or skeiðum here). The distinction between snekkja and skeið is unclear. Prose sources indicate that the snekkja was smaller (Jesch 2001a, 126 n. 18), though see Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 2/2, 3II.


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