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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. Anonymous Poems, 3. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar, 12 [Vol. 1, 1044]

[7] vengis ‘of the field’: Finnur Jónsson in Skj B made the emendation to vengis, gen. sg. of vengi n.; the ms. appears to have the dat. pl. of the same word. There are three possible interpretations of vengi n.: (a) ‘land, plain, field’ (LP: 2. vengi; AEW: vengi 2), only otherwise attested in kennings; (b) ‘pillow’, in Guðr I 13/3 and in a Lat. gloss (Fritzner IV: vengi; LP: 1. vengi; AEW: vengi 1; all but one of the citations of vengi ‘field’ in LP could equally well be examples of this sense); and (c) ‘poop-deck, cabin(-roof)’ (LP: 3. vengi). This occurs as determinant of a ship-kenning in Hharð Gamv 2/4II (see Note there for further discussion of this sense). The present helmingr could conceivably be construed without emendation by taking vengi/vængi in sense (c) as a curious pars pro toto for ‘ship’: [Óláfr] lét síðan komit vengjum ramri trúu á Grœnland ‘[Óláfr] then had the powerful faith brought to Greenland on ships’; see Note above on the Christianization of Greenland.


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