Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þjóð Yt 22I

[10] Skíringssal ‘Skíringssalr’: The first known written evidence for the p. n. is in the OE Ælfredian Orosius (late C9th), where it is called Sciringes heale ‘Sciring’s haugh/hale’ (Bately 2008, 47, 55). The second element appears to be the dat. sg. of OE h(e)alh ‘a nook of land, a corner of land, a water-meadow’ (Smith 1956, I, 223), but it could be a spelling or a substitution for OE heall ‘hall’, which would correspond with ON salr ‘hall’. During the Middle Ages Skíringssalr was the name of a district in Vestfold called Tjølling today (Storm 1899, 113; Hkr 1893-1901, IV). Excavations between 1999 and 2001 revealed a man-made plateau north of the old commercial centre Kaupang. It is the site of a very large building measuring 9-10m by 32-34m, and accompanying artefacts indicate that it was the hall of a Viking-Age ruler. The layout corresponds to that of C8th halls from the Mälaren region inspired by the great C7th hall in (Gamla) Uppsala (Skre and Stylegar 2004, 65-71; Skre 2007b, 426-7). Skíringssalr is at present the only known hall site of this kind outside the Mälaren region, which may suggest that it was a direct imitation of the Uppsala hall.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  3. Skre, Dagfinn. 2007b. ‘The Dating of Ynglingatal’. In Skre 2007a, 407-28.
  4. Skre, Dagfinn and Frans-Arne Stylegar. 2004. Kaupang vikingbyen: Kaupang-utstilling ved UKM, Oslo, 2004-2005. Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, Universitetets kulturhistoriske museer.
  5. Storm, Gustav. 1899. ‘Ynglingatal, dets forfatter og forfattelsestid’. ANF 15, 107-41.
  6. Smith, Albert Hugh. 1956. English Place-Name Elements. 2 vols. English Place-Name Society 25-6. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite (RunVI)


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