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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Vestv 1I/2 — borgar ‘fortifications’

Bergr, hǫfum minnzk, hvé margan
morgun Rúðu borgar
bǫrð létk í fǫr fyrða
fest við arm inn vestra.

Bergr, hǫfum minnzk, hvé margan morgun létk bǫrð fest við inn vestra arm borgar Rúðu í fǫr fyrða.

Bergr, we have remembered how, many a morning, I caused the stem to be moored to the western rampart of Rouen’s fortifications in the company of men.

notes

[2] borgar Rúðu ‘of Rouen’s fortifications’: The names of certain foreign towns were Scandinavianised in ON by using the element borg ‘fortifications, fortified place’ (e.g. Akrsborg for Acre in ESk Sigdr I 3/8II, Þsvart Lv 1/8II, Oddi Lv 4/8II, -borg rhyming with morgin in the first two), and it is possible that Rúðuborg should be regarded as a cpd p. n. However, borg may also have specific reference to the fortifications, as suggested here, with borgar qualifying inn vestra arm ‘the western arm or rampart’ (so also NN §630, ÍF 27 and Jón Skaptason 1983, and compare Bǫlv Hardr 2/8II and Anon (HSig) 2/8II, in each of which armr ‘rampart’ is qualified by borgar). Skj B takes borgar instead as the gen. object of minnzk ‘remembered’. On the possible historical and archaeological context of this reference, see Jesch (2004a, 264-5).

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