Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Few Words

"King Hrolf led a way straight south over the Fyris Wolds." (Hrolf Kraki's Saga, p. 217)

("Fyris" and "Wolds" are different links.)

"...this summer grazing for livestock; mast for swine." (p. 218)

"...a heavy ring of gold...belled." (p. 218)

I found the word "duff" somewhere in this section but now cannot re-find it. In the context, it clearly means decomposing organic matter in a forest. (It is on p. 222)

"'...if I had my besom here!'" (p. 220)

"...this was the greatest halidom in Svithjod." (p. 220)

In this context, "halidom" means a relic, not a place.

When Hrolf saw the belling ring on the ground:

"He took one from his arm, cast it down to the other, and told his warriors: 'This will I leave off, to pick up gold though it lie on the road. And let none of you dare do so either; for it was thrown here to hinder our faring.'" (p. 218)

I find these remarks confusing. Maybe a line of text is missing.


David Birr said...

I think when Hrolf said, "This will I leave off..." he meant, "I'm going to stop doing this" or simply "I'm not going to do this." In other words, "This gold ring we found here is bait for a trap; I'm not going to pick it up, and you shouldn't either." It's an odd turn of phrase to our ears, but it makes sense ... sort of.

Taking off the ring he ALREADY had, though, doesn't make particular sense to me, unless it's to emphasize how very serious he is about the importance of rejecting the bait.

Paul Shackley said...

Thank you. Now it makes sense.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David and Paul!

Also, I think Poul Anderson sometimes tried to have his characters in this book speak in archaic ways that sometimes look odd to us.

I thought this use of "belled" in association with a gold arm ring odd till I checked my copy of HROLF KRAKI'S SAGA for the context. It simply means the hoof of King Hrolf's horse struck the arm ring, producing a bell like noise.