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Old Norse Online

Lesson 3

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

The Gokstad Ship

It is through their seafaring skills that the Vikings entered the historical records of Western Europe, descending upon the coastal towns from the high seas. At the time the Continent encountered the Vikings, they truly wielded a mastery of the waves unparalled elsewhere in Europe, both in ship construction and in navigational skill. Fortunately some remnants of these ships have survived, so that comparison with artistic depictions in regions attacked or settled by the Scandinavians, and with the written accounts of the Scandinavians themselves, allows for a fairly robust understanding of their capabilities on the open sea.

The best preserved remnant of a Viking ship comes from a grave at Gokstad, near the Oslo Fjord. The situation of the burial was fortunate, since all of the ship below the figurehead was buried in a thick clay which lent itself to excellent preservation. The burial dates to roughly 900, and the ship measures 76 feet 6 inches from stem to stern, and 17 feet 6 inches at the beam, with a draught of some 3 feet. The keel is formed from a single oak, capped by ends which rise but whose tops have unfortunately rotted away.

The rest of the hull is built clinker style from 16 planks, each overlapping the one below and riveted to it. These planks are each an inch or less thick, except for the tenth at the waterline and the fourteenth with the oarholes, both of which are slightly thicker. The planks are so thin they can be lifted by one man; they are so flexible that they can be bent with ease some 14 degrees side to side. Each plank runs the length of the ship. In order to produce such long, flexible strips of wood, the shipbuilders took the trunks of large trees and drove wedges into the wood. In contrast to sawing, which cuts across the grain, this method of splitting allows the wood to separate along its grain, leaving a strong but flexible plank. These planks are fitted to 19 ribs, spaced 3 feet apart. Above the waterline the planks are nailed to the ribs, but below they are only lashed with spruce-roots to allow the boat to expand with the stress and strain of the open sea. Employing relatively thin planks retains a light and swift structure.

The shape and construction of the ship contribute in interesting ways to its speed, which was in fact noticeably greater than that of other ships of the period. The clinker building technique, with its overlapping planks, actually forces some air down along the seams and under the ship. This has the effect of producing a faint pocket of air between the hull and the water, reducing the overall drag of the ship. Though the effect is not large, it is perhaps a factor in increasing the speed of the ship. A greater factor is the shape of the ship itself. The narrow prow giving way to a wide, flat midsection allows the ship more to skim over the water, rather than cut through it. As the speed of the boat increases, under moderate surface conditions, the hull actually lifts slightly out of the water, so that there is a mild hydroplaning effect. More than the clinker style construction, this reduces drag, thus increasing speed. These factors, coupled with the overall lightness, gave the viking ship an average speed a few knots greater than anything else sailing the ocean at the time.

The deck consists of floorboards which are not fixed to the vessel, but merely rest upon the crossbeams. They could be lifted to open up storage area, or to allow access for bailing water. Running along the ship below the floorboards is a 12 foot oaken block which served as a base for the mast when raised. The mast was steadied by a longer block above this, with a slit allowing for raising and lowering of the mast. Estimates suggest that the mast itself was approximately 40 feet high. The sail is made not of cloth but rather wool. The wool used was naturally water resistant and flexible, thus allowing the sail to flex in strong winds, yet return to its original shape. The actual rigging used is unclear, none having survived. Images of viking ships suggest that a complicated mesh of ropes may have been used to hem in the sail, perhaps with several members of the crew reigning in different sections. Whether this was the case, or alternatively a wooden yard was set through eyelets at the bottom of the sail, either method would have allowed the ship to run close to the wind. Viking ships are thus not limited to merely running with their back to the wind, but appear to have been able to tack into the wind as well.

The rudder is mounted on the right side (cf. the term starboard), and in shape is nothing more than a broadened oar. It is fastened to the ship by means of an oak block running through the ship's planks, and this in turn is fastened to a strengthened rib. There is a secondary attachment, a strap holding the rudder to the gunwale. The yard-long tiller is detachable, and decorated with a carved animal head. Releasing this strap and hauling a rope attached to the board itself allows the rudder to be raised in shallow water. When fully extended into the water, the rudder projects 18 inches below the keel, providing good lateral resistance.

Introduction

The authorship of Grettis saga is uncertain, as are the origins of many aspects of the story itself. Grettir the Strong was apparently an outlaw in Iceland who lived from 996-1031 AD. The composition of the saga itself, in the form we have it, dates from the 14th century. It is not clear how much of the story is based on actual exploits of the man himself and how much was added from other storytelling traditions current at the time. Many scholars find, within the narrative, elements of the story of Beowulf, and for this reason they suspect that the two tales are in fact variants of the same story. In this view, Beowulf is the high-style retelling, while Grettis saga is the more straightforward, action-packed version. The parallels stem from similar motifs in the primary battles, namely descent into the unknown, the slaying of a beast, the severing of an arm, and retrieval of a weapon. Grettir fights with Glm, a rather typical example of the Icelandic notion of a ghost, more substantial than modern notions of some ethereal vapor, and then fights with the troll-wife. This sequence parallels Beowulf's fight with Grendel and then his mother.

Grettis saga is not only noteworthy for its possible literary heritage. The saga affords one of the few clear descriptions of Scandinavian household layout for the period. The house is described as one large room in which all domestic activities take place. For a time, scholars studying the terminology of other literary records believed that this depiction was too primitive for Viking Age homes, and that other literature suggested more complex structures. In the end, archaeology proved Grettis saga correct; other sagas give misleading descriptions of structures of the time, and still others use terminology too vague to lead to any definite conclusions.

Lesson 3 Text

The following passage from chapter 35 begins the scene of Grettir's fight with Glm. The narrative style is simple and direct. The beginning shows the slow build up and suspense of any modern ghost story or thriller. Many of the details of the fight parallel Beowulf's fight with Grendel, such as the contest of sheer strength rather than weaponry; even the emotional content is similar, with Grendel's surprise at Beowulf's strength and his desire to flee all displayed by Glm in the following narrative.

Ljs brann sklanum um nttina. Ok er af mundi rijungr at ntt, heyri Grettir t dunur miklar.

  • ljs -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <ljs> light, lantern -- a light
  • brann -- verb; 3rd singular past of <brenna> (intrans.) burn, be on fire -- burned
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • sklanum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <skli> shed; hall, sleeping-hall + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the hall
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- through
  • nttina -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <ntt> night + definite article; accusative singular feminine of <inn> the -- the night
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • af -- preposition; <af> out of, from; with; concerning; because of -- ...
  • mundi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- passed
  • rijungr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <rijungr> third part -- the third part
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- of
  • ntt -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <ntt> night -- the night
  • heyri -- verb; 3rd singular past of <heyra ()> hear, hear of -- heard
  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • t -- adverb; <t> out; from abroad -- outside
  • dunur -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <duna> thunderous noise -- rumblings
  • miklar -- adjective; accusative plural feminine of <mikill> great, large, big; severe -- great

Var farit upp hsin ok riit sklanum ok barit hlunum, sv at brakai hverju tr.

  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- ...
  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • farit -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- (it) came
  • upp -- adverb; <upp> up -- up
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- to
  • hsin -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <hs> house; room of house; (pl.) farm + definite article; accusative plural neuter of <inn> the -- the house
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • riit -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <ra> ride; ride over -- passed
  • sklanum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <skli> shed; hall, sleeping-hall + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- into the hall
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • barit -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <berja (bari, barir)> smite, beat; (refl.) fight -- struck
  • hlunum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <hll> heel + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- with its heels
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • brakai -- verb; 3rd singular past of <braka (a)> crack, creak -- it creaked
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- on
  • hverju -- adjective; dative singular neuter of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- every
  • tr -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <tr> tree; log, beam -- beam

v gekk lengi; var farit ofan af hsinum ok til dura gengit.

  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- ...
  • gekk -- verb; 3rd singular past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- (this) went on
  • lengi -- adverb; <lengi> long; far; for a long time -- for a bit
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- ...
  • farit -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- (it) went
  • ofan -- adverb; <ofan> from above, down; southwards -- ...
  • af -- preposition; <af> out of, from; with; concerning; because of -- from
  • hsinum -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <hs> house; room of house; (pl.) farm + definite article; dative plural neuter of <inn> the -- the house
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to
  • dura -- noun, feminine; genitive plural of <dyrr> door, doorway -- the doors
  • gengit -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- came

Ok er upp var lokit hurunni, s Grettir at rllinn rtti inn hfuit, ok sndisk honum afskrmiliga mikit ok undarliga strskorit.

  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • upp -- adverb; <upp> up -- open
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- ...
  • lokit -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <lka> finish, end; use up -- came
  • hurunni -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <hur> door + definite article; dative singular feminine of <inn> the -- the door
  • s -- verb; 3rd singular past of <sj> see, perceive; find; understand; look -- watched
  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- as
  • rllinn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <rll> thrall, slave + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the thrall
  • rtti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <rtta (tt)> reach, stretch up or out; raise; put right -- poked
  • inn -- adverb; <inn> in, within -- inside
  • hfuit -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <hfu> head; person + definite article; accusative singular neuter of <inn> the -- (his) head
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • sndisk -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <sna (d)> show; (mid.) appear to be, seem; exist -- seemed
  • honum -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- to him
  • afskrmiliga -- adverb; <afskrmiliga> hideously -- hideously
  • mikit -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <mikill> great, large, big; severe -- powerful
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • undarliga -- adverb; <undarliga> wondrously, strangely -- outlandishly
  • strskorit -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <strskorinn> of huge proportions -- huge

Glmr fr seint ok rttisk upp, er hann kom inn dyrnar. Hann gnfai ofarliga vi rfrinu.

  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • fr -- verb; 3rd singular past of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- advanced
  • seint -- adverb; <seint> slowly; coldly -- slowly
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • rttisk -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <rtta (tt)> reach, stretch up or out; raise; put right -- stood
  • upp -- adverb; <upp> up -- upright
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • kom -- verb; 3rd singular past of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- came
  • inn -- adverb; <inn> in, within -- inside
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- through
  • dyrnar -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <dyrr> door, doorway + definite article; accusative plural feminine of <inn> the -- the doors
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • gnfai -- verb; 3rd singular past of <gnfa (a)> to rise high, tower -- extended
  • ofarliga -- adverb; <ofarliga> high up -- right
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- up to
  • rfrinu -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <rfr> roof + definite article; dative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the roof

Snr sklanum ok lagi handlegginn upp vertrit ok ggisk inn yfir sklann.

  • snr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <sna> plait, tie, twist; turn -- he turned
  • sklanum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <skli> shed; hall, sleeping-hall + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- to the hall
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • lagi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <leggja> lay, place, put; put down, lay down; move, bring; thrust, throw; make; give -- set
  • handlegginn -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <handleggr> arm; (pl.) upper arm and forearm + definite article; accusative singular masculine of <inn> the -- (his) arm
  • upp -- adverb; <upp> up -- up-
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- -on
  • vertrit -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <vertr> cross-beam + definite article; accusative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the crossbeam
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • ggisk -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <ggjask ()> bend forward to see, gaze, glare -- peered
  • inn -- adverb; <inn> in, within -- in
  • yfir -- preposition; <yfir> above, over, at; across, upon -- across
  • sklann -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <skli> shed; hall, sleeping-hall + definite article; accusative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the hall

Ekki lt bndi heyra til sn, v at honum tti rit um, er hann heyri hvat um var ti.

  • ekki -- pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <engi> no, none, no one -- no (sound)
  • lt -- verb; 3rd singular past of <lta> put, place; let, allow; concede, yield; leave, leave off; lose; cause to be done, command; behave (as if); declare; sound -- let
  • bndi -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <bndi> yeoman, franklin; husband -- the yeoman
  • heyra -- verb; infinitive of <heyra ()> hear, hear of -- escape
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- ...
  • sn -- reflexive pronoun; genitive of <sik> him-, her-, it-self; them-selves; one-self -- ...
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- ...
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- ...
  • honum -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- to him
  • tti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <ykkja (tti)> seem, be thought -- (and this) seemed
  • rit -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <rinn> sufficient, enough -- sufficient
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- when
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • heyri -- verb; 3rd singular past of <heyra ()> hear, hear of -- heard
  • hvat -- interrogative pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- what (all)
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • ti -- adverb; <ti> outside; out at sea; unsheltered -- outside

Grettir l kyrr ok hrri sik hvergi. Glmr s at hrga nkkur l setinu, ok rzk n innar eptir sklanum ok reif feldinn stundar fast.

  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • l -- verb; 3rd singular past of <liggja> be situated; lie (down); be slain -- lay
  • kyrr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <kyrr> quiet -- quiet
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • hrri -- verb; 3rd singular past of <hrra ()> move, stir -- moved
  • sik -- reflexive pronoun; accusative of <sik> him-, her-, it-self; them-selves; one-self -- ...
  • hvergi -- adverb; <hvergi> nowhere; not at all -- not a bit
  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • s -- verb; 3rd singular past of <sj> see, perceive; find; understand; look -- noticed
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • hrga -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <hrga> heap -- heap
  • nkkur -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <nakkvarr, nkkurr> a, a certain; any -- some
  • l -- verb; 3rd singular past of <liggja> be situated; lie (down); be slain -- lay
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- along
  • setinu -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <set> seat; raised floor along the sides of a hall + definite article; dative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the sideboards
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • rzk -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <ra> advise, counsel; discuss; plot; set, arrange; decide; govern; prevail; have to deal with; go, take one's way -- made his way
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • innar -- adverb; comparative of <inn> in, within -- farther in
  • eptir -- preposition; <eptir> after, behind; for, to obtain; along; according to; in succession to -- along
  • sklanum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <skli> shed; hall, sleeping-hall + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the hall
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • reif -- verb; 3rd singular past of <rfa> grasp -- took a... hold
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- of
  • feldinn -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <feldr> cloak + definite article; accusative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the cloak
  • stundar -- adverb; <stundar> very, quite -- ...
  • fast -- adverb; <fast> fast, strongly, hard; certainly -- strong

Grettir spyrndi stokkinn ok gekk v hvergi. Glmr hnykti annat sinn miklu fastara, ok bifaisk hvergi feldrinn.

  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • spyrndi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <spyrna (d)> kick; place the feet -- braced
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- against
  • stokkinn -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <stokkr> log, piece of wood; beam + definite article; accusative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the plank
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • gekk -- verb; 3rd singular past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- did... move
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- ...
  • hvergi -- adverb; <hvergi> nowhere; not at all -- not... at all
  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • hnykti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <hnykkja (, t)> pull violently -- pulled
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- ...
  • annat -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <annarr> other, another; second, next; one (of two) -- a second
  • sinn -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <sinn> time -- time
  • miklu -- adjective used as substantive; dative singular neuter of <mikill> great, large, big; severe -- much
  • fastara -- adverb; comparative of <fast> fast, strongly, hard; certainly -- harder
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- but
  • bifaisk -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <bifask (, a)> tremble; move; march -- would... budge
  • hvergi -- adverb; <hvergi> nowhere; not at all -- not
  • feldrinn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <feldr> cloak + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the cloak

rija sinn reif hann me bum hndum sv fast at hann rtti Gretti upp r setinu; kiptu n sundr feldinum millum sn.

  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- ...
  • rija -- adjective; weak accusative singular neuter of <rii> third -- the third
  • sinn -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <sinn> time -- time
  • reif -- verb; 3rd singular past of <rfa> grasp -- grabbed hold
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- ...
  • me -- preposition; <me> with; by means of; among; along -- with
  • bum -- adjective; dative plural feminine of <bir> both -- both
  • hndum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <hnd> hand, arm and hand; side, part -- hands
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • fast -- adverb; <fast> fast, strongly, hard; certainly -- hard
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • rtti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <rtta (tt)> reach, stretch up or out; raise; put right -- raised
  • Gretti -- proper noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • upp -- adverb; <upp> up -- up
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • setinu -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <set> seat; raised floor along the sides of a hall + definite article; dative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the sideboards
  • kiptu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <kippa (, t)> pull, jerk; snatch, pick up; rend -- they rent
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- ...
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- ...
  • sundr -- adverb; <sundr> asunder -- asunder
  • feldinum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <feldr> cloak + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the cloak
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- ...
  • millum -- adverb; <mili, milli, millum> between, among -- between
  • sn -- reflexive pronoun; genitive of <sik> him-, her-, it-self; them-selves; one-self -- them

Glmr leit slitrit er hann helt , ok undraisk mjk hverr sv fast mundi togask vi hann.

  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • leit -- verb; 3rd singular past of <lta> look; see; regard -- looked
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- at
  • slitrit -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <slitri> rag, torn piece + definite article; accusative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the rag
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • helt -- verb; 3rd singular past of <halda> hold; hold fast, grip; keep; steer; protect; last, hold good, remain -- was holding
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- ...
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • undraisk -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <undrask (a)> wonder, be astonished (at) -- he was... astonished (that)
  • mjk -- adverb; <mjk> much; very -- quite
  • hverr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- someone
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • fast -- adverb; <fast> fast, strongly, hard; certainly -- hard
  • mundi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- could
  • togask -- verb; infinitive middle of <toga (a)> tug, pull -- pull
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- against
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him

Ok v hljp Grettir undir hendr honum ok reif um hann mijan ok spenti honum hrygginn sem fastast gat hann, ok tlai hann at Glmr skyldi kikna vi.

  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- at
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- that (moment)
  • hljp -- verb; 3rd singular past of <hlaupa> leap, spring, climb; mount; run -- lept
  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • undir -- preposition; <undir> under, below; beneath; up to; behind -- under
  • hendr -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <hnd> hand, arm and hand; side, part -- hands
  • honum -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- his
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • reif -- verb; 3rd singular past of <rfa> grasp -- grabbed
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- round
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- his
  • mijan -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <mir> middle, the middle of -- midsection
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • spenti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <spenna (t)> span, clasp -- wrapped
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- round
  • honum -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- his
  • hrygginn -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hryggr> back + definite article; accusative singular masculine of <inn> the -- back
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- as
  • fastast -- adverb; superlative of <fast> fast, strongly, hard; certainly -- tight (as)
  • gat -- verb; 3rd singular past of <geta> get, obtain; engender; (with ppart.) be able to, get done; (with infin.) happen to (do); be obtainable; guess, suppose; relate, tell of -- could
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- as
  • tlai -- verb; 3rd singular past of <tla (a)> think, consider (to be); expect, look for; intend (to do) -- intended
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • skyldi -- verb; 3rd singular past subjunctive of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- should
  • kikna -- verb; infinitive of <kikna (a)> give way at the knees -- give way underneath
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- ...

En rllinn lagi at handleggjum Grettis sv fast at hann hrfai allr fyrir orku sakir.

  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- but
  • rllinn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <rll> thrall, slave + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the thrall
  • lagi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <leggja> lay, place, put; put down, lay down; move, bring; thrust, throw; make; give -- laid hold
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- of
  • handleggjum -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <handleggr> arm; (pl.) upper arm and forearm -- arms
  • Grettis -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir's
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • fast -- adverb; <fast> fast, strongly, hard; certainly -- tight
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • hrfai -- verb; 3rd singular past of <hrfa (a)> recoil, give way -- gave way
  • allr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- completely
  • fyrir -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- on
  • orku -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <orka> strength, might -- of (his) strength
  • sakir -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <sk> cause, reason; lawsuit, dispute; sake -- account

Fr Grettir undan mis setin. Gengu fr stokkarnir, ok alt brotnai at sem fyrir var.

  • fr -- verb; 3rd singular past of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- slipped
  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • undan -- adverb; <undan> from under; away; (thrown) down -- away
  • mis setin -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto + adjective; accusative plural neuter of <miss> various + noun, neuter; accusative singular of <set> seat; raised floor along the sides of a hall + definite article; accusative singular neuter of <inn> the -- from bed to bed
  • gengu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- shot
  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • fr -- preposition; <fr> from; concerning -- from (their settings)
  • stokkarnir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <stokkr> log, piece of wood; beam + definite article; nominative plural masculine of <inn> the -- the planks
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • alt -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • brotnai -- verb; 3rd singular past of <brotna (a)> (intrans.) break, be broken -- was broken
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- ...
  • fyrir -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- before (them)
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- came

Vildi Glmr leita t, en Grettir fri vi ftr hvar sem hann mtti. En gat Glmr dregit hann fram r sklanum.

  • vildi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vilja> will, wish, be willing; intend -- wanted
  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • leita -- verb; infinitive of <leita (a)> seek, search for; find; try to go, go; attack -- to find a way
  • t -- adverb; <t> out; from abroad -- out
  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- but
  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • fri -- verb; 3rd singular past (subj.) of <fra ()> bring, send; hurl, smite; move; present -- would brace
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- ...
  • ftr -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <ftr> foot; leg -- (his) feet
  • hvar -- adverb; <hvar> where; everywhere -- everyplace
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- ...
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • mtti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <mega> be able to, can; may -- tried
  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- ...
  • -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless -- at last
  • gat -- verb; 3rd singular past of <geta> get, obtain; engender; (with ppart.) be able to, get done; (with infin.) happen to (do); be obtainable; guess, suppose; relate, tell of -- was able
  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • dregit -- past participle; accusative singular neuter of <draga> draw, haul -- to drag
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • fram -- adverb; <fram> forward, on; away; out -- out
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • sklanum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <skli> shed; hall, sleeping-hall + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the hall

ttu eir allhara skn, v at rllinn tlai at koma honum t r bnum; en sv ilt sem at eiga var vi Glm inni, s Grettir at var verra at fsk vi hann ti, ok v brauzk hann mti af llu afli at fara t.

  • ttu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- had
  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <hann> this one -- they
  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • allhara -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <allharr> severe, violent -- a fierce
  • skn -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <skn> fight, attack -- struggle
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- such
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • rllinn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <rll> thrall, slave + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the thrall
  • tlai -- verb; 3rd singular past of <tla (a)> think, consider (to be); expect, look for; intend (to do) -- thought
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • koma -- verb; infinitive of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- send
  • honum -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • t -- adverb; <t> out; from abroad -- out
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- of
  • bnum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <br> farmhouse, farmstead; farm, landed estate; town + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the house
  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- but
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- as
  • ilt -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <illr> bad, evil; ugly, unpleasing; difficult -- difficult
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- as
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • eiga -- verb; 3rd plural past of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- hold up
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- it was
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- against
  • Glm -- proper noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • inni -- adverb; <inni> within, within the house -- inside
  • -- adverb; <> then -- nevertheless
  • s -- verb; 3rd singular past of <sj> see, perceive; find; understand; look -- saw
  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless -- still
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- it was
  • verra -- comparative adjective; nominative singular neuter of <verri> worse -- worse
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • fsk -- verb; infinitive middle of <f> get, take; catch; have, make use of; put; give; receive; suffer; (with ppart.) be able to, get accomplished; (mid.) take place; struggle -- struggle
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- with
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • ti -- adverb; <ti> outside; out at sea; unsheltered -- outside
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- for this
  • brauzk -- verb; 3rd singular past of <brjta> (trans.) break, destroy; distribute; (mid.) exert oneself -- strove
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- ...
  • mti -- preposition; <mti> against; towards; to meet -- against
  • af -- preposition; <af> out of, from; with; concerning; because of -- with
  • llu -- adjective; dative singular neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • afli -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <afl> strength -- (his) might
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- ...
  • fara -- verb; infinitive of <fara> fare, happen, turn out; go, move, travel -- exit
  • t -- adverb; <t> out; from abroad -- ...

Glmr frisk aukana ok knepti hann at sr, er eir komu anddyrit.

  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • frisk -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <fra ()> bring, send; hurl, smite; move; present -- struck out
  • aukana -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto + noun; accusative plural masculine of <auki> increase + definite article; accusative plural masculine of <inn> the -- with everything he had
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • knepti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kneppa (t)> fasten, button; pull -- pulled
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • sr -- reflexive pronoun; dative of <sik> him-, her-, it-self; them-selves; one-self -- himself
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <hann> this one -- they
  • komu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- came
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- to
  • anddyrit -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <anddyri> vestibule of hall + definite article; accusative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the hall vestibule

Ok er Grettir sr at hann fekk eigi vi spornat, hefir hann alt eitt atriit at hann hleypr sem harast fang rlnum ok spyrnir bum ftum jarfastan stein, er st durunum.

  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- as
  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • sr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <sj> see, perceive; find; understand; look -- saw
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • fekk -- verb; 3rd singular past of <f> get, take; catch; have, make use of; put; give; receive; suffer; (with ppart.) be able to, get accomplished; (mid.) take place; struggle -- was... able to
  • eigi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- ...
  • spornat -- past participle; accusative singular neuter of <sporna (a)> spurn, tread upon -- resist
  • hefir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- executed
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • alt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- fluid
  • eitt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <einn> one; a certain, particular -- one
  • atriit -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <atri> movement + definite article; accusative singular neuter of <inn> the -- motion
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- as
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • hleypr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <hlaupa> leap, spring, climb; mount; run -- lept
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- as
  • harast -- adverb; superlative of <hart> hard; sharply -- hard (as possible)
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- against
  • fang -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <fang> grasp, hold; breast; wrestling, contest; catch; provisions -- breast
  • rlnum -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <rll> thrall, slave + definite article; dative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the thrall's
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • spyrnir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <spyrna (d)> kick; place the feet -- kicked (him)
  • bum -- adjective; dative plural masculine of <bir> both -- with both
  • ftum -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <ftr> foot; leg -- feet
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- against
  • jarfastan -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <jarfastr> fixed in the earth -- set in the ground
  • stein -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <steinn> stone, rock -- a stone
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which
  • st -- verb; 3rd singular past of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- stood
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- before
  • durunum -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <dyrr> door, doorway + definite article; dative plural feminine of <inn> the -- the door

Vi essu bjsk rllinn eigi; hann hafi togazk vi at draga Gretti at sr, ok v kiknai Glmr bak aptr ok rauk fugr t dyrnar, sv at herarnar nmu uppdyrit ok rfrit gekk sundr, bi viirnir ok ekjan frerin; fell hann sv opinn ok fugr t r hsinu, en Grettir hann ofan.

  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- for
  • essu -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <sj> this -- this
  • bjsk -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <ba> be ready, prepare, secure -- had... prepared himself
  • rllinn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <rll> thrall, slave + definite article; nominative singular masculine of <inn> the -- the thrall
  • eigi -- adverb; <eigi> not -- not
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • hafi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- had
  • -- adverb; <> then -- ...
  • togazk -- past participle; accusative singular neuter middle of <toga (a)> tug, pull -- stuggled
  • vi -- preposition; <vi> reaching to, against, with; towards, at; in exchange for; by; (together) with, close to; because of -- ...
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • draga -- verb; infinitive of <draga> draw, haul -- drag
  • Gretti -- proper noun, masculine; accusative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • sr -- reflexive pronoun; dative of <sik> him-, her-, it-self; them-selves; one-self -- himself
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • v -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- at that
  • kiknai -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kikna (a)> give way at the knees -- fell
  • Glmr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Glmr> Glam -- Glam
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- to
  • bak -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <bak> back -- the back
  • aptr -- adverb; <aptr> back; aft -- ...
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • rauk -- verb; 3rd singular past of <rjka> reek, smoke; go flying, tumble -- tumbled
  • fugr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <fugr> turned the wrong way, backwards -- backwards
  • t -- adverb; <t> out; from abroad -- out
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- towards
  • dyrnar -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <dyrr> door, doorway + definite article; accusative plural feminine of <inn> the -- the door
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- so
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • herarnar -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <herar> (pl.) shoulders + definite article; nominative plural feminine of <inn> the -- (his) shoulders
  • nmu -- verb; 3rd plural past of <nema> take; take possession of; catch, strike against; amount to -- struck
  • uppdyrit -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <uppdyri> upper cross-piece of doorway, lintel + definite article; accusative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the lintel
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • rfrit -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <rfr> roof + definite article; nominative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the roof
  • gekk -- verb; 3rd singular past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- fell
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- ...
  • sundr -- adverb; <sundr> asunder -- apart
  • bi -- conjunction; <bi> both -- both
  • viirnir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <vir> tree; beam; forest; wood + definite article; nominative plural masculine of <inn> the -- the beams
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • ekjan -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <ekja> thatch, roof + definite article; nominative singular feminine of <inn> the -- the... thatch
  • frerin -- past participle; nominative singular feminine of <frjsa> freeze -- frozen
  • fell -- verb; 3rd singular past of <falla> fall, fall down; flow; be slain -- fell
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • sv -- adverb; <sv> so, thus, in this way; also; as, as if -- ...
  • opinn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <opinn> open; on one's back -- over
  • ok -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • fugr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <fugr> turned the wrong way, backwards -- backwards
  • t -- adverb; <t> out; from abroad -- out
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- of
  • hsinu -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <hs> house; room of house; (pl.) farm + definite article; dative singular neuter of <inn> the -- the house
  • en -- conjunction; <en> but, and; than -- and
  • Grettir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Grettir> Grettir -- Grettir
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- (fell) on
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- him
  • ofan -- adverb; <ofan> from above, down; southwards -- top of

Lesson Text

Ljs brann sklanum um nttina. Ok er af mundi rijungr at ntt, heyri Grettir t dunur miklar. Var farit upp hsin ok riit sklanum ok barit hlunum, sv at brakai hverju tr. v gekk lengi; var farit ofan af hsinum ok til dura gengit. Ok er upp var lokit hurunni, s Grettir at rllinn rtti inn hfuit, ok sndisk honum afskrmiliga mikit ok undarliga strskorit. Glmr fr seint ok rttisk upp, er hann kom inn dyrnar. Hann gnfai ofarliga vi rfrinu. Snr sklanum ok lagi handlegginn upp vertrit ok ggisk inn yfir sklann. Ekki lt bndi heyra til sn, v at honum tti rit um, er hann heyri hvat um var ti. Grettir l kyrr ok hrri sik hvergi. Glmr s at hrga nkkur l setinu, ok rzk n innar eptir sklanum ok reif feldinn stundar fast. Grettir spyrndi stokkinn ok gekk v hvergi. Glmr hnykti annat sinn miklu fastara, ok bifaisk hvergi feldrinn. rija sinn reif hann me bum hndum sv fast at hann rtti Gretti upp r setinu; kiptu n sundr feldinum millum sn.

Glmr leit slitrit er hann helt , ok undraisk mjk hverr sv fast mundi togask vi hann. Ok v hljp Grettir undir hendr honum ok reif um hann mijan ok spenti honum hrygginn sem fastast gat hann, ok tlai hann at Glmr skyldi kikna vi. En rllinn lagi at handleggjum Grettis sv fast at hann hrfai allr fyrir orku sakir. Fr Grettir undan mis setin. Gengu fr stokkarnir, ok alt brotnai at sem fyrir var. Vildi Glmr leita t, en Grettir fri vi ftr hvar sem hann mtti. En gat Glmr dregit hann fram r sklanum. ttu eir allhara skn, v at rllinn tlai at koma honum t r bnum; en sv ilt sem at eiga var vi Glm inni, s Grettir at var verra at fsk vi hann ti, ok v brauzk hann mti af llu afli at fara t. Glmr frisk aukana ok knepti hann at sr, er eir komu anddyrit. Ok er Grettir sr at hann fekk eigi vi spornat, hefir hann alt eitt atriit at hann hleypr sem harast fang rlnum ok spyrnir bum ftum jarfastan stein, er st durunum. Vi essu bjsk rllinn eigi; hann hafi togazk vi at draga Gretti at sr, ok v kiknai Glmr bak aptr ok rauk fugr t dyrnar, sv at herarnar nmu uppdyrit ok rfrit gekk sundr, bi viirnir ok ekjan frerin; fell hann sv opinn ok fugr t r hsinu, en Grettir hann ofan.

Translation

A light burned in the hall through the night. And as the third part of the night passed, Grettir heard great rumblings outside. It came up to the house and passed into the hall and struck with its heels, so that it creaked on every beam. This went on for a bit; then it went from the house and came to the doors. And as the door came open, Grettir watched as the thrall poked his head inside, and seemed to him hideously powerful and outlandishly huge. Glam advanced slowly and stood upright as he came inside through the doors. He extended right up to the roof. He turned to the hall and set his arm upon the crossbeam and peered in across the hall. The yeoman let no sound escape, and this seemed to him sufficient, when he heard what all was outside. Grettir lay quiet and moved not a bit. Glam noticed that some heap lay along the sideboards, and now made his way farther in along the hall and took a strong hold of the cloak. Grettir braced against the plank and did not move at all. Glam pulled a second time, much harder, but the cloak would not budge. The third time he grabbed hold with both hands so hard that he raised Grettir up from the sideboards; they rent the cloak asunder between them.
Glam looked at the rag which he was holding and was quite astonished that someone could pull so hard against him. And at that moment Grettir lept under his hands and grabbed round his midsection and wrapped round his back as tight as he could, as he intended that Glam should give way underneath. But the thrall laid hold of Grettir's arms so tight that he completely gave way on account of his strength. Grettir then slipped away from bed to bed. The planks shot from their settings, and all that came before them was broken. Glam wanted to find a way out, but Grettir would brace his feet everyplace he tried. At last Glam was able to drag him out from the hall. They had such a fierce struggle that the thrall thought to send him out of the house; but as difficult as it was to hold up against Glam inside, nevertheless Grettir saw that it was still worse to struggle with him outside, and for this he strove against his exit with all his might. Glam struck out with everything he had and pulled him to himself as they came to the hall vestibule. And as Grettir saw that he was not able to resist, he executed one fluid motion as he lept as hard as possible against the thrall's breast and kicked him with both feet against a stone set in the ground, which stood before the door. The thrall had not prepared himself for this; he had struggled to drag Grettir to himself, and at that Glam fell to the back and tumbled backwards out towards the door, so that his shoulders struck the lintel and the roof fell apart, both the beams and the frozen thatch; he fell over and backwards out of the house, and Grettir fell on top of him.

Grammar

11. Strong Declension

The strong noun declensions discussed so far have all been formed from stems ending in a vowel. Some stems do not belong to this type, but rather end in consonants. For the most part, these are archaic holdovers from an earlier period, as is clear from the meanings of the nouns which belong to the r-declension below.

11.1. r-Stems

The r-stem nouns form a very small part of the lexicon of Old Norse, but are nevertheless high-frequency words for very important concepts. The combination of these two facts hints at the archaic nature of the declension. The nouns fair 'father', mir 'mother', brir 'brother', dttir 'daughter', and systir 'sister' illustrate the declension. The nouns all denote familial relation, with the grammatical gender following the natural gender.

    fair   mir   brir   dttir   systir
    'father'   'mother'   'brother'   'daughter'   'sister'
                     
N Sg.   fair   mir   brir   dttir   systir
A   fur, fer   mur   brur   dttur   systur
G   fur, fer   mur   brur   dttur   systur
D   fur, fer   mur   brur   dttur, dtr   systur
                     
N Pl.   fer   mr   brr   dtr   systr
A   fer   mr   brr   dtr   systr
G   fera   mra   brra   dtra   systra
D   ferum   mrum   brrum   dtrum   systrum
                     

The paradigms of mir, brir, and dttir are clearly essentially the same. They are all included for the sake of completeness, these being all of the most common r-stem nouns. The plural forms are all characterized by i-umlaut; the singular is for the most part characterized by u-umlaut in the oblique, with alternate forms containing i-umlaut.

11.2. nd-Stems

The nd-stem nouns appear to have been present participles which became frozen as substantives. The nouns bndi 'yeoman' and gefandi 'giver' illustrate the declension.

    bndi   gefandi
         
N Sg.   bndi   gefandi
A   bnda   gefanda
G   bnda   gefanda
D   bnda   gefanda
         
N Pl.   bndr   gefendr
A   bndr   gefendr
G   bnda   gefenda
D   bndum   gefndum
         

Note the N and A singular show the same i-umlaut exhibited in the declension of the r-stem nouns.

11.3. Other Consonant Stems

Other common nouns whose stems end in consonants do not fall into declensional patterns as prevalent as those above. These are collected below. As with the declensions above, these are characterized by the ending -r in the N and A plural, which may be assimilated to the final stem consonant. These forms also exhibit i-umlaut of the root vowel.

The following nouns are masculine consonant stems: mar 'man', nagl 'nail', mnur 'month', vetr 'winter', ftr 'foot'.

    mar   nagl   mnur   vetr   ftr
                     
N Sg.   mar   nagl   mnur   vetr   ftr
A   mann   nagl   mnu   vetr   ft
G   manns   nagls   mnaar   vetrar   ftar
D   manni   nagli   mnu   vetr   fti
                     
N Pl.   menn   negl   mnur   vetr   ftr
A   menn   negl   mnur   vetr   ftr
G   manna   nagla   mnaa   vetra   fta
D   mnnum   nglum   mnuum   vetrum   ftum
                     

The noun mnur is also found as mnar. The common noun fingr 'finger' also follows the declension of vetr.

The following nouns are feminine consonant stems: bk 'book', tnn 'tooth', ntt 'night', kr 'cow'.

    bk   tnn   ntt, ntt   kr
                 
N Sg.   bk   tnn   ntt, ntt   kr
A   bk   tnn   ntt, ntt   k
G   bkar, bkr   tannar   nttar, ntr   kr
D   bk   tnn   ntt, ntt   k
                 
N Pl.   bkr   tennr   ntr   kr
A   bkr   tennr   ntr   kr
G   bka   tanna   ntta   ka
D   bkum   tnnum   nttum, nttum   km
                 

The noun tnn also shows the form ter in the N and A plural. The alternate form for the G sg. of ntt is rare, but there are examples: stu eir at drykkju til mirar ntr 'they sat drinking until midnight.'

12. Demonstratives

Old Norse makes use of several different demonstrative stems. As mentioned in Section 8.2, two different stems are used in a suppletive system to fill out the paradigm of the third person pronoun. These same stems, as well as others, were often used as deictic pronouns or adjectives, pointing to spatial (e.g. 'that dog over there'), temporal ('that day last year'), or logical ('these considerations just mentioned') proximity to or distance from the perspective of the speaker.

12.1. Pronouns & Adjectives

The demonstrative s is used as both pronoun and adjective. Its adjectival uses range from a true deictic 'that', pointing to something relatively distant from the perspective of the speaker, to the simple article 'the', referring to a noun already mentioned. In a pronominal role, the same uses may translate as 'that one' and 'this (just mentioned)', respectively. The paradigm is as follows.

    Maculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   s   s   at
A   ann     at
G   ess   eir(r)ar   ess
D   eim   eir(r)i   v,
             
N Pl.   eir   r   au
A     r   au
G   eir(r)a   eir(r)a   eir(r)a
D   eim   eim   eim
             

As already noted, the plural forms are used as the plural of the third person pronoun. They may often be translated simply as 'they', 'them' in this role, as opposed to the truly deictic 'those (ones)'.

The demonstrative sj 'this (one)' refers to something relatively close in the estimation of the speaker. Like s, it is used as both pronoun and adjective. The forms are as follows.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   sj, essi   sj, essi   etta
A   enna   essa   etta
G   essa   essar   essa
D   essum   essi   essu
             
N Pl.   essir   essar   essi
A   essa   essar   essi
G   essa   essa   essa
D   essum   essum   essum
             

Another common demonstrative is hinn. Its meaning is not as strongly marked for distance, like s, or for proximity, like sj. hinn is often translated as 'that', but may also be used for the second referent in constructions of the sort 'the one... the other...'. hinn thus often serves to contrast one referent with another marked by s or sj. The forms of hinn are as follows.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   hinn   hin   hitt
A   hinn   hina   hitt
G   hins   hinnar   hins
D   hinum   hinni   hinu
             
N Pl.   hinir   hinar   hin
A   hina   hinar   hin
G   hinna   hinna   hinna
D   hinum   hinum   hinum
             

When hitt is used as an article before an adjective, the form is shortened to hit.

12.2. Definite Article

Old Norse possesses a definite article inn. Unlike English, where the article either precedes the noun it modifies or precedes the adjective modifying the noun, the Old Norse definite article is most frequently postpositive. It typically follows the noun it modifies, or follows the adjective describing a noun. In this practice ON shows a similarity to, e.g., Old Church Slavonic. The English use and the Old Norse use of the definite article do not correlate exactly, and one finds that ON often omits the article in situations where Modern English requires it. The declension of inn parallels that of hinn, and the relation between the two is often a matter of debate. The declension of inn, when not suffixed to the substantive it modifies, is as follows.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   inn   in   it
A   inn   ina   it
G   ins   innar   ins
D   inum   inni   inu
             
N Pl.   inir   inar   in
A   ina   inar   in
G   inna   inna   inna
D   inum   inum   inum
             

This form of the article is found in constructions which parallel those of Modern English. For example, inn blindi mar 'the blind mann'. In such freestanding constructions, the difference between hinn and inn is slight, if present at all. Thus the preceding phrase may also be rendered hinn blindi mar. The article is found with bare substantives, e.g. (h)inir augu 'the rich'. Such constructions are fairly uncommon, occurring mainly when a contrast between nouns is emphasized. More typical word order is for the article and noun to follow the modified noun, e.g. lfr inn helgi 'Olaf the saint'; hendi inn hgri 'the right hand'.

The article is commonly used in conjunction with other demonstratives. A typical rendering of Modern English 'the blind man' would be ON s (h)inn blindi mar, literally 'that the blind man'. Other variations are possible, such as mar s (h)inn blindi or s mar (h)inn blindi.

When suffixed to a noun or adjective, the forms of inn undergo some modification. The initial vowel is dropped when following a short unaccented vowel. The disyllabic forms also show the following changes:

  • disyllables drop the initial vowel after a long vowel;
  • disyllables with a single n usually drop the initial vowel also after consonants, except in the feminine A sg.

Monosyllabic forms show slightly different treatment:

    monosyllables retain the initial vowel after a long vowel.

In addition, the final -m of the dative plural is dropped from the preceding noun or adjective when suffixed with -inum. For convenience, the forms of inn are listed below suffixed to some typical nouns.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   lfr-inn   gjf-in   tr-it
A   lf-inn   gjf-ina   tr-it
G   lfs-ins   gjafar-innar   trs-ins
D   lfi-num   gjf-inni   tr-nu
             
N Pl.   lfar-nir   gjafar-nar   tr-in
A   lfa-na   gjafar-nar   tr-in
G   lfa-nna   gjafa-nna   trj-nna
D   lfu-num   gjfu-num   trj-num
             

The following are some examples with substantives that follow weak declension (to be discussed later).

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   bogi-nn   kona-n   auga-t
A   boga-nn   konu-na   auga-t
G   boga-ns   konu-nnar   auga-ns
D   boga-num   konu-nni   augu-nu
             
N Pl.   bogar-nir   konur-nar   augu-n
A   boga-na   konur-nar   augu-n
G   boga-nna   kvenna-nna   augna-nna
D   bogu-num   konu-num   augu-num
             

The use of the suffixed article does not preclude the possibility of another preposed article, though hinn is used to avoid repetition of inn. Hence hinn hvti bjrninn, literally 'the white beard-the'. Other deictics may be used as well, e.g. hndin s hgri, literally 'hand-the that white'.

13. Adjectives

Adjectives fall into two main types, strong and weak. These names (1) bear no relation to the similarly-named verbal conjugation types, and (2) have no connotations beyond signifying a binary system. The terms Type A and Type B would serve just as well. The two types do, however, display a difference in usage. To wit, strong adjectives are indefinite, weak adjectives are definite. The term 'strong adjective' is shorthand for 'an adjective exhibiting strong endings', and similarly for 'weak adjective'. Any adjective may be declined according to either the strong or weak paradigms. The classification as 'strong' or 'weak' is not inherent when applied to adjectives, but merely describes a particular instance. This differs from the use of the same terms when applied to nouns, which are inherently either strong or weak. A weak noun is always weak; a weak adjective may also be declined as strong. In respect to paradigms, the endings of strong adjectives resemble those of strong nouns; likewise for weak adjectives and nouns.

13.1. Strong Declension

The adjective endings differ slightly from those of the nouns. They are listed below. Whenever the ending begins with u, the stem vowel is subject to the same u-umlaut found among the nouns. This umlaut is also found in other situations where the ending no longer displays u; such forms are so marked.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   -r   (u-umlaut)   -t
A   -an   -a   -t
G   -s   -rar   -s
D   -um   -ri   -u
             
N Pl.   -ir   -ar   (u-umlaut)
A   -a   -ar   (u-umlaut)
G   -ra   -ra   -ra
D   -um   -um   -um
             

The adjectives sterkr 'strong', vnn 'handsome', gamall 'old', nr 'new', frgr 'famous', rskr 'brave' illustrate the paradigms. The masculine forms are as follows.

Stem   sterk-   vn-   gamal-   nj-   frgj-   rskv-
                         
N Sg.   sterkr   vnn   gamall   nr   frgr   rskr
A   sterkan   vnan   gamlan   njan   frgjan   rskvan
G   sterks   vns   gamals   ns   frgs   rsks
D   sterkum   vnum   gmlum   njum   frgjum   rskum
                         
N Pl.   sterkir   vnir   gamlir   nir   frgir   rskvir
A   sterka   vna   gamla   nja   frgja   rskva
G   sterkra   vnna   gamalla   nrra   frgra   rskra
D   sterkum   vnum   gmlum   njum   frgjum   rskum
                         

The feminine forms are as follows.

Stem   sterk-   vn-   gamal-   nj-   frgj-   rskv-
                         
N Sg.   sterk   vn   gmul   n   frg   rsk
A   sterka   vna   gamla   nja   frgja   rskva
G   sterkrar   vnnar   gamallar   nrrar   frgrar   rskrar
D   sterkri   vnni   gamalli   nrri   frgri   rskri
                         
N Pl.   sterkar   vnar   gamlar   njar   frgjar   rskvar
A   sterkar   vnar   gamlar   njar   frgjar   rskvar
G   sterkra   vnna   gamalla   nrra   frgra   rskra
D   sterkum   vnum   gmlum   njum   frgjum   rskum
                         

The neuter forms are as follows. Note the overall similarity with the masculine forms.

Stem   sterk-   vn-   gamal-   nj-   frgj-   rskv-
                         
N Sg.   sterkt   vnt   gamalt   ntt   frgt   rskt
A   sterkt   vnt   gamalt   ntt   frgt   rskt
G   sterks   vns   gamals   ns   frgs   rsks
D   sterku   vnu   gmlu   nju   frgju   rsku
                         
N Pl.   sterk   vn   gmul   n   frg   rsk
A   sterk   vn   gmul   n   frg   rsk
G   sterkra   vnna   gamalla   nrra   frgra   rskra
D   sterkum   vnum   gmlum   njum   frgjum   rskum
                         

Some adjectives have stems ending in -r. Such adjectives drop the ending -r, so that, e.g., N sg. masc. fagr contrasts with N sg. fem. fgr and neut. fagrt. The endings beginning with -r- show assimilation of the r to a preceding l or single n.

Adjectives whose stem ends in a stressed long vowel double the -t of the neuter N sg. ending. Hence fr shows N sg. neut. ftt. Contraction occurs when the ending begins with a or u, e.g. fn and fm, but fir.

Adjectives ending in -inn -- particularly, but not exclusively, the past participles of strong verbs -- show the ending -n rather than -an in the masculine A sg. Compare inn, with A sg. masc. inn; hverr, A sg. masc. hvern; nkkurr, A sg. masc. nkkurn.

13.2. Declension of annarr

The declension of annarr 'other, another; second, next' always follows the pattern of strong adjectives. Some forms display the stem ar- rather than ann-. Its declension is as follows.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   annarr   nnur   annat
A   annan   ara   annat
G   annars   annarrar   annars
D   rum   annarri   rum
             
N Pl.   arir   arar   nnur
A   ara   arar   nnur
G   annarra   annarra   annarra
D   rum   rum   rum
             
13.3. Possessive Adjectives

The possessive adjectives were derived from the genitive forms of the personal pronouns. This genitive form was taken as stem, and the strong adjective endings were suffixed. For example, ek 'I', with G sg. mn 'of me', gives adjectival *mn-r > minn 'my' (N sg. masc.). As this example shows, the stem vowel is shortened before a double consonant. The paradigm of minn 'my' is given below.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   minn   mn   mitt
A   minn   mna   mitt
G   mns   minnar   mns
D   mnum   minni   mnu
             
N Pl.   mnir   mnar   mn
A   mna   mnar   mn
G   minna   minna   minna
D   mnum   mnum   mnum
             

The second person builds a possessive adjective inn, and the reflexive pronoun has possessive sinn. The dual and plural forms of the personal pronouns also build possessives:

Person   Stem   Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
                 
1 Sg.   mn-   minn   mn   mitt
2   n-   inn   n   itt
reflex.   sn-   sinn   sn   sitt
                 
1 Du.   okkar-   okkarr   okkur   okkart
2   ykkar-   ykkarr   ykkur   ykkart
-                
                 
1 Pl.   vr-   vrr   vr   vrt
2   y(v)ar-   y(v)arr   yur   y(v)art
-                
                 

The reflexive possessive adjective sinn serves as a reflexive for any number, just as the pronoun itself. The declension of vrr 'our' is given below.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   vrr   vr   vrt
A   vran, vrn   vra   vrt
G   vrs   vrrar   vrs
D   vrum   vrri   vru
             
N Pl.   vrir   vrar   vr
A   vra   vrar   vr
G   vrra   vrra   vrra
D   vrum   vrum   vrum
             

Note the stem vowel of vrr does not undergo shortening. The second vowel of the short yar- is dropped in trisyllabic forms, while the second vowel is retained everywhere in the full form yvar-. Hence D sg. masc. yrum, but G sg. fem. yrar or yvarrar. The stems ykkar- and okkar- optionally drop the second stem vowel in trisyllabic forms: A sg. masc. okkurum, ykkurum or okkrum, ykkrum.

The third person pronouns have no corresponding possessive adjectives, using simply the genitive forms of the pronoun: singular hans, hennar, ess; plural eira.

14. Past Participle

Old Norse, like Modern English, has a past participle, whose formation depends on whether the verb is strong or weak. Unlike, e.g., classical Greek, which has morphologically distinct past active and past passive participles, Old Norse makes no morphological distinction between active and passive participles. One and the same formation generally has different interpretations based on the transitivity of the root: the past participle of transitive verbs is construed as passive ('having been done'), while the past participle of intransitive verbs is construed as active ('having done').

14.1. Formation

The formation of past participles in Old Norse parallels that of Modern English. There are two types of past participles, reflecting the distinction between strong and weak verbs. Strong verbs form the past participle by adding the suffix -in to the verbal stem, which in general displays ablaut. Compare Modern English eat-en. Adjective endings are then added to the -in suffix. Because of the relative unpredictability of ablaut, the past participle is typically given as one of the principal parts. The past participle kominn, from koma 'come', serves to illustrate the forms of the strong past participle.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   kominn   komin   komit
A   kominn   komna   komit
G   komins   kominnar   komins
D   komnum   kominni   komnu
             
N Pl.   komnir   komnar   komin
A   komna   komnar   komin
G   kominna   kominna   kominna
D   komnum   komnum   komnum
             

Weak verbs form the past participle by means of a dental suffix -. Compare Modern English ask-ed. This is added to the stem, sometimes with an intervening vowel, and adjective endings are added to this. For example, kalla 'call' (stem kall-a-) forms past participle kalla-; spyrja 'find out' (stem spur-j-) forms spur-; stefna 'aim' (stem stafn-j-) forms stefn-; lifa 'live' (stem lif-i-) forms lifa-; n 'reach' (stem n-i-) forms n-; hafa 'have' forms haf-. The past participle of elska (a) 'love' will illustrate the forms.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   elskar   elsku   elskat
A   elskaan   elskaa   elskat
G   elskas   elskarar   elskas
D   elskuum   elskari   elskuu
             
N Pl.   elskair   elskaar   elsku
A   elskaa   elskaar   elsku
G   elskara   elskara   elskara
D   elskuum   elskuum   elskuum
             

For comparison, the weak declension is given below. Weak declension of adjectives will be treated separately.

    Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
N Sg.   elskai   elskaa   elskaa
A   elskaa   elskuu   elskaa
G   elskaa   elskuu   elskaa
D   elskaa   elskuu   elskaa
             
N Pl.   elskuu   elskuu   elskuu
A   elskuu   elskuu   elskuu
G   elskuu   elskuu   elskuu
D   elskuum   elskuum   elskuum
             

As mentioned above, the past participle of transitive verbs is construed as passive in sense; the past participle of intransitive verbs is construed as active. For example, koma 'to come' (intransitive) vs. kominn 'come' (active -- cf. Shakespearean 'I am come' = 'I have arrived'), but bera 'to bear' (transitive) vs. borinn 'borne' (passive); likewise elska 'to love' (transitive) vs. elskar 'loved' (passive), but egja 'be silent' (intransitive) vs. agat '(having been or become) silent' (active).

14.2. Supine

The supine in Old Norse is rather different from the concept of the same name in say Latin or Old Church Slavonic. The supine refers to the use of the neuter N/A sg. form of the past participle in conjunction with forms of the verb hafa 'have' to form a compound past tense. For example, vega 'slay' forms past participle vegin-; then hafa vegit is 'to have slain'. Similarly hafi vegit 'he had slain'; eptir at hafa vegit... 'after having slain...'.

Historically one finds that constructions like 'I have slain a man' came about from phrases like 'I have a man (who is) slain', where 'slain' is an adjective agreeing with 'a man', which is in turn the direct object of 'have'. Examples of this are found especially in early ON texts, for example Vlusp: hverir hafi lopt alt lvi blandit ea tt iotuns s mey gefna 'who had filled all the air with calamity or given Od's wife to the giant's race'. Here blandit is neuter accusative singular in agreement with lopt, and gefna feminine accusative singular with mey. These constructions began to give ground to use of the supine, so that by the time of classical ON texts, the two usages are in free variation. In constructions with the supine, the neuter singular form of the participle is used regardless of the gender and number of the direct object: sndisk n llum sem Loki hefi ltit leikinn 'it appeared to everyone like Loki had lost the contest', where ltit is a supine, and leikinn is masculine accusative singular. The construction with the supine is also found with intransitive verbs: ekki hafa hr komit eir menn 'men have not come here'.

15. Prepositions

Old Norse makes exceptional use of prepositions, both in prepositional phrases and in absolute uses as adverbs. This is similar to the situation in Modern English, where one can say both 'He walked in the house' and 'He walked in without saying hello'; in the former, the preposition in governs an object, in the latter it does not. Each ON preposition governs objects in one or more of the oblique cases. The case governed is a property of the preposition: each preposition governs only a specific case or cases. If a preposition governs more than one case, its meaning may change depending on the case employed. Prepositions rarely govern objects in the genitive case; the accusative and dative are quite common. Generally the dative is used after a preposition to denote position in space or time without motion, or to denote source, cause, or instrument. The accusative is used after a preposition to denote motion to or through space or time, or to denote a point of time within a certain period, opposition, or correspondence. At times a preposition together with its object may serve as a compound preposition, in the same manner as Modern English 'for the sake of'. The primary ON prepositions are listed below, together with the cases they govern and the associated meanings.

Preposition   Case   Meaning
         
  acc.   onto, on, to; during, at, in
    dat.   on, in; during, at, in
         
af   dat.   off, from; by (denoting agent); of, because of
         
n   acc./gen./dat.   without
         
at   acc.   after
    dat.   at, to, towards; at, in; from; according to
         
eptir   acc.   after (time/event)
    dat.   after, following (person/thing); along; according to
         
fr   dat.   from; concerning, about
         
fyrir   acc.   (motion) before, in front of; over, past; before (time); in return for, in place of
    dat.   (location) before, in front of; in charge of; in the presence of; ago
         
gagnvart / gegnvart   dat.   opposite
         
gegn   dat.   against; towards
         
() gegnum   acc.   through
hj   dat.   at someone's (house); close to, next to, by; past; compared with
         
  acc.   into, in, to; during, in, at
    dat.   in
         
innan   gen.   within
         
me   acc.   with (accompaniment or means); against
    dat.   together with; (instrument) with; (manner) with, in, by; among
         
( / ) meal   gen.   among, between
         
( / ) milli / millum   gen.   among, between
         
( / ) mt / mti   dat.   against; towards
         
nr   dat.   near
         
of   acc.   over, across; during, in
    dat.   over, above
         
r / r   dat.   out of, from
         
til   gen.   to, towards; regarding, concerning; to, until
         
um   acc.   around, over, across; during, in; about, concerning
    dat.   over, above; during, in
         
umfram   acc.   beyond, above, more than
         
umhverfis   acc.   around
         
undan   dat.   away from
         
undir   acc.   (motion) under
    dat.   (location) under
         
utan   acc./gen.   outside; without
         
vi   acc.   near, by; (direction) to, towards, vis-a-vis
    dat.   against; towards
         
yfir   acc.   (motion) over, above
    dat.   (location) over, above