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  • Haukur Thorgeirsson
    The word blár can mean dark or black . Bragi the old sung: Rósta varð í ranni Randvés höfuðniðja þá er hrafnbláir hefnðu harma Erps of barmar.
    Message 1 of 4 , May 28, 2002
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      The word 'blár' can mean 'dark' or 'black'.

      Bragi the old sung:

      Rósta varð í ranni
      Randvés höfuðniðja
      þá er hrafnbláir hefnðu
      harma Erps of barmar.

      There was an uproar in the house of Randvér's
      great kinsman when the raven-black brothers
      of Erpr avenged their sorrow.

      Ravens are certainly not 'blue' but the word
      'blár' can be applied to them. This is a good
      word to demonstrate a type of contraction.
      When a word whose stem ends with 'á' should
      get an a-ending it often doesn't.

      Hrafn er blár.
      Hrafnar eru bláir.
      Óláfr sér blán hrafn. (contraction)
      Óláfr sér hrafna blá. (contraction)

      This is no longer true in the modern language;
      we now write:

      Ólafur sér bláan hrafn.
      Ólafur sér bláa hrafna.

      This is not surprising when you consider that in
      Old Norse 'á' is simply a long 'a' and thus easily
      assimilates it whereas in modern Icelandic 'á' and
      'a' stand for different sounds altogether.

      Kveðja,
      Haukur

      P.S. Hvárt er hrafn sá er Óláfr konungr sér hvítr?
      Eigi er svá. Blár er hrafninn sem allir hrafnar.
    • Lazarus
      ... From: Haukur Thorgeirsson ... Ravens have an iridescent sheen to one side of their feathers that refracts light and at certain
      Message 2 of 4 , May 28, 2002
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Haukur Thorgeirsson" <haukurth@...>

        > The word 'blár' can mean 'dark' or 'black'.

        > Ravens are certainly not 'blue' but the word
        > 'blár' can be applied to them.

        Ravens have an iridescent sheen to one side of their feathers that refracts
        light and at certain angles reflects blue, green and violet, but very little
        red, yellow and orange. This can also be seen on the dark feathers of some
        species of ducks. Black cat-hair, on the other hand, can reflect all of the
        colors of the rainbow equally well.

        If the Old Norse experience of the color 'Black' was culturally influenced
        by ravens, then that could also help explain the relationship. It would be
        near impossible to prove, however, and I'm not trying to do so.

        -Laz
      • Haukur Thorgeirsson
        ... Haraldr konungr kvað: Fram göngum vér í fylkingu brynjulausir und blár eggjar. Hjálmar skína hef-k-at mína nú liggr skrúð várt at skipum
        Message 3 of 4 , May 29, 2002
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          > Ravens have an iridescent sheen to one side of their feathers that refracts
          > light and at certain angles reflects blue, green and violet, but very little
          > red, yellow and orange. This can also be seen on the dark feathers of some
          > species of ducks. Black cat-hair, on the other hand, can reflect all of the
          > colors of the rainbow equally well.

          Haraldr konungr kvað:

          Fram göngum vér
          í fylkingu
          brynjulausir
          und blár eggjar.
          Hjálmar skína
          hef-k-at mína
          nú liggr skrúð várt
          at skipum niðri.

          Forward we walk
          in formation
          without byrnies
          under "blue" edges.
          Helmets shine
          I haven't got mine (byrnie)
          now our equipment lies
          down by the ships.

          (Pop quiz: How do we know 'mína' refers to 'brynju'
          rather than 'hjálm'.)

          So what colours does a blade reflect? :-)


          > If the Old Norse experience of the color 'Black' was culturally influenced
          > by ravens, then that could also help explain the relationship. It would be
          > near impossible to prove, however, and I'm not trying to do so.

          Interesting idea, though I, like you, don't have
          anything to back it up with :-) Some scholar wrote
          a treatise on the use of colour in the Eddaic poems.
          I don't remember the specifics but it might be interesting
          to get a hold on.

          Kveðja,
          Haukur
        • Lazarus
          ... From: Haukur Thorgeirsson ... That s easy. Ask any blacksmith, he ll not only tell you, but in less than 30 seconds at a
          Message 4 of 4 , May 29, 2002
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Haukur Thorgeirsson" <haukurth@...>

            > Haraldr konungr kvað:
            >
            > Fram göngum vér
            > í fylkingu
            > brynjulausir
            > und blár eggjar.
            > Hjálmar skína
            > hef-k-at mína
            > nú liggr skrúð várt
            > at skipum niðri.
            >
            > Forward we walk
            > in formation
            > without byrnies
            > under "blue" edges.
            > Helmets shine
            > I haven't got mine (byrnie)
            > now our equipment lies
            > down by the ships.

            > So what colours does a blade reflect? :-)

            That's easy. Ask any blacksmith, he'll not only tell you, but in less than
            30 seconds at a forge, he'll show you.

            Blued steel is the easiest thing to do in the world. It's just iron
            overheated and tempered. Of course, the effect only goes into the crystaline
            structure a few thousands of an inch, so it's easily corroded or worn off
            over a few years, let alone centuries.

            -Laz
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