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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

8. Ǫrvar-Odds saga 48 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur, 15) — Oddr [Vol. 8, 861]

[All]: The events alluded to in this stanza occur in an early part of the saga (Ǫrv 1888, 50-7; Ǫrv 1892, 27-9), shortly after Oddr’s return to Hrafnista from his adventures in Permia and Risaland (Giantland). He decides to go on a viking adventure and gets his father, Grímr loðinkinni ‘Hairy-cheek’, to equip three ships for him. He then provokes a fight with a viking called Hálfdan, the commander of thirty ships, who uses the skerries in the mouth of the Götaälv (Elfarsker) as his base. Oddr and Ásmundr take Hálfdan by means of a surprise attack and kill him. There is a major discrepancy between this stanza and the prose text; in the prose, Hálfdan’s base is in the Götaälv skerries, while in the stanza it is in the skerries around the Stockholm archipelago (Svíasker). A location on the west coast of Sweden would be more logical from the perspective of an expedition mounted from Norway.


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