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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

8. Ǫrvar-Odds saga 139 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa, 69) — Oddr [Vol. 8, 945]

[All]: The first helmingr of this stanza follows 7, the second 343a. In 7 Ǫrv 139 is placed in the prose text some way before Ǫrv 138. Ms. 7 has only the first four lines (but see below for an important qualification), which are attributed to Oddr just after Hárekr, one of King Herrauðr’s favourite retainers and the foster-father of his daughter Silkisif, has suggested to him that he might be successful in wooing her if he undertook a mission to extract taxes from the recalcitrant and dangerous ruler of Bjálkaland (Ǫrv 1888, 171-3). On the line of text immediately following ll. 1-4, the main scribal hand has written and then crossed through the following words: jörlum ríki at sitja bauð ek orrostu eiga fyrri ‘to the jarls to look after the kingdom I offered to have a battle first’. At the foot of the page, but in a different hand, a variation on this wording has been written: öflgum jörlum er ek boð [= bauð?] ríki at sitja réð ek orrostu eiga fyrri ‘to the powerful jarls, to whom I offered to look after the kingdom, I agreed to have a battle first’. It may be that both the main scribe of 7, and whoever wrote the line at the foot of the page, were remembering imperfectly an alternative second helmingr to this stanza, which would fit the prose context in which the stanza is cited in 7. Although, in the first case, jörlum ríki at sitja and, in the second, er ek boð (bauð?) ríki at sitja are unmetrical, the other parts of each version have metrical form.


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