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Runic Dictionary

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Ǫlvǫr (Ǫlvǫr)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

VIII. Lausavísa (Lv) - 1

Lausavísa — Ǫlvǫr LvVIII (Ǫrv)

Margaret Clunies Ross (forthcoming), ‘ Ǫlvǫr, Lausavísa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 16 January 2022)

stanzas:  1 

SkP info: VIII, 813

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Ǫlvǫr Lv 1VIII (Ǫrv 4)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 4 (Ǫlvǫr, Lausavísa 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 813.

This stanza, in the háttlausa ‘formless’ variant of dróttkvætt, occurs in the mss of Ǫrv as the first of a pair, with the second stanza recorded both immediately after it and also as ǪrvOdd (Ævdr) 41 (Ǫrv 111) (q. v.). According to the saga Oddr and his companions are harrying in Ireland. During the course of these adventures, in which Oddr’s foster-brother Ásmundr is killed (cf. ǪrvOdd Ævdr 38 (Ǫrv 108)), Oddr meets a beautiful woman, Ǫlvǫr, who offers to make him a magic silken shirt with life-protecting properties, which would be ready for him a year after their first encounter. She offers this to stop him attacking members of her family, who have killed Ásmundr. Oddr returns to Ireland the following summer to receive the shirt and invites her to marry him as a reward.

Serk um frák ór silki
í sex stöðum görvan;
ermr á Íralandi
önnur norðr með Finnum.
Slógu Saxa meyjar,
en suðreyskar spunnu;
váfu valskar drósir;
varp Óþjóðans móðir.


I have heard of a silken shirt made in six places; a sleeve in Ireland, another north among the Saami. Maidens of the Saxons struck [the weft], and Hebrideans spun; southern women wove; Óþjóðann’s mother cast [the warp].

context: Oddr asks Ǫlvǫr whether she made the magic shirt all by herself, and this lausavísa is her response.

notes: Uniquely in Ǫrv, this stanza is in the metre háttlausa ‘formless’ (cf. SnSt Ht 67III), a variant of dróttkvætt lacking internal rhyme. For this reason, some eds (Ǫrv 1892, 39 n. 15 and 42 n. 23) have doubted whether it originally belonged in Ǫrv.

texts: Ǫrv 4

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga II (Ǫlvǫr - AII, 290; BII, 311); Skald II, 165; Ǫrv 1888, 81, Ǫrv 1892, 42-3, FSGJ 2, 242-3.


Holm perg 7 4° (7) 50v, 4 - 50v, 6 (Ǫrv)  transcr.  image  
AM 344 a 4° (344a) 14r, 13 - 14r, 16 (Ǫrv)  image  
AM 567 IV 4° (567IV) 2vb, 17 - 2vb, 20 (Ǫrv)  image  
AM 343 a 4° (343a) 66r, 11 - 66r, 13 (Ǫrv)  image  
AM 471 4° (471) 71v - 71v (Ǫrv)  image  
AM 173 folx (173x) 31r, 24 - 31r, 29 (Ǫrv)  image  
AM 344 b 4°x (344bx) 11v, 11 - 11v, 13 (Ǫrv)  
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