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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 38VIII (Ǫrv 108)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 108 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 38)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 917.


text and translation

Rann ek at víðri         vagns slóðgötu,
áðr ek strengvölum         stríðum mættak.
Munda ek Ásmund         auði mínum
aptr ódáinn         öllum kaupa.

Ek rann at víðri slóðgötu vagns, áðr ek mættak {stríðum strengvölum}. Ek munda kaupa Ásmund aptr ódáinn öllum auði mínum.
‘I ran along a wide waggon trackway, before I met with fierce bow-string sticks [ARROWS]. I would [rather] buy Ásmundr back to life with all my riches.

notes and context

This stanza is found in all mss, and twice in 343a, 471 and 173ˣ. It relates to an episode that takes place in Ireland, according to the saga (Ǫrv 1888, 70-1), during which Oddr and Ásmundr are alone together in a wood, when suddenly an unseen assailant sends an arrow flying out of the trees. It scores a direct hit on Ásmundr, who falls down dead. Oddr flies into a rage, and rampages about the countryside killing people with his own magic arrows. He encounters an Irish woman, whose kin he had killed, and who strikes a bargain with him, that she will make him a magic protective shirt if he refrains from taking vengeance on her family for the killing of Ásmundr. In the saga prose, Oddr recites st. 108 to Hjálmarr who has asked if Oddr has avenged Ásmundr’s killing.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga IX 38: AII, 312-13, BII, 332, Skald II, 178; Ǫrv 1888, 77, 203, Ǫrv 1892, 40, 98, FSGJ 2, 240, 351-2; Edd. Min. 55.


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