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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 41VIII (Ǫrv 111)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 111 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 41)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 919.


text and translation

Vara, sem brynja         eða bláir hringar
ísköld um mik         áðan felli,
þá er of síður         silkiskyrta,
gulli saumuð,         gekk fastofin.

Vara, sem brynja eða bláir hringar felli ísköld um mik áðan, þá er silkiskyrta, saumuð gulli, gekk fastofin of síður.
‘It was not like when a mail-coat or dark mailrings fell ice-cold around me previously, when the silken shirt, sewn with gold, went firmly woven about my sides.

notes and context

In the saga prosimetrum this stanza follows immediately upon Ǫlvǫr Lv 1 (Ǫrv 4) (q. v.), in which the Irish woman Ǫlvǫr describes how the magic shirt she has woven for Oddr is made up of parts woven in six different locations. In the younger mss, 343a, 471 and 173ˣ, the stanza also appears in the continuous Ævdr. Oddr’s stanza contrasts the feel of the magical silken shirt, which will protect him from several kinds of harm, with the ice-cold sensation of putting on metal armour. Ǫlvǫr has previously assured him that the shirt will prevent him from feeling the cold and hunger pangs, will protect him from fire and fatigue while swimming, and from all weapons, provided he does not run away from fights. These properties are proven in various of Oddr’s adventures later in the saga.



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 41: AII, 313, BII, 332, Skald II, 178; Ǫrv 1888, 81, 203, Ǫrv 1892, 43, 98, FSGJ 2, 243, 352-3; Edd. Min. 55.


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