Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

ǪrvOdd Ævdr 42VIII (Ǫrv 112)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 112 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 42)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 920.


text and translation

Fórum vestan         fengjar vitja,
svá at bragnar mér         bleyði kendu,
unz á Skíðu         skatnar fundu
bræðr bölharða         ok at bana urðu.

Fórum vestan vitja fengjar, svá at bragnar kendu mér bleyði, unz skatnar fundu bölharða bræðr á Skíðu ok urðu at bana.
‘We travelled from the west in search of booty, so that the warriors charged me with cowardice, until the men came upon evil-hardened brothers on Skien and killed them.

notes and context

In the continuous Ævdr according to the younger mss the sequence of events referred to in this stanza is hard to understand. It is necessary to realise that in the saga text Ævdr 38 (Ǫrv 108) is placed immediately before the prose passage that explains why his shipmates accuse Oddr of cowardice. They had been waiting for him at their ships while he had been off in the woods, where Ásmundr had been killed. Ævdr 38 is Oddr’s response to Hjálmarr’s question as to whether he has avenged Ásmundr’s death. Oddr indicates in the stanza that he is overwhelmed by his foster-brother’s death but that he wants to sail away from Ireland immediately, not telling them about his pact with Ǫlvǫr. Because he failed to take vengeance, his shipmates call him a coward, but then seem to be mollified by his acts of further aggression (Ǫrv 1888, 76-9). — [5-8]: This helmingr does not correspond very well to the prose text, which at this point has Oddr and his men travel from the west to the island of Læsø (ON Hlésey) in the Kattegat, as is also mentioned in Ǫrv 45/1-4 (see Notes to [All] and l. 4 there). According to the prose, Oddr’s opponents on Læsø include a jarl called Hergautr (his name is given only in 7), who had thirty ships. After this, according to 7, Oddr’s party sails to Sjælland, where they encounter two brothers, Hólmgeirr and Harðvígr, who are jarls of this region and have a grudge against Oddr, who had previously killed other brothers of theirs, who were berserks (so Ǫrv 1888, 79). Presumably these are the ‘evil-hardened brothers’ of ll. 7-8.



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 42: AII, 313, BII, 332-3, Skald II, 178, NN §2608; Ǫrv 1888, 204, FSGJ 2, 353.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.