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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 54VIII (Ǫrv 124)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 124 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 54)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 931.


text and translation

Þat var fyrri,         at ek fat senda
orð inum nyrztum         niðjum mínum.
Varð ek svá feginn         fundi þeira
sem hungraðr         haukr bráðum.

Þat var fyrri, at ek fat senda inum niðjum nyrztum orð mínum. Ek varð svá feginn fundi þeira sem hungraðr haukr bráðum.
‘It happened previously that I sent word to my most northerly kinsmen. I was as joyful at meeting them as a famished hawk at [finding] raw flesh.

notes and context

There now follow ten stanzas that are only in the younger mss; 343a is used as main ms. for these. — There is considerable textual variation between the mss of this stanza, and that of 471 is expanded to ten rather than eight lines by creating four lines out of ll. 3-4. The stanza’s subject matter relates to the reunion between Oddr and his kinsmen Sigurðr and Guðmundr who had gone north to Hrafnista while he had been engaged in viking expeditions further south. According to the prose text, this reunion occurs before Oddr and his kinsmen sail to Southern Europe (Ǫrv 1888, 112-13), so before the events described in Ǫrv 52 and 53. The adv. fyrri ‘previously’ in l. 1 may indicate the composer’s awareness of this chronology. Ms. 471 reverses the order of Ǫrv 53 and 54, suggesting the copyist or a predecessor understood the correct sequence of events.  — [3-4]: Ms. 471 creates four lines where the other two mss have two, reading (as prose order) ok orð hin mestu öllum þeim niðjum mínum á norðrvega ‘and [sent] the strongest [lit. greatest] words to all my kinsmen in the northern regions’. — [5-8]: These lines are remarkably similar to HHund II 43/1-4 (NK 159), which read: Nú em ec svá fegin | fundi ocrom | sem átfrekir | Óðins haukar ‘Now I am as glad at our meeting as the food-greedy hawks of Óðinn’. The adj. feginn ‘glad’ is also found in other poems of the Poetic Edda as well as in romance literature (cf. Kommentar IV, 783). It seems very likely that the composer of Ǫrv 124 adapted the helmingr from HHund II 43, which is addressed by the valkyrie Sigrún to her lover Helgi, to the subject of Oddr’s meeting with his kinsmen.



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 54: AII, 315-16, BII, 335, Skald II, 180; Ǫrv 1888, 205, FSGJ 2, 356-7.


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