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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to ǪrvOdd Lv 26VIII (Ǫrv 60)

[3] trégoðum ‘wooden gods’: Cf. ǪrvOdd Ævdr 68/3 (Ǫrv 138), where the same cpd is used. The cpd is otherwise a hap. leg. but refers to carved wooden figures of pagan gods such as are mentioned in a number of early sources. The tone of this stanza is particularly reminiscent of the early C14th narrative of the fugitive Gunnarr helmingr ‘Half’ who hides with a priestess of Freyr in Sweden and pretends to be the god himself. In this narrative stress is laid on the fact that the idol in the temple is just a piece of wood (tréstokkr) which splits open to reveal the devil (sá fjándi) that has taken up residence inside; (see Ǫgm, ÍF 9, 111-15).


  1. Bibliography
  2. ÍF 9 = Eyfirðinga sǫgur. Ed. Jónas Kristjánsson. 1956.
  3. Internal references
  4. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 138 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 68)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 944.


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