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

Ótt Óldr 5III

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2017, ‘Óttarr svarti, Óláfsdrápa sœnska 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 339.

Óttarr svartiÓláfsdrápa sœnska

text and translation

Vísi tekr víg-Freys
víst austr munlaust
(aldar hefr allvaldr)
óskvíf (gótt líf).

Vísi tekr víst {munlaust óskvíf {víg-Freys}} austr; allvaldr aldar hefr gótt líf.
‘The ruler takes for certain the loveless chosen wife of the battle-Freyr <god> [= Óðinn > = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)] in the east; the mighty ruler of men leads a good life.

notes and context

This stanza is quoted in Skm to illustrate the use of vísi ‘ruler’ as a ókent nafn ‘non-periphrastic term’ for ‘man’.

The wording and imagery of the stanza participate in the well-established tradition of describing a ruler’s conquest or subjugation of the land (jǫrð) in terms of marriage or sex, as most famously found in Hfr Hákdr (see Note to Anon Nkt 8/1, 2II, and see also Frank 2007). There are two options for construing the stanza: (a) The interpretation adopted here (and in Frank 2007, 182) follows that of Skald and does not require emendation. (b) Skj B emends in l. 4 and reads Vísi tekr víst munlaust víf Óska austr; allvaldr aldar hefr gótt líf víg-Freys which can be translated as ‘The ruler takes for certain the loveless wife of Óski <= Óðinn> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)] in the east; the mighty ruler of men leads the good life of a battle-Freyr <god> [WARRIOR]’.



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: Óttarr svarti, 1. Óláfsdrápa sœnska 2: AI, 289, BI, 267, Skald I, 137, NN §§717, 3396N; SnE 1848-87, I, 512-15, II, 545, 604, III, 107, SnE 1931, 180, SnE 1998, I, 100.


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.