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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Lv 3VIII (Ǫrv 10)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 10 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 822.


text and translation

Því munk orði         andsvör veita:
þeir munu í aptan         Óðin gista,
tólf berserkir,         en vit tveir lifa.

Munk veita andsvör því orði: þeir munu gista Óðin í aptan, tólf berserkir, en vit tveir lifa.
‘I will give answer to that speech: they will have lodging with Óðinn this evening, the twelve berserks, but we two will live.

notes and context

In both Ǫrv and Heiðr this stanza is attributed to Oddr. It follows almost immediately from Ǫrv 9, and is introduced with the words Oddr segir ‘Oddr says’ (Heiðr) or Þá segir Oddr enn svá ‘Then Oddr speaks again thus’ (Ǫrv).

This stanza is a riposte or correction to Hjálmarr’s prediction in the previous stanza. Oddr asserts that the situation will be the opposite of what Hjálmarr imagines, viz. the berserks will be the ones to die (be Óðinn’s guests) and they two will survive. Hence, ll. 3-6 represent a variation on ll. 5-8 of Ǫrv 9 in both the Heiðr and Ǫrv mss. Lines 1-2 differ in the two traditions, and that of the sole Ǫrv ms. at this point, 344a, is obviously corrupt. A later hand has tried to correct it. Boer (Ǫrv 1888, 1892) read En ek þvíat einu | orþi hnekti (hnektak Ǫrv 1892), translating with a prose order En ek hnekta því eino orðe ‘Aber ich wies solches nur mit diesem anspruch zurück’ (Ǫrv 1892, 103), ‘But I dismissed this with a single claim’. See further, for this emended text, Boer’s discussion (1892b, 124 and n. 1). Edd. Min. has a similar text in square brackets based on 344a. Both Skj (A and B) and Skald follow the Heiðr text of this stanza, as does the present edn.



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 III 6: AII, 291, BII, 312, Skald II, 166; Heiðr 1924, 10-11, 98, Heiðr 1960, 6; Ǫrv 1888, 99, Ǫrv 1892, 53-4, FSGJ 2, 254; Edd. Min. 63.


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