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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 57VIII (Ǫrv 127)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 127 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 57)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 934.


text and translation

Veit ek, at fossum         falla lét
Jórdán um mik         fyr útan Grikki.
Helt þó sínum,         sem hverr vissi,
ítrgör skyrta         öllum kostum.

Ek veit, at Jórdán lét falla fossum um mik fyr útan Grikki. Þó helt ítrgör skyrta öllum kostum sínum, sem hverr vissi.
‘I know that the Jordan caused [water] to fall in torrents about me beyond the Greeks. Yet the splendidly made shirt retained all its special qualities, as everyone knows.

notes and context

For the saga context, see Ǫrv 126, Note to [All]. All mss make a point of mentioning how the special protective powers of Oddr’s magical shirt, which was made for him by Ǫlvǫr in Ireland (see Ǫlvǫr Lv 1 (Ǫrv 4) and ǪrvOdd Ævdr 41 (Ǫrv 111)), were not damaged by his bathe in the Jordan (Ǫrv 1888, 118-19). The thinking behind this observation might be that, as the Jordan was the paradigmatic baptismal locus for Christians, being the place where John the Baptist baptised Christ, its waters that had bathed Oddr’s body might have been able to counteract the presumably non-Christian magic of his shirt.



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 57: AII, 316, BII, 335-6, Skald II, 180; Ǫrv 1888, 206, FSGJ 2, 357-8.


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