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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 67VIII (Ǫrv 137)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 137 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 67)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 943.


text and translation

Var mér skjaldmeyju         skipat it næsta,
þá er orrostu         eiga skyldum.
Veit ek, at ýtar         í Antekju
andrán biðu,         en vér auð fjár.

Var mér skipat it næsta skjaldmeyju, þá er skyldum eiga orrostu. Ek veit, at ýtar biðu {andrán} í Antekju, en vér auð fjár.
‘I was placed next to a shield maiden when we had to engage in battle. I know that men suffered life-robbery [DEATH] in Antioch, but we [got] great wealth.

notes and context

[1-4]: These lines concern a brief and rather brutal episode in the saga, when King Herrauðr provides an armed shield maiden to accompany Oddr on his journey to Bjálkaland (Ǫrv 1888, 172-5). Oddr is reluctant to take her with him and subjects her to a test of strength which she fails. He flings her into a bog and departs on his own. For an interpretation of this episode, see Clunies Ross (2010a, 117-22). — [5-8]: These lines are tenuously linked to a passage in the prose text which connects Oddr’s struggles against the rulers of the legendary Bjálkaland with the city of Antioch. This passage, which is not in the oldest ms., 7, claims that after Oddr had killed Álfr bjálki and his wife, he set his chieftains to rule the land and exact tribute from it. Then the following statement is made (Ǫrv 1888, 184-5): En svá segir í ljóðunum frá, at þetta hafi í Antiochiaborg [variant Antekjaborg] verit, er hann drap þessa jarla ‘But it is said in poems that it was in Antioch that he killed these jarls’. As the only other place where the association with Antioch is made is this stanza, there may be some influence from poem to prose here. — [8]: This line is hypometrical as it stands, but could be regularized if the older form féar with hiatus were used instead of the mss’ fjár. This would, however, imply that the underlying form of this stanza is not later than the first half of the C13th.



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 67: AII, 318, BII, 338, Skald II, 181; Ǫrv 1888, 207, FSGJ 2, 360-1.


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