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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 69VIII (Ǫrv 139)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 139 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 69)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 945.


text and translation

Var mér Hárekr         hollr fulltrúi,
er hann festi mér         fóstru sína.
Átta ek hoska         hilmis dóttur;
réðum snót saman         sigri ok löndum.

Hárekr var mér hollr fulltrúi, er hann festi mér fóstru sína. Ek átta hoska dóttur hilmis; snót réðum saman sigri ok löndum.
‘Hárekr was a faithful patron to me when he betrothed his foster-daughter to me. I married the wise daughter of the ruler; the lady and I ruled together over victory and lands.

notes and context

The first helmingr of this stanza follows 7, the second 343a. In 7 Ǫrv 139 is placed in the prose text some way before Ǫrv 138. Ms. 7 has only the first four lines (but see below for an important qualification), which are attributed to Oddr just after Hárekr, one of King Herrauðr’s favourite retainers and the foster-father of his daughter Silkisif, has suggested to him that he might be successful in wooing her if he undertook a mission to extract taxes from the recalcitrant and dangerous ruler of Bjálkaland (Ǫrv 1888, 171-3). On the line of text immediately following ll. 1-4, the main scribal hand has written and then crossed through the following words: jörlum ríki at sitja bauð ek orrostu eiga fyrri ‘to the jarls to look after the kingdom I offered to have a battle first’. At the foot of the page, but in a different hand, a variation on this wording has been written: öflgum jörlum er ek boð [= bauð?] ríki at sitja réð ek orrostu eiga fyrri ‘to the powerful jarls, to whom I offered to look after the kingdom, I agreed to have a battle first’. It may be that both the main scribe of 7, and whoever wrote the line at the foot of the page, were remembering imperfectly an alternative second helmingr to this stanza, which would fit the prose context in which the stanza is cited in 7. Although, in the first case, jörlum ríki at sitja and, in the second, er ek boð (bauð?) ríki at sitja are unmetrical, the other parts of each version have metrical form. — [5-8]: These lines are found only in the younger mss, and in the continuous Ævdr immediately before the final two stanzas, Ǫrv 140 and 141. Their subject is Oddr’s marriage to Silkisif and his inheritance of the kingdom of the now deceased King Herrauðr, which takes place according to the prose text after his return from his successful conquest of Álfr bjálki (Ǫrv 1888, 186-90). This helmingr is thus inappropriate to the position the first helmingr occupies in 7, and is likely to represent a secondary composition appropriate to the stanza’s place towards the end of the Ævdr.



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 69: AII, 318-19, BII, 338, Skald II, 182; Ǫrv 1888, 173, 208, Ǫrv 1892, 87, 99, FSGJ 2, 361; Edd. Min. 57.


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