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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪgmEyb Lv 2VIII (Ǫrv 32)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 32 (Ǫgmundr Eyþjófsbani, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 845.

Ǫgmundr EyþjófsbaniLausavísur

text and translation

Nú mun ek kasta         kápu minni,
þeiri er gör var         af grön jöfra
en hlaðbúin         á hliðar báðar;
mun ek hennar móðr         missa verða.

Ek mun nú kasta kápu minni, þeiri er var gör af grön jöfra, en hlaðbúin á báðar hliðar; móðr mun ek verða missa hennar.
‘Now I will cast off my cloak, the one that was made from the moustaches of princes, and edged with lace on both sides; exhausted, I will have to let go of it.

notes and context

Oddr and his companion Sírnir, having disposed of Geirrøðr and his daughter, turn their attention to Ǫgmundr and pursue him on foot. When they are almost upon him, Ǫgmundr throws off the cloak he is wearing so that he can run faster, and speaks this stanza and the next.

In an earlier passage of the prose text, it has been explained that Ǫgmundr extended his power over all the kings east of the Baltic and demanded tribute from them every twelve months in the form of kampinn øfra ok neðra af sjálfum sér ‘the upper and lower whiskers from themselves’, that is, their beards and moustaches (Ǫrv 1888, 134). He had this human hair made into a cloak, which he was wearing when Oddr and his men spotted him out fishing. On the symbolism of the cuttting off of human hair, especially that which is a sign of virility, as a gesture of subordination signifying castration, see Leach (1958, 157-62). — [1]: The reading of 471 is preferable to that of the other mss, which are hypermetrical, resulting in a málaháttr line of Type aA. — [7]: Again, 471 provides a metrical line.



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 VI 2: AII, 297, BII, 316-17, Skald II, 168; Ǫrv 1888, 136, FSGJ 2, 295.


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