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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Lv 14VIII (Ǫrv 47)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 47 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 14)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 860.


text and translation

Sjólfr, vartu eigi         suðr á Skíðu,
þar er konungar         kníðu hjálma.
Óðum dreyra,         svá at í ökla tók;
víg vakða ek;         vartu eigi þar.

Sjólfr, vartu eigi suðr á Skíðu, þar er konungar kníðu hjálma. Óðum dreyra, svá at tók í ökla; ek vakða víg; vartu eigi þar.
‘Sjólfr, you were not south at Skien, where kings struck helmets. We waded in blood so that it came up to our ankles; I aroused fighting; you were not there.

notes and context

After delivering Ǫrv 45 and 46, Oddr returns to his seat and his rivals empty their horns. They then bring Oddr refilled horns and hand them to him, but are by now so affected by drink that they cannot speak. Oddr drains his horns and presents Sjólfr and Sigurðr with new ones, carrying them over and speaking the following two stanzas.

This stanza refers to a short episode in the saga (Ǫrv 1888, 86-9; Ǫrv 1892, 45-6) immediately following Oddr’s and Hjálmarr’s encounter with the viking Skolli in England. They sail from there south to Skien according to 344a and the younger mss, but east to Norway and to the Götaälv (við Elfina) according to 7, and there they fight a battle with two kings, one named Hlǫðver, the other Haki (the latter named only in the younger mss), who had thirty ships. Ten ships attack the heroes as they are lying close to the shore, and, in a tough fight, the heroes prevail, but then they are attacked by the other twenty. Eventually, both kings and their armies are killed, but most of Oddr’s force is killed too.



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 VII 14: AII, 300, BII, 319-20, Skald II, 170; Ǫrv 1888, 163, Ǫrv 1892, 82, FSGJ 2, 316; Edd. Min. 68.


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