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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Lv 16VIII (Ǫrv 49)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 49 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 16)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 862.


text and translation

Hvar váruð* þá,         veslar snýtur,
er vér heldum aski         í Elfarsund,
teitir ok reifir         at Trönuvágum?
Þar lá Ögmundr         Eyþjófsbani,
trauðastr flugar,         á tveim skipum.

Hvar váruð* þá, veslar snýtur, er vér heldum aski í Elfarsund, teitir ok reifir at Trönuvágum? Þar lá Ögmundr Eyþjófsbani, trauðastr flugar, á tveim skipum.
‘Where were you then, pathetic snotty wretches, when we sailed our ship into the Götaälv estuary, happy and cheerful, to Trǫnuvágar? There lay Ǫgmundr Eyþjófsbani (‘Eyþjófr’s killer’), most reluctant to flee, in two ships.

notes and context

Oddr sits down and Sjólfr and Sigurðr drain their horns. They bring him refills, raging and groaning. He drinks, brings them refills and recites the following two stanzas.

This stanza and the next refer to an episode in Ǫrv in which Oddr and Hjálmarr confront their deadliest enemy, the demonic Ǫgmundr Eyþjófr’s killer, for the first time. In the prose text (Ǫrv 1888, 89; Ǫrv 1892, 47) the two heroes, with few men, enter the Elfarsker (the Götaälv skerries) and the inlets called Trǫnuvágar (Crane Inlets), where they see two ships with black awnings. Oddr then provokes a fight with Ǫgmundr. — This stanza has two extra lines at the beginning, neither of which are in any ms. except 7. Editors have assumed that the stanza was originally of eight lines, beginning at l. 3, omitting its initial er ‘when’, and that it originally belonged with the stanzas of Oddr’s Ævidrápa. They further assume that the scribe of 7 (or his exemplar) adapted it to the mannjafnaðr format by adding two lines at the beginning. This may be so, but there is such lability between the stanzas that occur at various places in the text of Ǫrv (especially in 7, the oldest ms.) before the Ævdr as well as within this poem as it stands in the younger mss that one cannot be too dogmatic about how this stanza came to occupy its present position. Both Skj B and Skald omit ll. 1-2 of this stanza and the first word of l. 3.



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 16: AII, 300-1, BII, 320, Skald II, 170-1; Ǫrv 1888, 164, Ǫrv 1892, 82, FSGJ 2, 317; Edd. Min. 56.


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