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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Lv 18VIII (Ǫrv 51)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 51 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 18)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 865.


text and translation

Sjólfr, vartu eigi         Sámseyju í,
þar er við Hjörvarð         höggum skiptum.
Tveir váru vit,         en þeir tólf saman;
sigr hafða ek;         saztu kyrr meðan.

Sjólfr, vartu eigi í Sámseyju, þar er skiptum höggum við Hjörvarð. Váru vit tveir, en þeir tólf saman; ek hafða sigr; saztu kyrr meðan.
‘Sjólfr, you were not on Samsø, where we exchanged blows with Hjǫrvarðr. We were two, but they [were] twelve together; I had the victory; you stayed quiet in the meanwhile.

notes and context

Oddr goes back to his seat after declaiming Ǫrv 49 and 50, and his opponents then offers him two more full horns, which he drinks, and then speaks the following two stanzas, Ǫrv 51 and 52.

This stanza alludes to the fight on the Danish island of Sámsey (Samsø) between Oddr and his companion Hjálmarr and twelve berserk brothers. This legendary fight is described in both Heiðr and Ǫrv and in Saxo’s Gesta Danorum; see further Introduction to Ǫrv 5-12. 



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 18: AII, 301, BII, 320, Skald II, 171; Ǫrv 1888, 164, Ǫrv 1892, 83, FSGJ 2, 317-18.


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