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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Lv 19VIII (Ǫrv 52)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 52 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 19)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 866.


text and translation

Gekk ek um Gautland         í grimmum hug
sjau dægr saman,         áðr ek Sævið fyndak.
Knátta ek þeira,         áðr ek þaðan færa,
fimtán liða         fjörvi ráða;
en þú gjögraðir,         gárungr vesall,
síð of öpnum         til sængr þýjar.

Ek gekk um Gautland í grimmum hug sjau dægr saman, áðr ek fyndak Sævið. Ek knátta ráða fimtán liða þeira fjörvi, áðr ek færa þaðan; en þú, vesall gárungr, gjögraðir síð of öpnum til sængr þýjar.
‘I travelled through Götaland in angry mood for seven days together before I came upon Sæviðr. I succeeded in taking the lives of fifteen of their company before I got away from there; but you, wretched buffoon, were staggering late in the evenings to a slave woman’s bed.

notes and context

As for Ǫrv 51.

This stanza has twelve lines in all mss except in 173ˣ, which omits ll. 5-8. Some eds have suggested that the stanza belonged originally to Oddr’s Ævdr and was later taken into the mannjafnaðr with ll. 9-12 added to make it fit. Edd. Min., for example, includes it in the Ævdr. The stanza alludes to an adventure Oddr undertook (Ǫrv 1888, 108-13; Ǫrv 1892, 61-3) immediately after he had taken Hjálmarr’s corpse and armour to the Swedish court. He sails with ten ships to Gotland where he hears tell of a viking named Sæviðr (in 7) or Sæundr (344a, 173ˣ) or Sæmundr (343a, 471). Oddr comes off badly in the encounter that follows; all his men are killed and he is wounded and shackled. He manages to escape, takes revenge on the viking by killing his men as they slept, and the two enemies scour Gotland looking for each other. Finally Oddr comes upon Sæviðr’s camp and kills him and fourteen others.



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 19: AII, 301-2, BII, 320-1, Skald II, 171; Ǫrv 1888, 164-5, Ǫrv 1892, 83, FSGJ 2, 318; Edd. Min. 57.


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