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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 2VIII (Ǫrv 72)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 72 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 889.


Var mér fóstr gefit         at föður ráði
— brátt vöndumk því —         á Berurjóðri.
Var mér ekki         vant til sælu,
þess er Ingjaldr         átti kosti.

Fóstr var gefit mér at ráði föður á Berurjóðri; vöndumk því brátt. Var mér ekki vant til sælu, þess er Ingjaldr átti kosti.

Fosterage was provided for me according to my father’s advice at Berurjóðr; we [I] quickly came to like it. I had no lack of enjoyment of that which Ingjaldr had at his disposal.

Mss: 343a(80v), 471(94r), 173ˣ(60va-b) (Ǫrv)

Readings: [1] gefit: tekit 471, 173ˣ    [3] vöndumk: so 471, 173ˣ, vönduz 343a    [5] Var mér ekki: varat mér sælu 173ˣ    [6] sælu: þeirrar 173ˣ    [7] þess er: sem at 173ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 306, Skj BII, 324, Skald II, 173; Ǫrv 1888, 198, FSGJ 2, 340-1.

Notes: [All]: The stanza refers to Oddr’s childhood. According to the saga (Ǫrv 1888, 2-9), Oddr’s parents, Grímr and Lopthœna, were travelling by boat from their farm at Hrafnista in Northern Norway to take care of her recently deceased father’s property in the Vík (Viken) area of Oslofjorden. She was heavily pregnant at the time, and gave birth to Oddr on the journey south at Ingjaldr’s farm at Berurjóðr. Ingjaldr offered to foster Oddr and his parents accepted that offer. Although this is not stated in the saga, there is an assumption that Ingjaldr was of lower social status than Grímr and Lopthœna, as in most recorded cases of fosterage in early Iceland and Norway (Foote and Wilson 1980, 116; Byock 1988, 171-2). — [1] gefit ‘provided’: Lit. ‘given’. All other eds have preferred the alternative reading tekit ‘accepted’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Foote, Peter G. and D. M. Wilson. 1980. The Viking Achievement. 2nd edn. Great Civilizations Series. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.
  4. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  5. Ǫrv 1888 = Boer, R. C., ed. 1888. Ǫrvar-Odds saga. Leiden: Brill.
  6. Byock, Jesse L. 1988. Medieval Iceland. Society, Sagas, and Power. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.

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