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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 9VIII (Ǫrv 79)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 79 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 9)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 894.


text and translation

Váru hoskir         á herskipum
frændr mínir tveir         at forráði.
Vildu hásetar         hoskir eignaz
tak, þat er áttu         Tyrfifinnar.

Mínir tveir frændr váru hoskir at forráði á herskipum. Hoskir hásetar vildu eignaz tak, þat er Tyrfifinnar áttu.
‘My two kinsmen were wise in their captaincy on the warships. The wise oarsmen wanted to get their hands on the possessions that the Ter-Saami owned.

notes and context

This stanza needs to be read ironically to reflect the speaker’s (Oddr’s) distaste for the raiding of the other members of the party, and this point of view is signalled by the repeated use of the adj. ho(r)skr ‘wise’ in ll. 1 and 6. According to the saga prose (Ǫrv 1888, 24-7), the party sees Saami huts (gammar) on the coast as they travel north to Permia. The crew on Guðmundr’s ship go ashore, rob the huts and terrify the Saami women, but Oddr does not allow his crew to do so. Oddr is invited to join a similar raiding party the following day, but refuses to participate. His attitude on this occasion is to be contrasted with the alacrity with which he engages in raiding on the Permians (see the following stanza), and is doubtless attributable to his awareness of his family’s kinship with the Saami through his father’s mother Hrafnhildr Brúnadóttir (cf. GrL and Ket).



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 IX 9: AII, 307, BII, 326, Skald II, 174; Ǫrv 1888, 199, FSGJ 2, 343.


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