Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

ǪrvOdd Lv 2VIII (Ǫrv 8)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 8 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 819.


text and translation

Þá var mér ótti         einu sinni,
er þeir grenjandi         gengu af öskum;
tírarlausir         váru tólf saman.

Þá var mér ótti einu sinni, er þeir gengu grenjandi af öskum; tírarlausir váru tólf saman.
‘Then there was in me a fear on one occasion when they went bellowing from the longships; the inglorious ones were twelve together.

notes and context

In Heiðr, this is the first stanza in the sequence associated with the battle on Samsø. Oddr speaks it after he and Hjálmarr have just returned from the forest to their ships. They see that the berserks have left their ships, after having killed all on board, with their weapons bloody and their swords drawn, but their berserk frenzy has now left them and they are weaker than normal.

This stanza is extant in a shorter version in two Heiðr mss, 2845 and R715ˣ, and in a longer version in the mss of Ǫrv, the text of which, based on 344a, is given below. The lines following the first helmingr in the Ǫrv version seem to represent a text similar to Ǫrv 6. The Heiðr stanza has only two lines additional to the first helmingr. Previous eds have handled the variant texts in different ways. Boer (Ǫrv 1888 and 1892) prints the text of the Ǫrv version, though with square brackets around ll. 5-10 to indicate that they are likely to be a later addition, and with round brackets enclosing ll. 5-6 to suggest that they repeat Ǫrv 6/1-4 with minor variation. Edd. Min. presents ll. 1-6 as it is in 344a, but then adds two further lines following the mss of Heiðr (ll. 5-6, as in the version from 2845 above). Skj A gives the Heiðr version of 2845 in the main text, with the Ǫrv text from l. 5 onward, as in Note to [All] below. In Skj B Finnur adopts the same mixed text as Edd. Min. and encloses the whole stanza in square brackets. He is followed in this by Kock in Skald. — The text of the Ǫrv version of this stanza, based on 344a, is as follows:

Þá var mér ótti         einu sinni,
er þeir grenjandi         gengu af öskum,
ok emjandi         í ey stigu.
Þá frák fyrða         fláráðasta
ok ótrauðasta         illt at vinna.

Þá var mér otti einu sinni, er þeir gengu grenjandi af öskum, ok stigu emjandi í ey. Frák þá fyrða fláráðasta ok ótrauðasta at vinna illt.

Then there was in me a fear on one occasion when they went bellowing from the longships, and, raging, climbed the island; I have heard them to be the most treacherous of men and most keen to accomplish evil.

Mss: 344a(16v), 343a(68r), 471(74r), 173ˣ(35v) (Ǫrv).

Readings: [1] Þá var mér otti: nú er otti 343a, 471, 173ˣ    [3] er: ef 343a    [4] gengu: ganga 343a, 471, 173ˣ    [6] í ey stigu: ‘i einstigu’ 173ˣ    [9] ótrauðasta: örvasta 343a, 471, 173ˣ.



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 III 4: AII, 291, BII, 311-12, Skald II, 165; Heiðr 1924, 9, 97, Heiðr 1960, 5, Ǫrv 1888, 98, Ǫrv 1892, 53, FSGJ 2, 253; Edd. Min. 56.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.