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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 11VIII (Ǫrv 81)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 81 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 11)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 896.


text and translation

Hann léz seggjum         segja kunna,
hvar til hodda var         hægt at ráða.
Hann bað oss ganga         götu lengra,
ef vér vildim         fleira eiga.

Hann léz kunna segja seggjum, hvar var hægt at ráða til hodda. Hann bað oss ganga lengra götu, ef vér vildim eiga fleira .
‘He said he was able to tell the men where it was easy to acquire treasures. He advised us to travel by a longer way if we wanted to have more wealth.

notes and context

According to the saga prose (Ǫrv 1888, 28-31) the guide Oddr captured from the Permians told him the whereabouts of a large mound (haugr) on the bank of the river Dvina (ON Vína). This mound had been built up by the Permians practising rituals of birth and death; when someone was born, a handful of earth was placed on the mound, and when someone died, a handful of silver was added. Oddr sent off Guðmundr and his crew to travel up the river to the mound, while he remained behind and guarded their hostage. Knowledge of Permian religious ritual is reported in several Old Norse sources, including ÓH in Hkr (ÍF 27, 229-30), where such a mound is described in connection with the worship of the Permians’ god Jómali (cf. Karelian jumala ‘god’). See most recently the discussion by Tolley (2009, I, 54) and references there.  — [5-8]: There is no counterpart in the prose text to the information conveyed by these lines. — [5-6]: Previous eds have either emended these lines to hann bað oss götu | ganga lengra (so Skj B and Skald) or hann bað oss ganga | á götu lengra (so Ǫrv 1888), but neither emendation achieves a metrically regular line.



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 11: AII, 308, BII, 326, Skald II, 174; Ǫrv 1888, 199, FSGJ 2, 343.


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