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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (OStór) 1VIII (OStór 1)

Peter Jorgensen (ed.) 2017, ‘Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar 1 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 604.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísa from Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar1

Both the prose text of OStór ch. 5 and this fornyrðislag lausavísa are indebted to Ǫrv ch. 2, where a sibyl similarly prophesies that Oddr will die in a particular place on an island off the Norwegian coast. In both cases, the protagonists are hostile to the prophetess and scoff at her prediction. Aside from the prophetess’s stanzas in Ǫrv 1-3, there is one other instance in a fornaldarsaga of a sibyl’s prophecy in Hrólf 2-5.

Þó at þú látir         yfir lögu breiða
byrhest renna         ok beriz víða,
nær mun þat liggja,         at norðr fyrir Mæri
þú bana hljótir;         bezt mun at þegja.

Þat mun liggja nær, at þú hljótir bana norðr fyrir Mæri, þó at þú látir {byrhest} renna yfir breiða lögu ok beriz víða; bezt mun at þegja.

Even though you let {the wind-horse} [SHIP] run over the broad seas and roam afar, it [the fate] will be at hand, that you will meet your death in the north off the coast of Møre; it is best to be silent.

Mss: Flat(70ra), 2845(22r), 554h βˣ(60v) (OStór)

Readings: [2] lögu breiða: lög breiðan 554h βˣ    [4] beriz: ‘bere ad’ 554h βˣ    [5] liggja: so 2845, 554h βˣ, leggja Flat    [6] at: om. 554h βˣ    [7] þú: at þú 2845, 554h βˣ    [8] mun: mun nú 2845

Editions: Skj AII, 342, Skj BII, 364, Skald II, 197; ÓT 1689, 10, Fms 3, 212Flat 1860-8, I, 525; Þorleifur Jónsson 1904, 207; Guðni Jónsson 1935, 177 (ch. 5), Guðni Jónsson 1946-9, 11, 455 (ch. 5), Faulkes 2011b, 64 (ch. 5) (ÓStór).

Context: On a farm in Denmark, a sibyl utters this prophecy, that young Ásbjǫrn Virfilsson is destined to die in the north, off the coast of Møre (ON Mærr) in Norway.

Notes: [All]: This stanza may echo Heiðr Lv 2/1-4 (Ǫrv 2): Ferr þú eigi svá | fjörðu breiða | né líðr yfir | langa vága … ‘You will never travel thus over broad firths or sail across long bays …’.  The import of the stanza is that, however far Ormr travels, he will not avoid his destiny back in Norway. — [2] yfir breiða lögu ‘over the broad seas’: Skj B and Skald have preferred the reading of 554h ßˣ, yfir lög breiðan ‘over the broad sea’ but cf. Ǫrv 2/2 where the pl. fjörðu breiða ‘broad firths’ occurs. — [5] þat mun liggja nær ‘it [the fate] will be at hand’: Lit. ‘it will lie close’. — [6] norðr fyrir Mæri ‘in the north off the coast of Møre’: Faulkes (2011b, 91) notes that the geographical location of the islands where Ásbjǫrn is to die is somewhat vague, both in the stanza and the prose of OStór. In the prose the sibyl threatens him with death á Norðmæri ‘in Nordmøre’, and l. 6 may refer to this district, in contrast with Sunnmærr (Sunnmøre), the more southerly of the two Møre districts.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1946-9. Íslendinga sögur. 13 vols. Reykjavík: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan. Rpt. 1953.
  6. Faulkes, Anthony. 2011b. Two Icelandic Stories: Hreiðars þáttr, Orms þáttr. New edition. London: Viking Society. First published [n. d. (1967)].
  7. ÓT 1689 = [Anonymous] 1689. Saga þess haloflega herra Olafs Tryggvasonar, Noregs kongs. Skálholt: Jón Snorrason.
  8. Þorleifur Jónsson. 1904. Fjörutíu Íslendinga-Þættir. Reykjavík: Sigurður Kristjánsson.
  9. Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1935. Íslendinga þættir. Reykjavík: Sigurður Kristjánsson.
  10. Internal references
  11. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Ǫrvar-Odds saga’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 804.
  12. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Flateyjarbók (Flat)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. clxi-clxii.
  13. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 602.
  14. †Desmond Slay (ed.) 2017, ‘Hrólfs saga kraka 2 (Heiðr vǫlva, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 542.
  15. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 1 (Heiðr, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 810.
  16. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 2 (Heiðr, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 811.
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