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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 41VIII (Ǫrv 111)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 111 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 41)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 919.


Vara, sem brynja         eða bláir hringar
ísköld um mik         áðan felli,
þá er of síður         silkiskyrta,
gulli saumuð,         gekk fastofin.

Vara, sem brynja eða bláir hringar felli ísköld um mik áðan, þá er silkiskyrta, saumuð gulli, gekk fastofin of síður.

It was not like when a mail-coat or dark mailrings fell ice-cold around me previously, when the silken shirt, sewn with gold, went firmly woven about my sides.

Mss: 7(50v), 344a(14r), 567IV(2vb), 343a(66r), 343a(81r), 471(71v), 471(95r), 173ˣ(31v), 173ˣ(63rb) (Ǫrv)

Readings: [1] Vara: varat 567IV, 343a(66r), 471(71v), 471(95r), var 343a(81r), 173ˣ(31v), 173ˣ(63rb)    [2] eða: eðr 343a(81r), 471(95r)    [3] ísköld: verðr köld 344a, í skjöld 471(71v), 471(95r)    [4] áðan: ofan 343a(66r), 343a(81r)    [5] þá er of síður: þó er ei síðr 173ˣ(31v), 173ˣ(63rb)    [8] gekk: ‘grimdar’ 173ˣ(31v);    ‑ofin: so 343a(66r), 173ˣ(31v), ofan 7, 344a, 567IV, 343a(81r), 471(71v), 471(95r), 173ˣ(63rb)

Editions: Skj AII, 313, Skj BII, 332, Skald II, 178; Ǫrv 1888, 81, 203, Ǫrv 1892, 43, 98, FSGJ 2, 243, 352-3; Edd. Min. 55.

Notes: [All]: In the saga prosimetrum this stanza follows immediately upon Ǫlvǫr Lv 1 (Ǫrv 4) (q. v.), in which the Irish woman Ǫlvǫr describes how the magic shirt she has woven for Oddr is made up of parts woven in six different locations. In the younger mss, 343a, 471 and 173ˣ, the stanza also appears in the continuous Ævdr. Oddr’s stanza contrasts the feel of the magical silken shirt, which will protect him from several kinds of harm, with the ice-cold sensation of putting on metal armour. Ǫlvǫr has previously assured him that the shirt will prevent him from feeling the cold and hunger pangs, will protect him from fire and fatigue while swimming, and from all weapons, provided he does not run away from fights. These properties are proven in various of Oddr’s adventures later in the saga. — [8] fastofin ‘firmly woven’: Like Skj B and Skald and FSGJ 2, 353, but unlike Ǫrv 1888 and 1892, Edd. Min. and FSGJ 2, 243, this edn has chosen the lectio difficiliorofin ‘woven’ (p. p. of vefa ‘weave’) over the majority mss’ ofan ‘down, from above’, which is a possible reading, but less good. The cpd fastofinn is not recorded in LP.


  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  6. Edd. Min. = Heusler, Andreas and Wilhelm Ranisch, eds. 1903. Eddica Minora: Dichtungen eddischer Art aus den Fornaldarsögur und anderen Prosawerken. Dortmund: Ruhfus. Rpt. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
  7. Ǫrv 1888 = Boer, R. C., ed. 1888. Ǫrvar-Odds saga. Leiden: Brill.
  8. Ǫrv 1892 = Boer, R. C., ed. 1892a. Ǫrvar-Odds saga. Altnordische Saga-Bibliothek 2. Halle: Niemayer.
  9. Internal references
  10. Not published: do not cite (ǪrvOdd ÆvdrVIII (Ǫrv))
  11. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 4 (Ǫlvǫr, Lausavísa 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 813.

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