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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 68VIII (Ǫrv 138)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 138 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 68)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 944.


Færðum seggi         frá svikaráðum
ok trégoðum         tynda ek þeira.
Barða ek Bjálka         í borghliði
eikikylfu,         áðr hann önd um lét.

Færðum seggi frá svikaráðum ok ek tynda trégoðum þeira. Ek barða Bjálka eikikylfu í borghliði, áðr hann um lét önd.

We [I] turned men away from a deceitful state of life and I destroyed their wooden gods. I hit Bjálki with an oaken club in the fortress gateway before he gave up the ghost.

Mss: 7(56r-v), 343a(81v), 471(96r), 173ˣ(65ra) (Ǫrv)

Readings: [1] Færðum seggi: Sóttum sverði 343a, 471, 173ˣ    [2] frá svikaráðum: seggja kindir 343a, 471, 173ˣ    [4] tynda ek: tyndum 343a, 471, 173ˣ    [6] í borghliði: í borgarhliði 343a, 471, hliði konunga 173ˣ    [7] eikikylfu: om. 173ˣ    [8] áðr hann: svo at 343a, svá hann 471, so at 173ˣ;    önd (‘aund’): so 343a, 471, ‘o[…]’ 7, öndu 173ˣ;    um: so 343a, 471, of 7, om. 173ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 318, Skj BII, 338, Skald II, 181; Ǫrv 1888, 185, 207-8, Ǫrv 1892, 92, 99, FSGJ 2, 361; Edd. Min. 58.

Notes: [All]: For the background to this stanza, see Introduction to Ǫrv 59-70. In 7 the stanza is cited at the end of the Bjálkaland episode and immediately after Oddr has killed this pagan country’s king, Álfr bjálki, with a club made of oak wood. In the other mss the stanza is not cited at this point, but appears in the continuous Ævdr as st. 68. — [All]: The first helmingr of the stanza has a somewhat different wording in the younger mss, as follows: Sóttum sverði | seggja kindir | ok trégoðum | týndum þeira ‘We [I] attacked the sons of men with the sword and destroyed their wooden gods’. This version is printed by Skj B and Skald, but they follow a mixed text in the second helmingr. — [2] frá svikaráðum ‘from a deceitful state of life’: Undoubtedly a reference to the pagan rites performed by the people of Bjálkaland and by the king’s wife in particular, and an indication that this stanza has a Christian perspective. Svikaráð n. pl. occurs only here and in GunnLeif Merl II 64/2, where it is coupled with the word synd ‘sin’. — [3-4]: See the very similar lines in Ǫrv 60/3-4 and Note to l. 3. — [5] Bjálka ‘Bjálki’: On this name and its meaning, see Introduction to Ǫrv 59-70. — [8] um lét ‘gave up’: The reading of mss 343a and 471 has been selected here to conform to Old Norse usage of the period after 1250. Ms. 7’s use of the archaic pleonastic particle of with the verb lét ‘gave up’ indicates that its scribe may have used an earlier exemplar. See also Note to Ǫrv 4/1.


  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. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  5. 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.
  6. Ǫrv 1888 = Boer, R. C., ed. 1888. Ǫrvar-Odds saga. Leiden: Brill.
  7. Ǫrv 1892 = Boer, R. C., ed. 1892a. Ǫrvar-Odds saga. Altnordische Saga-Bibliothek 2. Halle: Niemayer.
  8. Internal references
  9. Not published: do not cite (ǪrvOdd ÆvdrVIII (Ǫrv))
  10. 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.
  11. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 59 (Gyðja, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 874.
  12. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 60 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 26)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 875.

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