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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Lv 9VIII (Ǫrv 41)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 41 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 9)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 854.


Þú látt, Sigurðr,         í sal meyja,
meðan við Bjarma         börðumz tysvar.
Háðum hildi         heldr snarliga,
en þú, seggr, í sal         svaft und blæju.

Sigurðr, þú látt í sal meyja, meðan börðumz tysvar við Bjarma. Háðum hildi heldr snarliga, en þú, seggr, svaft í sal und blæju.

Sigurðr, you lay in the girls’ room, while we fought twice against the Permians. We conducted the battle rather keenly, but you, fellow, were sleeping in a hall under a bed-cover.

Mss: 7(54v), 344a(21v), 343a(77r), 471(88v) (Ǫrv)

Readings: [1] Þú: so all others, en þú 7;    Sigurðr: Sjólfr 344a    [2] meyja: meyjar 471    [6] heldr: ‘hꜹgg’ 344a, hauk‑ 343a, ‘hard’ or ‘hrid’ 471    [7] seggr: Sigurðr 344a;    í sal: om. 344a    [8] und: undir 344a, 343a

Editions: Skj AII, 299, Skj BII, 318, Skald II, 169-70; Ǫrv 1888, 161, Ǫrv 1892, 80, FSGJ 2, 314; Edd. Min. 66-7.

Context: As for Ǫrv 40.

Notes: [3] við Bjarma ‘against the Permians’: The Bjarmar (OE Beormas) ‘Permians’ were the inhabitants of Bjarmaland, Permia, or in modern terminology the Kola Peninsula, a region in the vicinity of the White Sea. Glúmr Gráf 5/3I mentions the bjarmskar kindir ‘the Permian people’ as living on the shores of the river Vína (probably the Dvina), but the most extensive early reference to the Permians comes from the Old English account of the Norwegian trader Ohthere (ON Óttarr), given to King Alfred the Great and inserted into the Old English translation of Orosius’ Historiae adversum Paganos (Bately 1980, 14, 186-7; Lund 1984, 19). The Old Norse name Bjarmar is derived from the Finnish permi, a term referring to a travelling merchant from Outer Karelia (Lund 1984, 64; Ross 1981, 29-83). One of Ǫrvar-Oddr’s first and most spectacular adventures after he left home was to travel to Bjarmaland ‘Permia’ with his foster-brother Ásmundr, where they had a number of encounters with hostile Saami and Permians (Ǫrv 1888, 25-37). Their exploits there became so famous that, whenever Oddr met new people on his travels, he was always asked whether he was the Oddr who went to Permia. Cf. ǪrvOdd Ævdr 8 (Ǫrv 78). — [6] heldr snarliga ‘rather keenly’: Or ‘rather quickly’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  4. 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.
  5. Ǫrv 1888 = Boer, R. C., ed. 1888. Ǫrvar-Odds saga. Leiden: Brill.
  6. Ross, Alan S. C. 1981. The Terfinnas and Beormas of Ohthere. Rev. Michael Chesnutt. London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. Bately, Janet, ed. 1980. The Old English Orosius. Early English Text Society supplementary ser. 6. London, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press.
  8. Lund, Niels and Christine Fell, trans. 1984. Two Voyagers at the Court of King Alfred. York, England: William Sessions.
  9. Ǫrv 1892 = Boer, R. C., ed. 1892a. Ǫrvar-Odds saga. Altnordische Saga-Bibliothek 2. Halle: Niemayer.
  10. Internal references
  11. Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Gráfeldardrápa 5’ 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, p. 254.
  12. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 40 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 8)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 853.
  13. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 78 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 8)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 894.

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