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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Oddi inn litli Glúmsson (Oddi)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Judith Jesch;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 5

Skj info: Oddi lítli Glúmsson, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 529-30, BI, 509-10).

Skj poems:

Oddi inn litli ‘the Small’ Glúmsson (Oddi) is only known from Orkn. He is said to have been one of two Icelanders (the other is Ármóðr (Árm)) who came to the court of Rǫgnvaldr jarl in Orkney one autumn. While Ármóðr is described as a skáld, of Oddi it is said that he orti enn vel ‘was also good at composing’ (ÍF 34, 200-1). Oddi is then said to have been one of the skáld jarls ‘skalds of the jarl’ who accompanied Rǫgnvaldr on his journey to the Holy Land (ÍF 34, 204). When Oddi is introduced, the main saga ms. (Flat) says that he was hjaltlenzkr ‘from Shetland’ but all eds have preferred the reading of two other mss, which say that he was an Icelander and which add that he was from Breiðafjörður (Orkn 1913-16, 221 and n. 1). His patronymic may suggest he was descended from Glúmr Geirason (GlúmrI), in whose family there were many poets (ÍF 34, 201 nn. 1-2).

Lausavísur — Oddi LvII

Judith Jesch 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 614-19.

 1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Oddi lítli Glúmsson: Lausavísur (AI, 529-30, BI, 509-10)

SkP info: II, 618

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Oddi Lv 4II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 618.

Oddi Lv 4-5 are both about Oddi’s fellow-poet and -crusader, Þorbjǫrn svarti (Þsvart), and are both in kviðuháttr metre, which might suggest that they have been extracted from a longer poem in praise of Þorbjǫrn; however, there is no other evidence for this. The sts are cited without any intervening prose in Orkn (ÍF 34, 230-31) and the adverbial at the beginning of Lv 5 refers back to the p. n. in the last l. of Lv 4. It therefore seems preferable to see them as two linked lvv. Flat is the main ms. for Lv 4 and R702ˣ has been chosen as the main ms. for Lv 5.

Bôru lung
lendra manna
fyr Þrasnes
Þórbjǫrn svarta.
Trað hlunnbjǫrn
und hǫfuðskaldi
Áta jǫrð
Akrsborgar til.

Lung lendra manna bôru Þórbjǫrn svarta fyr Þrasnes. {Hlunnbjǫrn} trað {jǫrð Áta} til Akrsborgar und hǫfuðskaldi.

The vessels of landed men carried Þórbjǫrn svarti (‘the Black’) past Þrasnes. {The roller-bear} [SHIP] trod {the ground of Áti <sea-king>} [SEA] to Acre beneath the chief skald.

Mss: Flat(140vb), R702ˣ(49v) (Orkn)

Readings: [1] lung: so R702ˣ, lyng Flat    [3] fyr: om. R702ˣ;    Þrasnes: so R702ˣ, ‘þarsnes’ Flat    [5] hlunn‑: so R702ˣ, hlyn Flat    [8] til: om. R702ˣ

Editions: Skj: Oddi lítli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 4: AI, 530, BI, 510, Skald I, 250; Flat 1860-8, II, 486, Orkn 1887, 175, Orkn 1913-16, 254, ÍF 34, 230 (ch. 88), Bibire 1988, 237.

Context: While Rǫgnvaldr and his troop were spending time in Acre, they were assailed by disease and many men died, including Þorbjǫrn svarti.

Notes: [3] Þrasnes ‘Þrasnes’: Bibire (1988, 237) translates as ‘Freswick’. This is a large bay on the east coast of Caithness which is a notable landmark for those sailing to and from Orkney; in Orkn it is called Þrasvík (ÍF 34, 242, 248). However, the p. n. Þrasnes occurs elsewhere in the saga referring to a place apparently in north-west Spain (ÍF 34, 211). Since both are a long way from Acre, and the Spanish name is hard to motivate in the context of this st., it remains a possibility to interpret Þrasnes as a nonce-form recalling Þrasvík, making the st. link the beginning of Þorbjǫrn’s journey to its end. — [6] hǫfuðskaldi ‘the chief skald’: There is no indication in Orkn that Þorbjǫrn svarti was either a particularly important poet nor Rǫgnvaldr’s ‘chief skald’; he is simply said to have been one of a number of skáld jarls ‘the skalds of the jarl’ (ÍF 34, 204). The term is paralleled by the use of the word hǫfuðkirkja in st. 5. Otherwise, hǫfuðskáld is used in ESk Geisl 12VII, with reference to Sigvatr (SigvI) and Óttarr (ÓttI), two very important poets (see also SnE 1998, I, 5, 6, 85). — [8] Akrsborgar ‘Acre’: See Note to ESk Sigdr I 3/8.

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