Ohthere, Ohtere (the name is sometimes misspelt Ohþere), Óttarr, Óttarr vendilkráka or Ottar Vendelkråka (Vendelcrow) (ca 515 - ca 530) was a semi-legendary king of Sweden belonging to the house of Scylfings.
His name has been reconstructed as Proto-Norse *Ōhtaharjaz or *Ōhtuharjaz meaning "feared warrior.
When Othere and his actions are concerned, he is referred to as Ongenþeow's offspring together with his brother Onela. The section deals with Ohthere and Onela pillaging the Geats at the death of their king Hreðel, restarting the Swedish-Geatish wars:
Later, it is implied in the poem that Ohthere has died, because his brother Onela is king. Ohthere's sons Eadgils and Eanmund fled to the Geats and the wars began anew.
According to the latest source, Ynglinga saga, Óttarr refused to pay tribute to the Danish king Fróði for the help that his father had received. Then Fróði sent two men to collect the tribute, but Óttarr answered that the Swedes had never paid tribute to the Daner and would not begin with him. Fróði then gathered a vast host and looted in Sweden, but the next summer he pillaged in the east. When Óttarr learnt that Fróði was gone, he sailed to Denmark to plunder in return and went into the Limfjord where he pillaged in Vendsyssel. Fróði's jarls Vott and Faste attacked Óttarr in the fjord. The battle was even and many men fell, but the Daner were reinforced by the people in the neighbourhood and so the Swedes lost (a version apparently borrowed from the death of Óttarr's predecessor Jorund). The Daner put Óttarr's dead corpse on a mound to be devoured by wild beasts, and made a wooden crow that they sent to Sweden with the message that the wooden crow was all that Óttarr was worth. After this, Óttarr was called Vendelcrow.
It is only Snorri who uses the epithet Vendelcrow, whereas the older sources Historia Norvegiae and Íslendingabók use it for his father Egill. Moreover, it is only in Snorri's work that story of Óttarr's death in Vendsyssel appears, and it is probably his own invention. Ynglingatal only mentions that Óttarr was killed by the Danish jarls Vott and Faste in a place named Vendel (Laing has been influenced by Snorri's version in his translation):
|Cui successit in regnum filius suus Ottarus, qui a suo æquivoco Ottaro Danorum comite et fratre ejus Fasta in una provinciarum Daniæ, scilicet Wendli, interemptus est. Cujus filius Adils [...]||The successor to the throne was his son Ottar, who was assassinated in Vendel, a law province of Denmark, by his namesake, a Danish jarl, and this man's brother, Fasta. His son Adils [...]|
The barrow was excavated in the period 1914-1916. It showed the remains of both a man and a woman, and the finds were worthy of a king. The Swedish archaeologist Sune Lindqvist reported that in its centre there was a wooden vessel with ashes. There were few finds but they were well-preserved. There were some decorative panels similar to those found in the other Vendel era graves nearby. A comb with a case was found, as well as a golden Roman coin, a solidus, dated to be no later than 477. It had been perforated and was probably used as decoration, but it showed signs of wear and tear and had probably been worn for a longer time. Lindquist stated that the identification of the barrow as that of Ohthere could not receive more archaeological confirmation than those provided by the excavation.