Folk-Lore/Volume 4/The Oldest Icelandic Folk-lore
|←Obeah Worship in East and West Indies.|| Folk-Lore, Volume 4
The Oldest Icelandic Folk-lore.
by W. A. Craigie
OLDEST ICELANDIC FOLK-LORE.
THE Landnámabók, or History of the Settlement of Iceland, a document such as no other country can boast of, is of value not only for the student of Northern history, but also for the folk-lorist. The interminable genealogies which form the bulk of the work (comprising over 5,000 names in all) are relieved now and then by anecdotes concerning the persons named, and in most instances these stories, when they are not merely ones of quarrel and bloodshed, contain some trait of popular belief, which is thus at least as old as the eleventh century, and may very well go back to the tenth or ninth. In general, these tales agree with the common folk-lore of Scandinavia, at least as we find it in the other sagas of Iceland and Norway ; and, beyond the few Christian elements in connection with Christian settlers from the Hebrides, etc., show no trace of the Celtic influence which some have thought must have resulted from contact with Celts and from settlers of Celtic descent. These latter, however, do not number one per cent, of the persons named in the Landnáma, and so their influence was not likely to be very extensive.
To extract and arrange these tales is the object of this article, and, beyond the translation, few notes have been added ; but the exact meaning of the original terms is explained in the index. In some cases the stories apparently do not go back to the original version of the Landnáma, but have been inserted by later scribes, sometimes perhaps from local tradition, but sometimes from other sagas. The most striking of these are also included in this collection.
A. — Landing in Iceland.
1. A number of the early settlers carried with them the posts on either side of their "high seat" in the hall or temple (öndvegis súlur), and, on coming near to Iceland, threw these overboard, and afterwards settled where they found them on the shore. Among those mentioned are Ingolf (1. 6), Thorolf mostrarskegg (2. 12. Thor was carved on his), Lodmund (4. 5), Thord skeggi (4. 7), and Hrollaug (4. 9). Kveldulf, who died on the voyage, ordered them to throw his coffin overboard and tell his son Grim to settle where it landed (i. 18). Flóki hallowed three ravens before leaving Norway (v. No. 12), and let them off when out at sea : the first flew backwards ; the second up in the air and back to the ship again ; the third forward in the direction of land (1. 2).
2. In some cases the settlers were directed beforehand where they were to find a home, as in the case of Orlyg, who was told by his foster-father Bishop Patrick, in the Hebrides, that he was to settle where he saw two fells from the sea, with a dale in each of the fells, and he was to take up his abode under the southmost of these, and there make a church and dedicate it to St. Columba. Some accounts add that, as he was sailing along the coast, an iron bell fell overboard, and was found among the seaweed where he landed (i. 12). In other cases, wise-women were the directors or foretellers (v. No. 24).
B. — Beliefs connected with religion, heathen or Christian.
3. The famous Aud the wealthy "was buried between high and low water, as she had previously ordered, because, having been baptised, she would not lie in unconsecrated earth". (2. 19.)
4. Thorkell máni the law-speaker "had lived the best life of all heathen men so far as is known. During his last illness he made them carry him out into the sunlight, and commended himself to the god who had shaped the sun" (1. 9. So in the extract from Vatnsdæla Saga found in some MSS. "Thorsteinn called on him who shaped the sun, that the berserksgang should pass off Thórir", 3. 4).
5. "When Hjalti's sons went to the thing, they were so splendidly arrayed that men thought the Æsir were come. This verse was made on the subject : —
- 'Never a man thought anything else than that the allglorious Æsir fared there, when hardy Hjalti's sons came to Thorskafirth thing with their helms of awe.'" (3. 10.)
6. Helgi the lean went to Iceland with his wife and children, and his son-in-law Hámund hell-skin. His religion was rather mixed; he believed in Christ, but called on Thor for seafaring and adventurous acts. (3. 12.)
7. Thorolf took land from Stafá in as far as Thorsá, and called all that Thorsness. He had so much faith in the hill that stood on the ness, and which he called Helgafell, that no man was allowed to look on it unwashed, and it was so great a sanctuary that no harm could be done to anything on the fell, whether man or beast, unless it left it of its own accord. It was the belief of Thorolf and his kinsmen that they all passed into the fell at death. On the ness there, where Thor came ashore, Thorolf held all the courts, and there was set the district-thing. While men were at the thing there no one was allowed to ease himself on land; for that purpose there was assigned the reef called Dritsker, because they would not defile such a sacred piece of ground. But when Thorolf was dead, and his son Thorsteinn was young, Thorgrim Kjallak's son and Asgeirr his kinsman would not go to the reef for their errands ; the Thorsness men would not stand this, and so they fought with them there at the thing, and some fell and many were wounded before they were separated. Thord gellir reconciled them, but, since neither of them would give way, the place was made unhallowed with blood of vengeance. (2. 12.)
8. Aud had her home at Cross-knolls, and there she had crosses set up, because she was baptised and a good believer. Her kinsfolk after that had great faith in the knolls. An altar (hörg) was raised there when sacrificing began : they believed, too, that they passed into the knolls at death. Thord gellir was led into them before he rose to honour, as is said in his saga. (2. 16.)
9. Thorhadd the old was temple-priest at Thrandheim in Mæri : he took the idea to go to Iceland, but first he took down, the temple and carried off with him the temple-earth and the pillars. He came to Stödvarfirth and laid the Mæri sanctuary on all the firth, and allowed nothing to be killed there except home- cattle. (4. 6.)
10. Thorir the voyager had a ship built for him in Sogn (in Norway), which was hallowed by Bishop Sigurd. From that ship come the beaks before the door at Miklagarth (in Axarfirth) which foretell the weather. (3. 19.)
11. Ketill, from the Hebrides, a Christian, lived at Kirkjubæ. Papar had been there before, and no heathen men could live there. . . . "Hildir wished to shift his homestead to Kirkby after Ketill's death, thinking that a heathen could live there, but when he came near to the farmyard enclosure, he fell down dead." (4. 11.) C. — Closely connected with the foregoing are the passages referring to sacrificial and other religious ceremonies, denoted by blót and the verb blóta (with accusative = to worship or hallow ; with dative = to sacrifice). A full account of the procedure at a great blót is given in the Hákonar Saga, c. 14. 18. When Hjörleif is murdered by his thralls, his friend Ingolf attributes it to the fact that he would never blóta, (1. 7.).
12. (Floki on his voyage to Iceland) resorted to a great religious ceremony (blót), and hallowed three ravens, which should show him the way, because seafarers had no loadstone at that time in the North. They built up a cairn where the sacrifice had been, and called it Flokavarda : it lies at the meeting of Hördaland and Rogaland. . . . Then he sailed out to sea with the three ravens that he had hallowed in Norway, (1. 2. in some MSS.)
13. Hall the godless, son of Helgi the godless. Father and son would not worship (blóta), but trusted in their own might, (1. 11.)
14. Thorolf Smjör was the son of Thorsteinn Skrofi, son of that Grim who was worshipped after death on account of his popularity, and was called Kamban. (1. 14.)
15. There (on Thorsness) stands still Thor's stone, on which they broke the men whom they sacrificed, and near by is the judgment-ring where sentence of sacrifice was passed. (2. 12.)
16. Hallstein, son of Thorolf mostrarskegg, lived at Hallsteinsness. He sacrificed [and gave his son for the purpose] that Thcr might send him high-seat pillars. Thereafter a tree came ashore on his land, sixty-three ells long and two fathoms thick, which he used for his pillars, and from which those in nearly every farm there were made. (2. 23.)
17. Geirr was a distinguished man in Sögn (in Norway) : he was called Végeirr (sanctuary-Geirr) because he was a great blót-man. (All his children were called by names beginning with Vé-.) After his death his son Vebjörn quarrelled with Earl Hakon, and so the brothers and their sister went to Iceland. They had a long and hard voyage, and landed in autumn at Hloduvik to the west of Horn, and thereupon Vebjörn began to sacrifice a great blót, for he said Earl Hakon was that day sacrificing for misfortune to fall on them, but, as he was engaged on it, his brothers urged him to leave again ; he neglected the blót, and they put out to sea, and the same day their ship was wrecked in a storm under great cliffs. (2. 29.)
18. Thorsteinn sent his attendant to As to get information (about Hrolleif) : he recited twelve verses before going to the doors, and saw a heap of clothes on the door-beaks, and a red dress sticking out beneath them. Thorsteinn said that Hrolleif had been there, and Ljót (his mother) must have sacrificed for long life for him (v. No. 25). (3. 4.)
19. Thorsteinn red-nose was a great blót-man : he worshipped the waterfall, and all remnants had to be thrown into it : he was also very skilled in the future. . . . The night he died all his sheep drove down into the waterfall. (5. 6.)
20. Lopt went to Norway every third summer to sacrifice, on behalf of himself and Flosi, his mother's brother, at the temple of which his mother's father, Thorbjörn had been custodian. (Flosi could not go in person, being at enmity with King Harald.) (5. 8.)
D. — Frequent mention is made of magical arts, as practised by witches (völva, fjölkunnigkona), or more rarely by men (fjölkunnigr madr). The art itself is generally called fjölkyngi (much knowledge), or fródleikr (wisdom, learning). There are also persons who have the second-sight (are ófreskir) or have supernatural strength (rammaukin), or who can change their shape (hamrammr). To these beliefs the following series relates.
21. Asolf came from Ireland to the Eastfirths. He was a Christian, and would have no dealings with heathen men, would not even take food from them. He made a hut for himself under Eyjafell, and dealt with no one. They were curious to know what he had to eat, and saw many fish in the hut, and on their going to the stream which ran past the hut, they found it full of fish, so that they thought they had never seen such a marvel ; but when the men of the district heard of it they drove him away, and would not let him enjoy this good. Then Asolf shifted his dwelling to Midskáli, and stayed there. All the fish disappeared from the brook when men went to take them, and when they came to Asolf the waterfall beside his hut was full of fish. Again he was driven away, and went to the westmost Asó1fsskáli, and things went just the same as before. . . . [The longer version adds : "The settlers called that sorcery, but Thorgeirr (who had driven Asolf away) said he was of the opinion they were good men."] (1. 15. 16.)
22. A whale was driven ashore on Lón-Einar's beach, and he had cut up part of it, when a storm carried it off and drove it ashore on the land of Einarr Sigmundarson. Lón-Einarr attributed this to the magic of Hildigunn. (He went in search of the whale, and found Einarr with his men cutting it up, and killed one of them, but retired, as he had fewer men. He again came to attack Einarr, and found him from home. Einarr returned immediately and pursued him.) Then Einarr ran as hard as he could, and as he came by Drangar he saw a troll carl sitting up there, rowing with his feet so that they struck the surf, and beating them together so that the spray rose from them, and he repeated a verse. (The verse is very obscure and corrupt, but to all appearance is unimportant.) Einarr gave no heed to this. They met at Mannfallsbrekkur, and fought there. No iron could cut Einarr's kirtle (which he had got from Hildigunn). (2. 7. in some MSS.)
Einarr was buried a short distance from Sigmund's mound, and his mound is always green, wdnter and summer. (Ibid.)
23. Thorbjörn the stout summoned Geirríd, daughter of Bægifót, on a charge of witchcraft, as his son Gunnlaug had died from injury when he went to learn (magical) wisdom from Geirríd. She was the mother of Thorarinn in Máfahlid, . . . who took an oath by the altar ring, and so stopped the case. (2. 9.)
24. (Of Ingimund.) Held the witch predicted that they should all settle in a land as yet undiscovered, west over the sea. Ingimund said he would take care of that, but the witch said he would be unable to prevent it, and told him for a token that a hlutr (see below) had disappeared out of his purse, and would be found again when he dug the holes for his hall-pillars in that land. [Ingimund assisted King Harald at Hafrsfirth; the king encouraged him to go to Iceland, as he was discontented with Norway.] Ingimund said he had not intended to do so, but he sent two Finns in charmed shapes (hamfarir) to Iceland, to look for his hlutr; it was an image of Freyr, and made of silver. The Finns returned, and had discovered the hlutr, but were unable to get hold of it. They directed Ingimund to a dale between two woods, and told him all the lie of the land where he was to settle. [The place was Hof in Vatnsdal, in the N. of Iceland.] (3. 2.)
25. [Thorsteinn and his brothers attack Hrolleif, and chase him away from his own house.] By this time Ljót (his mother) had come out, and walked backwards with her head between her legs and her clothes over her back. Jókull cut off Hrolleifs head and threw it in her face ; then she said she had been too late, or the earth would have turned round before her eyes, and they would all have gone mad (v. No. i8). (3. 4.)
26. Groa invited Thorsteinn and his brothers to a harvest-feast. Thorsteinn dreamed three times that he should not go. Then Groa by witchcraft brought down a landslip on all the men that were there. (3. 4.)
27. Steinnraud the strong . . . who did good to many a man to whom other evil spirits did injury. There was a woman called Geirhild, a witch, and one who injured others. Second-sighted men saw Steinnraud come upon her unawares, but she turned herself into the shape of a leathern sack full of water. Steinnraud was an ironsmith, and had a large iron rod in his hand. This verse was made about their meeting.
- "The sounder of hammers lets the rod resound on the water(?)-bag of Geirhild ever the more with all his might. The troll's ribs are swollen ; the high iron staff shapes a heavy shower for the carline's side at Hjalta-eyri." (3. 14.)
28. Lodmund the old . . . was superhumanly strong and a wizard. He threw his hall-pillars overboard and said he would settle where they came on shore. He took Lodmund's firth, and lived there that winter ; then he heard of his hall-pillars to the southward. He put all his possessions on board ship, and when the sail was drawn up he lay down and said that no one was to venture to pronounce his name. He had only lain a short time when a loud noise was heard, and they saw a great landslip rush down on the homestead where Lodmund had lived. Thereupon he sat up and said, "That is my spell, that the ship that sails out here shall never escape safe from the sea." Then he held south by Horn, and then west along the coast, and took the land where his pillars had come ashore, between Hafr-river and Fúla-brook, which is now called Jökul-river, at Solheimasand. He lived in Lodmund's vale, and called it Solheimar. When he was old, there lived in Skógar one Thrasi, who was also a wizard. One morning Thrasi saw a great rush of water coming down, and by magic turned it east toward Solheimar. Lodmund's thrall saw it, and said that a sea was coming down on them from the north. Lodmund was blind by this time, and told the thrall to lead him to this bucketfull that he called a sea, and when he returned, said, "I don't think this is a sea." Then he bade the thrall accompany him to the water, "and stick the point of my staff into it." There was a ring on the staff, and Lodmund held the staff with both hands, and the ring in his teeth. Then the water began to fall west again toward Skogar, and so both he and Thrasi continued each to turn the water from themselves until they met at some deep clefts, and agreed that the water should flow down there the shortest way to the sea. That is now called Jokuls-river, and separates the districts. (4. 5.)
Thrasi was also rammaukinn. (5. 1.)
29. Thorarinn korni was very "hamrammr" (2. 8.)
30. [Arngeirr had two sons, Thorgils and Odd.]
Arngeirr and Thorgils left home in drift to search for their sheep, and did not return. Odd went to look for them, and found them both dead, killed by a white bear, which was drinking their blood when he came on it. Odd killed the bear and took it home, and it is said that he ate the whole of it, saying that he avenged his father in killing the bear and his brother in eating it. After this he became ill-tempered and difficult to deal with ; he was so hamrammr that he left home one time in the evening, and reached Thjórsárdal next morning to help his sister, whom the Thjórsdale men were going to stone to death. (3. 20.)
31. Dufthak was very "hamrammr" (5. 3); so was Thorkell bundinfoti (id.).
Dufthak of Dufthaksholt was the freedman of the brothers Hildir and Hallgeirr (who came from the British settlements). He was very hamrammr, and so was Stórólf Hængsson, who lived at Hvoll ; the two of them quarrelled about pasturage. A second-sighted man saw one evening, just about sunset, a huge bear going from Hvoll, and a bull from Dufthaksholt : they met at Stórólfsvöll, and fought fiercely, but the bear had the best of it. In the morning it was seen that the dale where they had met was as if the earth had been turned up. Both of them were severely injured. (5. 5.) E.—The following relate to the landvættir, or guardian spirits of the country, and other such beings. The first does not belong to the Landnáma proper, but is evidently of very early origin.
32. [It was the beginning of the heathen law that no one should have at sea a ship with a carved head on it; if they did, they were to take it off before they came in sight of land, and not sail to land with gaping heads or yawning snouts, lest the land-spirits might be frightened. (4. 7.)]
33. Björn dreamed one night that a hill-giant came to him and asked him to enter into partnership with him, and he thought that he assented. After that a buck came to his goats, and his stock increased so rapidly that he was soon very rich. Second-sighted men saw that the land-spirits followed Hafr-Björn to the thing, and Thorsteinn and Thord his brothers when they went hunting or fishing. (4. 12.)
34. Olver, son of Eysteinn, took the land to the east of Grims-river, where no one had ventured to settle since Hjörleif was killed, on account of the land-spirits. (4. 13.)
35. In the autumn, Grim rowed out to fish with his men; his boy Thorir lay in the bow in a sealskin bag, drawn close round his neck. Grim caught a merman (marmennil), and when he came up Grim asked: "What can you tell us about our future, or where we shall settle in Iceland?" The merman answers: "There is no need for me to foretell about you; but as for the boy who lies in the sealskin bag, he shall settle and take land where Skalm your mare lies down under her load"; and no more could they get out of him. (2. 5.)
36. In the autumn, Audunn saw an apple-grey horse run down from Hjardarvatn to his stud-horses, and overcome the stallion. Then Audunn went up and took the grey horse, harnessed him to a two-ox sledge, and drove all his hay together The horse was easy to manage during the middle of the day, but as the day wore on he sank into the field up to his pasterns, and when the sun had set he broke all the harness, ran to the water, and was never seen again.
[In the margin of one MS. is "Waterhorse, which some now call Nikur-horse".] (2.10.)
37. Thorvald holbarki "went up to Surt's cave and there recited the poem he had made about the giant in the cave". (3. 10)
F. — There are few remarkable dreams, but the following two may be given :
38. When Asolf grew old he retired and lived by himself. His cell was where the church now stands, and there he died and was buried at Holm. When Halldorr, the son of Illugi the red, lived there, one of the byre-maids was in the habit of wiping her feet on the mound which covered the grave of Asolf. She dreamed then that Asolf came and rebuked her for wiping her dirty feet on his house, "but there will be peace between us", he said, "if you tell Halldorr your dream." She did so, but he said women's dreams were of no importance, and never heeded it. When Bishop Hrodolf left Bæ, where he had lived nineteeen years, three monks remained behind, and one of these dreamed that Asolf said to him, "Send your servant to Halldorr at Holm, and buy from him the mound that is on the byre-path ; give a mark of silver for it." The monk did so ; the servant bought the mound, dug in the earth, and found a man's bones, which he lifted and took home with him. The next night Halldorr dreamed that Asolf came to him and said that both his eyes would start out of his head unless he bought his bones for the same amount as he had sold the mound for. Halldorr bought Asolf's bones, and made a wooden shrine for them, and placed it over the altar. He sent his son Illugi out to get wood to build a church, and on his return, when he came between Rekjanes and Snjofjallsnes, the steersmen would not let him land where he wished. Then he threw all the wood overboard, and bade it come ashore where Asolf willed. The night after the wood came ashore at Kirksand in Holm, except two trees which landed at Raufarnes. Halldorr had a church built, 30 ells long, and roofed with wood, and dedicated it to Kolumkilla (St. Columba). (1. 15. in some MSS.)
39. Hrafnkell came out late in the settlement time. The first winter he was in Broad-dale, in the spring he went up by the fell, and stopped to rest in Skridudal, where he fell asleep. Then he dreamed that a man came to him and told him to get up and go away as fast as he could. He woke up and left the place, and before he had gone far, all the fell came rushing down, burying under it a boar and a bull that he had. (Hence Skridudal = Landslip-dale.) (4. 3.)
G. — Most of the settlers were pretty quiet after death, but some of them, like Asolf, were not quite at peace. Other two are mentioned besides him.
40. Asmund was buried in Asmund's-grave, laid in a ship, and his thrall beside him. A man as he went past heard this verse repeated in his grave-mound :
- "Alone I dwell in the stone-heap,
- In the sea-raven's stem-room ;
- No throng on the deck is standing
- Of men : I dwell on the sea-steed.
- Room for the brave one is better
- (I know how to steer the wave-deer ;
- Long shall that be remembered
- By men) than a bad companion."
Then they searched the mound, and took the thrall out of the ship. (2. 6.)
41. [Thorkell farserkr, who had supernatural strength (was rammaukinn). He crossed half a sea-mile on an old gelding.] Th. was buried in the farmyard in Hvalseyfirth (in Greenland), and has always haunted the homestead. (2. 14.)
H. — In this the croaking of a raven is an omen of death.
42. One morning a raven lighted on the light-hole at Brekka and croaked loudly. Hromund said :
- "Out in the dawn of morning
- Croaking I hear the black-feathered
- Swan of the wound-thorn's sweat-drops
- (Prey wakens the wary-minded).
- So came the war-hawk croaking
- Of old when the princes of people
- Were death-doomed, and birds of Odin
- Foretold the boding of battle."
Thorbjorn said :
- "The mew of the war-heap's billow
- Cries with hail besprinkled
- When it comes to seek the corpse-sea
- (Its mind craves food at morning).
- Thus of yore sat croaking
- The bird of sword-slain corpses
- On ancient tree, when ravens
- For warrior's mead were thirsting." (2. 33.)
(These verses are among the finest of all those composed in the skaldic metre dróttkvætt ; the first in particular shows great feeling and poetic taste.)
I. — Two stories on the common theme of buried treasure.
43. Thorsteinn Asgrim's son. — In his days there came a ship into Rángárós with great sickness on board. No one would help the crew, but Thorsteinn went to them and removed them to the place now called Tentstead, and made tents for them there, and attended to them himself so long as they lived. All of them died, however, and the last survivor buried a great quantity of treasure, which has never been found since. (5. 6.)
44. Ketilbjörn was so wealthy in money that he offered his sons to make a cross-tree of silver for the temple that they had made, but they refused it. Then he drove the silver up to the mountain on two oxen, along with Haki, his thrall, and Bót, his maidservant, and there they buried the money, so that it has never been found. Then he killed flaki at Hakaskard and Bót at Bótarskard. (5. 12.)
K. — An anecdote of a child protesting against being exposed to die, a practice abolished at the introduction of Christianity into Iceland. (Kristni Saga, c. ii.)
45. Thorkatla, Asgrim's wife, gave birth to a male child, which Asgrim ordered to be exposed. A thrall was sharpening a hoe to dig a grave for it, and the child was lying on the floor, when they all heard it make this verse :
- " Let the child to its mother !
- It is cold for me here on the floor.
- Where for a boy more fitting
- Than by his father's hearth ?
- No need to sharpen the iron.
- Nor to cut the earth-turf
- Cease from a work so hateful.
- I shall yet live among men." The child was then sprinkled with water, and called Thorsteinn. 5. 6. in some MSS.)
álag (on-lay), a spell or imprecation pronounced on a place. (28.)
álfreka, hafa, to defile a place so that the elves are driven away from it. (7.)
bergbui, an inhabitant of the hills, a giant. (33.)
blót, a religious ceremony, a sacrifice, or sacrificial feast ; blótmadr, one addicted to such observances ; blóta, to worship, hallow, or sacrifice (12-20). blóta til óthurftar, to perform ceremonies for another's harm. (17.)
brandir vedrspáir, ship's beaks, which foretell the weather. (10. 18.)
bregda sér, to change one's shape by sorcery. (27.)
deyja i fjall, i hóla, to pass into the fell (knolls) at death. (7. 8.)
fjölkyngi (much knowledge), magic, knowledge of magical arts (21. 22. 23); also adj. fjölkunnigr, possessed of magical knowledge. (27. 28.)
framsynn, gifted with insight into the future. (19.)
fridr, sanctuary, inviolability. Mæri fridr, so named from the Temple of Marl at Thrandheim. (9.)
fródleikr, learning, knowledge, with added idea of sorcery. (23.)
hamfarir, in the phrase i hamförum, travelling in an assumed shape, a power possessed by wizards. (24.)
hamrammr, having the power of putting on other shapes. (29. 30. 31.)
hlutr, a small image (e.g., of Freyr or Thor) carried about as a talisman (24). Hallfred was accused of carrying one of Thor after he had become a Christian (Flateybk., i, 329).
hörgr, a heathen place of worship, being an altar erected on some high place. (8.)
landvættir, the guardian spirits of a country (fairies, etc.). (32. 33. 34.)
marntennill, a merman, man of the sea. (35.)
meinvættir, spirits who do injury to one. (27,)
nikurhestr = vatnshestr, a river-horse, "kelpie". (36.)
ófreskr, second-sighted, in the sense of being able to see things going on in the spiritual world which are hid from ordinary mortals. (27. 31. 33.)
rammaukinn, possessed of more than mortal strength. (28. 41.)
trollkarl, a male-troll, a giant. (22.)
völva, the general name for a witch. (24.)
W. A. Craigie.
- ! A few of the quotations, along with similar passages from the Sagas, are given in Du Chaillu's Viking Age, vol. i, c. 20-22, etc.
- A longer account of Thorolf's pillars is given in Eyrbyggja Saga, C.4.
- * Some of his friends are said to have believed in "Kolumkilla, though they were not baptised". (Hauksbook.)
- ^ The phrase used is hafa álfreka', elf-drivings, i.e., the defilement drove away the elves.
- Similarly it is said of Thorsteinn lunan, "it was foretold him that he should die in a land which was then uninhabited." (5. 7.)
- The details of his finding of the image are given in Vatnsdæla Saga, c. 15.
- ^ This power was attributed to the Finns. (Haralds Saga, c. 36.)