Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/414

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


398 Custom and Belief in Icelandic Sagas.

and protect a man during his life, announce to him his death, and in some way represent him after death, ex- tending help and protection to his descendants. They are not the souls of the dead, but nameless divinities, the life-principle of man or woman. The names hamingja and fylgja (for there seems to be no difference between the two) are both applied to them. Hamingja is a derivative of hamr (a shape), and fylgja of the verb fylgja (to follow). One or two examples will suffice :

1. {Thorskfir6inga, 930.) Kjarlak tells Steinolf "Thy

fylgjur cannot stand against Thori's fylgjur"

2. {Viga-Gltim's Saga, 950.) Glum in a dream saw a

woman of giant size coming to Thvera. When he woke, he said, " I think Vigfus, my mother's father, must be dead, and the woman will have been his hamingja, who walked higher than the mountains ; and his hamingja will seek an abiding- place where I am."

3. {Hall/red's Saga, 1007.) On Hallfred's last voyage,^

a woman, tall and clad in mail, followed the ship. He said it was his fylgju kona, and said to her, " All is over between us." She asked his elder son, Thorvald, to take her; he refused, but the younger, Hallfred, consented, and to him Hallfred gave his sword.

4. {Thorstein Hall of Side's Son's Saga, 1050.) Thorstein

dreamed that three women came to him, on three successive nights. Each night a different one spoke first, and warned him of his death through the treachery of his slave Gilli. The last night they asked to whom they should turn after his day, and he said, "To my son Magnus."

5. {Olaf Tryggvasons Saga, about 997.) Thorkell the

Seer, of Horgsland, was staying with his friend Hall of Side for the Autumn Feast. One night the latter's son, Thidrandi, was summoned out of