Egla, 01

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Contents

Chapter 1

Of Kveldulf and his sons.

There was a man named Ulf,[1] son of Bjalf, and Hallbera, daughter of Ulf the fearless;[2] she was sister of Hallbjorn Half-giant[3] in Hrafnista, and he the father of Kettle Hæing. Ulf was a man so tall and strong that none could match him, and in his youth he roved the seas as a freebooter. In fellowship with him was one Kari of Berdla, a man of renown for strength and daring; he was a Berserk. Ulf and he had one common purse, and were the dearest friends.

But when they gave up freebooting, Kari went to his estate at Berdla,.[4] being a man of great wealth. Three children had Kari, one son named Eyvind Lambi, another Aulvir Hnuf, and a daughter Salbjorg, who was a most beautiful woman of a noble spirit. Her did Ulf take to wife, and then he too went to his estates. Wealthy he was both in lands and chattels; he took baron's rank as his forefathers had done, and became a great man. It was told of Ulf that he was a great householder; it was his wont to rise up early, and then go round among his labourers or where his smiths were, and to overlook his stalk and fields, and at times he would talk with such as needed his counsel, and good counsel he could give in all things, for he was very wise. But everyday as evening drew on he became sullen, so that few could come to speak with him. He was an evening sleeper, and it was commonly said that he was very shape strong. He was called Kveldulf.

Kveldulf and his wife had two sons, the elder was named Thorolf, the younger Grim; these, when they grew up, were both tall men and strong, as was their father. But Thorolf was most comely as well as doughty,[5] favoring his mother's kin; very cheery was he, liberal, impetuous in everything, a good trader, winning the hearts of all men. Grim was swarthy, ill-favoured,[6] [7] like his father both in face and mind; he became a good man of business; skilful was he in wood and iron, an excellent smith. In the winter he often went to the herring fishing, and with him many house-carles.

But when Thorolf was twenty years old, then he made him ready to go a harrying. Kveldulf gave him a long-ship, and Kari of Berdla's sons, Eyvind and Aulvir, resolved to go on that voyage, taking a large force and another long-ship; and they roved the seas in the summer, and got them wealth, and had a large booty to divide. For several summers they were out roving, but stayed at home in winter with their fathers. Thorolf brought home many costly things, and took them to his father and mother; thus they were well-to-do both for possessions and honour. Kveldulf was now well stricken in years, and his sons were grown men.

References

  1. man named Ulf: "The images of Egill and his direct male ancestors (all of them being skalds) illustrate the idea of a poet as a dangerous marginal creature, who belongs, at least partially, to the “alien” world and is able to communicate freely with the supernatural, inhuman forces. Egill’s grandfather Ulfr was considered a werewolf [...] It seems most likely that Kveldulfr inherited his “wolfish” nature and inhuman powers from his ancestors, whose names give the reader some very obvious insinuations." Guriewitch, Elena A. and Inna G. Matiuschina. Poetical mead (p. ??).
  2. daughter of Ulf the fearless: „In chapter one we learn that Egil’s grandfather Ulf lied in Norway and was the son of Bjalfi, whose name means wolf’s hide, and Hallbera. She was the sister of Hallbjörn hálftröll and the daughter of Ulf enn óargi („the fearless“). It is most interesting that names of both brother and sister contain the same word elements, differing only in the masculine and feminine forms for „bear“. The name hálftröll would seem to indicate that one of his parents was a troll or giant. Both trolls and giants were known to be capable shape-shifters.“ Blaney, Benjamin. The Berserkr: His Origin and Development in Old Norse Literature (p. 58).
  3. half-giant: „viðurnefni Hallbjarnar sýnir ótvírætt að móðir hans hafi verið samísk.“ Hermann Pálsson. Úr landnorðri (p. 16).
  4. estate at Berdla: "fullvíst [er talið] að Berðla sé þar sem heitir nú Berle, á innanverðri eynni Brimangri, sem heitir nú Bremanger, um 50 kílómetrum fyrir norðan Førdefjörð. Þar er nú fallegt og friðsælt þorp." Þorgrímur Gestsson. Er bústaður Kveld-Úlfs fundinn? (p. 16).
  5. dougthy: “a word which at the positive end of the semantic spectrum means a firm man and at the negative end a contentious man.” Andersson, Theodore M., The Displacement of the Heroic Ideal (p. 577).
  6. swarthy, ill-favoured: "I Egilssagan är kontrasten ovanligt konsekvent genomförd i skildringen av hela Egils släkt, Myrafolket. Stamfadern, Kvällulf, skildras som en ful bärsärk och hamnskiftare med ondskefullt temperament. Av hans båda söner är den ene, Torolf, lik moderns fränder: vacker och dugande, gladlynt och hurtig, dådkraftig och vänsäll. Den andre, Skallagrim, är svart och ful, lik sin far både till utseende och skaplynne." Lönnroth, Lars. Kroppen som själens spegel – ett motiv i de isländska sagorna (p. 26).
  7. swarthy, ill-favoured: "… for ugliness nowhere in the extant literature suggests a wicked nature-irrascible, perhaps, but not vicious or depraved. The ugly brother, Grím, then, is to be seen spending his time in hard work with the farmhands (rather than socializing with other scions of the landed gentry). (…) The handiness with wood and iron is an interesting touch that will be greatly expanded later in the saga, and here recalls the archaic association of craftsmanship with the aberrant body that we have seen in Hephaestus, as well as the mastery of iron associated with berserkergangr." Bragg, Lois. Oedipus borealis; the aberrant body (p. 149).

Kafli 1

Af Kveld-Úlfi búanda

Úlfur hét maður,[1] son Bjálfa og Hallberu, dóttur Úlfs hins óarga.[2] Hún var systir Hallbjarnar hálftrölls[3] í Hrafnistu, föður Ketils hængs. Úlfur var maður svo mikill og sterkur að eigi voru hans jafningjar. En er hann var á unga aldri lá hann í víkingu og herjaði. Með honum var í félagsskap sá maður er kallaður var Berðlu-Kári, göfugur maður og hinn mesti afreksmaður að afli og áræði. Hann var berserkur. Þeir Úlfur áttu einn sjóð báðir og var með þeim hin kærasta vinátta.

En er þeir réðust úr hernaði fór Kári til bús síns í Berðlu.[4] Hann var maður stórauðigur. Kári átti þrjú börn. Hét son hans Eyvindur lambi, annar Ölvir hnúfa. Dóttir hans hét Salbjörg. Hún var kvenna vænst og skörungur mikill. Hennar fékk Úlfur. Fór hann þá og til búa sinna. Úlfur var maður auðigur bæði að löndum og lausum aurum. Hann tók lends manns rétt svo sem haft höfðu langfeðgar hans og gerðist maður ríkur.

Svo er sagt að Úlfur var búsýslumaður mikill. Var það siður hans að rísa upp árdegis og ganga þá um sýslur manna eða þar er smiðir voru og sjá yfir fénað sinn og akra en stundum var hann á tali við menn þá er ráða hans þurftu. Kunni hann til alls góð ráð að leggja því að hann var forvitri. En dag hvern er að kvel di leið þá gerðist hann styggur svo að fáir menn máttu orðum við hann koma. Var hann kveldsvæfur. Það var mál manna að hann væri mjög hamrammur. Hann var kallaður Kveld-Úlfur.

Þau Kveld-Úlfur áttu tvo sonu. Hét hinn eldri Þórólfur en hinn yngri Grímur. En er þeir óxu upp þá voru þeir báðir menn miklir og sterkir svo sem faðir þeirra var. Var Þórólfur manna vænstur og gervilegastur. Hann var líkur móðurfrændum sínum, gleðimaður mikill, ör og ákafamaður mikill í öllu og hinn mesti kappsmaður[5]. Var hann vinsæll af öllum mönnum. Grímur var svartur maður og ljótur,[6] [7] líkur föður sínum bæði yfirlits og að skaplyndi. Gerðist hann umsýslumaður mikill. Hann var hagur maður á tré og járn og gerðist hinn mesti smiður. Hann fór og oft um vetrum í síldfiski með lagnarskútu og með honum húskarlar margir.

En er Þórólfur var á tvítugsaldri þá bjóst hann í hernað. Fékk Kveld-Úlfur honum langskip. Til þeirrar ferðar réðust synir Berðlu-Kára, Eyvindur og Ölvir. Þeir höfðu lið mikið og annað langskip, og fóru um sumarið í víking og öfluðu sér fjár og höfðu hlutskipti mikið. Það var nokkur sumur er þeir lágu í víking en voru heima um vetrum með feðrum sínum. Hafði Þórólfur heim marga dýrgripi og færði föður sínum og móður. Var þá bæði gott til fjár og mannvirðingar. Kveld-Úlfur var þá mjög á efra aldri en synir hans voru rosknir.

Tilvísanir

  1. Úlfur hét maður: "The images of Egill and his direct male ancestors (all of them being skalds) illustrate the idea of a poet as a dangerous marginal creature, who belongs, at least partially, to the “alien” world and is able to communicate freely with the supernatural, inhuman forces. Egill’s grandfather Ulfr was considered a werewolf [...] It seems most likely that Kveldulfr inherited his “wolfish” nature and inhuman powers from his ancestors, whose names give the reader some very obvious insinuations." Guriewitch, Elena A. and Inna G. Matiuschina. Poetical mead (s. ??).
  2. dóttur Úlfs hins óarga: „In chapter one we learn that Egil’s grandfather Ulf lied in Norway and was the son of Bjalfi, whose name means wolf’s hide, and Hallbera. She was the sister of Hallbjörn hálftröll and the daughter of Ulf enn óargi („the fearless“). It is most interesting that names of both brother and sister contain the same word elements, differing only in the masculine and feminine forms for „bear“. The name hálftröll would seem to indicate that one of his parents was a troll or giant. Both trolls and giants were known to be capable shape-shifters.“ Blaney, Benjamin. The Berserkr: His Origin and Development in Old Norse Literature (s. 58).
  3. hálftröll: "viðurnefni Hallbjarnar sýnir ótvírætt að móðir hans hafi verið samísk." Hermann Pálsson, Úr landnorðri (s. 16).
  4. bús síns í Berðlu: "fullvíst [er talið] að Berðla sé þar sem heitir nú Berle, á innanverðri eynni Brimangri, sem heitir nú Bremanger, um 50 kílómetrum fyrir norðan Førdefjörð. Þar er nú fallegt og friðsælt þorp." Þorgrímur Gestsson. Er bústaður Kveld-Úlfs fundinn? (s. 16).
  5. kappsmaður: “a word which at the positive end of the semantic spectrum means a firm man and at the negative end a contentious man.” Andersson, Theodore M., The Displacement of the Heroic Ideal (s. 577).
  6. svartur maður og ljótur: „I Egilssagan är kontrasten ovanligt konsekvent genomförd i skildringen av hela Egils släkt, Myrafolket. Stamfadern, Kvällulf, skildras som en ful bärsärk och hamnskiftare med ondskefullt temperament. Av hans båda söner är den ene, Torolf, lik moderns fränder: vacker och dugande, gladlynt och hurtig, dådkraftig och vänsäll. Den andre, Skallagrim, är svart och ful, lik sin far både till utseende och skaplynne.“ Lönnroth, Lars. Kroppen som själens spegel – ett motiv i de isländska sagorna (s. 26).
  7. svartur maður og ljótur: "… for ugliness nowhere in the extant literature suggests a wicked nature-irrascible, perhaps, but not vicious or depraved. The ugly brother, Grím, then, is to be seen spending his time in hard work with the farmhands (rather than socializing with other scions of the landed gentry). (…) The handiness with wood and iron is an interesting touch that will be greatly expanded later in the saga, and here recalls the archaic association of craftsmanship with the aberrant body that we have seen in Hephaestus, as well as the mastery of iron associated with berserkergangr." Bragg, Lois. Oedipus borealis; the aberrant body (s. 149).

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