Egla, 29

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Chapter 29

Of Skallagrim's industry

Skallagrim was most industrious. He had about him always many men, whom he set to seek diligently all such provisions as could be got there for man's sustenance, because at first they had but little live-stock compared with the needs of their numerous company. But what live-stock they had went every winter self-feeding in the woods.

Skallagrim was a good shipwright, and westwards of Myrar was no lack of driftwood. He had buildings set up on Swan-ness, and had another house there. This he made a starting-point for sea-fishing, seal-hunting, and egg-gathering; in all these kinds there was plenty of provisions to get, as well as driftwood to bring to him. Whales also often came in there, and whoso would might shoot them. All such creatures were then tame on the hunting-ground, as they were unused to man. His third house he had on the sea in Western Myrar. This was even a better place to look out for driftwood. There, too, he had land sown, and called it Acres. Over against it lay islands, among which whales were found; these they called Whale-islands.

Skallagrim also sent his men up on the salmon-rivers to fish. He set Odd Lonehouse by Cleave-river to see to the salmon-fishing there. Odd dwelt under Lonehouse. Lonehouse-ness has its name from him. Sigmund was the name of the man whom Skallagrim set by North-river; he dwelt at what was then called Sigmundstead, but now Hauga. Sigmundar-ness takes its name from him. He afterwards moved his homestead to Munodar-ness, that being thought more convenient for salmon-fishing.

But as Skallagrim's live-stock multiplied, the cattle used to go up to the fells in the summer. And he found that the cattle that went on the heath were by far better and fatter; also that sheep did well through the winters in the fell-dales without being driven down. So Skallagrim set up buildings close to the fell, and had a house there; and there he had his sheep kept. Of this farm Griss was the overlooker, and after him was called Grisartongue. Thus Skallagrim's wealth had many legs to stand on.[1]


Some time after Skallagrim's coming out, a ship put into Borgar-firth from the main, commanded by a man named Oleif Halt. With him were his wife and children and other of his kin, and the aim of his voyage was to get him a home in Iceland. Oleif was a man wealthy, high-born, and fore-seeing. Skallagrim asked Oleif and all his company to his house for lodging. Oleif accepted this, and was with Skallagrim for his first winter in Iceland.

But in the following spring Skallagrim showed him to choice land south of White-river upwards from Grims-river to Flokadale-river. Oleif accepted this, and moved thither his household, and set there his homestead by Warm-brook as it is called. He was a man of renown; his sons were Ragi in Hot-spring-dale, and Thorarin, Ragi's brother, who took the law-speakership next after Hrafn Hængsson. Thorarin dwelt at Warm-brook; he had to wife Thordis, daughter of Olaf Shy, sister of Thord Yeller.

References

  1. Skallagrim's wealth had many legs to stand on: "He (Kveld-Úlfr) and Skalla-Grímr form an intelligent and effective opposition to an expansionist king. The idyllic description of their newly settled home in Iceland is calculated not only as a favorable contrast to a Norway that has passed unde the king's iron grip, but also as a just reward for their political acumen." Andersson, Theodore M.. The Politics of Snorri Sturluson (p. 73).

Kafli 29

Af iðju Skalla-Gríms

Skalla-Grímur var iðjumaður mikill. Hann hafði með sér jafnan margt manna, lét sækja mjög föng þau er fyrir voru og til atvinnu mönnum voru því að þá fyrst höfðu þeir fátt kvikfjár hjá því sem þurfti til fjölmennis þess sem var. En það sem var kvikfjárins þá gekk öllum vetrum sjálfala í skógum. Skalla-Grímur var skipasmiður mikill en rekavið skorti eigi vestur fyrir Mýrar. Hann lét gera bæ á Álftanesi og átti þar bú annað, lét þaðan sækja útróðra og selveiðar og eggver er þá voru nóg föng þau öll, svo rekavið að láta að sér flytja. Hvalakomur voru þá og miklar og skjóta mátti sem vildi. Allt var það þá kyrrt í veiðistöð er það var óvant manni. Hið þriðja bú átti hann við sjóinn á vestanverðum Mýrum. Var þar enn betur komið að sitja fyrir rekum og þar lét hann hafa sæði og kalla að Ökrum. Eyjar lágu þar út fyrir er hvalur fannst í og kölluðu þeir Hvalseyjar. Skalla-Grímur hafði og menn sína uppi við laxárnar til veiða. Odd einbúa setti hann við Gljúfurá að gæta þar laxveiðar. Oddur bjó undir Einbúabrekkum. Við hann er kennt Einbúanes. Sigmundur hét maður er Skalla-Grímur setti við Norðurá. Hann bjó þar er kallað var á Sigmundarstöðum. Þar er nú kallað að Haugum. Við hann er kennt Sigmundarnes. Síðan færði hann bústað sinn í Munaðarnes, þótti þar hægra til laxveiða.

En er fram gekk mjög kvikfé Skalla-Gríms þá gekk féið upp til fjalla allt á sumrum. Hann fann mikinn mun á að það fé varð betra og feitara er á heiðum gekk, svo það að sauðfé hélst á vetrum í fjalldölum þótt ei verði ofan rekið. Síðan lét Skalla-Grímur gera bæ uppi við fjallið og átti þar bú, lét þar varðveita sauðfé sitt. Það bú varðveitti Grís og er við hann kennd Grísartunga. Stóð þá á mörgum fótum fjárafli Skalla-Gríms.[1]


Stundu síðar en Skalla-Grímur hafði út komið kom skip af hafi í Borgarfjörð og átti sá maður er Óleifur var kallaður hjalti. Hann hafði með sér konu sína og börn og annað frændlið sitt og hafði svo ætlað ferð sína að fá sér bústað á Íslandi. Óleifur var maður auðigur og kynstór og spakur að viti. Skalla-Grímur bauð Óleifi heim til sín til vistar og liði hans öllu en Óleifur þekktist það og var hann með Skalla-Grími hinn fyrsta vetur er Óleifur var á Íslandi.

En eftir um vorið vísaði Skalla-Grímur Óleifi til landskostar fyrir sunnan Hvítá upp frá Grímsá til Flókadalsár. Óleifur þekktist það og fór þangað búferli sínu og setti þar bústað er heitir að Varmalæk. Hann var göfugur maður. Hans synir voru þeir Ragi í Laugardal og Þórarinn Ragabróðir er lögsögu tók á Íslandi næst eftir Hrafn Hængsson. Þórarinn bjó að Varmalæk. Hann átti Þórdísi, dóttur Ólafs feilans, systur Þórðar gellis.



Tilvísanir

  1. Stóð þá á mörgum fótum fjárafli Skalla-Gríms: "He (Kveld-Úlfr) and Skalla-Grímr form an intelligent and effective opposition to an expansionist king. The idyllic description of their newly settled home in Iceland is calculated not only as a favorable contrast to a Norway that has passed unde the king's iron grip, but also as a just reward for their political acumen." Andersson, Theodore M.. The Politics of Snorri Sturluson (s. 73).

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