Egla, 37

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Chapter 37

The journey to Bjarmaland

Eric Bloodaxe now took a share in the realm. He held oversight in Hordaland and the Firths; he took and kept about him a body-guard. And one spring Eric Bloodaxe made ready to go to Bjarmaland, and chose him much people for that voyage. Thorolf betook him to this voyage with Eric, and was in the forecastle of his ship, and bare his standard. Thorolf was then taller and stronger than other men, and herein like his father. In that expedition befell much tidings. Eric had a great battle by the river Dvina in Bjarmaland, wherein he won the victory, as is told in the lays about him. And in that voyage he took Gunnhilda, daughter of Auzur Toti, and brought her home with him. Gunnhilda was above all women beautiful and shrewd, and of magic cunning.[1] There was great intimacy[2] between Thorolf and Gunnhilda. Thorolf ever spend the winters with Eric, the summers in freebooting.

The next tidings were that Thora Bjorn's wife fell sick and died. But some while after Bjorn took to him another wife; she was named Alof, the daughter of Erling the wealthy of Ostr. They two had a daughter named Gunnhilda.

There was a man named Thorgeir Thornfoot; he dwelt in Fenhring of Hordaland, at a place called Askr. He had three sons - one named Hadd, another Bergonund, the third Atli the short. Bergonund was beyond other men tall and strong, and he was grasping and ungentle; Atli the short was of small stature, square-built, of sturdy strength. Thorgeir was a very rich man, a devoted heathen worshipper, of magic cunning. Hadd went out freebooting, and was seldom at home.

References

  1. Gunnhilda was above all women beautiful and shrewd, and of magic cunning: "In most sources about Gunnhildur she is given an exotic and far-northern ancestry from which she draws a seductive strength, sexual liaison and magic … she seduces young men to have sexual relationships with her although she is old enough to be the mother of at least some of them. Jómsvíkinga saga describes Gunnhildur as promiscuous, and various sources imply her sexual behavior with young men. Egils saga hints at her sexual relationship with Þórólfur and even more blunt is the description of her sex life in Njáls saga: There can be no doubt of what Gunnhildur has in mind when she gives Hrútr orders" Jóna Guðbjörg Torfadóttir. Gunnhildur and the Male Whores (p. 3).
  2. great intimacy: „Einsætt er að höfundur sögunnar ætlast til þess að lesendum skiljist að þessir kærleikar með þeim [Þórólfi og Gunnhildi] eru nánari og meiri en góðu hófi gegni, enda er ekki langt þess að bíða að til flaumslita dragi.” Hermann Pálsson. Um kærleikann í Egils sögu (p. 61).

Kafli 37

Bjarmalandsferð

Eiríkur blóðex tók þá við ríki. Hann hafði yfirsókn á Hörðalandi og um Fjörðu. Tók hann þá og hafði með sér hirðmenn.

Og eitthvert vor bjó Eiríkur blóðex för sína til Bjarmalands og vandaði mjög lið til þeirrar ferðar. Þórólfur réðst til ferðar með Eiríki og var í stafni á skipi hans og bar merki hans. Þórólfur var þá hverjum manni meiri og sterkari og líkur um það föður sínum.

Í ferð þeirri var margt til tíðinda. Eiríkur átti orustu mikla á Bjarmalandi við Vínu. Fékk Eiríkur þar sigur, svo sem segir í kvæðum hans, og í þeirri ferð fékk hann Gunnhildar dóttur Össurar tota og hafði hana heim með sér. Gunnhildur var allra kvenna vænst og vitrust og fjölkunnig mjög.[1] Kærleikar miklir[2] voru með þeim Þórólfi og Gunnhildi. Þórólfur var þá jafnan á vetrum með Eiríki en á sumrum í víkingu.

Það var þá næst til tíðinda að Þóra kona Bjarnar tók sótt og andaðist en nokkuru síðar fékk Björn sér annarrar konu. Hún hét Ólöf, dóttir Erlings hins auðga úr Ostur. Þau áttu dóttur er Gunnhildur hét.

Maður hét Þorgeir þyrnifótur. Hann bjó á Hörðalandi í Fenhring. Þar heitir á Aski. Hann átti þrjá sonu. Hét einn Haddur, annar Berg-Önundur, þriðji hét Atli hinn skammi. Berg-Önundur var hverjum meiri og sterkari og var maður ágjarn og ódæll. Atli hinn skammi var maður ekki hár og riðvaxinn og var rammur að afli. Þorgeir var maður stórauðigur að fé. Hann var blótmaður mikill og fjölkunnigur. Haddur lá í víking og var sjaldan heima.

Tilvísanir

  1. Gunnhildur var allra kvenna vænst og vitrust og fjölkunnig mjög: "In most sources about Gunnhildur she is given an exotic and far-northern ancestry from which she draws a seductive strength, sexual liaison and magic … she seduces young men to have sexual relationships with her although she is old enough to be the mother of at least some of them. Jómsvíkinga saga describes Gunnhildur as promiscuous, and various sources imply her sexual behavior with young men. Egils saga hints at her sexual relationship with Þórólfur and even more blunt is the description of her sex life in Njáls saga: There can be no doubt of what Gunnhildur has in mind when she gives Hrútr orders" Jóna Guðbjörg Torfadóttir. Gunnhildur and the Male Whores (s. 3).
  2. Kærleikar miklir: „Einsætt er að höfundur sögunnar ætlast til þess að lesendum skiljist að þessir kærleikar með þeim [Þórólfi og Gunnhildi] eru nánari og meiri en góðu hófi gegni, enda er ekki langt þess að bíða að til flaumslita dragi.” Hermann Pálsson. Um kærleikann í Egils sögu (s. 61).

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