Njála, 020

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Chapter 20

There was a man whose name was Njal.[1] He was the son of Thorgeir Gelling, the son of Thorolf. Njal's mother's name was Asgerda. Njal dwelt at Bergthorsknoll in the land-isles; he had another homestead on Thorolfsfell. Njal was wealthy in goods, and handsome of face; no beard grew on his chin.[2][3] He was so great a lawyer,[4] that his match was not to be found. Wise too he was, and foreknowing and foresighted. Of good counsel, and ready to give it, and all that he advised men was sure to be the best for them to do. Gentle and generous, he unravelled every man's knotty points who came to see him about them. Bergthora was his wife's name; she was Skarphedinn's daughter, a very high- spirited, brave-hearted woman, but somewhat hard-tempered. They had six children, three daughters and three sons, and they all come afterwards into this story.


References

  1. Njal: "But, as the centuries passed their stories were dissolved into the mainstream of Norse tradition: their Celtic origins were forgotten, and these stories became part of the common stock. There is some excellent evidence in favour of this. For instance, the names Njáll and Kormákr: both names are unquestionably Irish, yet neither of the sagas of these two gives any hint of an Irish connection in the families of the heroes. … One must conclude that the authors simply were not aware that the names were Irish." Robinson, Peter. Vikings and Celts (p. 131).
  2. no beard grew on his chin: "If we turn our gaze from this opening drama of Hrútr, we see another figure in whom virility is in question: at the centre of the saga is the effeminate visage of Njáll himself. No beard ever grew on him- honum óx eigi skegg. Yet he had seven children." Dronke, Ursula. The Role of Sexual Themes in Njáls Saga (p. 11)
  3. no beard grew on his chin : “One may say that in general to be bald, to be unable to grow a beard, or to have one’s hair cut off is taken as symbolic of a lack of masculinity and to that extent is comparable to the emasculating effects of castration; insofar as the Lacanian phallus is implicated in the construction of gender, then hair may be seen as “loosely analogous” to it. Nevertheless, the detailed picture is more complex and more ambivalent than this.” Phelpstead, Carl. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Hair Loss, the Tonsure, and Masculinity in Medieval Iceland (p. 15).
  4. He was so great a lawyer : " Eldri sögur, sem vjer vitum aldr á, gæta þessa vandl. og segja ávalt lögsögumaðr t.d. Íslendingabók, Kristnisaga, Hungrvaka, Rafnssaga." Guðbrandur Vigfússon. Rök um aldr Njálu (p. 148)

Kafli 20

Njáll[1] hét maður. Hann var sonur Þorgeirs gollings Þórólfssonar. Móðir Njáls hét Ásgerður og var dóttir Árs hersis hins ómálga. Hún hafði komið út hingað til Íslands og numið land fyrir austan Markarfljót milli Öldusteins og Seljalandsmúla. Sonur hennar var Holta-Þórir, faðir þeirra Þorleifs kráks, er Skógverjar eru frá komnir, og Þorgríms hins mikla og Skorar-Geirs.

Njáll bjó að Bergþórshvoli í Landeyjum. Annað bú átti hann í Þórólfsfelli. Njáll var vel auðigur að fé og vænn að áliti. Honum vóx eigi skegg.[2][3] Hann var lögmaður svo mikill[4] að engi fannst hans jafningi. Vitur var hann og forspár, heilráður og góðgjarn og var allt að ráði það er hann réð mönnum, hógvær og drenglyndur. Hann leysti hvers manns vandræði er á hans fund kom.

Bergþóra hét kona hans. Hún var Skarphéðinsdóttir, kvenskörungur mikill og drengur góður og nokkuð skaphörð. Þau áttu sex börn, dætur þrjár og sonu þrjá og koma þeir allir við þessa sögu síðan.

Tilvísanir

  1. Njáll: "But, as the centuries passed their stories were dissolved into the mainstream of Norse tradition: their Celtic origins were forgotten, and these stories became part of the common stock. There is some excellent evidence in favour of this. For instance, the names Njáll and Kormákr: both names are unquestionably Irish, yet neither of the sagas of these two gives any hint of an Irish connection in the families of the heroes. … One must conclude that the authors simply were not aware that the names were Irish." Robinson, Peter. Vikings and Celts (s. 131).
  2. honum vóx eigi skegg: "If we turn our gaze from this opening drama of Hrútr, we see another figure in whom virility is in question: at the centre of the saga is the effeminate visage of Njáll himself. No beard ever grew on him- honum óx eigi skegg. Yet he had seven children." Dronke, Ursula. The Role of Sexual Themes in Njáls Saga (s. 11)
  3. honum vóx eigi skegg : “One may say that in general to be bald, to be unable to grow a beard, or to have one’s hair cut off is taken as symbolic of a lack of masculinity and to that extent is comparable to the emasculating effects of castration; insofar as the Lacanian phallus is implicated in the construction of gender, then hair may be seen as “loosely analogous” to it. Nevertheless, the detailed picture is more complex and more ambivalent than this.” Phelpstead, Carl. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Hair Loss, the Tonsure, and Masculinity in Medieval Iceland (s. 15).
  4. Hann var lögmaðr svo mikill : " Eldri sögur, sem vjer vitum aldr á, gæta þessa vandl. og segja ávalt lögsögumaðr t.d. Íslendingabók, Kristnisaga, Hungrvaka, Rafnssaga." Guðbrandur Vigfússon. Rök um aldr Njálu (s. 148)

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