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Medieval and Classical Library


Of Arnkel The Priest And Others.

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #33

The sons of Thorstein Codbiter grew up at home with their mother, and they were the hopefullest of men; but Thorgrim was the foremost of them in all things, and was a chief as soon as he had age thereto. Thorgrim wedded west in Dyrafirth, and had to wife Thordis Sur's daughter, and betook himself west to his brothers- in-law Gisli and Thorkel.

Now Thorgrim slew Vestein Vesteinson (1) at the harvest feast in Hawkdale; but the autumn next after, when Thorgrim was five-and- twenty years old, even as his father, Gisli his brother-in-law slew him at the harvest feast at Seastead. Some nights after Thordis his wife brought forth a son, and the lad was called Thorgrim after his father. A little thereafter Thordis was wedded to Bork the Thick, Thorgrim's brother, and betook her to housekeeping with him at Holyfell. Then fared Thorgrim her son to Swanfirth, and was there at fostering with Thorbrand; he was somewhat reckless in his youth, and was called Snerrir, but afterwards Snorri. Thorbrand of Swanfirth had to wife Thurid, daughter of Thorfin Selthorison from Redmell.

These were their children: Thorleif Kimbi was the eldest, the second was Snorri, the third Thorod, the fourth Thorfin, the fifth Thormod; their daughter was called Thorgerd; all these were foster-brethren of Snorri Thorgrimson.

At that time Arnkel, son of Thorolf Haltfoot, dwelt at Lairstead by Vadils-head; he was the biggest and strongest of men, a great lawman and mighty wise, and was a good and true man, and before all others, even in those parts, in luck of friends and hardihood; he was withal a Temple-Priest, and had many Thingmen.

Thorgrim Kiallakson dwelt at Bearhaven as is aforesaid, and he and Thorhild had three sons: Brand was the eldest; he dwelt at Crossness by Sealriver head. (2) Another was Arngrim; he was a big man and a strong, large of nose, big-boned of face, bleak-red of hair, early bald in front; sallow of hue, his eyes great and fair; he was very masterful, and exceeding in wrongfulness, and therefore was he called Stir.

Vermund was the name of the youngest son of Thorgrim Kiallakson; he was a tall man and a slender, fair to look on; he was called Vermund the Slender. The son of Asgeir of Ere was called Thorlak; he had to wife Thurid, the daughter of Audum Stote of Lavafirth. These were their children: Steinthor, Bergthor, Thormod, Thord Wall-eye, and Helga. Steinthor was the foremost of the children of Thorlak; he was a big man and a strong, and most skilled in arms of all men, and he was the best knit of men, and meek of mood in every-day life. Steinthor is held for the third best man-at-arms of Iceland, along with these, Helgi, the son of Droplaug, and Vemund Kogr.

Thormod was a wise man and a peaceful. Thord Wall-eye was a very masterful man. Bergthor was the youngest, yet had he all the makings of a man in him.

Go to Chapter XIII

(1)  "Now Thorgrim slew Vestein Vesteinson," etc.  Thorgrim was
     married to Thordis, the sister of Gisli Surson, who himself
     was married to Aud, the sister of Vestein, whose
     foster-brother, moreover, Gisli was, and therefore in honour
     bound to avenge him, no matter at what cost.

(2)  "Sealriver head" (Brimlar hofthi); ours is, no doubt, not a
     good rendering of the Icelandic original.  Of course Brimlar
     can, as far as the form goes, be a syncopated genitive sing.
     of "brimla-a" = seals' river, "brimill" = seal.  But
     apparently there is no river on the spot to warrant the
     rendering.  It is very likely that Dr. Ka1und is right in
     deriving the name from "brim" = surf, and "la", a wave,
     according to which it might be rendered Surfhead.