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Eirik the Red's Saga

EIRIK THE RED'S SAGA.

 

[Olaf, who was called Olaf the White, was styled a warrior king. He was the son of King Ingjald, the son of Helgi, the son of Olaf, the son of Gudred, the son of Halfdan Whiteleg, king of the Uplands (in Norway). He led a harrying expedition of sea-rovers into the west, and conquered Dublin, in Ireland, and Dublinshire, over which he made himself king. He married Aud the Deep-minded, daughter of Ketil Flatnose, son of Bjorn the Ungartered, a noble man from Norway. Their son was named Thorstein the Red. Olaf fell in battle in Ireland, and then Aud and Thorstein went into the Sudreyjar (the Hebrides). There Thorstein married Thorid, daughter of Eyvind the Easterling, sister of Helgi the Lean; and they had many children. Thorstein became a warrior king, and formed an alliance with Earl Sigurd the Great, son of Eystein the Rattler. They conquered Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, and Moray, and more than half Scotland. Over these Thorstein was king until the Scots plotted against him, and he fell there in battle. Aud was in Caithness when she heard of Thorstein's death. Then she caused a merchant-ship to be secretly built in the wood, and when she was ready, directed her course out into the Orkneys. There she gave in marriage Thorstein the Red's daughter, Gro, who became mother of Grelad, whom Earl Thorfinn, the Skullcleaver, married. Afterwards Aud set out to seek Iceland, having twenty free men in her ship. Aud came to Iceland, and passed the first winter in Bjarnarhofn (Bjornshaven) with her brother Bjorn. Afterwards she occupied all the Dale country between the Dogurdara (day-meal river) and the Skraumuhlaupsa (river of the giantess's leap), and dwelt at Hvamm. She had prayer meetings at Krossholar (Crosshills), where she caused crosses to be erected, for she was baptised and deeply devoted to the faith. There came with her to Iceland many men worthy of honour, who had been taken captive in sea-roving expeditions to the west, and who were called bondmen. One of these was named Vifil; he was a man of high family, and had been taken captive beyond the western main, and was also called a bondman before Aud set him free. And when Aud granted dwellings to her ship's company, Vifil asked why she gave no abode to him like unto the others. Aud replied, “That it was of no moment to him, for,” she said, “he would be esteemed in whatever place he was, as one worthy of honour.” She gave him Vifilsdalr (Vifilsdale), and he dwelt there and married. His sons were Thorbjorn and Thorgeir, promising men, and they grew up in their father's house.

2. There was a man named Thorvald, the son of Asvald, the son of Ulf, the son of Yxna-Thoris. His son was named Eirik. Father and son removed from Jadar (in Norway) to Iceland, because of manslaughters, and occupied land in Hornstrandir, and dwelt at Drangar. There Thorvald died, and Eirik then married Thjodhild, daughter of Jorund, the son of Atli, and of Thorbjorg the Ship-breasted, whom afterwards Thorbjorn, of the Haukadalr (Hawkdale) family, married; he it was who dwelt at Eiriksstadr after Eirik removed from the north. It is near Vatzhorn. Then did Eirik's thralls cause a landslip on the estate of Valthjof, at Valthjofsstadr. Eyjolf the Foul, his kinsman, slew the thralls beside Skeidsbrekkur (slopes of the race-course), above Vatzhorn. In return Eirik slew Eyjolf the Foul; he slew also Hrafn the Dueller, at Leikskalar (playbooths). Gerstein, and Odd of Jorfi, kinsman of Eyjolf, were found willing to follow up his death by a legal prosecution; and then was Eirik banished from Haukadalr. He occupied then Brokey and Eyxney, and dwelt at Tradir, in Sudrey, the first winter. At this time did he lend to Thorgest pillars for seat-stocks, Afterwards Eirik removed into Eyxney, and dwelt at Eiriksstadr. He then claimed his pillars, and got them not. Then went Eirik and fetched the pillars from Breidabolstadr, and Thorgest went after him. They fought at a short distance from the hay-yard at Drangar, and there fell two sons of Thorgest, and some other men. After that they both kept a large body of men together. Styr gave assistance to Eirik, as also did Eyjolf, of Sviney, Thorbjorn Vifilsson, and the sons of Thorbrand, of Alptafjordr (Swanfirth). But the sons of Thord Gellir, as also Thorgeir, of Hitardalr (Hotdale), Aslak, of Langadalr (Longdale), and Illugi, his son, gave assistance to Thorgest. Eirik and his people were outlawed at Thorsnes Thing. He prepared a ship in Eiriksvagr (creek), and Eyjolf concealed him in Dimunarvagr while Thorgest and his people sought him among the islands. Eirik said to his people that he purposed to seek for the land which Gunnbjorn, the son of Ulf the Crow, saw when he was driven westwards over the ocean, and discovered Gunnbjarnarsker (Gunnbjorn's rock or skerry). He promised that he would return to visit his friends if he found the land. Thorbjorn, and Eyjolf, and Styr accompanied Eirik beyond the islands. They separated in the most friendly manner, Eirik saying that he would be of the like assistance to them, if he should be able so to be, and they should happen to need him. Then he sailed oceanwards under Snœfellsjokull (snow mountain glacier), and arrived at the glacier called Blaserkr (Blue-shirt); thence he journeyed south to see if there were any inhabitants of the country. He passed the first winter at Eiriksey, near the middle, of the Vestribygd (western settlement). The following spring he proceeded to Eiriksfjordr, and fixed his abode there. During the summer he proceeded into the unpeopled districts in the west, and was there a long time, giving names to the places far and wide. The second winter he passed in Eiriksholmar (isles), off Hvarfsgnupr (peak of disappearance, Cape Farewell); and the third summer he went altogether northwards, to Snœfell and into Hrafnsfjordr (Ravensfirth); considering then that he had come to the head of Eiriksfjordr, he turned back, and passed the third winter in Eiriksey, before the mouth of Eiriksfjordr. Now, afterwards, during the summer, he proceeded to Iceland, and came to Breidafjordr (Broadfirth). This winter he was with Ingolf, at Holmlatr (Island-litter). During the spring, Thorgest and he fought, and Eirik met with defeat. After that they were reconciled. In the summer Eirik went to live in the land which he had discovered, and which he called Greenland, “Because,” said he, “men will desire much the more to go there if the land has a good name.”]


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