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Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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Úlfr, or Kveld-Úlfr was sailing to Iceland with a large party of men. On the way he becomes sick and instructs his men that if he should die, they should throw his coffin into the sea and let it drift. the spot the coffin lands at should be the place his son Skalla-Grímr should build his home. When they later found the coffin of the deceased Kveld-Úlfr, the men brought it up on the headland and built him there a pagan burial.


[excerpt from] Ldn ch. 18b

18b. Kveld-Úlfr's coffin guides at sea

Ok er mjǫk sóttisk hafit, þá ...

When the crossing was pretty ...

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The narrative of Landnámabók is set in the late 9th/early 10th century where people from mainly Norse cultures leave their homelands and sail to Iceland in the north west to settle. Landnámabók survives in 5 medieval manuscripts all dating to late 13th century and later. Sturlubók by Sturla Þórðarson, Hauksbók by Haukr Erlendsson (based on Sturlubók and a lost version by Styrmir Kárason), Melabók, Skarðsárbók and Þórðarbók.


(Contributed by Liv Marit Aurdal.)


Main text: Landnámabók

Attributes: Ritual Heathen Burial Ship Landscape Funeral customs Grave Sea Land-taking Cairn

Named things:

Text sections: Anon Ldn 18bIV


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