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Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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On his travels Thangbrand, son of Count Willibald of Saxony, a missionary sent to Iceland by King Olaf Tryggvasson, reaches the Westfjords and visits a wise man called Gest Oddleifsson at Hagi in Bardastrand. Gest holds a feast for Thangbrand and his men, as well as 200 heathens. Among the heathens he found Otrygg the berserk.


[excerpt from] Nj ch. 103b

103b. Fear of a Berserk (Njáls Saga)

Gestr Oddleifsson bjó í Haga ...

At Hagi on Bardastrand lived ...

[status: unverified copy]



Njáls Saga, written in the 13th century Iceland, is set in the years 960-1020 AD. It follows the relationship between Njál Þorgeirsson and Gunnar Hámundarson and their households. The saga describes the dynamics of friendship, honour, feud and revenge that identifies early medieval Icelandic society. The Saga survives in about 60 manuscripts and fragments, none in its complete form.


(Contributed by Liv Marit Aurdal.)


Main text: Njáls saga

Attributes: Ritual Magical ritual Battle Christianity Heathen Christian faith Baptism Berserkr Fire Fate Foresight

Named things:

Text sections: Anon Nj 103bV


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