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Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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A bull named Glæsir, thought to be either a troll or reincarnation of Þórolfr bægifótr, terrorises the people at Kársstaðir. The supernatural bull kills the farmer Þóroddr before sinking down into a bog.


[excerpt from] Eb ch. 63b


Þá mælti kerlingin: "Það var ...

Then the old woman said, "So ...

[status: referenced copy]



This episode occurs in the longer narrative Eyrbyggja saga, thought to be written mid-13th century. The episode with Glæsir occurs after Þóroddr’s cow is taken to pasture near the funeral pyre of Þórolfr bægifótr, and apparently licks the ashes on the ground. The cow is rumoured to have been seen on the mountain-side with an unknown, dapple-grey bull. The cow then gives birth to a bull-calf, also dapple-grey. Þóroddr’s old, blind foster-mother is said to have the gift of foresight. She hears the bull-calf bellow and believes it to be a troll. The old woman advises Þóroddr to kill the calf, or it will be the death of him. Þóroddr ignores this advice.


(Contributed by Anna Millward.)


Main text: Eyrbyggja saga

Attributes: Supernatural Bull / ox Foresight Hauntings Reincarnation Bog troll ignoring advice

Named things:

Text sections: Anon Eb 63bV


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