The Story of Viga Glum
The Story of Viga Glum
This book has been especially republished to raise funds for charities.
The Sagas, of which this tale is one, were composed for the men who have left their mark in every corner of Europe. There is no page of modern history in which the influence of the Vikings and their conquests have not had an effect--Russia, Constantinople, Greece, Palestine, Sicily, the coasts of Africa, Southern Italy, France, the Spanish Peninsula, England, Scotland, Ireland, and every rock and island round them, have been visited at one time or another by the men of Scandinavia, and their influence is still being felt today.
This saga paints a picture of Icelandic society. But the society presented is not one of pastoral simplicity and repose. The actors within were real men and women and the events portrayed actually occurred - for this is a true story. Bloodshed and violence are common and Viga-Glum, or "Murdering Glum," the hero of this story, is not by any means a perfect character, even when measured by the standards of the time in which he lived. A time when a mans standing in the community was dictated by courage and his wealth, the author tells us that for twenty years he was the first man in Eyjafirth, and for twenty years more there was no better man there. Viga-Glum is described as one who was naturally indolent, shy, and moody; but when he could be brought to act, his courage and determination were indomitable. When he had to achieve a purpose he was thoroughly unscrupulous; neither blood nor false oaths stood in his way - just what one would expect from a Viking. The finishing touch to this part of his character is added by the peculiarity, that whenever he was intent on slaying a man, he was apt to be seized with a fit of uncontrollable laughter which ended in tears.
So join us in this ancient tale of love, lust, honour, murder, Beserkers, romance and damsels in distress.
Excerpt from The Saga of Viga Glum
from Chapter 21
.One night Márr asked him how he had slept, and Glum answered by a stanza--
" Mid all this strife and tumult now
Sleep doth mine eyelids flee.
These men will find it hard, I trow,
To make their peace with me,
Before upon their crests shall ring
My sword in battle-fray.
Ive slain men for a small thing,
And why not these, I pray?
Now I will tell you of my dream. Methought I went out of the homestead here by myself and without arms, and Thorarin seemed to come at me with a large whetstone in his hand, and I felt ill prepared for our meeting; but whilst I was thinking about it I saw another whetstone lying close by me, so I cuaght it up and attacked him, and when we met either tried to strike the other, but the two stones came against one another and there was a tremendous crash." "Was it such," asked Márr, "as might be considered a conflict between the two houses?" "More than that," replied Glum. "Did it seem that it might represent a conflict between the two districts?" "Yes," said Glum, "the omen may well be reckoned such, for I thought the crash could be heard all over the district, and when I woke I sung as follows
"I thought this night to see in sleep
that chief, who oer the sea
guides the fierce raven of the deep,
Smite with a stone at me.
"The lord of Limafirths broad strand
Came on in all his pride,
I met him fearless hand to hand
And dashd the blow aside.
Márr observed it was very likely the old saying would come true, "Each of you will smite the other with and evil stone before it is over." "Yes," said Glum, "it is not improbable; there are many bodings tending that way. There is another dream to tell you. Methought I was standing out of doors, and that I saw two women who had a trough between them, and they took their stations at Hrisateig and sprinkled the whole district with blood. I woke up, and I think this portends something which is to happen. Then I sung these verses--
"The gods--methought, they swept along
Across the path of men.
the clash of swords and the javelins song
We shall hear full soon again.
"I saw the maids of carnage stand,
In grim and vengeful mood,
As the battle ragd, and they drenchd the land
In slaughterd warriors blood."
That morning Márr rode to Mödrufell, with seventeen other men, to summon Arngrim for the death of Steinolf; but Glum remained at home with five men besides himself, and told them to be quick in getting back again. In the house with Glum were Jöd, and Eyiolf, the son of Thorleif the tall, Thorvald Tafalld, Glums nephew, and two thralls.
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