Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway

Author: Snorri Sturluson

31. Fall of Skreyja and Askman.

King Hakon was very conspicuous among other men, and also when the sun shone his helmet glanced, and thereby many weapons were directed at him. Then Eyvind Finson took a hat and put it over the king’s helmet. Now Eyvind Skreyja called out, "Does the king of the Norsemen hide himself, or has he fled? Where is now the golden helmet?" Then Eyvind, and his brother Alf with him, pushed on like fools or madmen. King Hakon shouted to Eyvind, "Come on as thou art coming, and thou shalt find the king of the Norsemen." So says Eyvind Skaldaspiller: —

"The raiser of the storm of shields,
The conqueror in battle fields, —
Hakon the brave, the warrior’s friend,
Who scatters gold with liberal hand,
Heard Skreyja’s taunt, and saw him rush,
Amidst the sharp spears’ thickest push,
And loudly shouted in reply —
`If thou wilt for the victory try,
The Norseman’s king thou soon shall find!
Hold onwards, friend! Hast thou a mind!"

It was also but a short space of time before Eyvind did come up swinging his sword, and made a cut at the king; but Thoralf thrust his shield so hard against Eyvind that he tottered with the shock. Now the king takes his sword Kvernbit with both hands, and hewed Eyvind through helm and head, and clove him down to the shoulders. Thoralf also slew Alf Askman. So says Eyvind Skaldaspiller: —

"With both his hands the gallant king
Swung round his sword, and to the chin
Clove Eyvind down: his faithless mail
Against it could no more avail,
Than the thin plank against the shock
When the ship’s side beats on the rock.
By his bright sword with golden haft
Thro’ helm, and head, and hair, was cleft
The Danish champion; and amain,
With terror smitten, fled his men."

After this fall of the two brothers, King Hakon pressed on so hard that all men gave way before his assault. Now fear came over the army of Eirik’s sons, and the men began to fly; and King Hakon, who was at the head of his men, pressed on the flying, and hewed down oft and hard. Then flew an arrow, one of the kind called "flein", into Hakon’s arm, into the muscles below the shoulder; and it is said by many people that Gunhild’s shoe-boy, whose name was Kisping, ran out and forwards amidst the confusion of arms, called out "Make room for the king-killer," and shot King Hakon with the flein. Others again say that nobody could tell who shot the king, which is indeed the most likely; for spears, arrows, and all kinds of missiles flew as thick as a snow-drift. Many of the people of Eirik’s sons were killed, both on the field of battle and on the way to the ships, and also on the strand, and many threw themselves into the water. Many also, among whom were Eirik’s sons, got on board their ships, and rowed away as fast as they could, and Hakon’s men after them. So says Thord Sjarekson: —

"The wolf. the murderer, and the thief,
Fled from before the people’s chief:
Few breakers of the peace grew old
Under the Northmen’s king so bold.
When gallant Hakon lost his life
Black was the day, and dire the strife.
It was bad work for Gunhild’s sons,
Leading their pack of Hungry Danes
From out the south, to have to fly,
And many a bonde leave to die,
Leaning his heavy wounded head
On the oar-bench for feather-bed.
Thoralf was nearest to the side
Of gallant Hakon in the tide
Of battle; his the sword that best
Carved out the raven’s bloody feast:
Amidst the heaps of foemen slain
He was named bravest on the plain."


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Chicago: Snorri Sturluson, "31. Fall of Skreyja and Askman.," Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, ed. CM01B10.Txt - 149 Kb, CM01B10.Zip - 56 Kb and trans. Stanley Young in Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway (New York: The Modern Library Publishers, 1918), Original Sources, accessed March 29, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9GGWPYA6PZLAGQ.

MLA: Sturluson, Snorri. "31. Fall of Skreyja and Askman." Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, edited by CM01B10.Txt - 149 Kb, CM01B10.Zip - 56 Kb, and translated by Stanley Young, in Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, New York, The Modern Library Publishers, 1918, Original Sources. 29 Mar. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9GGWPYA6PZLAGQ.

Harvard: Sturluson, S, '31. Fall of Skreyja and Askman.' in Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, ed. and trans. . cited in 1918, Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, The Modern Library Publishers, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 29 March 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9GGWPYA6PZLAGQ.