Monday, August 16, 2010

The "Dog King"

"Eystein, the King of the Uplanders, who was by some called the Mighty, but by others the Evil, harried in Trondheim and subdued the Oyna folk and the Sparbyggja folk and set his son over them, but the Tronds slew him. Once more King Eystein raided Trondheim and harried far and wide and again put the land under him. He then asked the Tronds to choose whether they would have as their king a thrall of his called Tore the Hairy or his dog Saur [Icelandic: 'filth, excrement']; they chose the dog, for they believed that they would then rule mostly themselves.

"Then they bewitched the dog with the wit of three men, so that it barked two words but spoke every third word. They had made for it a collar and leash of silver and gold and when it was muddy the king's guardsmen bore it on their shoulders; a high-seat was raised for it and it sat on the howe like a king and dwelled on Inderoy and had its seat on the place called Saurshowe.

"It is said that this was its death; wolves came on its flocks and herds and the guardsmen egged it on to protect its sheep; it went from the howe thither where the wolves were and they straightway tore it asunder."

--from Heimskringla, or The Lives of the Norse Kings, by Snorre Sturlason.

1 comment:

Babel said...

Never gonna be a Disney version!