Heimskringla

The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

by Snorri Sturlson | c.1179-1241 | 320,198 words

The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177....

Part 263 - King Trygve Olafson's Fall

When Trygve came from the west he landed first on the coast of Hordaland, and when he heard King Svein had gone south he went the same way to Rogaland.

As soon as Svein got the intelligence that Trygve had come from the west he returned, and steered north with his fleet; and both fleets met within Bokn in Soknarsund, not far from the place where Erling Skjalgson fell. The battle, which took place on a Sunday, was great and severe.

People tell that Trygve threw spears with both hands at once.

"So my father,"

said he,

"taught me to celebrate mass."

His enemies had said that he was the son of a priest; but the praise must be allowed him that he showed himself more like a son of King Olaf Trygvason, for this Trygve was a slaughtering man. In this battle King Trygve fell, and many of his men with him; but some fled, and some received quarter and their lives.

It is thus related in the ballad of Trygve: —

"Trygve comes from the northern coast,
King Svein turns round with all his host;
To meet and fight, they both prepare,
And where they met grim death was there.
From the sharp strife I was not far, —
I heard the din and the clang of war;
And the Hordaland men at last gave way,
And their leader fell, and they lost the day."

This battle is also told of in the ballad about King Svein, thus: —

"My girl! it was a Sunday morn,
And many a man ne'er saw its eve,
Though ale and leeks by old wives borne
The bruised and wounded did relieve.
'Twas Sunday morn, when Svein calls out,
'Stem to stem your vessels bind;'
The raven a mid-day feast smells out,
And he comes croaking up the wind."

After this battle King Svein ruled the country for some time, and there was peace in the land. The winter after it (A.D. 1034) he passed in the south parts of the country.

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