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 25 - King Magnus's Foray

King Magnus proceeded northward to Norway with his fleet, and wintered there; but when the spring set in (A.D. 1048) he gathered a large force, with which he sailed south to Demnark, having heard the news from Vindland that the Vindland people in Jomsborg had withdrawn from their submission to him.

The Danish kings had formerly had a very large earldom there, and they first founded Jomsborg; and now the place was become a very strong fortress. When King Magnus heard of this, he ordered a large fleet and army to be levied in Denmark, and sailed in summer to Vindland with all his forces, which made a very large army altogether.

Arnor, the earls' skald, tells of it thus: —

"Now in this strophe, royal youth!
I tell no more than the plain truth.
Thy armed outfit from the strand
Left many a keel-trace on the sand,
And never did a king before
SO many ships to any shore
Lead on, as thou to Vindland's isle:
The Vindland men in fright recoil."

Now when King Magnus came to Vindland he attacked Jomsborg, and soon took the fortress, killing' many people, burning and destroying both in the town and in the courttry all around, and making the greatest havoc.

So says Arnor, the earl's skald: —

"The robbers, hemmed 'twixt death and fire,
Knew not how to escape thy ire;
O'er Jomsborg castle's highest towers
Thy wrath the whirlwind-fire pours.
The heathen on his false gods calls,
And trembles even in their halls;
And by the light from its own flame
The king this viking-hold o'ercame."

Many people in Vindland submitted to King Magnus, but many more got out of the way and fled. King Magnus returned to Denmark, and prepared to take his winter abode there, and sent away the Danish, and also a great many of the Norwegian people he had brought with him.

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