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 3 - Fashion Of King Olaf's Court

King Olaf used the fashion, which was introduced from the courts of foreign kings, of letting his grand-butler stand at the end of the table, and fill the table-cups for himself and the other distinguished guests who sat at the table. He had also torch- bearers, who held as many candles at the table as there were guests of distinction present.

There was also a marshal's bench outside of the table-circle, where the marshal and other persons of distinction sat with their faces towards the high-seat. King Harald, and the kings before him, used to drink out of deer-horn; and the ale was handed from the high-seat to the otherside over the fire, and he drank to the memory of any one he thought of.

So says Stuf the skald: —

"He who in battle is the first,
And now in peace is best to trust,
A welcome, hearty and sincere,
Gave to me on my coming here.
He whom the ravens watch with care,
He who the gold rings does not spare,
A golden horn full to the brink
Gave me himself at Haug to drink."

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