Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Barbarians-related quote I wish I'd noticed earlier

I gave away a copy of a book on Vikings I had on my shelf. Mostly because it sat there, unread, for about 20 years, and when I took it down to read it I found I just wasn't looking for what it had.

But I did take a skim through it before I passed it on to a friend who likes Vikings.

I wish I'd seen this quote before I finished DFD Barbarians:

"I've been with swords and spear
slippery with bright blood
where kites wheeled. And how well
we violent Vikings clashed!
Red flames ate up men's roofs,
raging we killed and killed,
and skewered bodies sprawled
sleepy in town gate-ways"
(stanza by Egil Skallagrimsson, c. 925)

Quoted on pg 146, Else Roesdahl, The Vikings (seen here on Google Books)

That would have been a good one, had we had the room.

Oh well, I can always use it for something else!


  1. Vikings/Barbarians who love poetry, sadly a rare trope.

    1. I think modern folks mostly looked back at barbarians the way we look at action heroes - they wanted the macho manly-man aspect. Forgetting that poetry and stories and class and style are as much a part of the culture as raiding and being strong warriors was. It's the poetry that preserved much of their own view of themselves, and provided a basis for the "modern" take on barbarians.

      In general - Fafhrd is a skald as well as a warrior. He's a rare civilization-loving barbarian, as well.


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