From Heimskringla or The Chronicle of the From ”Kings of Norway” by Snorri Sturlson (c.1179-1241) : passages about ”Finn”


Heimskringla or The Chronicle of the From ”Kings of Norway” by Snorri Sturlson (c.1179-1241) Samuel Laing (London, 1844), translator.

CHAPTER X Thorolf in Finmark

In the winter Thorolf took his way up to the fells with a large force of not less than ninety men, whereas before it had been the wont of the king’s stewards to have thirty men, and sometimes fewer. He took with him plenty of wares for trading. At once he appointed a meeting with the Finns, took of them the tribute, and held a fair with them. All was managed with goodwill and friendship, though not without fear on the Finns’ side. Far and wide about Finmark did he travel; but when he reached the fells eastward, he heard that the Kylfings were come from the east, and were there for trading with the Finns, but in some places for plunder also. Thorolf set Finns to spy out the movements of the Kylfings, and he followed after to search for them, and came upon thirty men in one den, all of whom he slew, letting none escape. Afterwards he found together fifteen or twenty. In all they slew near upon a hundred, and took immense booty, and returned in the spring after doing this.
Thorolf then went to his estates at Sandness, and remained there through the spring. He had a long-ship built, large, and with a dragon’s head, fitted out in the best style; this he took with him from the north. Thorolf gathered great stores of what there was in Halogaland, employing his men after the herrings and in other fishing; seal-hunting there was too in abundance, and egg-gathering, and all such provision he had brought to him. Never had he fewer freedmen about his home than a hundred; he was open-handed and liberal, and readily made friends with the great, and with all that were near him. A mighty man he became, and he bestowed much care on his ships, equipment, and weapons.


Thorolf again in Finmark.

That winter Thorolf went again to Finmark, taking with him about a hundred men. As before, he held a fair with the Finns, and travelled far and wide over Finmark. But when he reached the far east, and his coming was heard of, then came to him some Kvens, saying that they were sent by Faravid, king of Kvenland, because the Kiriales were harrying his land; and his message was that Thorolf should go thither and bear him help; and further that Thorolf should have a share of the booty equal to the king’s share, and each of his men as much as two Kvens. With the Kvens the law was that the king should have one-third as compared with his men when the booty was shared, and beyond that, as reserved for him, all bearskins and sables. Thorolf put this proposal before his men, giving them the choice to go or not; and the more part chose to venture it, as the prize was so great. This is was decided that they should go eastwards with the messengers.
Finmark is a wide tract; it is bounded westwards by the sea, wherefrom large firths run in; by sea also northwards and round to the east; but southwards lies Norway; and Finmark stretches along nearly all the inland region to the south, as also does Halogaland outside. But eastwards from Naumdale is Jamtaland, then Helsingjaland and Kvenland, then Finland, then Kirialaland; along all these lands to the north lies Finmark, and there are wide inhabited fell-districts, some in dales, some by lakes. The lakes of Finmark are wonderfully large, and by the lakes there are extensive forests. But high fells lie behind from end to end of the Mark, and this ridge is called Keels.

Picture: Print edition of Snorri’s Edda of 1666




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