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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/422

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4o6 Custom and Belief m Icelandic Sagas.

silver (that was the sacrifice money) and one layer of earth and stones."

2. In the Jomsvikiiiga Saga and the Jomsvikinga-drapa^

she is mentioned on board Earl Hakon's ship in the Jomsvi'king battle. She caused a great hailstorm, and an arrow seemed to fly from each of her fingers,

3. An anonymous Grammarian (about 1 140) says " a

great woman died when Holgatroll died."

4. Saxo speaks of a Thora, bride to Helgi King of


He also tells a story, repeated in other sources, of a Thora, Helgi and their illegitimate daughter Yrsa, which Better identifies with this one by means of an argument, more ingenious than convincing, that Yrsa, being base- born might very well have been called Irpa. The only answer is, that she never is so called in any version of her story. The whole identification rests on similarity of names, which is usually futile, especially in Scandinavian. Saxo never suggests that the two pairs named by him Helgi and Thora were the same; there might have been a hundred so-named. It would be as reasonable to suggest that Njdl's daughter Thorgerd and his son Helgi were connected with this legend.

According to both Saxo and Snorri, Holgi seems to be regarded as the eponymous hero of Halogaland. The etymology is not satisfactory, but the connexion with the North of Norway rests on better evidence than the philo- logical, in the devotion of Earl Hakon to Thorgerd, the evidence for which is unimpeachable. Thorgerd is called both HolgabruS and Horgabru6, and it is uncertain which is right. " Holgi's Maiden " may have been turned into

  • ' Maid of the Cairn " because she was worshipped there,

or " Maid of the Cairn," " Altar-bride," may have become " Holgi's daughter " because she was so. It seems obvious that we have here the cult of a local hero and heroine like that of Cecrops and his daughters. Her behaviour in the