The story of BjÇ«rgólfr's unlawful marriage with HildirÃðr in Egils saga is here interpreted as a send-up of the hieros gamos motif prevalent in Old Norse literature. Given the geographical setting, where a suitor from the southern-most magnate seat in Hálogaland married the daughter of a rich farmer from the northern-most magnate seat in Namdalen, it is argued that a lost tradition concerning Mundill gamli served as a model for the story. This underlying tradition may or may not have included the hieros gamos motif. Mundill features in a genealogical list dating from c. 1250 AD, which in turn presumably builds on the poem Háleygjatal from around c. 980-990 AD. Considering the rich tradition of erotic conquests of land in the form of female beings among the Háleygir jarls, it will be argued that Mundill in poetic terms conquered, or even 'wed', the island of Leka according to traditions possibly nurtured at the court of Lade in Trøndelag by the late 900s.
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Opphavsrett 2021 Petter Snekkestad