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A History of the Vikings

by Gwyn Jones

"From grain and honey they made a fermented drink, and this grain they threshed indoors, because the rain and sunlessness made outdoor threshing impossible." page 21

"King Fjolnir rose in the night to make water, fell into a vat of mead and drowned instead; Sveigdir ran after a dwarf when drunk and vanished into a boulder; Vanlandi was trampled to death by a nightmare; Domaldi was sacrificed for good seasons; Dag was struck on the head with a pitchfork when seeking revenge for his sparrow, and so on down to the fifth century." page 37 (footnote)

"Swords, helmets and battle-harness flowed from the king, arm-rings and torques; he clothed their bodies with tunics of silk and cloaks of squirrelskin and sable, and their bellies he filled with choice foods and mead from the horn." page 153

"'Sweet is mead-Bitter when paid for!'" page 153

"Each day the armies of the valiant dead fought together on meadows outside the hall; then as evening came the slain rose up again, and victors and vanquished went indoors to feast on Odinn's pork and mead, taking their stoups of bright drink from the hands of the Valkyries, those maiden choosers of the slain who had earlier summoned them from the battlefields of earth." page 317

"Victory in war was his gift, poetry his mead, his cup, his sea." page 321

"Its precepts are strikingly unconsonant with popular conceptions of the Viking, whether as a superhuman hero and devotee of Wyrd, hell-bent on doom and destruction, and quitting life with a jest or laconic aphorism; as a pure-blooded, clean-living, noble-thoughted nordic gentleman, looking with innocent blue eyes on the tortuous corruptions of his southern neighbours; or even a piratical, bloodthirsty, loot-laden rapist, whose favourite tipple was mead quaffed from a dead enemy's brainpan." page 350

"þverra nú, þeirs þverrðu,
þingbirtingar Ingva,
hvar skalk manna mildra,
mjaðveitar dag, leita,
þeira's hauks fyr handan
háfjöll digulsnjávi"
jarðar gjörð við orðum
eyneglda mér hegldu.
Minish they now who diminished
Dawnfire of meadfoaming horn;
Now vanish the heroes, time-vanquished,
War's flaunters, the thingmen of Ingvi.
Who now shower limbeck's snowsilver
As guerdon past earth's sea-isled girdle?
Or fill high hawkfell of my hand
With skald's reward for skilled word?" page 414