Talk:Egill Skallagrímsson

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"This is corroborated by an archeological find of a head from Viking age which is likely to be Egill's." Really? Why is it likely? Who says so? What's the evidence? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:44, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

I recall reading about this in the early 1990s. The head was dug up in a churchyard and the person who dug it up was the one who called it Egil's head. Don't recall the magazine but it was a popular magazine about archaeology. Found another article which speculates on the disease [1]. Has the picture that I remember being attributed to Egil in the 1990s but does not say that it is him. Another article that refers to bones dug up that might be Egils [2]. Very unlikely to be able to say that "Egil's remains were found." Might be better to say that remains were found, and that speculation over them has added to the story of Egil.Jacqke (talk) 06:27, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Character encoding[edit]


sonr v son[edit]

I moved the page from Egill Skallagrímsson to Egill Skallagrímssonr to comply with a proposed standard for Old Norse spellings. Personally, I much prefer "Egil Skallagrimson" since that looks more like something a native English speaker could pronounce. Cleasby says that it should have had an -r, but User:Edinborgarstefan showed me a vellum from Möðruvallabók with the r out.

If anyone wants to move the page back I doubt anyone would mind. Wighson 00:59, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

The vellum is here [3], it's so beautiful that you must look at it. The relevant text is towards the bottom right hand side, starting from the large Þ. It reads: "Þorólfr SG-son bioz eitt sumar...". Stefán Ingi 12:16, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
can we move it back, then? Nobody seems to support the move in the first place, if anything it looks designed for ridiculing the oh-so-disputed spelling guideline. dab () 12:40, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, we can move it back, I'm doing it now, based on your clear preference. For the record, I cannot see that the original move was done in anything but good faith, I might also note that Wighson moved Egill's father to Skalla-Grímr at the same time, a move I would certainly consider a good thing. Stefán Ingi 14:13, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I know, the move wasn't terrible. dab () 16:16, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


The popular culture (shrudder) section says that there is a pub in Reykjavík named after Egill. Is that true? Stefán Ingi 14:13, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I think this is a confusion with Gaukur á Stöng, which I believe is named for Gaukr Trandilsson from the Njals saga. dab () 16:17, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Translation of the poem[edit]

I added an English translation of Egil's poem. Not really sure if it belongs here, but I thought it might be fun for people to know what it means. It should be noted that I have no poetic ambitions, nor am I a native Icelandic speaker, so anyone with better qualifications may want to edit/delete this.

Yes, we should provide English translations of texts we quote (see Hákonarmál for an example). Ideally we quote a published translation but Wikipedia sometimes translates in its own voice too. Hopefully someone who owns an English translation of Egils saga (I don't) can update the page. - Haukur 22:00, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
The translation is quite beautiful, though I cannot attest to its accuracy. I think "roving" is a good translation of "víking," with its potentially violent adventuresome connotations.

Trinite 19:07, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

I replaced the translation with my own, which I think is an improvement, both in terms of conforming with the structure of the original poem, and the actual semantics. Feel free to revert it if you don't agree. -- Palthrow 08:17, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


I belive it should be important to also submit a sentence which clearly indicates that the eanglosxian definition is false:

Björn var farmaður mikill, var stundum í víking, en stundum í kaupferðum; Björn var hinn gervilegasti maður.

english: Björn was a great traveller; sometimes as viking, sometimes as tradesman.

It clearly indicates those two activities were not the same.

Dan Koehl 19:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Paget's and Berserkers[edit]

Is Paget's actually associate with Berserk behavior (as the article currently implies), or just with deformations? Trinite 19:07, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Grímr not Grimr[edit]

I stand by my translation as "Helm" which reads a bit better than "Bald Hood/Cowl that covers the top of the face". Grimmr might translate as "grim", though I imagine the meaning is distorted when read by modern English speakers, but grímr translates as "hood or cowl that covers the top of the face". Grímr is used as man's name, as a part of a man's name, is used to indicate a man in disguise and is also used as a proper noun for Odin to indicate he is travelling in disguise. While wikipedia is no place for original research, it is entirely conceivable that this fellow was literally bald or had such an appearance that disguise was impossible or he may have disdained any effort at subterfuge or concealing his identity. Waerloeg 03:12, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

  • I add for interest's sake that grimmr could metaphorically mean "ugly". I leave it up to you to get the joke.Waerloeg 03:30, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 09:06, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Why does this article treat Egill's story in the saga at face value rather than describing a mostly literary character?radek (talk) 23:05, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with your criticism, and propose that we remove/rewrite what is in the LIFE and ISSUES sections. The information in the life section is misleading (suggesting that Egill fought a duel for his wife's inheritance at age 7) or wrong (claiming that Egill's son moved his body to the church, when the saga tells that it was Egill's step-daughter, Thordis). The article on EGILS SAGA summarizes the plot. The information here is redundant, and I agree, inappropriate. I think it would be better to rewrite the LIFE section with more historical information (the archaeology discussed in the talk section HEAD, above), and less literary information. Any objections?KolnirGigja (talk) 16:25, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

is it Egill or Egil?[edit]

The start of this page explains his name is Egill, I find this a bit confusing as each link reference names him Egil with one L. Where has the second L been 'decided', as it were? Can it be clarified in the article? SirShill (talk) 11:52, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

  • This isn't a practical answer vis a vis the article, but the confusions comes from the flexibility of spelling in old Icelandic. de Bivort 15:58, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
His name is Egill with two ells in the nominative case in Old Norse (and modern Icelandic). -- Palthrow
Consistent spelling tends to be a modern phenomenon; however, published works in English (which generally lacks nominative case declensions) perhaps favor "Egil". How much does it matter? Certainly, for an encyclopedia, both variants should be duly noted. Dcattell (talk) 17:13, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
(Note: use of Greek nominative case would make the article on Plato instead be named Platon.) Dcattell (talk) 17:13, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm happy with either. I mean, Aristotle's name is Aristoteles, Plato's name is Platon, Horace's name is Quintus Horatius Flaccus. Obviously convention rules here. If Egil is the standard observed anglicization, we should go with that. Sans any consensus (if both Egil and Egill are used in extant scholarship) we should stick to the nominative case, which is used for all other Icelandic names in English Wikipedia. -- Palthrow
I think that it may well be best to spell a persons name according to the original spelling of the name, which would give Egill the preference. On the other hand, if the translations in the Palsson and Thorsson books are any indication, Egil seems to be in accord with English language usage. The more difficult question is consistency with the title of the article on his saga (see Egils saga). There may not be an easy or entirely satisfactory answer, and I am not especially inclined to change the current state of the naming of these articles. However, as a reference source it seems important to somehow make clear to the reader of these related articles why a saga about Egill Skallagrímsson is called Egils saga. Dcattell (talk) 22:50, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

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Egil's Saga is the primary source for information about Egil, Skallagrim's son. Dcattell (talk) 17:01, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Chronology and early poetry[edit]

The following needs revision:

Egill composed his first poem at the age of three years. He exhibited berserk behaviour, and this, together with the description of his large and unattractive head, has led to the theory that he might have suffered from Paget's disease.
At the age of seven, Egill was cheated in a game with local boys. Enraged, he went home and procured an axe, and returning to the boys, split the skull of the boy who cheated him, to the teeth. After Berg-Önundr refused to allow Egill to claim his wife Ásgerðr's share of her father's inheritance, he challenged Önundr to a holmgang.

First, Egill didn't compose a poem at the age of three. There are two lausavísur attributed to him at that age, but the mainstream opinion is, that Egill might have composed them in old age, when telling stories about his youth and these vísur are far too perfect for a three year old.

The second paragraph cited leads straight from Egill's murder at the age of seven to his victory in a duel decades later. All the best (talk) 17:27, 22 December 2012 (UTC)