A Rakuten Company

More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

itemsitem

Synopsis

WHERE WOLVES THRIVE BETTER THAN LAMBS. Vices and virtues The sons of mortals bear In their breasts mingled; No one is so good That no failing attends him, Nor so bad as to be good for nothing. Ha'vama'l (High Song of Odin). It was back in the tenth century, when the mighty fair-haired warriors of Norway and Sweden and Denmark, whom the people of Southern Europe called the Northmen, were becoming known and dreaded throughout the world. Iceland and Greenland had been colonized by their dauntless enterprise. Greece and Africa had not proved distant enough to escape their ravages. The descendants of the Viking Rollo ruled in France as Dukes of Normandy; and Saxon England, misguided by Ethelred the Unready and harassed by Danish pirates, was slipping swiftly and surely under Northern rule. It was the time when the priests of France added to their litany this petition: "From the fury of the Northmen, deliver us, good Lord." The old, old Norwegian city of Trondhjem, which lies on Trondhjem Fiord, girt by the river Nid, was then King Olaf Trygvasson's new city of Nidaros, and though hardly more than a trading station, a hamlet without streets, it was humming with prosperity and jubilant life. The shore was fringed with ships whose gilded dragon-heads and purple-and-yellow hulls and azure-and-scarlet sails were reflected in the waves until it seemed as if rainbows had been melted in them. Hillside and river-bank bloomed with the gay tents of chieftains who had come from all over the North to visit the powerful Norwegian king. Traders had scattered booths of tempting wares over the plain, so that it looked like fair-time. The broad roads between the estates that clustered around the royal residence were thronged with clanking horsemen, with richly dressed traders followed by covered carts of precious merchandise, with beautiful fair-haired women riding on gilded chair-like saddles, with monks and slaves, with white-bearded lawmen and pompous landowners. Along one of those roads that crossed the city from the west, a Danish warrior came riding, one keen May morning, with a young English captive tied to his saddle-bow

People who read this also enjoyed

Get a 1 year subscription
for / issue

Read This On

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • DESKTOP
  • eREADERS
  • TABLETS
  • IOS
  • ANDROID
  • BLACKBERRY
  • WINDOWS