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Friday, 27 May 2011

Egil Skallagrimson

Gripping Beast - Egil Skallagrimson

This Sunday we are refighting the Battle of Brunanburgh 937 AD Saxons vs Viking/Scots/Welsh using the rules and scenario (pp.157-161) in Hail Caesar.  I'll post a report and photos after the game but in an interesting historical footnote the famous Icelandic beserker and skald, Egil Skallagrimson, the subject of Egil's Saga, actually fought in the battle on the Saxon side for King Athelstan. The description of the battle is here:

Snorri Sturlson in Egil's Saga Penguin p.100 actually describes his physical appearance:

Egil had very distinctive features, with a wide forehead, bushy brows and a nose that was not long but extremely broad. His upper jaw was broad and long, and his chin and jawbones were exceptionally wide. With his thick neck and stout shoulders, he stood out from other men. When he was angry, his face grew harsh and fierce. He was well built and taller than other men, with thick wolf-grey hair, although he had gone bald at an early age…Egil had dark eyes and was swarthy.
Egil's Saga is considered one of the greatest of the Norse Sagas but he was actually a real person who may have suffered from what is now known as Paget's disease: Egil's Bones

Foundry beserkers and Old Glory longship
Crusader and Foundry - Mounted Viking Command with a Gripping Beast Church in the background


  1. Nice painting and interesting background information.


  2. Thanks Christopher. Egil's Saga is a great read too, if you haven't read it.