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Fjallerus And Hadingushadding In The Lower World


Source: Teutonic Mythology

Two other Danish princes have, according to Saxo, been permitted to see
a subterranean world, or Odainsaker. Saxo calls the one Fjallerus, and
makes him a sub-regent in Scania. The question who this Fjallerus was in
the mythology is discussed in another part of this work (see No. 92).
According to Saxo he was banished from the realm by King Amlethus, the
son of Horvendillus, and so retired to Undensakre (Odainsaker), "a place
which is unknown to our people" (Hist. Dan. iv.).

The other of these two is King Hadingus (Hist. Dan., i.), the
above-mentioned Hadding, son of Halfdan. One winter's day, while Hadding
sat at the hearth, there rose out of the ground the form of a woman, who
had her lap full of cowbanes, and showed them as if she was about to ask
whether the king would like to see that part of the world where, in the
midst of winter, so fresh flowers could bloom. Hadding desired this.
Then she wrapped him in her mantle and carried him away down into the
lower world. "The gods of the lower world," says Saxo, "must have
determined that he should be transferred living to those places, which
are not to be sought until after death." In the beginning the journey
was through a territory wrapped in darkness, fogs, and mists. Then
Hadding perceived that they proceeded along a path "which is daily trod
by the feet of walkers." The path led to a river, in whose rapids spears
and other weapons were tossed about, and over which there was a bridge.
Before reaching this river Hadding had seen from the path he travelled a
region in which "a few" or "certain" (quidam), but very noble beings
(proceres) were walking, dressed in beautiful frocks and purple
mantles. Thence the woman brought him to a plain which glittered as in
sunshine (loca aprica, translation of "The Glittering Plains"), and
there grew the plants which she had shown him. This was one side of the
river. On the other side there was bustle and activity. There Hadding
saw two armies engaged in battle. They were, his fair guide explained to
him, the souls of warriors who had fallen in battle, and now imitated
the sword-games they had played on earth. Continuing their journey, they
reached a place surrounded by a wall, which was difficult to pass
through or to surmount. Nor did the woman make any effort to enter
there, either alone or with him: "It would not have been possible for
the smallest or thinnest physical being." They therefore returned the
way they had come. But before this, and while they stood near the wall,
the woman demonstrated to Hadding by an experiment that the walled place
had a strange nature. She jerked the head off a chicken which she had
taken with her, and threw it over the wall, but the head came back to
the neck of the chicken, and with a distinct crow it announced "that it
had regained its life and breath."

Next: A Frisian Saga In Adam Of Bremen

Previous: Saxo Concerning This Same Gudmund Ruler Of The Lower World

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