Fjallerus And Hadingushadding In The Lower World

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."

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