Icelandic Sources In Regard To Gudmund King On The Glittering Plains

: Teutonic Mythology

In the saga of Hervor, Odainsaker is mentioned, and there without any

visible addition of Christian elements. Gudmund (Godmundr) was the

name of a king in Jotunheim. His home was called Grund, but the

district in which it was situated was called the Glittering Plains

(Glaesisvellir). He was wise and mighty, and in a heathen sense pious,

and he and his men became so old that they lived many generations.

Therefore, the s
ory continues, the heathens believed that Odainsaker

was situated in his country. "That place (Odainsaker) is for everyone

who comes there so healthy that sickness and age depart, and no one ever

dies there."

According to the saga-author, Jotunheim is situated north from

Halogaland, along the shores of Gandvik. The wise and mighty Gudmund

died after he had lived half a thousand years. After his death the

people worshipped him as a god, and offered sacrifices to him.

The same Gudmund is mentioned in Herrod's and Bose's saga as a ruler of

the Glittering Plains, who was very skilful in the magic arts. The

Glittering Plains are here said to be situated near Bjarmaland, just as

in Thorstein Baearmagn's saga, in which king Gudmund's kingdom,

Glittering Plains, is a country tributary to Jotunheim, whose ruler is


In the history of Olaf Trygveson, as it is given in Flateybook, the

following episode is incorporated. The Northman Helge Thoreson was sent

on a commercial journey to the far North on the coast of Finmark, but he

got lost in a great forest. There he met twelve red-clad young maidens

on horseback, and the horses' trappings shone like gold. The chief one

of the maidens was Ingeborg, the daughter of Gudmund on the Glittering

Plains. The young maidens raised a splendid tent and set a table with

dishes of silver and gold. Helge was invited to remain, and he stayed

three days with Ingeborg. Then Gudmund's daughters got ready to leave;

but before they parted Helge received from Ingeborg two chests full of

gold and silver. With these he returned to his father, but mentioned to

nobody how he had obtained them. The next Yule night there came a great

storm, during which two men carried Helge away, none knew whither. His

sorrowing father reported this to Olaf Trygveson. The year passed. Then

it happened at Yule that Helge came in to the king in the hall, and with

him two strangers, who handed Olaf two gold-plated horns. They said they

were gifts from Gudmund on the Glittering Plains. Olaf filled the horns

with good drink and handed them to the messengers. Meanwhile he had

commanded the bishop who was present to bless the drink. The result was

that the heathen beings, who were Gudmund's messengers, cast the horns

away, and at the same time there was great noise and confusion in the

hall. The fire was extinguished, and Gudmund's men disappeared with

Helge, after having slain three of King Olaf's men. Another year passed.

Then there came to the king two men, who brought Helge with them, and

disappeared again. Helge was at that time blind. The king asked him many

questions, and Helge explained that he had spent most happy days at

Gudmund's; but King Olaf's prayers had at length made it difficult for

Gudmund and his daughter to retain him, and before his departure

Ingeborg picked his eyes out, in order that Norway's daughters should

not fall in love with them. With his gifts Gudmund had intended to

deceive King Olaf; but upon the whole Helge had nothing but good to

report about this heathen.