Steinžór Žorlįksson

born: at Eyr in Eyrarsveit in Iceland
died: in Iceland
married: Žurķšur Žorgilsdóttir

Steinžór was called one of the three best fighters in saga-age Iceland. His story is told in Eyrbyggja saga, a saga filled with disputes between multiple families and groups which continued for generations. Steinžór was one of the later generations of the people who lived at Eyr. He was tall, strong, and quiet, but not one willing to let a dispute drop without a satisfactory resolution. Snorri goši, a prominent chieftain who appears in many sagas, was often on the side against Steinžór.

The saga tells of a battle on the ice on the frozen Vigrafjöršur led by Steinžór on one side, and by Žorleifur on the other. Both sides ran towards a small islet that jutted up above the ice. Each side wanted to take the islet, knowing the high ground with secure footing would give them a big advantage in a fight. Žorleifur and his men reached the islet first. One of Steinžór's men, Žóršur, tried to climb up on the islet, but he was wounded and slipped back on to the ice. Žorleifur and Freysteinn rushed down after him to kill him.


Steinthor ran up too and brought his shield down over Thord when Thorleif tried to strike him, and with his other hand he struck at Thorleif Kimbi and cut away his leg below the knee. At that Freystein Bofi lunged at Steinthor, aiming at his stomach, but seeing this Steinthor leapt up into the air and the spear passed between his legs. Steinthor performed these three things at the same time, just as described. Then he struck at Freystein with his sword, and the blow landed on his neck with a loud crack.

"A nasty one, that, Freystein," said Steinthor.

"Yes, it was," agreed Freysteinn, "but not as bad as you thought, it's done me no harm."

Eyrbyggja saga, ch. 45
translation: Judy Quinn, The Complete Sagas of Icelanders, Leifur Eiriksson Publishing (1997).

Steinžór's attack did no damage because it struck a piece of horn sewn into the collar of Freysteinn's hood, one of many examples of improvised weapons and improvised armor used by fighters in the Viking age.


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