A famous scene in Eyrbyggja saga describes how a farmer, Styrr of Hraun, uses a baðstofa, “bathhouse, bathing chamber,” to dispose of two troublesome berserker brothers.1 One brother has demanded the farmer's daughter as his bride, threatening the farmer if he will not agree to the match. After seeking counsel from his wise neighbor, Snorri Þorgrímsson, the farmer sets three labor-intense tasks for the berserkers to complete while he has a baðstofa prepared for their arrival. Having exhausted their strength through physical labor, Styrr invites the berserkers to relax in the baðstofa and then barricades their only exit, heating the space to an unbearable temperature and murdering them when they attempt to clamber out. A now-lost chapter of Heiðarvíga saga describes the same event, with the probable narrative difference that the berserkers in Heiðarvíga saga ask whether anyone else will join them in the baðstofa, with Styrr...
Murder in the Baðstofa: Bathing and the Dangers of Domestic Space in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature
Katelin Marit Parsons; Murder in the Baðstofa: Bathing and the Dangers of Domestic Space in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature. The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 1 October 2023; 122 (4): 507–524. doi: https://doi.org/10.5406/1945662X.122.4.04
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