Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thursday Skull Blogging

Must credit BBBB.
Pálsson & Edwards translation, 1976:
Skapti Thorarinsson the Priest, a man of great intelligence, was there at the time. He picked up Egil's skull and placed it on the fence of the churchyard. The skull was an exceptionally large one and its weight was even more remarkable. It was ridged all over on the outside like a scallop shell, and Skapti wanted to find out just how thick it was, so he picked up a heavy ax, swung it in one hand and struck as hard as he was able with the reverse side of the ax, trying to break the skull. But the skull neither broke nor dented on impact, it simply turned white [...]
People have used this description to argue that Egil Skallagrimsson had Paget's syndrome. However, the argument rests on the identification of a skull found in a churchyard as that of Egil, simply because it was large.

It could have been that of a pygmy elephant.

Bonus Deselbiana:

"The legend of Cyclops was based on the discovery by the ancient Greeks of real fossils with a gigantic hole in the middle of their forehead, 'of which creature we may say that it was probably not a rhinoceros, but little more' (de Selby, Cyclopean Vision, p. 1332)."


ckc (not kc) said...

Willy Leys is a pygmy elephant?

wv reminds me to floss

ckc (not kc) said...

Cyclopean Vision, p. 1332 [!!!!]

(I'll wait for the movie)

Smut Clyde said...

Willy Leys is a pygmy elephant?
Ley's book is where I read about the elephant-skull / cyclops-legend theory, you deliberately-misunderstanding heathen person.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


Next you're going to tell us that there is no such thing as sink lettuce.

Substance McGravitas said...

I got an email from de Selby a little while ago. The man is extraordinarily lazy about destroying the world.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I recommend Adrienne Mayor's First Fossil Hunters in which she proposes a link between Protoceratops fossils and the legend of the griffin. It's a fun read.

HTML tasks me- no "strike" tags are allowed.

Smut Clyde said...

The man is extraordinarily lazy about destroying the world.

You have to remember that de Selby believes that time is illusory, so no reason to hurry. Also he is frequently distracted by bouts of narcolepsy and a crippling condition of the gall-bladder.

Another Kiwi said...

And why was the Elephant in the graveyard?? Surely not looking the Elephant's Graveyard of African mythology.
No, I think we have another trick of the fossil making God, here.
"Oh" people would say "here is an elephant skull, what can this mean in the context of Scandinavian legend?"
"Pffnar pffnar" God would say "You've been punk'd, dude"

mikey said...

So lemme get this straight. Skapti the Priest (yeah right) and his pals got hammered and were fucking around in the graveyard, jumping out and yelling 'BOO' at one another and then rolling helplessly in the dirt and leaves, contorted with laughter, when ol' Cap'n Skap finds a skull laying there. First they put a hat on it and a cigarette in it's mouth, but then they realize the camera hasn't been invented yet so this is way less fun than it coulda been. Then Skapti the Priest starts pretending to make out with the skull, but he gets a bunch of old dirt (at least he HOPED it was all dirt) in his mouth and his buds are all crackin up while he gags and spits.

Later, much drunker and running out of energy, they put the skull on the fence and whacked away at it desultorily, trying to break it. Finally they threw it at ol One Leg Bill and headed home for something to eat.

Hey, what did you think they did? Go to the drive in?

Smut Clyde said...

Mikey evidently has a very good grasp of Icelandic culture, and the sooner they appoint him an honorary viking the better.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

If Thursday is Skull-blogging, what day is Skull-fucking?

I am asking for a friend. Or a fiend. Actually, a really small fish. He's less wholesome than he would have you think.

Smut Clyde said...

No-one ever mentions the elephant in the corner of the graveyard.

Finally they threw it at ol One Leg Bill and headed home for something to eat.
Possibly a fermented sheep head -- or if they're really lucky, Skapti still has some of that rancid shark fin buried at the end of his garden.

mikey said...

If Thursday is Skull-blogging, what day is Skull-fucking?

I think you need to ask Ackerman about that...