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The Source:

"The Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus",
translated by Oliver Elton (Norroena Society, New York, 1905).

The Case:

"When Odin had retired, one Mit-othin, who was famous for his juggling tricks, was likewise quickened, as though by inspiration from on high, to seize the opportunity of feigning to be a god; and, wrapping the minds of the barbarians in fresh darkness, he led them by the renown of his jugglings to pay holy observance to his name. He said that the wrath of the gods could never be appeased nor the outrage to their deity expiated by mixed and indiscriminate sacrifices, and therefore forbade that prayers for this end should be put up without distinction, appointing to each of those above his especial drink-offering. But when Odin was returning, he cast away all help of jugglings, went to Finland to hide himself, and was there attacked and slain by the inhabitants. Even in his death his abominations were made manifest, for those who came nigh his barrow were cut off by a kind of sudden death; and after his end, he spread such pestilence that he seemed almost to leave a filthier record in his death than in his life: it was as though he would extort from the guilty a punishment for his slaughter. The inhabitants, being in this trouble, took the body out of the mound, beheaded it, and impaled it through the breast with a sharp stake; and herein that people found relief."

The Date:

The events, if they are events, for obvious reasons must have taken place in or - more probable - before the 12th Century.

The Place:

The things above are said to have taken place in Finland or so it seems. Which is good news because now - thanks to old Saxo Grammaticus - we can save Finland from the disgrace of being a non-vampire country. I know there must be further material about anti-vampire measures in Finland, but hell if I know where I have put it.

Possible Follow-Up:

Check Saxo's version of the story, preferably the original Latin one. And try to find out where he found this story. In which case you may have a better chance using a good annoted translation, supposing that you can find one.

2009 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed 19 November 2009

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