Quirky Culture: Where Vikings Still Rule - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Quirky Culture: Where Vikings Still Rule

Quirky Culture: Where Vikings Still Rule

Published April 20, 2017

Run for your halberd and prepare to hack your way to Valhalla: the days of Viking rule in Iceland are apparently not over. An Icelandic high court recently handed down a ruling based on a 13th century book of law known as Grágás, which aimed to dole out punishment to sheep-stealers and mead-swipers. The case? An injury incurred during a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight.

When fighter Árni Ísaksson broke fellow fighter Lárus Óskarsson’s leg, Lárus sued. A lower court found Árni and the Mjölnir sports club responsible, but a high court demurred earlier this month, according to newspaper Morgunblaðið. Only Lárus could be held responsible, the court found. After all, Grágás says, “If one participates willingly and the opponent doesn’t mean harm to him, he himself must accept responsibility for the risk he takes.”

So, next time you’re looking to sue someone in Iceland, watch out: sheepskin manuscripts preserved in an Icelandic museum could come back to haunt you. Who knew the Vikings invented bureaucracy?

Pissers Beware

The tourists are at it again! Last issue, we reported on a tourist defecating on a farmer’s lawn. This time, Morgunblaðið reports, police near Akranes caught four Spanish women squatting in the parking lot of the Laxárbakki hotel, casually taking a piss. When they made to leave, police ordered them back to their makeshift latrine and told them to pick up the toilet paper they left behind, which was now blowing about the parking lot. “Police were not happy until all the paper had been picked up,” the law enforcement squad wrote on Facebook.

For more “Quirky Culture” stories, read here.


Show Me More!