The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki is a Scandinavian legendary tale about pre-Viking Age kings and their rivals. Also known as Hrolf's Saga, it tells of King Hrolf, a warrior chieftain who ruled in Denmark about the sixth century AD. The saga draws on a long oral tradition as it describes Hrolf's often treacherous family and recounts the exploits of his famous champions.
Prominent in the saga are the Berserkers, who were said to have been members of cults connected with Odin in his capacity as god of warriors. The Ynglinga Saga describes Odin's warriors in this way:
"His men went to battle without armor and acted like mad dogs or wolves. They bit into their shields and were as strong as bears or bulls. They killed men, but neither fire nor iron harmed them. This madness is called berserker-fury."
In Hrolf's Saga, the berserkers often appear as the core of the king's war band. They reminiscent of the warriors surrounding Odin and may have been derived from ancient bear cults.
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