In the year 875 to 892 AD , Sigurd Eysteinsson, well known as Sigurd the Mighty, was the second Viking Jarl of Orkney now northern Scotland. This was during the times when the Viking presence in Scotland began to increase in the 830’s AD.
According to the Orkneyinga saga, towards the end of his reign, Sigurd challenged a native ruler, Máel Brigte the Bucktoothed, to a 40-man-a-side battle. In the battle, treacherously, Sigurd brought 80 men to the fight and the enemy lost. Máel Brigte was defeated and beheaded.
To celebrate his victory , Sigurd cut off his enemy’s head and hung it as a prize from his horse’s saddle. However while riding, Sigurd grazed his leg on the severed head’s teeth. The leg became inflamed and got infected that spread and as a result Sigurd died.
Bizarre the mighty ruler was killed by a dead mans head !
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