Berserker in Norse mythology, were mighty combatants-heroes who played a great part in Scandinavian legends. Starkadder, a giant with twelve hands, married Alfhilde, surnamed the All-beautiful. Her son, Arngrim,was the first to receive the name of Berserk (i.e. without armor), because, being of supernatural strength, he always went to battle without any armor; his fury made up for the absence of it. He killed king Swafurlam, married the daughter of the murdered king, and became the father of twelve sons, all of whom had the same fury in battle as their father. They also received the name of Barseker or Berserker. The inherited fury sometimes reached such dimensions that they would slay their own men, not recognising them through madness. The gods employed them in the most fierce and bloody contests. They were even more feared than the Trolles, Bergriesen, and Gnomen, and other dreaded spirits. They would yell and bite with their teeth like wolves, often cutting into the swords and shields of their enemies, and demolishing everything within reach of their hands. Their downfall was brought about by their own madness. One of them, Hiornart, desired to marry the daughter of the Swedish king Zegbug, and asked his brothers to help him battle for her; but the Swedish army was so strong that the fury of the Berserker gave out before one part of the army had been slain, and thus the other part of the army was victorious and slew every one of the Berserker.

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