P Stride



Egill Skallagrímsson, a tenth-century Viking, was a colourful warrior poet and an early anti-hero. The thickness and strength of his skull and his very ugly facial features with a prominent mandible have suggested to some authorities that Egill suffered from Paget’s disease of bone. However, Paget’s bone, while thickened, lacks structural integrity, infrequently involves the mandible and is prone to fractures. The more recent discoveries of sclerosing bone diseases, the elucidation of their pathophysiological abnormalities in intracellular signalling in bones and current research on the sclerostin or LRP5 genes suggest Van Buchem disease as a more probable diagnosis, although the hypothesis remains conjecture in the absence of any of his remains.

Keywords Egill Skallagrímsson, Paget’s disease of bone, Van Buchem disease

Declarat ion of Interests No conflict of interests declared.