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l I I . .A HANDBOOK OF NORSE MYTHOLOGY BY KARL MORTENSEN DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN ADJUNCT AT THE CATHEDRAL SCHOOL (ROYAL GYMNASIUM) AT ODENSB . CROWELL COMPANY PUBLISHERS . CLINTON CROWELL ' . ' - * r ' . . NEW YORK THOMAS Y. * - . ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN BROWN UNIVERSITY 1 . TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH BY A.
1913. CROWELL COMPANY. 1913. BY THOMAS Y. . Published March.THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY COPYRIGHT.
I have without hesitation. where so many relatives and fellow-countrymen have found a home and a iii . where I have so many friends. Since Professor Crowell has thought that the little book might also achieve a modest success in the youngest but richest and.AUTHOR'S PREFACE THIS popular presentation of the myths and sagas which took shape here in the North but whose foundation is common property of all the people who speak a Gothic-Germanic language. hav -. first appeared in 1898 and has been used since then in the study of Xorse Mythology all in the high schools and universities of the Scandina- vian countries.uot. accopte^ his friendly proposal to transjate.ig my work put into the world's most comprehensive lanr guage and placed before students in the United States.mosi powerful branch which has grown iron.jc into English. I find great satisfaction m. cur ccmin-on >.
. It is my earnest hope that the will be able to reap American student into whose hands the book may fall from it ifce advantage which the translator has had in mind and to feel awakened in him some of the love for our oldest. KAKL MOKTENSEN. December. Crowell Company of New York for their for patient work and for willingness to publish the book. 1912. since on account of the nature of the subject and the half-poetic form. ODENSE. which has inspired the anther in his task. it has called uncommon insight. DENMARK. I would likewise thank the Thomas Y. I sincerely thank Professor Crowell for his intelligent rendering of my Danish text. which tion and respect for the mighty forces which are seeking to control material things and to break new ground in the infinite realms of the intellect. common memorials.iv AUTHOR'S PREFACE and toward country we Northerners look with the deepest admirafuture.
Adrian Scott. H. all with friendly and cordial interest. With his consent I have translated the illustrative stro- phes from the Icelandic. Her- work was v . and the English of some unpublished selections by my friend. I saw Olive Bray's more recent translation and was slightly influenced by it. IIoHflliilHotlH'k. Gering's Ed da. sometime member of the the Brown University facultv.TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE The idea of translating Dr. the late Dr. Vollstdndiges Worterbuch der in the Germanistische German translation of Gering. according to the text of B. Dr. the the Sijmons having for consultation H. who has read the translation of all the prose and fessor E. I am chiefly indebted to the author. Mortensen's Nortlixk Mi/thologi suggested itself when my attention was called to the book by Proof Leipzig. Mogk commented upon unusual points. Danish of Gjessing. V +/ When practically complete.
Crowell. H. 1918. R. January.. . I.vi TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE mannsson of Cornell University has read my strophes. making corrections and suggestions. PROVIDENCE.A. Heusler of Berlin for many helpful hints. A. Carrie E. and I thank Professor A..M. especially in the matter of spelling. Schofield's translation The Home of the Eddie Poems has been most valuable for referof Sophus Bugge's ence. I thank him for his interest and encouragement. . W. I have also been assisted in many ways by my Professor wife.
COMMON POPULAR BELIEF .. THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE . CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS OF THE GODS Thor 95 95 115 129 134 Odin Frey and Njorth Heimdall and Baldur Loki vii 146 . 75 II... 36 II. . How THE WORLD WAS CREATED ... RAGNAROK SECOND SECTION I.CONTEXTS PAGE GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1 FIRST SECTION CHAPTER I.. . 48 69 III.
153 FOURTH SECTION HERO SAGAS The Volsungs The Helgi Sagas Volund the Smith 164 166 175 183 188 192 The Hjathningar Beowulf CONCLUSION INDEX 196 .viii CONTENTS THIRD SECTION PAGE FORMS OF WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFE . 203 .
their faith and manner of worshiping the gods. since it shows us what stage the l . and also their legends and songs about the gods and heroes. but the lower the plane of civilization on which the people are found. There has never been found on earth a tribe of people which did not have some kind of religion. and can even be traced in our own day.GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1. One can. there- fore. By "Norse mythology" we mean the information we have concerning the religious conceptions and usages of our heathen forefathers. the ruder and less pleasing are their religious ideas. Religions conse- quently change and develop according as civilization goes forward. learn much by knowing the mythology of a race. The importation of Christianity drove out the old heathen faith. but remnants or memories of it long endured in the superstitious ideas of the common people.
In this we begin to find the first germ lessness .NORSE MYTHOLOGY people in question have attained in lectual development. Demons. thereas men or fore. belief in the continued life of the soul. the rippling of the water. At the same time man feels his help- is and powerlessness in the presence of Nature and its mysterious forces. he is prompted. Such beings are often designated by the Greek word Demons. But races in the childhood period of their development cannot hold fast to a belief in life apart from bodies. Religious ideas proceed partly from soul belief. Sun-worship and Nature-worship. by offerings and supplications to gain friendly relations with these powers which he with his own strength cannot overcome. and partly from the belief that nature something living. are thought of in bodily form beasts. These nature-demons make themselves plainly known through the roaring of the storm. and what they regard as good or evil. We can easily perceive that a belief in counseling ilization and controlling gods presupposes a far higher civthan savage people in their earlier history possess. then. peopled by mysterious bewhich control regular and irregular changes in nature upon which man feels himself dependent. or the wind's gentle play with ings the tree-tops. intel- what they regard as highest and most important in life and death.
is Greek mid Norse Mythology. since capable of subseever increasing domain is -given to the single demon. and when it lays the serious aside in its jesting. with offering and worship.GENERAL INTRODUCTION of divine worship which quent development. on the contrary. is. of talent for the it often befelt comes rude the lack Norsemen sculptor's and . a striking distinction also be- tween Greek and Norse mythology. and their religious belief. who are thought of as beautiful and perfect human forms. The Greek is bright and pleasant. Norse mythology as we know it from the latest periods of the heathen age is.--With the more developed heathen people there is always an exact correspondence between the nature of the country. therefore. producers of statues and songs. more dark and serious. but also as inspired Greek artists and poets. the equal of which the world has scarcely tolled not seen. the character of the There people. the gods are thought of as great and beautiful human forms who are ex- merely as gods. With the advance of civil i/al ion there is developed in the place of the belief in demons a belief in mighty g<>ds. like the country itself.
has called forth poetry which in its way is by no means inferior to the Greek. faith. can rightly be preferred to the Greeks' faith in a miserable shadowlife in a realm of death (Hades). Finally. This is necessary if we wish understand aright the history and poetry of our antiquity and to comprehend what good characteristics and what faults Christo tianity encountered when it was proclaimed in the North. concerning which we shall speak later. bellished in various ways. Their religious on the other hand. For us Norse mythology has in any case the advantage of being the religion of our own forefathers. Whi/ We Teach Norse Mythology. it is necessary to know the most important points of the heathen faith of our fathers in order to appreciate and enjoy many of the words of our best poets. although they were really clever in carving wood their idols were as a rule merely clumsy wooden images em. and our forefathers' view of death and particularly their teaching about Eagnarok. and through it we learn to know that religion. This is especially true .NORSE MYTHOLOGY painter's art.
several thousand years before the Christian era. To point to the antiquity of the to our fathers' faith. seek information about the . Learned investigations have in every case proved as most probable and reasonable that people of the bronze age. who not only have embodied large pails of the Norse mythology in independent poetic works (as -The Gods of the North. so that our heathen era stretches over a space of at least two thousand years." "Scene from the Conflict of the Noras and Aesir") but also often borrow from it in their other works terms and figures which we ought to be able to understand. inhabited Scandinavia. therefore. AVe must. and achievements was one of the poet's princi- North and pal means of awakening the slumbering na- tional feeling at the beginning of our century. in the stone age. both before and after the year 1000 B." "Earl Hakon.GENERAL INTRODUCTION concerning Oelenschlaeger and (Jnintvig. life. belonged to the same race as the Northmen of the iron age. Oldest Inhabitants of the North. It is possible that it was our ancestors who. 2..C.
" in which bodies were laid unburned and supplied with the necessary implements. which shows a belief in a continued life after death. sepulchral chambers (Figs. 1.NORSE MYTHOLOGY oldest religious ideas of the North in prehistoric archaeology. is especially burial rites and the in graves of objects supposed to be placing it Here offerings which have mythological significance. In the remains of the earliest stone age. 1-3). Burned places and remnants of pyres in the graves seem to indicate . the refuse heaps. no burial places have been discovered. but from the latest stone age have been found a great number of graves. and stone "chests. Round Barrows. round and long barrows. a. the science which in- vestigates and throws light upon every species of relic preserved from antiquity. FIG.
and hewn in the stones are often found certain saucer-like depressions. Later. many times use was made of old mounds from the stone age. 2. which ends some hundred years before the birth of Christ.GEXERAL INTRODUCTION offerings to or I'm. b. . however. tombs from the bronze age (Figs. Bodies were not burned. which most likely have religious significance (Fig. 4). FIG. therefore. The reason for this change in the mode of burial seems to . the burning of bodies became more and more common ashes were preserved in stone vessels or most often in clay urns within the mounds.ind crosses. Long Barrows. The greatest number of our barrows contain. 5-7). wheels . In the liron/e a<_re.dead. but were placed in raised mounds in a tightly closed stone setting or in chests of hollowed trunks of oaks.tin. men long preserved burial rites from the stone age.
handsomely wrought objects for use or ornament. 8-9). are found used as sacred tokens ("religious symbols") among all Indo-European peoples. gives .C. From about the time of Christ's birth there begins a strong Roman influence. later they burned the body to set free the soul. In very ancient times. For decoration are used now also hooked crosses be the rise of At FIG. people believed in a continued life oi the body. and trefoils (Figs. among other things. the Northmen had enjoyed commercial relations with Asia and Greece. c. The iron age begins probably sometime in the fourth century B.8 NORSE MYTHOLOGY first new ideas about life after death. or Cairn. These emblems. Sepulchral Chambers. whose significance is not known. which. even. Likewise in the stone age men deposited in the graves sacrificial gifts. 3.
the Danes.orPrimitive Norse. urns with slain animals. the cremation-age was succeeded by the mound-age. Urn. golden horns). The iron age stretch 's even into historic limes. Discovery has been made of large and splendid offerings (e. This common landisk. Several other things from the middle-iron-age will be touched upon in what follows. Viking time iron the age Viking times. guage was preserved. In Viking times this called den danske Tunge. At the beginning of the Christian era. to be sure. In the course of people again stopped burning bodies. the Runes. "the Danish Tongue.g. until far on toward (c. Common Norse Language. 3. 10).GENERAL INTRODUCTION the Gothic-Germanic people a peculiar alphabetic writing. undoubted images of gods were . Bodies were once more regularly provided with objects for use weapons and vessels for food and drink. was 1 about the year 1000. perhaps even altars upon which rude l images of the gods seem to have been raised (Fig. the last division is the 800-1000). and Swedes constituted but one speaking the same language. tribe. indicating belief in gods. but we do not see anything really definite. since." and from it the separate Norse to In a single instance found in certain marsh-lands. with a succession of natural transitions and changes. as Snorri says. Norwegians.
. even in the worship of the gods there has been but little difference in the different provinces. It is also probable that the the same heathen religion in all the FIG. 4. Wheels and Crosses.10 NORSE MYTHOLOGY Northmen had main languages have gradually been developed. Stone with Saucer-like Depressions. points.
origin with most of the the Greeks). and Englishmen also were once one great in ninny race. This primitive people as a matter of course had certain religious ideas. for it can he established ways that Northmen.. and it is probable . Oak Collins from the Bronze Age. which is usually called this the Gothic- Gennanic. 5. lias again a common European peoples (e. and Gothic-Germanic race VI FIG. Germans. Indo-Europcmis--\\\> must then picture to ourselves a "primitive people" whose original place of abode we cannot determine.GEM-:I.\ rnonrcriox 11 Gothic-Germanic /u/rr. and witli the inhabitants of Persia and India.\L i.--AYe may even go a step farther hack.g. but from which these related peoples have through long periods been developed.
The Heaven-God was among the Indians Dydus. The general name for the gods was. Greek. been able to establish many such points.12 NORSE MYTHOLOGY we may be able to find traces of the that original divine faith in the Indian. Aesir. FIG. Grave Mound with Urns. 6. by the . sponding forms are found in most of the lated called re- languages. and this is actually The linguists who are occupied with comparisons between the languages of the different Indo-European races have the case. CorreAesir. but here we must be content with bringing forward a few examples. and Norse mythology. among the Northmen. which is developed from the older Anser.
Tir-dag.m>\\ri. they uave to theii' i:nd of heaven many epithets.u climate.' ! 'lit all these a names 1111- doubtedly spring 1'onn. "the thundering one"). liy the original name. In the oldest Xorse language this word must have J heen T W i i\ i. as the hiin the course different regions with greatly diffeiin.iLi<'- <!" tin- iMii'jini^r.1 n piter. . him now llianai. Odin. : Xow to the old heaven-god's they enumerated as many gods N in 1! ." and which consequently from <'oininon hasal may have or tlie designated the --od ot' the heaven sun. no\v 1 \\'o- ("the lilowin*.GENERAL INTRODUCTION (ireeks Zeus.i The (lermanie people helieved they called '/'///. while ihere is ( god round whom in the Xnrse religion the name Tiff reser\'ed ill Man.tn \<>ir"<l older st. one. settled 1 dO-Europeans scattered and of time in (Jradually. and it was not long hefore they forgot that these names were or Thonarai." only appendages name. Kng. . T//r. Tuesday). liy tin- i:>. which signifies "the lirinht one" or the shining one. according t<> the nature of the country in which they had The Gothic-Germanic jM-ople called -ettled. Unmans in . Tlir. .
and Thor. and thus arose. one can easily imagine that something similar can be the case with many other sonal being. belief in the three divinities. In the North we have . Row of Grave Mounds. Odin.) Gonse- FIG. quently new divinities and new religious ideas seem to have arisen among our forefathers according to the rule that the god's epithet or title is separated -from his name and then designates cui independent perapplicable to a god. Since this is points in mythology. Tyr. 7. . among other things. (The Germans said Wodan and little Donar.14 NORSE MYTHOLOGY as there were names. or nothing of the worship of Tyr Frey takes the place of this god.
Greeks. inked 'ross. The FIG.-i (myths) corre- pond. Quatrefoil ( or I'M. 1. --Resides this know lar hut points in with certainty ahont particuthe mythology of the old*-1 Gothic-Germanic people. mid little Tacitus. !l.GENERAL I \ TRODUCTIOX 15 Common . and our forefathers alike is armed with a surestriking missile in his ea]>aeity of the thuiider--od. Myths ahont lioth world-tree arc fouml Indians and Xorthmcn. \\\\\ a direct comparison also hetwcen the heathen faiths of the [ndo-European people shows gle points B S iii that many sin- their religions .!//////>. a hamw<- mer. whether this he represented plainly as a thunderbolt (lightning-flash). highest uod amonir the Indians.. or a ('+<n- chili. 1 8. and so it is also with i<-ard to the religion of the Northern j)eo}tle in the first centuries of the < 'hristiaii . 'I'lVtnil.
taken as a whole. what we can We have already spoken of learn from FIG. About Roman the Teutons. 10. behind them. Altar from the Iron Age. for they no written records ancient finds.16 NORSE MYTHOLOGY have left era. the historians Caesar and Tacitus give .
" The Runes . A Gold Horn.GENERAL INTRODUCTION 17 not a few important points of information. 11. 4. especially the latter in his historical hooks and in his brief account of Germany. Runes. But about the third century the after Christ Gothic-Germanic people FIG. the so-called "Runes. learned to use an alphabet remodeled from the Latin.
12.FIG. Pictures on Gold Horns. 18 .
- FIG. 13.--.-" -. 19 . > '.9TKln. Pictures on Gold Horns.
was of the opinion that one horn represented life in hell (the serpents). Worsaae. on which there were engraved figures and ornaments. 11-13).000 kroner At the very beginning of our ($4. which easily have a religious significance.20 NORSE MYTHOLOGY soon reached also the Northern races. Many attempts have been made to interpret these pictorial representations. and drinking or sacrificial horns. where they were scratched upon objects in com- mon as combs. and between these again there were raised figures firmly soldered (Figs. century they were stolen on account of their great value and melted over. clasps. These were found in 1639 and 1734 and had a value in our money of about 17. the other life in Val- . lehus in southern Jutland. our renowned archaeologist. which may have been a sacrificial gift.760). weapons. so we now must content ourselves with drawings and casts of these splendid monuments of an- tiquity. They consisted of two smooth golden horns of very fine gold with an outer casing of tight-fitting rings likewise of gold. Here belong the aforementioned golden horns from Galuse.
that is: I. which however is wholly uncertain. made to use Rune-Stones. holtingai. Norway. liorna tawido. . which contains the longest Danish runic inscription. Tlior on Ftuue-stones. the oldest therefore even from the heathen time. Holt's son the hovn.L l' one from Skaune need not be mentioned here. as memorials for the departed. Such rune-stones are found in Denmark.GENERAL INTRODUCTION lialla 21 (the stars). On the Glaven- drup stone from about 900. Rune-stones give the earliest and surest contribution to our knowledge of Aesir-faith 1 in the Nortli. but with us Danes only from epochs between 800 and 1070. Somewhat later men began runes for inscriptions on bowlders. (or. we 1 Some younger stones from Bornholm and a r sin. Along the uppermost ring of one horn one may read Norse language : in the primitive ek hlewagnsiii. from Holt). and Sweden from different ages. which were placed in or oftenest upon grave mounds or elsewhere. Lu'g:rst.
22 NORSE MYTHOLOGY memorial words themselves. or hammers (Fig. which is an evidence of the fact that Thor at this trefoils. quatrefoils this time ivas the chief god of the Danes. Odinsve) and Viborg. Thor stones is the Chief God. On the Glavendrup stone. which name we have preserved in Odense (i. for the margin of the stone is engraved: on May Thor the gods consecrate this monument! Such a place consecrated or dedicated to is called a Ve or Vi.e. which is raised over the Chieftain Alle. after the the following: May Thor On consecrate these runes! another Danish rune-stone the invoca- tion comprises the whole memorial." and on a south Jutland rune-stone Chieftain Odinkar's daughter calls herself Vi-Asfrid. Only on these two the name of the god of thunder expressly given. but on others we find en- graved ("hooked crosses"). and same thing we can establish in many . 14). read. the latter is called "Vierne's honorable serv- ant.
14.' i U* FIG. 23 .ill II fitfflL* I > A . Laeborg Stone with Sign of Hammer.
But from about the year 900 and later we . Torsdag. Odin. when Finally. This is shown by the many compound person and place names in which Thor's name that is the first member (e. Ger. was not understood as the mighty supreme god people. and it was among the Germanic people the common dwelling southward an important that played period. Donnerstag). which in Latin is called Jupiter's day (dies Jovis). Thorsteinn. 5. Thorbergr). Odin and Frey. There are.24 NORSE MYTHOLOGY other ways.g. therefore. among He is so represented only in Norwegian-Icelandic poetry. part Odin-worship at an early Iceland. Dan. but few details known to us of our forefathers' re- ligion at the beginning of Viking times. Tliors- dagr. and some evidences of this fact are found upon rune-stones. they translated Jupiter by Thor (Icel. in the fifth day. Together with Thor. it can be emphasized the Gothic-Germanic people translated the Latin names for the days of the week. and for the rest of the North also. however. Odin and Frey were especially worshiped.
Mythological /V>r//-^/. therefore. which com- . This poetry (reserved faithfully by oral transmis] from generation to generation. In the Norwegian-Old learned- Icelandic poetry the Norse religion is worked together into a whole. that of the rest of the Scandinavian country. We can. through Christianity Latin stamp. cal activity was soon evinced themselves. whose intellectual productions took a on foreign.GEXKHAL INTRODUCTION liavo full 25 and rirh information about the religious ideas of the Northern people in the Norwegian-Icelandic literature. and such is also the case. expect to find among the Icelanders fuller information about the old faith than elsewhere. Poetision. itself among the Icelanders and gradually a which great and became far more important and more truly presented original and national ideas than rich literature developed.--When different Norwegian nobility at the close of the century began to settle in Iceland. they carried with them from the !>th families of the mother country not only their old religion but also a store of songs and traditions about the gods and heroes.
before whom the others. even if there are points of conformity in essentials. after which there shall come a new heaven and a new earth where men are judged after their uprightness and good conduct. Odin Chief God. that Odin in this poetry is conceived of as the chief god. must bow. viewed as a whole. as touched upon before. and not for their bravery alone.26 NORSE MYTHOLOGY prises the creation of the world. that various details in the teachings about the gods are told otherwise . An essential point which we ought to note here is. It appears among other things from the myths of the gods which Saxo has presented to us in the first books of his Latin history of Denmark. and finally the downfall of the gods and of the world at Ragnarok. wish to make a coherent presentation of the religion as we find it in Norwegian-Icelandic literature. If we must in the first place remember well that Denmark and Sweden hardly had the same faith. both gods and goddesses. the relation of gods to men in life and death. we now. in what follows.
but generally are only a poetically interpreted and modified portrayal. have been strongly influenced by Christianity. even by Jewish and Graeco-Roman ideas. it is Norwegian-Icelandic nuisuch as developed hi Vikiuy tunes tliology Tlicrcfon- . it that a great cannot be strongly enough em- most of the myths and herowhich are retold in what follows must sagas not be understood as direct testimony concerning our fathers' belief. Jut in the next place the contention is made. many and important objections are raised. through contact with the Celts and others in the Viking expeditions. yes. and we have traditions to which nothing in I Iceland corresponds and vice versa. especially liy the Norwegian philologist Bugge. but no one can deny that Christianity can and must have had in any case some influence upon the later development of Xorse mythology. Against this view. the material for which is most phasized that certainly derived from the belief of the people.GENERAL INTRODUCTION hero that 27 (in Denmark) than in Iceland. Finally. however. many things in mythological poetry.
and it is all ice know connectWe must see first. but only a few of them have . from what edly. The Scaldic Lays come from authors whose names are mentioned. in the time of transition and of conflict between paganism and oldest Christianity.28 NORSE MYTHOLOGY and soon afterwards (800-1100) icliich we know best. The and most important sources are the old Norwegian-Icelandic poems. sources 6. then. The most important of the Eddie poems will be mentioned in the following pages. The Eddie Poems preserved in an Icelandic manuscript and wrongly called the Elder Edda were composed in the aforementioned period. They are of unknown authorship and treat partly doctrines of the gods and the heathen view of life in connected form. we derive this knowledge. The oldest and best are from the same period as the Eddie Poems. Eddie Poems and Scaldic Lays. and partly the different sagas of gods and heroes which in the North are usually given a mythological background. It is customary to distinguish between the so-called Eddie Poems and the Scaldic Lays.
When the gallows can be called by a poet "the cool. well the legend of Hagbarth and gal- Signy and Hagbarth's death on the From Iceland came likewise two important primary sources of Norse mythology in prose. On the other hand of the shields. Snorri (d. they all contain in their poetic paraphrases. Snorri Sturlason was Iceland's most important prose author In his historical and withal a clever Scald.GENERAL INTRODUCTION a thoroughly invtlmln^ical eontenl the "shield poems. 7. 1241). "Heimskringla." he used especially for matters concerning the earliest . namely Snorri's Edda and the Saga of the Volsungs. allusions to myor legendary history which presupthology poses that the myth or saga in question is known to the hearer. Hnhiyar." the hearer must in order to understand the expression know low-." treating the * 29 rhiellv . masterpiece. inyllis which arc pictorially represented fields on the and the "Song of Praise" to the chieftain whose lineage is traced up to the gods. windy h'< the so-called steed of Signy's bridegroom.
' relates the story of a king Gylfi. Gylfaginning. He disguised hima wayfarer and came to a great hall in which were many people and three chiefthe self as tains. particularly following old poems which he frequently cites in evidence. 'De- lusion of Gylfi. These he questioned about ail the mythological relations. old Scaldic lays as proofs for his description. This word is most closely deas Scalds." fined divisions. and he received clear answers to all his inquiries. who journeyed forth to learn about power of the Aesir. Within this framework Snorri takes occa- sion to present a general view of the whole doctrine of the gods. He mentions several of the Eddie . "Poetics" or "Handbook for The book falls into three main The first. who sat each in his high seat. one higher than the other. and therefore he composed Edda.30 NORSE MYTHOLOGY time. and therefore he acquired accu- and intimate knowledge of their conand as a Scald he of necessity completely understood the substance and nature rate tent: of the poetical paraphrases. He then conceived the plan of committing his knowlhis edge to writing.
is the least important for the mya practical application of the foregoing theory. making use of the paraphrases which he has explained in what preceded. since Odin is made into myths a 1 coherence prince versed in magic. The second section. the myths or traditions in question are recounted and a number of scaldic verses are cited as passages in evidence. . dwelling origi"Enumeration or Tale Poetic Phraseology or Language of Poetry. Skaldskaparmal* reviews and explains the different poetic Where these allude to the paraphrases. The third section. of Meters.GENERAL INTRODUCTION 31 poems still preserved. but also some which we do not know now from any other source. In the introduction to the whole and in the arrangement of the material one easily feels that Snorri has sought to bring about in the old traditions perhaps under influence of his Chrisinvoluntarily tian faith and tries to coin history out of and sagas. doctrine of the gods or to traditional history. Hattatal? which is thology. since Snorri has composed a number of verses in different meters. finally.
the kings of the realm and was worshiped as a god. an amplified renarration of the Eddie Hero-Poems. as in Gylfa ginning. which la. There are also found mythical-heroic sagas in the style of the 1 "The Round World. for his au- thority poems now also But in the other pieces of Icelandic prose literature there are given here and there important details about the heathen worship of the gods and its forms. it is apparent that the unknown author had lost." History of the Scandinavian Races. The Saga of the Volsungs contains a con- nected prose version of the Sagas of the Volsungs and Nibelung. . but who later wandered to the where he became the ancestor of North.32 NORSE MYTHOLOGY nally in Asia. but here. Snorri advances the same view also in the first part of the Heimskringthe so-called Ynglinga Saga. contains important but obscure mythological information. This applies both to the Heimskringla (the attempt of the two Olafs to introduce Christianity into Norway) and to not a few of the family-sagas.
where tliev are treated both in Kddic poetry and in folk-songs. about him have also wandered to the North. Folk-Songs.CEXERAL INTRODUCTION mythological material. an important but late source is found in the ancient ballads proper. which have ." "The Youth Svejdal. popular traditions and especially Here we can also mention and popular adventures popular usages. which partly contain allusions to plicitly myths ("Tor of Havsgaard. which w as composed in Norway in the middle of the 13th century on the basis of tales and songs of Low German merchants. and partly treat whole saga-cycles ("The Volsungs. Finally. In several of the magic songs also there are preserved many heathen ideas. 8." "Hagbarth and Signe")." "Sven Vonved. 33 Yolsunga Saga and romantic sagas with Popular Songs and Saxo. while their apparent Christian character is some- what superficial." "Aage and Else"). In the Gersaga-poetry Dietrich von Bern (Theotalcs man and doric of Verona) plays the leading part. Meanwhile tt the same theme in the is treated far more exT Thithrek Saga.
made a Latin account of the history of the Archbishop of Hamburg. the first nine books of his works. The ancient history has extraordinary mythological importance. but as a source it must be used with the greatest caution. Of foreign sources which can throw light upon the . which was finished in the beginning of the 13th century. The old gods are interpreted as might be expected from a religious author. he has made use of both Danish and Icelandic 'tradition for its foundation. but unfortunately in a remodeled Latin version. in which he also tells of the paganism of the Northern countries. who lived contemporaneously with Svend Estridson. In his work. Saxo in his ancient history. Saxo gives the historical interpretation to the whole that he does to any part and therefore he has same altered and rearranged myths and sagas to when coherence seemed demand it. As already remarked above.34 NORSE MYTHOLOGY preserved one or another heathen often reminiscence. Old songs are often quoted. retells and works in together a number of sagas about the gods. and kings. heroes. NOTE. Canon Adam of Bremen.
' written by -Jordanes. of which several will be used in what follows. now Christian with a background of heathen ideas and expressions.GENERAL INTRODUCTION interrelation of myths amon^ the Gothic-Germanic people can be named the "History of the Goths. lially. and the "History Fio!' the Lombards.' by Paiiliis Diaeonns. In England are found not a few pictorial representations with half-heathen content. . which is now purely heathen. there are found important contributions n this point in Old (Jerman and Anglo-Saxon poetry.
and therefore impassglowing able for any one who had not his home there. earth existed. streams. defender of the country. At Muspell's boundary sat Surt as called Muspell. In the well Hvergelmir. cold their from which ten Elivagar. with a flaming sword in his hand. Niflthe midst of it lay 1. and burning. had Niflheim lay toward the but southward there was a place north. it was he who at the destruction of the world was to lead in the battle against the gods and set the earth on fire. ice- venomous origin. where it was light and hot.FIKST SECTION MYTHOLOGY IN CONNECTED FORM ACCORDING TO NORWEGIAN-ICELANDIC SOURCES I. HOW THE WORLD WAS CHEATED The Fog-Country and the Fire-World. Long years before the heim was created. Midway between 36 the fog-country and .
--T\\e congealed venomous streams continued to send out frost. Bar's Sons.\TKD 37 gulf. lite Coic Autltumhi. The Primitive Giant Ymir.1K>}\' Till: WORLD WAS there <TJ-:. Once when he was asleep he fell into a perspiration and from under his left arm came forth a man and a woman but it was even more wonderful that one of his feet begot a son with the other. From of this contact the primitive giant Yinir. This sou again had a son by if . '2. and from this the cow Antltiniild stood forth. which was met hv tlie warm air from Mus* I'i'll. came into being and lie became the as ancestor the race of giants. of the The waves venomous streams soon froze to ice and the ])oisonous vapor condensed to frost. On licking the salt. name Beryi-lmir. From her udders there came four streams of milk. while the cow herself lived < by red stones. both heaven and earth also were afterward constructed from his bodv. the fire-world was a yawning Ginnungagap. frost-covthe first dav she licked them a there came forth toward evening man's . from which Ymir got his nourishment.
Later he had a son hair. The whole story of the creation is told explicitly in Snorri's "Edda. So much blood flowed from his wound that all his progeny 3. neither heaven above. and the day the whole man stood there. ' Twns there Heaven and Earth. 3 when Ymir lived. tall. the beginning of time was no sand nor sea nor billows cool." but is mentioned also in the beginning of the old poem. the Volva's Prophecy: VSP. the next third by name Bor. and later became the ancestors of a new race of giants. He was named Burl. who saved themselves from the streams of blood in a boat or tree-trunk. Their sons were and Ve. who married the giant Bolthorn's daughter Bestla.38 NORSE MYTHOLOGY day a man's head. and was fair. with the exception of Bergelmir and his wife. Odin. Voluspa. Vili. took was drowned his son's son in it. earth was found nowhere a gulf was Ginnunga but grass was nowhere. and mighty to look upon. But it Bor's sons took the giant's body. brought . Bor's sons now Ymir and killed him.
under each of these dwarf who bore the same name as the corner of the earth. the sons of Bor placed everywhere in the sky over the yawning gulf. In one of the Kddir poems we get more tin- exact information as to pass: GRIMN. how H> this came to From Ymir's and flesh the earth was shaped trees from his blood the sea. The sparks that went out from Muspell. their places moon. so that thev should illuminate the world. the mountains from his bones from his hair. and stars which had and courses appointed for men's computation of time. i Now it was the sun. were the forbidding and from his brain clouds all shaped.Iln\v out into Til!' }\'<>i. and from his skull the sky. The earth was spher- . mid formed heaven and earth from it./J) WAS CREATED 39 midst of the yawning gulf. while the lightning went freely around. The heaven was made fast over the earth sat a liy four corners. 41 the kindly gods made And from his eye-lashes Mithgarth for the sons of men.
In a Danish ballad our dead Lord begs leave to return to Middelhjem. and who had a daughter by the name of Nat. applied to the world of men. appear among the Goths. Nat was married to Delling. and with him she had a son. and out around it flowed the great sea. Following . She was dark and swarthy. Odin brothers constructed and his Mithgarth. like all her family. Anglo-Saxons. from whose bit foam flies down over the earth this is what we call dew. REMARK. men were to have . along whose coast the giants obtained land for settlement Joturiheim. Dag. of Bor's race. . over which they were to drive every twenty-four hours. 'Giants' Home. giant's eyetheir dwell- hedged about with the primitive lashes there. who was light and handsome like his father. Day and Night.' But midway between.40 ical in NORSE MYTHOLOGY form. and Germans. Odin now took mother and son and set them up in heaven. ing-place. 4. Terms like Mithgarth. Nat drives first with the steed Hrimfaxi. In Jotunheim there dwelt meanwhile a man who was named Nor.
Mani guides controls its the in- course of the its moon and waning. A man. and is to redden the seat of the gods with blood when he swallows the moon. 'perfectly wise'. bv name Munhad two children. east of Mithgartli. The sun steeds were called Arvak and Alsvitli. dilfari. who were so failthat he called the son Mani and the daughter Sol. dwells in the forest Janii'ith. under their bellies were two pairs 5. whose mane throws radiance over air and laud. of bellows to cool them. Sun and Moon. The places and courses of the heavenly . ge! nn. The moon-wolf is also called flesh Mana- He is satisfied with of dead men. But the gods were offended at his arrogance and placed both the children up in heaven. where they have to drive the cars of the moon and sun.ri. crease and The reason that Sol and Mani pass so hurriedly over is that they are pursued by Their mother is a giantess. who wolves.HOW THE WOULD WAS CREATED after comes 41 Dag with his steed Skinfa. but this will not happen before the destruction of the world.
Over this ride the gods to their place of assembly in heaven with the exception of Thor. but this not happen until Ragnarok. Hraesvelg.' is Wind and Rainbow. who guards the bridge against the mountain shall giants. If he should drive over with his wagon. who takes a shorter route by fording the streams beneath it. 'the mild. 'bodya giant in eagle's form. only two are named. but 6.42 NORSE MYTHOLOGY bodies determine chronology and the divisions of the year. Between heaven and earth goes the tridestroyer. Of seasons. colored bridge the rainbow which is called Bif-rost or Asebro. who sits toward the north at the end of heaven and with the blustering strokes of his wings sends out gales over land and people without the wind itself ever being seen. Dwarfs and Elves. Summer is a son of Svasuth. At the end of the bridge up in the mountains of heaven dwells Heimdall. 7. In addition to . when Surt rides over it at the head of Muspell's sons.' The father of Winter is called Vindsval. Asebro would break and take fire.
ugly creatures. they were created from the blood and bones of two giants whom the gods had slain.. Odin's 8. This ash is the all trees: the branches themselves over the whole worl. They were toward gods and men.l spread and rise high up over heaven. Nothing distinct is told slaughtered of the creation of the Elves. In the midst of the world stood a great tree. largest and best of . Some of them dwelt in stones. came gallows). The World-Tree and the Noras. thciv were also created other living beings.e. According to the Eddie Poems. and kindly disposed so were called light elves. others in the earth. Dwarfs were small. the ash Ygg-drasil (Odin's horse. but in Snorri dark elves are also mentioned.\TI-:D 43 giants and gods.HOW THE \\ouij) U'. who soon existence like to be regarded as evil spirits. while Snorri relates that they had come into maggots in the flesh of the Ymir. at the foot of which the gods had their place of assembly. but possessed great sagacity and skill. i.IN CRI-. The tree has three main roots. among them dwarfs and elves.
and the third over Niflheim. in which all wisdom and understanding are concealed. Under the root among the frost- giants lies Mimir's well. Here drink it owned by from the giant Mimir. the second among the among frost- giants. under the second the frost- giants. under the third the race of men. every day a splendid hall. It is every morning with the Odin had to pledge one of Gjallarhorn. By in . Under the worldtree's third root there is a very sacred spring. the well Hvergelmir found. 3 in three directions Three roots stretch out under the ash of Ygg-drasil: Hel lives under one. who dips his is the gods' assembly place. which is called Urth's Well. his eyes to him for a single draught from the well of wisdom.44 NORSE MYTHOLOGY In an Eddie Poem it is said of these: GKIMN. upon which the dragon Nithhogg gnaws. the Snorri relates that one root stands Aesir. the well there is liberate where they deand hold their court. Unis der the last root.
the world. Again. that it may thrive and continue fresh. and in squirrel. now of the race of gods and now of the race of elves. The water in the well is so pure that everything which is moistened in it becomes completely white. and carries hateful words between the eagle and Nithhogg. In the well two swans are nurtured. and from them the swans of the earth proceed. Of the ash-tree there is still to be told branches lives a very clever between whose eyes sits a hawk. Verthnndi. but at times many more are mentioned. 9. many serpents that Men are Created. The Norns sprinkle the world-tree every day with water from Urtli's well. It chanced one time that the sons of Bor were walking along .HOW THE WORLD \VAtf CREATED 45 which the Norns or Fates have tlieir dwellThese deliberate about destinies in ing. Hvergelinir there are so no one can count them. four deer run between the branches and eat the leaves of the tree. Ratatosk. Up and down among the branches darts a that in its eagle. and Xknld. In the later Icelandic sources three are named: Urtli.
and from them descend all the inhabitants of Mithgarth. Hcenir and Lothur. Odin had a son. . a man and a woman. With Jorth. They pulled them up by the roots and fashioned two human beings from them. speech. and from them descend the gods or the race of Aesir. ation of man is narrated. and therefore the whole human race. which they called Asgartli. The first of the sons gave them soul and life the second. Odin married Frigg. the third. The man they called A s k and the woman Embla. hearing. where they found two trees. Thor. After visage. and sight. that they gave them clothing and names. The belief in sacred trees at whose root springj rise and where wise women have their dwelling is very ancient and is often mentioned among the Gothic-Germanic people.46 NORSE MYTHOLOGY beach. In some verses inserted in the Volva's Prophecy. the three gods are called Odin. The gods now built for themselves in the midst of the world a castle. understanding and the power of motion. in which the crethe . REMARK. while the sons of Bor are in every other case named Odin. Vili and Ve.
\TED 47 tintin- Bugge is of the opinion that. It is possible. this is represented. 15). since the opposite view is just as plausible. WOULD WAS cni:. 15.g.doctrine of of i<lt-a world-tree is inflnrm-ed by tin 1 Christum Cross. tian times in a form which reminds one of Yggdrasil (Fig.riir. on English stone-crosses from the earliest Chris- FIG. that Bugge is right. Cross and Ash Tree. tin. e. but far from ri-rtain. .
were They played at draughts a lack of gold they in no wise had joyful. forges they placed tongs they shaped and rich treasures wrought. Early the sons of Bor the wondrous shaped.48 NORSE MYTHOLOGY II. After an account 1. 4 earth's surface raised. that "sin was to come into the warning The Golden Age of did . THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE Golden Age. nocence. greatest might. The has been given in the Volva's Prophecy of the conditions at the beginning of time. 7 The Aesir met on Ida-field. the gods. who sanctuary and temple erected high. 8 in court. tools they made. the poem continues: VSP. from Jotunheim. until three came. of the giant maids. time of inAs a not last very long. they who Mithgarth The sun shone from the south on the stones of the ground then was earth grown with green herbs.
and his son Frey. Snorri the Vanir who lived gives closer information in Vanaheim gave as a hostage their most ex: cellent man. By this means Xjorth and his two children. Besides the gods who de- scend from Bor. This ended. V '2. The heathen gods are mighty. as it seems. REMARK. Njorth the Rich. the Vault'. Frey and Freyja. The Vanir. the Northern people have also conceived of another race of gods. one cannot comprehend the relation of things in the world without assuming a belief in inexorable fate. who in ." the three giant maidens appeared. came to Asgarth. but the Aesir in return gave Hoenir. This feature reappears in the most developed heathen religions.THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE 49 world. to which even the gods themselves must bow. In the Ynglinga Saga. after which the contending parties concluded peace and reconciliation and gave each other hostages. in a victory for the Aesir. commonly supposed to be the Noms. as to whose origin the old sources give us few and obscure particulars. Only one thing can be definitely stated: it came to a conflict between the two races of gods. but not al- mighty.
But if he was admitted to the court or in other assemblies where Mimir was not present. a kind of magic prevalent among the Vanir. The Volva's Prophecy occasion for the conflict relates that the was this. he always answered: "Let others decide it. and pronounced magic songs over it.50 NORSE MYTHOLOGY every respect looked as a chieftain ought and tall and very handsome man. for Mimir gave him advice against all dangers. Njorth was the father of the two children mentioned in union with his sister. There came a woman versed in magic. She caused nothing but calamities. beheaded him. and the Vanir gave for him the wisest man in their Hoenir became forthwith a number. and sent his head to the Aesir. With him the Aesir sent the very wise Mimir. and when one or another difficult matter was laid before him. Odin anointed the head with medicinal herbs. and the . marriage between such near relatives was forbidden. The Vanir were versed in magic to a peculiar Freyja was the first who practiced en- chantments among the Aesir. noted chieftain.' So the Vanir soon conceived a suspicion that the Aesir had duped them in the exchange of hostages. but among the Aesir. by name Gollveig. degree. so that it spoke and revealed to him many secret who was a matters. Kvasir. wherefore they took Mimir. from the Vanir to Asgarth. so that it could not decay.
THE GODS AND THEIR LITE
Aesir resolved to slay her. They raised her on a spear and burned her upon a pyre, but she was born again three times and burned anew. The Vanir claimed redress, but no agreement was reached:
and shot against the warriors; the first in the world that was the war,
shattered was the wall
of the castle of the gods,
warlike Vanir could
that the Aesir
poem tells how the gods got
conclude peace the of this, nor does it tell nothing
their castle rebuilt.
Snorri says that they contracted with a giant builder for this work; he was allowed to have the help only of his horse Svathilfari, and was If the 1o complete the work in one winter. castle was finished on the first day of summer, lie should have Freyja and the sun and moon The Aesir made as reward for his building. these terms upon Loki's advice, and the giant made the gods take solemn oath that they would The work advanced give him free conduct. rapidly, and when it neared completion the Aesir were provoked with Loki and wanted to slay him if he did not contrive a remedy. Loki grew anxious for his life, and perceived that all depended upon depriving the giant of
He therefore transthe horse. himself ino a mare, which enticed Svathilfari into the woods away from the work. When the builder saw that his undertaking could not be accomplished at the right time, he became furious; so the gods had to call upon Thor. "He soon was there, and then the hammer Mjolnir flew into the air: he 1 became the one, not Sol and Mani, who paid the reward for the work. The first blow was such that his Of the mare skull burst into small pieces/ was afterward born a foal, which became Odin's renowned steed, the eight-footed Sleipnir.
While Snorri obviously delights in Thor and the strength with which he crashes the
giant, in the Volva's
seriousness and alarm in the portrayal: for the gods have committed murder, and
there comes a
introduced with treachery and inVSP. 26
Thor alone fought there, filled with wrath; he seldom sits when he learns such things. and words and vows, Broken were oaths all solemn pacts between them made.
disquieted at this, since he fore-
sees that the happiness of the gods
THE GODS AND THEIR
and he fears for what
lias Gjallarhorn Sci/od with foreboding, concealed at Mimir's well, and pledges one of his eyes to the wise giant for a single
draught from the fountain of w isdom.
to give a of the individual gods and godportrayal
Here we must pause for a time
desses, with their relation to men. "Then said 3. Aesir and Asynjur.
whom it is man's duty to believe? Har answers: Twelve arc the Aesir of the race of gods. Then said Jafnhar: Tlie Asynjur
are not less holy and ///<-// are not less caThen said Thrithi: Odin is the pable.
and oldest of the Aesir." \Ve have been told before how Snorri
brought a certain system into the teaching about the gods. He particularly attaches great value to the introduction of the numbers three and twelve into his
Although there were doubtfew of these gods and goddesses very
NO BSE MYTHOLOGY
they are so often met in later poetry that we must begin with a short account of them
following Snorri as closely as possible. Odin is the greatest and oldest of the
all things; however the other gods are, they all serve mighty him as children their father. Frigg is his
and she knows exactly the fate of every man, but yet does not occupy herself Odin is called "Allwith divination.
father," because he is father of all the gods, but is called also "Valfathir," because all
those are his chosen sons
gives them places in Valhalla and Vingolf, and there they are
is also called God many more names, the Eddie Poem
Odin called Einherjar. of the Hanged, and has which can be read in
Grimnismal. other 5. Thor is foremost among the Aesir: he is called Asa-Thor and AkaThor, and is the strongest of all gods and men. His kingdom is called Thruthheim or Thruthvangar, but his abode is called Bilskirnir. In the hall there are five hundred and forty rooms, and it is the largest
either. that none of his decisions hold. Baldur is the all plants. however.Till-: GODS AND THEIR LIFE hiiilt. they Thor lias two draw his lie wagon. his godlike grows twofold. which the frost giants and mountain giants recognize when he comes and that is not so strange. the iron mittens for grasping the hammerNo one is so well versed in knowlshaft. for it hammer has crushed many a skull of their lathers and girdle when he puts strength kinsmen. he is the is only good to tell him there . most eloquent and gracious of all This pecularity follows him. the strengthit about him. next. Another son of Odin is Baldur. and there is a plant so white best of all and all that it lashes has been compared to the god's eyeand called "Baldur's bjow". He is so praise him. the Aesir. has is besides three wonderful treasures: one Mjolnir. it is. finally. edge of the past that he can recount all of Thor's mighty deeds. 55 house that was ever goats. . fair and shining in visage that light comes from him. Of 6. the whitest of wisest. and he the is called Aka-Thor. when lie drives.
really born in Vanaheim. nine days in Thrymheim and then nine in Noatun. the Vanir gave him as a hostage to the gods in Asgarth. compared with the singing of the But Skathi answered about Noa- . but as He was we have heard before. stay alternately. He call. He was married to Skathi. was most attached to the So they agreed to vicinity of the sea. and the howling of the wolves methinks is evil swans. 7. and yet I tarried there not long.56 NORSE MYTHOLOGY His dwelling is in heaven in Breifhdbtik. but when Njorth came back from the mountains he Odious to said: me are the mountains. among the mountains. and in this place there can be nothing impure. up in Tlirymheim. Njorth. a daughter of a giant. only nine nights. governs the course of the wind and fire. Njorth dwells in heaven in Noatun. men He is so rich in land and goods that he can give richly of these to those who ask. to calms the sea and him shall upon the sea and in the chase. Skathi much preferred to live Thiazzi. on the contrary. where her father had his farm.
Freyja. wherefore she is also called the "Snowshoe Goddess. and a daughter.' but Odin the other she has a Her hall is called Sessrymnir. She often runs upon snowshoes and shoots deer with her how. His dwelling is called Alfltrhu. morning the gull wakens me when it comes from the sea. Frey. Freyja. and wagon drawn bv two cats. half.77/7? GODS AXD THEIR LIFE 57 tun: I could not sleep on the borders of tinshore for the screaming of the birds every . among the Asynjur. as he as we have also governs men's happiness with reference to the gods. said. is the most and dwells in heaven ran (j. One \-f / . Vanaheim. After that she moved up into the mountains and continued to dwell there. in the castle which is called Folk- When she rides to battle she takes half the Val. Xjorth of Noatun. Frey and Freyja." 8. excellent His sister. Frey is the grandest among the Aesir: he governs the rain and sunshine and thereby the products of the earth. 'the slain. had had two children in a son. wherefore men shall call upon him to obtain good years and times of peace.
and so 11. wherefore she is called Menglaih. Vanadis. she weeping. it will continue until is Eagnarok. who guards the apples which the gods eat when they grow old. upon her She in everything which herself had as hus- whom she dearly he forsook her and set out on loved. but a long journey. the most hardy and courageous Tyr the Aesir. owned the costly ornament Brisingamen. Bragi is god of the scaldic art. the chaining of the Fenris Wolf (14) can be cited. Tyr is therefore called the one-handed god. He is master especially among of victory in combat. Afterwards they grow young again. 10. and Mardal. may is be emphasized.58 is NORSE MYTHOLOGY to call concerns love. in which he lost his right hand. and for this reason brave men should call upon him. 'the one shining over the sea' 9. and he is married to Ithun.' Of her other epithets. but no one calls him the reconciler of men. 'glad in adornment. while she remained behind Her tears were red gold. Heimdall called the white god. Gefn. he . band a man named Qd. As a proof of his bravery.
which sounds so loud that it can be heard over all worlds. Vali. and has such acute hearing that he hears the grass growing in the field and the wool upon the sheep. and his horse is is bore him. As mentioned above. He needs less sleep than a bird. is can further menHotlir. also called (<uUuitan)ii. son of Odin and Rind. all sisters. 'head. and his sword is ! called II o futh. sees a hundred rosts (miles) before him just as well by night as by day. 16 ). and also Thor's stepson. Other Aesir. Xine maids. for his teeth are of gold. Ull of Ydalir. Vitliar. Forseti 1 who is the name of the son of Baldur From an English stone cross: Hoimdall representing Christ? . Odin's blind We son. tion the silent next strongest after god. Thor.' 12. who is unrivaled as an archer and snow-skater and good to call upon in single combat. he dwells in the mountains of heaven at the end of the bridge of the Aesir. as caretaker of the bridge and of the gods. His horn is called Gjallarhorn (Fig.THE GODS AND THEIR LU'K is 50 great and holy. He called (iulltop.
60 NORSE MYTHOLOGY and Nanna. Heimdall with Horn. and is the god FIG. daughter of Nep. who owns in heaven the hall Glitnir. 16. .
He is gifted with great ingenuity and cunning. 14. who ters that arise. Loki. and although he caused the Aesir the greatest misfortunes. But Loki had other children. he could just as often with his difficulties. 13. He had a great temple no one was allowed to touch his herd Fositi . the originator of all fraud and the disgrace of gods and men.THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE of justice. In the number of the Aesir we can also count the one whom some call the gods' occasioner of quarrels. In 61 adjusts all difficult mat- Helgoland (Fositi's land) a divinity was worshiped when the Christian missionaries arrived. and from his sacred well one might draw only in silence. their son Nari. Loki is handsome and fair in countenance but evil in character and of very changeable mien. of cattle or other property. and son of the giant Farbauti and the giantess Laufey. or Narfi. is He is called Loki. In Jotunheim lived a woman by . Loki's Offspring. shrewdness invent means of escape from Loki's wife was named Sigyn.Forseti of the Norsemen. and he is taken for the same as tin. or Lopt.
and with her Loki had the wolf Fenrir. The wolf was not willing that the slender and insignificant fetter should be placed upon him. the breath of a fish. to be sure. could hold.62 NORSE MYTHOLOGY name Angrbotha. . When he grew up his evil nature became fairly known. the beard of a woman. underworld. he had lost his right hand. All the gods laughed when the fetter bound his limbs together. until Tyr put his right hand as a pledge into the monster's mouth. and Hel. and thereThe first fore they resolved to bind him. where it the whole earth. and that. two chains he burst with ease. the sinews of a bear. Gleipnir. Since it was prophesied that these children should cause great calamities. the serpent Miihgarthsorm. the gods cast the Mithgarth serpent out into the deep oceanterrible offspring : grew great and encircled Hel was cast down into where she became queen of the Niflheim. the roots of a world. was made of the noise of a cat's paw. but the Aesir brought up the wolf at their home. and the spittle of a bird. Only the third fetter. mountain. excepting Tyr. since he suspected fraud.
i kvabek." 16. while she also avenges every infringement of them and also Sjofn and Lofn. another maiden is Fulla. in Sokabove. Gefjon is a maiden.w//. Now those women must be Valkyrs. We can further mention Var. 'goddesses' liar answers.m- tin- jnr. she is Frigg's handmaid and knows her secret plans. who has streaming hair with a golden head-band. named who are called Valkyr jur and serve at table in Valhalla. they "choose the slain. Ejr is the best physician. Valhalla is thatched . There are many mentioned with different names. Another goddess is Saga." and have control of the strife and its result. the goddess of promises. who listens to the agreements which men and women make with each other. Life in Valhalla. 63 The Asynjur. /'////// /x //// ^uictne one. which is called /'< .' \Vlm-h . and she is served by all those who die as maidens.. all of which mean "battle" and "tumult of war. Odin sends them to every battle. .THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE 15." She lias a very magnificent Ilmvdwelling. we have told about her and Freyja ver./.
Outside of Valhalla lies the grove gold. Thus it reads in the Eddie Poem of Vafthruthnir: reconciled. to the drinkVAFTH. . whose foliage live is shining flesh Odin's heroes the from the which boar Saehrimnir yields them. thereupon in peace together. Glasir. But it is who go to Odin. when the Einherjar awake. Through each of these eight hundred Einherjar can go at one time. and all return at evening. Every day. while the goat feeds on the leaves from Valhalla's tree. sit. But the fallen rise again. joyous and ing bout in Odin's hall.64 NORSE MYTHOLOGY with golden shields and has five hundred and forty doors. those dying down to the shadow realm only the brave dying in arms of disease go of Hel. 41 All Einherjar at Odin's court contend together every day. they drink beside the mead which flows from the udders of the goat Heithrun. they put on their armor and go out upon the court to fight against each other. the slain they choose and ride from the fray.
to Hel's abode.THE QODS AND THEIR LIFE 17. 1 In tin Volva's Prophecy the further course of the life of gods and men is described. But ! rir. Loki is Punished. according to the decree of Evil dreams have augured danger for his life. their The Valkyrs ride away. the god of gentleness and innocence. for Valhalla's woe. goes. and now comes to pass also the world's greatest misfortune: JJaldur. brandishing war spears. Frigg takes oath of everything dead and living. it is Balin- dur's blind brother who becomes the strument of fate: but behind him stands . the Mistletoe: VSP. G5 The World's Downfall Approaches. excepting the slender and supple but beautiful shoot. in Fensal do ye yet know? or how? 18. The giants begin to as- semble and equip themselves for the last battle with the gods. 33-34 There grew from the tree a perilous pain-shaft.r g shed tears what slender seemed Hothr did shoot. \\V see how correct Odin's evil forebodings were. Indeed. which signifies trouble and in the earth. fate.
66 NORSE MYTHOLOGY terrible all evil. . the originator of inflict FIG. The gods punishment upon him. Loki's Punishment. as Loki. 17.
") . Tlio~k~k. they found in a gloomy mountain cavern.THE GODS AND with his Till'. would "weep with dry tears. and great crimes are committed 1 From an English stone cross. 17 *). Meanwhile his faithful wife Sigyn stands by him and catches the poison in a bowl. "Home of the Eddie Poems. It whom 19. the two foregoing figures and the remark on Bugge's interpre- tation. Loki writhes in terrible pain. so that the earth trembles (Fig. (Introd. and fix a poisonous serpent over his face. since Balits dur must remain with Hel." wherefore Hel kept what she had. death. gained of the death-goddess permission for Baldur's return in case everything in the world should weep over his was done. But it is commonly thought that it was Loki who had taken on this giant woman's form in order to set a crown upon his work. This is really of but little advantage. only a giant woman. Nastrond. Hi LIFE 67 him upon edge. since Loki is said to signify "the bound devil. Hermoth. but every time it is filled and she must empty own son's intestines they bind last to three stones set contents." Cf. Odin's swain. Now evil really breaks in loose. The picture is commonly understood to represent Loki's punishment.
will spare another. Its door turns toward the north. arises." far from the sun. sister's children it is and become each other's will violate kinship.68 NORSE MYTHOLOGY wade through heavy streams the world. . that a new and . and the ceiling is plaited with serpent's backs. in which all go to destruction. Then comes finally the fearful encounter between the warrior gods and the evil powers in the earth. But means only the conclusion of the conflict men earth. . with gods in purified forms. adultery serious. evil no man in the world. poison drips in at the louver. "death-shore. murderers. . perjured men. Moral corruption increases in a frightful degree : VSP. and seducers must into a hall on Nastrond. 45 Brothers will fight together bane.
at the head of Muspell's sons. built of dead men's nails.G9 III. the dwarfs. still the world-tree remains standing. is Hel's in kingdom take groan the mountains. and Surt rides on from the south.' which repeated three times. from the north sail Hel's sons over the sea. 'great winter. fright. RAGNAROK In the The Enemies of the Gods Assemble. while the gods hold their last assembly and Heimdall sends the V calling tones of the Gjallarhorn out over the world. the last periods of the world is came first frightful Fimbulvetr. and Mithgarth serpent writhes in giant wrath and lashes the sea into towering waves. When the decid- ing moment draws trembles although it all in near. Fenrir goes forth the . with flaming sword. and there a crashing in Jotunheim. Fenrir bursts his chains. From the east comes Hrym with the ship Naglfar. 1. with Loki in command. Then the bridge of the Aesir falls under the horses' hoofs and heaven is on fire.
The last incident in the conflict is Thor's victory over the Mithgarth serpent. The mighty god of heaven and crushes with his totter on.70 NORSE MYTHOLOGY . . 55 Then comes the great there yawns across the fire it air it son of Hlothyn. 1 Strikes with wrath Mithgarth Serpent. 2. from the snake. Thor Fights with the Mithgarth Ser- pent. Fire spurts out from the monster's eyes and nostrils when Odin meets him in swallowed up by the terriHeimdall fights with Loki. 2 Not in Sijmon's text. Frey and Surt become each other's debattle only to be ble stroyers. with yawning mouth his upper jaw touches heaven while his lower jaw drags along the earth. the Girdle of the earth speivs* 1 spurts. 56 Mithgarth's defender. VSP. bowed. but only nine steps does he he sinks dead to the earth. poison to Odin's son goes meet the worm. before earth hammer the head of his deadly foe. choked by the serpent's poison. Nine feet goes Fjorgyn's son who fears no shame. all men will forsake their home. abyss.
Vithar. 18.RAONABOK 71 FIG. .
Fig. Regeneration. he steps with his heavy shoe on the wolf's under jaw. grasps with his hands the upper jaw. and afterwards tears the monster's mouth asunder (Fig. into Now the sun the This is Ragna-rok. sun and moon are swallowed by the wolves. which is a hundred rasts on every side. 17. the clear stars fall from and everything goes up in fire and heaven. Vithar. Odin's silent son. and it is Surt who hurls fire over the earth. 18 ). The battle was fought on the plain Vigrith. Snorri renarrates the Eagnarok myths with detailed descriptions of all the incidents. the gods' crisis. Snorri's Version. the last destiny by which the gods of Valhalla are overtaken. 1 But the downfall is and not everlasting. Tyr fights with the Hel hound Garm. The only temporary Volva's Prophecy continues with its charm4. But within the time. cf. has avenged the death of the Father of the Gods. flame. 1 From an English stone cross. the earth sinks sea. 3. .72 NORSE MYTHOLOGY grows dark.
which is to be everlasting: VSP 62 Unsown . hall I know is . . evil will be cured. recall the Mithgarth serpent. There comes the mighty one. green and glorious. who governs all things. the old life of the gods. strong from above. 'Valhalla. 65 to the sublime tribunal. Then dawn a new golden age and a calm period of happiness. from the sea. battle-homo. 1 or Iloth and Baldur dwell Hropt's abode of war-gods.i!l will acres grow. standing at Gimli thatched with gold.RAGXAROK 73 ing description of the new heaven and earth where justice and peace shall prevail. there shall the faithful hosts abide and for lasting time delights enjoy. Do ye yet know? how? 64 A fairer than the sun. The regenerated gods meet again on Ida-plain. The earth rises once more. Baldur in will come. Then they find in the grass the wonderful golden tablets which they themselves owned in the morning of time. and the last terrible summons of fate.
.' i. they received morning dew for nourishment. On the contrary he tells. The maiden is to drive in her mother's course when the gods are dead. two persons.74 5. 'elf- glance.e. about the rise of In Hoddmimir's the new race of men. know how Through an old song we learn. Lif and Lifilirasir. the sun. and from them descend all the future races of men. bears a daughter. in harmony with another Eddie lay. before the wolf swallows her. that Alf-rotholl. moreover. were grove hiding during the burning of the world. Nor does Snorri inform us who the great ruler is. NORSE MYTHOLOGY The New to Generation.
ideas reappear among all heathen people. which have held very long in the minds of the people and of which we find evident The same basal traces even in our day. DEMONS. has yielded a succession of superstitious ideas. and we shall now bring forward some of the chief points from this so-called lower mythology. COMMON POPULAR BELIEF (LOWER MYTHOLOGY) 1. We find here a marked conformity among all the Gothic-Germanic peoples.SECOND SECTION SOULS. AND GODS I. It has been pointed out in the General Introduction that the worship of souls and nature-demons. the oldest foundation of heathen religion. independent of the more developed national re75 . although in details the belief may have de- veloped in a very distinct manner. Lower Mythology.
and torments and troubles him so sadly that he becomes ill or that it causes his death. and many legends about it have him from crying arisen. the mare "treads" or "rides" the sleeping one from his legs up to his body and thrusts his tongue into the victim's throat to hinder out. Our Nightmare. 2. It is felt as an oppressing weight upon the breast or throat.76 NORSE MYTHOLOGY ligion which in the main acquires its character from those most highly developed in the community. like found one of the plainest proofs of the soul's independence of the body and its ability to take a hand in the affairs of living men in the night- mare and dream. other heathen people. They therefore took it for granted that they were spirits. forefathers. Through the smallest crack or crev- ice the nighmare slips to the sleeping one. as they lacked all other means of explaining those things. The Northern peohave clung to this very day to their ple belief in the "mare" as a supernatural female being. A "mare" can slip out only by the . usually in the form of animals or men.
and if they went to the legs. Drihi. and so the king was actually tortured to death.COMM'J\ POTl'LAR BELIEF same way happens In liiufli. rayed his 3. told of tin 1 YnuliiiLia is King Vtiu- Finnish bride. but when they turned to his head. The king's men hastened to his assistance. it took . she was directly occupied at the head. lie became suddenly sleepy and lay down to rest. as it transpires in dreams. Baldur had and in and our Danish folk songs we meet dreams at every turn. 77 that it it came in. but when lie had slept a little lie cried that a 'mare' was treading him. who had Dreams. through which fate in some way is revealed to men. that he in punishment for that had l>een killed by a "mare" with which the magic arts of the Finns had tormented him. if the opening. the "'mare' trod upon his legs so that they were nearly broken. 'thought' or 'soul'. Such a soul is called in the old evil dreams before his fateful death. if is caught. its it one stops up The same thing one names Saga Itet name. Jn our fathers' poetry every great event is presaged by dreams. Souls can even in one's lifetime forsake the bodv and wander far and wide. the Icelandic sagas tt language hugr. The part that in the popular consciousness is dreams play well known.
for example. the Draumr-Draugr. (The common basal meaning seems to be "to press. which means now soul as specter. The holy Bishop John's "soul" was often occupied with what belonged to the divine service.) . a wolf. this man has often "dreamed me" has often tortured me as originally has often later "mare" while I slept = ." Therefore the older language used also the verb "to dream" in a peculiar construction.78 NORSE MYTHOLOGY on the most varied forms of beasts. presented himself to me in dreams. squeeze. both before the Bishop fell asleep and before he awoke. appearing most often as a bear. or an eagle.' which boded an approaching battle. A man dreamed that he was going out from one of his buildings and there he saw some wolves come running from the south in upon the field there were eighteen in all and a she-fox was running on ahead. . When he was awakened he knew immediately that they were manna hugir. now has the same meaning as hugr. 'men's souls. From the same root as word "dream" (Old Norse draumr) is also the old word draugr.
Men who had a peculiar aptitude for changing form were AVe called hamramir. and went in a twinkling on his own or another's errand the body lay there as if to distant countries. the giants oftenest in the form of eagles. heavy with sleep or dead. / w lief of bear or wolf skin. 5. In the Ynglinga Saga it is told about Odin.e.COMMON POPULAR BELIEF 4. i. that he ''changed his form . hamr. but the original bewas really that they went about in the form of bears or wolves. A kindred relation presented by our fathers' widespread belief in form xliifinty. Ham ram and Berserk. fish or worm." Freyja has a falcon T cloak or form. 79 is Form Shifting. But it is especially the souls . "strong in form. Ghosts. the Valkyrs flew in swans' form." must certainly regard the fury of the Bero serk as in the same category. men who wear furs . Warriors who in the heat of battle were attacked by wild and brutal frenzy were called Berscrkir or Ulfhethinn. i.<\ the soul's ability to leave the body and assume another form. but he himself was in the form of a bird or beast.
and the surviving must withstand dangerous conflicts with them. He now went in at the door. as he would rather do something else. He answers. They most often return to the dwelling they had while in the flesh. to The felinvestigate the cause of the trouble.80 NORSE MYTHOLOGY literature Older Norse of the dead that "haunt.' 1 . which was a long way from the farmyard. Olaf thought that he should perform the work that was given to him. went with him at evening to the cow stable.e. had many servants. "Hrap is standing in the stable door and is groping for me. Olaf Paa. until they are properly "put to rest." i. One day the took care of the farrow horned came and asked to be released from that work. at Hjartharholt. Frequently the spirits occasion only evil when they reappear. or they move about preferably in the vicinity of their burialplace. Olaf asks then why he acts so awkwardly. lodged in a mound of heaped-up stones." abounds in evidences of a belief in ghosts. low received orders to bind the creatures fast after Olaf drove them in. The renowned Icelandic chieftain. but instantly rushed back into his master's arms before the latter could look about him. but I have had Hrap was an enough of wrestling with him. but the man preferred cattle man who Olaf then to seek another place for himself.
and Olaf found his spear-point also with the body. Then. the point breaks off meanwhile and the The next apparition vanishes into the earth. morning Olaf went to the place where Hrap had been ''put to rest" and had him exhumed. oi' had been buried standing under the one of his houses so as to he helter able and who afterward had worried the whole neighborhood by appearing and haunting the locality. Now Olaf goes in at the door and thrusts after Ilrap with his spear. (Folk songs about Aage and Else. after own door wish.) Here headless steeds and with their own heads under their arms at night-time drive through . This was now burned and the ashes were cast into the sea. lie was even then not decayed. Later we shall tell about Helgi. it At times Spirits in Popular Tradition. for the first time. was interest in the surviving which brought the spirit back to earth. also belongs the widespread popular tradition of The Wild Hunt. neighborhood had peace. outlawed spirits who in dismal forms on and Lenore. who in the tomb receives a visit from his beloved Sigrun. the people in the to oversee his property. to expiate a fault.COMM<). Hunditig's Bane.\ evil-tempered POPULAR BELIEF farmer. or He returns to see from longing again his loved ones. 81 liis Iceland who.
82 NORSE MYTHOLOGY From Denmark we know Abel's the air. From belief in souls the idea quite naturally developed that the souls of the dead could also be called back to earth against their will. Belief is conjuration is very ancient and common to all people using our group of languages. chants potent valgaldir or charms over the dead. the hero in another Eddie Poem. according to the wishes of men. goes to his mother Groa's grave and calls her forth to his aid. Odin rides down to the charms to use. hunt at Schley and Valdemar's at Gurre. underworld to the grave of a prophetess. The Dead are Conjured. who then steps forth and speaks "the death-word. Norwegians tell about Aasgaardsrei. if seems as among others some for this use. 6. . It our older poetry especially has contained magic songs of different kinds. Hervar conjures up her father Angantyr from the tomb on Samso and compels him to deliver up the sword Tyrfing." Svipdag. One can con- jure them up when one knows the right In the Eddie Song about Baldur's Dreams.
must We understand the erfiol. the earliest times. 'funeral feast.' as a kind of offering to the departed at which people originally thought of the spirit as present and honored it by regaling themselves with meat and drink a custom which is faithfully preserved at the burial feasts of the common people. somelimes splendid implements and ornaments.or Grave-Feasts. POPl'LAl: 1U-:UKF 83 Funerals and Funeral. simply necessary objects for use. At the fu- neral feasts the heir for the first time occupied the high seat of the deceased and completely assumed his dignity. We can trace a distinct development from ries for their continued Ages from the grave-finds of the Stone and Bronze to the moor-finds of the Iron Age and the buried ships of Viking times. (Ceremonies . our fore fathers took particular care for the burial of the dead. But also historic times we have good evidence of our fathers' burial customs. They gave them the necessa- Even from sometimes life.COMMOX 7. then was brought forward also the "Bragi cup" over which they made their vows.
or sitting. Hogni answers: I intend to take it to my father so that he can have it with him at Valhalla Peoat the weapon-show. . ple usually chose open and nicely situated burial places on mountains or hills. 'Last service to dead. the Therefore they remained near by. See the Heimskringla.84 NORSE MYTHOLOGY the Jomsvikingar 1 of and Svein Tiugus- kegg. hind. the body was placed in a mound. 2 occurred. They approached the dead person from be- eyes. 1 But criminals and trolls who es- Jomsburg Vikings and Svein Twibeard. house as soon as posremoved it from the sible. or in it and exhibit forests. and richly supplied with lying Gunnar from implements and weapons.) soul So long as the body was not buried. Hlitharendi laughed and sang in the tomb. preferably the same day that death First they rendered nabjargir. When the son Hogni seizes his renowned father's spear to undertake blood-vengeance. Then the mother of the dead asks who ventures to touch the weapon. stretched the body out after which the face and closed the was covered. early king of Denmark.
fathers of the race were considered the family's natural protectors in the spirit world. Transmigration of Souls. sav definitely whether there was * difficult to among our . to a man named Grim of his Sacrifice was after his death. It is 8. in and many passages the old literature relate about offerings to the dead either in or at grave-mounds or family-mounds. There is also 9.' Bautar from baulathr moans .COMMOX pecially did evil ivsl" or burned. forefathers a complete system of ancestorcult. Worship of the Dead. Pul'l' LAI: BELIEF 85 as ghosts were "put to The mound and monu- ment upon Knnihl.. because earthly plainly prince who later was worshiped as a god. worship of the dead in the family but there are many who maintain V that this usage prevailed from a very ancient time The foreall through the heathen age. are called in the old language Bautarsteinar 1 (memorial stones it without inscriptions) and rune stones have been discussed above. or made upon adjacent mountains. popularity.e. i. understood Frey as and an Snorri much 1 that goes to show that our heathen 'fighter' or 'hero.
" Saint Olaf was. after the opinion of people. it was said Also about Helgi and Sigrun. that they were born again. To the belief in being born again was perhaps attached originally the custom of naming a child after one deceased in order that the one concerned might be born again in the little child who bears the dead person's name. The soul of the deceased could take born child and abode in a newlife. a in the Elder Edda relates: prose piece belief "The prevailed in ancient times that people became endrbornir.86 NORSE MYTHOLOGY forefathers had a widespread belief in the transmigration of souls. Hjorvarth's endrbornir. and the Valkyr Svafa were endrbornir. but now it is called old wives' talk. Independent "Souls. 'born again." In the course of time new religious ideas were developed . Of the renowned Helgi. Those human beings thus reborn are called in its live another the old sources Helgi. Olaf Geirstathaalf. Hunding's Bane. who received sacrifice. 10. one born again from a traditionalhistorical king.' son.
forms our fathers' faith in the The soul is soul as a guardian spirit. Fi/Ii/jnr. the quite the same as hnyr. from the cradle man's fylyja. which in or in waking condition. and since it can forsake the body and put on a new form. can manifest itself especially as a warning of great events or of near approaching death. fylgja is To see one's is own near.' to the grave. A transition from the bea. it is also called hawinyja. lief in souls and the worship of souls in to the simplest form. 'attendant. Fylgjur appear in the liuyir. namely. supernatural soul- beings. a certain sign that death is preserved in the superstition of the present time where the vision of one's self or another as a corpse or as occupied with a corpse is regarded as a This feature death-warning. according to a person's char- same manner as wanna . is fylgja dreams Originally. a belief in hide- supernatural xoul Icings whose life and activity are not dependent upon the particular human body.COMMOX from patdcttt POPt'LMl liEUl-I* 87 soul-bel i<T. in its own or another's form. oftenest in animal form. then.
The next step in the development of the belief in tutelary goddesses is this. Fylgjur as Women. as children are wont to do. or those for their especial good fortune. wish to help. luck. When you entered the room a white bear's cub followed you and ran before you on the floor. Thorstein Uxafot l was a boy of seven he once came quickly rushing into the years. "Wise old Gejt saw it and burst out So the lad went to him and asked laughing. b. that one can lend another When his known Powerful persons. other Oxfoot. room." said the old man. but which could be seen by only a few specially gifted persons. Fylgjur here resemble good and besides hamingja the old lanalso. Great chieftains and men of note had "strong" fylgjur which walked in front of them. bestow their fylgjur upon those whom they fylgja.88 NORSE MYTHOLOGY acter. and Gejt concluded from that that he was not of ordinary origin. why his falling appeared to him so laughable. but when it set eyes on me it stopped. and fell on the floor. in the guage uses 1 same sense. and when you then came hurIt was Thorstein 's rying in you fell over it.' fylgja. . ''Well. "because I saw it as you did not see it.
the fylgja seeks an abode with another person. ''And we now greatly need. 'family which cares for the fortunes of the family one.' Olaf answered among other things. AVlicn Christianity was introduced. BELIEF 89 words whirli ordinarily have the general meaning 'good fortune. () King. as a kind of luck goddess. now and takes up its abode now with with another. his hamingja or fylyja set free. More plainly does the fylgja appear as an independent soul-being c. of the members. i. After its owner dies.' The Icelander IljuUi Rkcggi's son drove with Bjorn Shilling to Sweden on an errand for Olaf the Stout. his good wishes and thoughts for the journey. "You shall know for a certainly that I shall bestow all my it weighs anything in the scale.' capacity as aettar-fylgja.e. On leaving he said to the king:. but this is interpreted as if the king's second ego. in its fylgja.' Here the king unconsciously indicates how the pretty and implicit belief developed among our forefathers. hamingja to go with yon and all of yon. for tliis journey. that you give your hamingja. the opinion seems to have . follow them. Jiitf/r in case and give my Family Fylgja. preferably one of the same family.COMMaX rori'LM. follows them on their way. The king's huyr.
she went over the waves with the same readiness as if she were walking on the ground. Spadis.woman. It was Half red's fylgja. or to Draum-Kona. " or fetch. Another man to whom she applied did not wish to have her. The old chieftain let himself be baptized by Tangbrand on condition that the archangel Michael should for the future be his fylgja. and in this way remained in ' the family. who upon Odin's com- mand summon 11. Then the people saw a woman walking along the ship. Dream-Women. who makes her appearance help men. Halfred. either. The scald. upon his death-bed on board his ship did not wish to have the company of his fylgja over into the next life.90 NORSE MYTHOLOGY developed that one could change his Hall together ivith his belief. the fylgja also called Dis. The conception of fate-women and battle-women as personal. from whom he now had freed himself. heroes home to Valhalla. handsome to look upon and dressed in a coat of mail. Norns and Valkyrs. is As a being set free. but finally she was accepted by the poet's son. d. She then closely resembles the Norns and Valkyrs who are also plainly designated as Disir. divine beings has developed from the .
. when as wellequipped shield-maidens they take part in the conflict and determine its course. good and evil. Val.//:/' 91 among all the Gothic-Germanic people. Urth 'spinning woman'?) as a name for inexorable fate is found among all racially related people. the other with Anglo-Saxons as well. on the other hand Wnnl Xorse. They serve at table in Valhalla and they "choose the slain. Valkyrs are the "Noras of Battle. at A series of pretty myths about Odin's divine maids has arisen in Norwegian-Icelandic (The "Darrath mythology and poetry." but they have received their character from Odin faith and the teaching about Valhalla. The firstword is found only among Norsemen.COMMOX POPULAR soul-belief /.) the Weaving Song twelve Valkyrs: a 'Battle' Song." the among our people Odin's command. but Noras and Valkyrs represent a distinctly Northern development. who "wind fate-threads" and fix man's life from the cradle to the grave. Song" 1 1 in Njal's of Saga./:/. Hakonarmal. ( In our fathers' belief there are many Noras.
the magic songs he is able to use. In this 12. Our forefathers had then a widespread belief also in evil soul-beings. 155 This I know. by various Lit. Witches. peculiar souls of the witches of the earth. As swan-maidens they fly far across the country. I so If I see witches 1 arrange that shape. . the tenth. it section on Hero-Sagas). who after death continue their evil dealings with men. until the battle nature human suddenly awakens in them and drives them away from hearth and home into the tumult of conflict. (they) of their own of their go deprived own home. since they contract marriage with earthly heroes. Such 1 evil spirits are designated Farm-riders.92 NORSE MYTHOLOGY The Valkyrs appear often with half- nature. the maid must follow him and give him her love (cf. At times they is stolen by a man. hurry through the air. In the Eddie says: HAV. Song HavaOdin enumerates in a special section mal. lay off the but if this swan form in order to bathe.
soul-worship. which to form a transition the real nature- demons. bear the imprint of the calm. sprite. the belief in and (/mum's seems to have dirnrfs. night-creature. even- ing-. AVith these must also be classed such supernatural beings as goblins.COMMOX POPULAR BELIEF words. with which a hard struggle . Giants. and friendly in nature. river-sprites. . mermen. out of Again. grown these Originally souls which names designated only had taken fixed abodes out in nature and were in possession of certain qualities and In accomplishments in advance of men. the worst enemies of mankind. s. the later myths these beings play an important part and belief in them has been preserved a very long time among the common people. mild. darkness-. 13.is 93 troll. frost and mountain "\Vhile elves and dwarfs especially giants. The common names for naturedemons are giants. and mermaids. Nature-Demons. and farm-rider. giants are symbols of the forces of nature and the elements in their might and fury.
is treated in one of the finest of the Eddie Songs. is told about giants in the first secwill we add some individual examples and Ran. is indeed a giant but he is on terms of hospitality with the gods. has his dwelling on Hlesey. awaken love in the breasts of the gods. It was at one of these that Loki took occasion to pour out his venom upon the gods and goddesses. Njorth was married to the giant Thiazzi's daughter Skathi. is named Ran. The His wife 1 billows are called Aegir's daughters. daughter of Gymir. from the giant is giant's world. therefore. who. 14. in wild and dismal forms. now Laeso in the Kattegat. . for whom he arranges great banquets. so that they even . and Frey's affection for Gerth. with which she Island of Hler. corre- sponding to the elements by which they are surrounded but giant women may after all be very handsome. according to 1 He Snorri. Aegir The foremost sea- Aegir or Hler. and she catches shipwrecked men in her net. Ordinarily giants are thought of. To what tion.94 NORSE MYTHOLOGY in order to insure ex- must be carried on istence.
Worship of Odin and Thor. Loki borrowed Kan's net to catch the dwarf Atiflrari. II. To Kan all who suffer death upon the sea by * accident. Attention has already been called in the general in- troduction to the fact that Thor was the Norseman's real chief divinity from a very ancient time. personal . CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS OF THE GODS (THOR) 1. to when the drowned man obtains leave turn back to take part in the funeral feast which is held for him. but he was later understood to be an independent. Another more violent sea-giant is Ilymir. according to the testimony of a certain saga it is the sign of a good reception at the home of Kan. and that his name "the Thunderer" designates only a single side of the God of Heaven. at whose home Thor sought the great kettle of which we shall tell in a later paragraph. who in the form of a pike was darting around in a waterfall.CHIEF GODS ASD MYTHS 95 mav come crucllv A^ pursue the seafarer.
old Low-German baptismal formula be- gins as follows: "Do you renounce and and all all the devil offerings to the devil "I renounce works of the devil!" the devil's works and words. Thunar and Woden and Saxnot and all the Trolls which are worshiped here. Not only does the general occurrence of the symbol of the hammer bear witness to this. sciousness of the common people. but also the fact that he is placed by the side of Jupiter. Odin. conceptions of Thor as the supreme god were never superseded. and "Saxnot" (the one armed with the sword) are precisely the . but Odin faith received full and pleasing development in Norse- Thor was at one time the chief divinity with all the GothicGermanic peoples. made Odin worship is far younger and way north from a Germanic peo- In the conple dwelling farther south." the all Thor. Thor as Chief God. An Jupiter's day is rendered by Thor's day.96 NORSE MYTHOLOGY its being. since Icelandic poetry.
are most often named Xorse sources. The same testimony recurs in names of persons and places. The Yule-offering. compared with Odin and Frey. or a representation of Tlior alone. or the testimony of rune stones. as Most baptismal formula above. in which we find Tlior in overwhelming abundance. the chief offering of our heathen was consecrated to Thor. and Thor's day appears as the most forefathers.CHIEF GODS AXD MYTHS three chief gods 97 who . Norwegian-Icelandic poetry itself gives here and there unmistakable evidence of Thor's prominent position. and Thursday is the most common court day even now. was opened on a Thursday. It is at the same time not solely the significance of the name and in hammer-symbol. . which tell us about the extent of the worship of Tlior. name often a temple of Tlior only is mentioned. the court important week-day in all legal questions. statues of the chief gods in them are sometimes named. provided we can identify Saxnot with Fivy. Where heathen temples are the mentioned. and in that case Thor's in the ordinarily comes first.
"Veurr. 'to consecrate.e. command. NORSE MYTHOLOGY Mithgarth's Keeper. and Mithgarth is certainly the land of human beings. related to the Danish word vie. and he occupies a similar position even among the gods." Veurr. and splinters whatever offers resistance (desolate nature in giant forms) but which also brings with 1 it fruit-producing rain. . Or Defender. Other poets call him Friend of Human Kind or Defender of the Race. the most prominent of is consecrator and protector of all human life.' signifies protector and consecrator. as 1 Mithgarth's Keeper. with the strongest and mightiest powers at his i.' and to Ve. who constantly seek protection through his strength even if Odin or Frey is present. Therefore he is called Aesir. but also of the home and the state. he thereby becomes the protecting divinity not merely of the individual man.98 2. Thor Asa-bragr. He is the great god of civilization. 'sanctuary. The of Volva's Prophecy in its description Ragnarok in the verse cited on page 70 calls Thor. the the lightning the thunderbolt which crushes hammer.
but in both cases he has a .' like the older Danish form. rarely a \nung man. in his wagon drawn by he-goats.plowing red beard. When he wanted to it. The modern Dan- Torden. 4. this is in flames and the mountains tremble or burst in the thunder's crash. but the . the word being a conish traction of as-eka. but under ordinary circumstances he is gracious and mild.'!.number of myths or divine traditions. 'driving of As. and of these we shall now recount the most important.' means 'Thor-rumbling. 99 Characteristics of to often picture Thor Thor. Snorri relates the following: Loki had once from malice cut off the hair of Thor became aware of Thor's wife Sif. The God's Treasures. AYhen he. People most themselves as a strong middle -aged man. drives over the sky. Of the origin of the god's treasures. the Swedes say aska. crush every bone in Loki's body.CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS .' To Thor's name there are attached a . He is tremendously strong. and he is dreadful in his wrath. 'thunder. his flaming glance is enough to terrify any one.
in case one preferred. The wager was to be settled in Asgarth. Sindri notwithstand- ing finished the three great pieces of work: the boar Gullinbursti. the ring Draupnir. This good ship Frey received. are called the sons of Ivaldi. and they his who upon demand made hair for Sif. staking his head that the latter's brother Sindri could not complete three Brok plied the equally good treasures.. After that Loki wagered with a dwarf Brok. and although Loki in the form of a gadfly three times him stung the one plying the bellows and forced to stop a moment. Odin the ring. and Frey the boar. the spear Gungnir which Odin received. and the ship SkithblatJinir which could sail over both sea and land hut could also be folded together and carried in a pouch. bellows and Sindri forged.100 latter NORSE MYTHOLOGY promised to get golden hair from the dark elves for Sif in compensation. Loki with his stings accomplished only hamnier handle remained a this. little that the too short. He applied therefore to the dwarfs. Thor took the hammer. after which these three gods . and the hammer Mjolnir.
Loki. and he will not give it back unless Freyja is brought to him as the his bride. flies bor- over latter The king of the giants. In exasperation. 5. Loki flew back and the demand of the king of the giants was communicated to the goddess of love. but the neck must not be touched. lose his head. and Loki was now to lie ordered Brok to take it.. Thrym. but the hammer was lost and could not be found. since tin 1 wager applied only to the head itself. Angry awoke Ving-Thor and missed his hammer. god of thunder describes his rows Frey's feather garment and the to loss. One of the oldest Eddie Songs relates how Thor lost his hammer and recovered it. The Hammer is Recovered. his beard and hair shook the son of Jorth groped around. to whom .GODS AX1> MYTHS were to 101 pronounce judgment. admits having concealed the hammer deep in the earth. The hammer decided the matter. but . the dwarf then sewed Loki's wily mouth together.
." Thor must submit to the hard necessity. 12 Wroth grew all Freyja.' assembled for deliberation at the court to consider how the hammer could be reHeimdall solves the problem: gained. head and breast be decked in woman's fashion.102 NORSE MYTHOLOGY THKKV. earth burned with fire. trembled therefrom. 21 driven homeward. Odin's son drove into Jotunheim. and she fumed." there bursts the Aesir's hall The Aesir and Asynjur. if I drive with thee to Jotunheim. . for the giants will take possession of Asgarth if he does not regain the hammer. they must run well. 1 Soon were the goats Necklace. Laufey's son. mountains burst. Loki. 'goddesses. hurried to the traces. so as to follow Thor as his maid upon the strange bridal journey. also dresses in women's clothes. keys shall rattle at his girdle. "Let us bind bridal linen about Thor and give him the great Brisinga ornament to put on. women's garments fall about his knees. 1 that great Brisinga chain Thou knowst me to be most mad for men.
for Freyja's eyes are sharp and shine like fire. Hlorrithi's Thrym he slow first. hard-hearted. 30 Then quoth Thryin Bear bless in the hammer <>n the giants' chief: to bless the bride! Mjolnir place tin- maklen's knees. Thor At first . THRKV. The artful bridesmaid meaneat time comforts him with assurance that the goddess's appetite and piercing glances were due only to her yearning for the bridegroom. .cnn:r GODS AM> urnis In Jotunlioini there did bridal feast. since she had neither eaten nor slept in eight days. he crushed. and when the almost terror. nay. and join us by the hand of Varr. comes the hour of reparation and vengeance for Asgarth's mighty god: 31 Xow heart within his breast. in Thryin lifts the veil to kiss his bride. bridegroom back terror-stricken the length lie darts of the hall. the hammer perceived. Laughed when he. but to the bride's is 103 part. prepared a splenis ill adapted his ability to and drink awakens amazement. and the giant's race all the giants' chief.
must put on women's clothes and proceed to the Tossegreve 's land. and the Tossegreve with all his tribe were crushed. it was evident that he could use it.' who has hidden the hammer and will not give it back unless he gets "Jomfru Fredensborg (Miss Peacecastle) with all the goods she has. it well : Now we 6.104 NORSE MYTHOLOGY sister of the giant had for a bridal gift. as in the Eddie Song. no wonder that he was thirsty after that! But when the hammer was brought in. Tor of Havsgaard rides over green meadows and loses his golden hammer. The ballad ends thus: Lokke he did consider said this. she received a begged hammer-blow instead of golden rings. Lokke Lojemand (jester) puts on the feather cloak and seeks out the Tossegreve. re- Lay of Hymir. Tor and Lokke. as the bride has become a widow. 'foolish count. will fare to our own land. crafty man. After this the thunder-god returned to Asgarth with his recovered weapon. Hymir's Kettle. had to go to the giant Hymir for a great kettle which was lates the . The wretched The same theme is treated in a jesting manner in the ancient Danish ballad about Tor of Havsgaard. Thor one time.' After this. Tor's appetite in the ancient ballad is quite astonishing he ate a whole ox and thirty hams.
goes out with the giant to fish. and they reach the together home The hitter does not conic giant's dwelling. The god demands asks him bait of the ferocious giant. This adventure has and again inspired our forefathers. purpose. home until towards night. and while the giant is attending his affairs. however.C// ////' to GODS AND MYTHS 105 bo used at a feast for the gods at the of the sea-god Argir. to At the same moment when he wishes crush his skull the terror-stricken giant cuts the line and the monster sinks back safe upon the bottom of the sea. is exactly Thor's pent. He sets out with Tyr. Hymir is frightened at Thor's violent strokes and objects to keeping on for fear of coming upon the Mithgarth serThis. who to look out for it himself. and is much offended both at his guests and at Thor's The following morning Thor appetite. after which they begin to row. Thor then wrenches the head from one of the giant's black oxen. again One of the very oldest Scalds gives a . to Encircler" his Thor makes the "Earthswallow the hook and draws to the head up surface of the sea.
circler." like a wildly floundering gazes FIG. 19. Thor's Fishing. .106 NORSE MYTHOLOGY picture graphic of how the "Earth-Eneel.
Hrungnir. pursued by the giant's hosts. Thor. may not now obtain the kettle until he can further prove his strength by crushThat does not ing the giant's beaker. after which he The poem on the other hand has them both turn back to- gether. only (cf. 7. break until the god hurls it against the owner's own skull. Thor in his godlike strength breaks through the planks of the boat until he gets a footing on the bottom of the sea. but in connected form it is preserved . which he the kettle crushes with his hammer. him the fatal blow In Snorri. The myth of Thor and Hrungnir has been very widespread and popular. frightful box on the ear. however. As the giant has hindered him in his purpose. serpent Thor hurls his hammer after the and chastises the giant with a himself wades ashore. after which he snatches and carries it from the court. just as they went out.CU1EI' defiantly LiODS AM) MYTHS who is 107 at the from the depths below up (limit's Skull. 19)." to "Cleaver of the waiting give Fig. and the Scalds often alluded to it.
where Hrungnir would then appear with shield and grindstone. the gods upon Thor. who Here he met the giant Hrungboasted that his steed Gullfaxi was far better than Odin's. a slight honor to slay a defenseless only foe. Odin rode back to Asgarth. As help for him the other giants called built now a champion of clay. . and he had a mare's heart in his breast Hrungnir's heart was a three-cornered stone. Once when Thor was in the East in order to crush the trolls. He was called Mokkrkalfi. Such a challenge Thor did not allow to be offered twice. and three rasts broad between the shoulders. At the appointed time Thor made his appear. nine rasts high. but the giant followed him even into the dwelling of the gods. who quickly appeared and was on the point of crushing the The latter intimated that it was giant. and the giant went away satisfied. Odin seated himself upon Sleipnir and rode to Jotunheim. Now drink was borne before him. he must rather meet him in a duel at the frontier. but when his boasting become too arrogant. nir.108 NORSE MYTHOLOGY only in Snorri.
attended by 77m////. after which Ilrungnir ste))j)ed upon his shield and grasped the grindstone with both hands. the healing woman. Thialfi strove with the clay giant. Siiorri adds that it did .CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS ance. When Thor came back to Thruthvang. At the same time Thialfi Trent forward and ealled to him that Tlior Nsas coming from below. but half of the stone strikes Thor in the forehead so with sliield hei'orc that he falls to the ground in such a way that the giant's foot lies across his neck. was brought. Meanwhile no one could awav. Groa. The grindstone and hammer were hurled at the same time and met midway. Mjolnir holds its course and crushes the giant. who recited magic songs over him until the stone began to swav in his forehead. " lift the giant's leg * until Thor's three-year-old son Maf/Hi came up. tlio 109 The giant stood him and the grindstone in liis hand. Thor meanwhile went forward through the air amidst lightning and crash of thunder. although Odin himself had meant to have that good steed. who trembled with fear and fell with little glory. he then received Gullfaxi as a reward for his strength.
to whose court he had from curiosity betaken himself in Frigg's falcon cloak. by the giant Geirroth. NORSE MYTHOLOGY told however. Geirroth. Thor had borne him on his back in a basket over the poisonous streams on the return journey from Jotunheim. and Thor had cast it up to heaven and made it into a star.110 not. and quickly as far as the ceiling it went up when Thor . get completely loose. In order to get free he had to promise to bring Thor to Geirroth without his hammer or his strengthIn this the artful Loki was easily belt. was coming home presently. Thor came first to a brook in which one of the giant's daughters had He slew her occasioned an inundation. successful. her iron gloves. however. Orvandil. and her staff. for Thor Groa that her husband. structed him about Geirroth and lent him at parting her strength-belt. In Geirroth's hall there was only one chair. but on the way Thor visited the She ingiantess Grith. One of his toes. Vithar's mother. But Groa became so joyful at this information that she forgot her witchcraft. Loki had once been caught 8. and escaped to land by drawing himself up into a mountain ash. was frozen off.
"Thor's Journey to 1 Jotunheim. and went out through the wall on the is opposite side. beside which people Geirroth then seized a glowing iron Thor. Thor now hurled it the wedge with such force that pierced through the pillar and Geirroth also. who caught it wedge and cast it at with the borrowed gloves." Tors Rejse til l the introduction to "Gods Jotunheim. for the giant's daughters had been under the chair and lay there now with broken backs. which probably is the best known. The main source of this myth the obscure Scaldic lay Thorsdrapa. is retold bv Snorri. after which there was heard a great roar. fire. Tie then pressed staff against it with (Jrith's and pushed with all his might. . This tale attained great celebrity after Oehlenschlaeger made use of it as the basis for his poem. is which 9. tf Thor's Journey to Utgarth. after which the giant hid himself in terror behind a mighty iron pillar. In Snorri also found the late adventure of Thor's journey to Utgarth.CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS -ated himself 111 upon it. On the floor there was kindled a great took their seats.
Thor gets Thialfi and the peasant (Egil). Alvis. The optical illusion is Thor wishes to take vengeance. The meeting with Skrymir lunch bag. . lifts the Mithgarth i.112 NORSE MYTHOLOGY l of the North. has received the He now promise of Thor's daughter. b. comes to take her. removed and 10. d. The dwarf does not know him and asks him to mind his Nordens Guder. An entirely characteristic but not very transparent myth lies also at the basis of the Eddie Song of Alvis. Thor's hammer-thrust.e." free Snorri's long account is a and fanciful transformation of a whole series of Thor-myths now for the most part a. c. wrestles with Elli. lost. and Old Age). Alvis is a dwarf who. Utgarthaloki (the eating test and the Thor drinks from the sea. Eoskva from (the gloves. but is addressed with scornful words by Thor. but without success. without its being evident wherefore and from whom. serpent. race.
e. the sun. elves. Thor. giants. "The questions in accordance with his All-wise.g. he is overtaken by the day and turned to stone before the beams of the rising sun. 'islet'). The dwarf is remarkably well informed but does not give heed to the time. Thor asking the dwarf how all different things. moon. who said to him. "Have you heard that Thor chal- lenged Christ to a holm-going (duel fought on a holmr. and it really ideas were preserved proved that the old among the people long after the introduction of Christianity. earth. . and other mythical beings. 11.CHIEF GODS AM) MYTHS 113 own business. are named by gods. dwarfs. however. Thor-Faith long Prevalent. he once fell into conversation with a heathen woman. When the vigorous priest Tangbrand preached Christianity in Iceland. only when he is informed who Thor is does he become humble and tell his errand. will not give him his daughter unless he can an- swer name. but Christ dared not contend with Thor?" This tale is significant as to our fathers' first view of the new doctrine." Now the interrogation begins.
indeed were even placed side by side as sacred symbols in ChrisIn Norway. The sign the sign of the cross FIG. 20).114 It NORSE MYTHOLOGY was especially difficult to eradicate the in the protecting and consecrating faith virtue of Thor and his of the hammer and hammer. strange to say. were confused. tian churches (Fig. From the Norwegian peasant's . 20. Figure of Thor (?). the common people transferred not a few of Thor's qualities to Saint Olaf.
flames ! "Hakon Jarl": Heaven will strike shall thee with its with his HAKON. the sorcerer's bitter foe. is a leap not nearly so great as one at the first glance might But with the Christian priests. for them Christ and Thor are as incompatible as good and evil. Together with Tyr and Thor as well as the goddess Frija a ('the beloved. Worship of Odin. It contrast which Oehlenschlaeger is this brings out in the famous conclusion of the third act of OLAF. Odin is common Germanic divinity.' Mother Earth). think. Thor and Odin naturally stood as the worst among all the evil beings of the heathen davs. to the red-bearded thunder-god with the hammer. who crushes the giants' and mountain giants' skulls.rHIEF GODS AXD MYTHS 115 King Olaf. and this can be proved also by philology. with (laming red board and with ax in hand. Tyr's original . Thor hammer! splinter the cross ODIN 1.
one-eyed man with a long beard. On his arm he wears the ring Draupnir. . Odin is thought of as an old. broad hat. it permeates all Norselittle we must now look a more 2." and the relation here is quite the same as in the case of Thor. on his shoulders sit the ravens Huginn and Muninn. the sources relate nothing particular about him beyond that which is stated in the foregoing. a single a god of heaven is thought of as and an independent divinity. Odin's divinity and the closely which are attached to him.' and at his feet lie the two wolves. myths at Odin's Appearance and Surroundings. person Odin's worship is. Odin's name signifies "the one blowing.116 NORSE MYTHOLOGY significance as the ancient god of heaven is. 'Thought' and 'Memory.' Ordinarily he is armed with the spear Gungnir. Geri and Freki. but since Icelandic poetry. and rides upon Sleipnir (he has many other horses. and an ample blue or parti-colored cloak. 'Greedy' and 'Eager. as we have already remarked. in the North. somewhat young in the Northern side of the lands. completely obscured. tall.
'Father Victory. Helmet-bearer. ghosts). God of Burdens. From these examples alone it will appear that Norwegian-Icelandic poetry represents Odin as the world's chief divinity. . the Blustering.' Armies. Valfathir. the Great Hat. God of Wisdom. Bushy-browed. Father of the of Slain. the Changeable.C1I !/:/' OOD8 AND MYTHS the 117 among tliein war-horse Blotlioghofi). and he often travels as a wanderer around the world with staff in hand. and in theories about Valhalla. the Wanderer. we have more than two hundred. the Stormer. all Odin acquired his wisdom by personal investigation: he traveled through all counBut in tries and had wide experience. Terrifier. God Hanged. and Lord of Spirits (i.e.' the King of Herfathir. as God of War. But the clearest picture of him is that of God of IVixdoin. Odin. the most of them signify one or another characteristic of the god: Allfather. the the the Gray-bearded. Odin's N<uncfi.and the Art of Poetry. the Traveler. of the Fimbultijr ('Mighty God').--If we sinn up all of Odin's names in poetry. First of 3. King of Spears.
Odin is described as the most prominent God of Wisdom.118 NORSE MYTHOLOGY ways also he gained information. a castle or simply a high seat. In the Eddie Songs 4. for other the ravens fly every morning out over all the world and bring tidings back with them. 3 to remain have journeyed much. and comes to the giant's hall. how Vafthruthnir's this I wish to know household may be. about Vafthruthnir. Vafthruthnir. We have already heard what sacrifice Odin was obliged to make in order to increase his knowledge at the time when he had to pledge one of his eyes to obtain a drink from Mimir's well of wisdom. Odin is speaking with Frigg. accompanied by Frigg's best wishes. from which Odin can look out over the whole world. but Frigg advises him Odin answers: VAFTHR. attempted much. I have tested oft the powers. . and in heaven there is besides his also a place castle Valaskjalf or Valhalla Hlithskjalf. at home. I He departs. he has a desire to visit the wise giant Vafthruthnir. to test his sagacity.
After that the song rehearses a number of the main points of the belief in the gods in questions on Odin's part. iii^lit. the \'. pass to the giant's bench and let us talk on the seat together! shall \vc two in the Wager our heads oh guest. First of all Odin. but the giant never hesitates about an answer. 55 what thou in early days didst say in thy son's ear: I uttered ancient lore With fated lips this. until the god asks him.CHIEF GOD* AND MYTHS 119 where. standing. "What did Odin say in Baldur's ear before he was borne upon the Then Vafthruthnir understands pyre?" with whom he has engaged in contest. hall.\1 TIIR. 19 \Vi<o now thou art. oh guest. under the name of Wanderer. Xo man knows and of the downfall of the gods. upon our wisdom. answers the giant's question ahout the steeds of day and the countries of gods boundary river ///>/// between and giants. he challenges the latter to a contest of wisdom. . and the Then quoth Vafthruthnir: plain Viyrith.
while Geirroth went up to the royal castle and later son.120 NORSE MYTHOLOGY There was once a king by name 5. not poor people. Here a man and woman met them and cared for them The peasant (the man) during the winter. wagered upon his opinion. Now. the boat again drove out upon the sea. a king. Odin declared this to be untrue. as they were sitting one time in Hlithskjalf. the second eight winters old. who had two sons. Frigg sent her maid to King Geirroth and warned him against a man versed in magic who was to come to his court and who could be known by this. thrust the boat out again. ' * ' ' ! became an illustrious prince. Geirroth sprang quickly ashore. The foster- parents were. These two rowed out with a boat to fish. however. the spring they went away in a boat. to which she answered that Geirroth was. to be sure. Odin taunted his wife on account of Agnar and his fortune. but Odin and Frigg. of whom the first was ten. that dogs did not dare to bitp . but the peasant whispered something first to his fosterWhen the boys came to their father's anchoring ground. but the wind drove them off over the sea. and in the darkness of the night they were stranded upon a foreign shore. and set out in order But to inquire into the matter for himself. as indeed it was. Agnar and Geirrotk. Hrauthung. Grimnir. took charge of Geirroth and gave him good In counsel. while his wife preferred Agnar. and called out to his after which To the Trolls with thee brother. but he was so niggardly about food that he tormented his guests in case too many came.
the dogs shrank back before liini. "a saga. Thus it is told in the prose introduction to the Sayings of Grimnir. "The Masked". Odin is enumerating the dwellHere lie says among ings of the gods. however. of which we shall quote a single one. pyres so as to force him to say who he was. Saga. GODS AND MYTHS 121 Soon afterward a man eame in a blue ami called himself iiritmnr. cheerful from golden cups." Philologists. while his cloak caught fire. Grimnir drained it. upon which the king gav orders to seize him and place him between two cloak. other things: GRIMN. there Odin and Saga. since the name lias been associated with the well-known words. wairirimr their tails. after which he began to speak. and there do cool drink every day. The poem itself contains a number of disconnected names and myths.CIIIKF him. Then the king's tenyear-old son Agnar had pity on him and brought him a filled horn to drink. 6. Sokkvabekk the fourth waves go rushing over. have pointed out that this conception cannot be correct. Sokkvabekk should really be ren- . is 7 called. This Saga has been understood as a kind of Muse of History. There he sat eight nights.
Spinning-wheel. queen Fjorgyn. according to which the myth is an allusion to the sunset. Hlotliyn. when the sun every day sinks below the horizon westward into the sea. It is most likely that Freyja. Originally she was married to the god of heaven Tiwan. 'the Ruling One. Orion was first Friday means Frigg's. . she is readily confused with Freyja. Frea in the Norse language. just as the constellation called but later Freyja's. Frija.' and Saga is doubta name for Frigg. origi- nally Frigg's day. in Norse mythology. into possession of his maid and his Furthermore. grew into Frigg. one of the few Germanic female divinities that can be pointed out.122 NORSE MYTHOLOGY dered 'Sinking Bench.' was only an epithet of the queen of heaven and was later made into a new divine being. Of the other names of the of the gods can be mentioned Jorth. for which reason it is difficult to determine which myth concerns the one or the other. but when Odin supplanted him he came wife. a poetic expression for the sun-god's meetless ing with Frigg.
where the land had been. acquiring briefly. he who partakes of it is a Scald. the The myth of the about Odin Scalds has. and the headlands correspond to the inlets of the sea which remained behind in Sweden. but this team plowed so deep that the land was loosened. It is now called Zealand. She brought her four giant sons and transformed them into plow oxen. Odin his way through all hindrances. GODS AM) MYTH* 123 (i< is also fjon Probably In originally from one of Frigg's names.C11 1Kb" 7. makes where Gunnloth guarded it. Scaldship the Mead following content: (poetry) is represented as an inspiring drink. * known. is Snorri's account of Gefjon and (lylfi. It was kept at the home of the giants. the Eddie Song Lokasenna (the Loki Quarrel). Odin says that Gefjon knows the destinv of the world as well as he himself. The Mead of the Scalds. Gefjon. Gumiloth's affection. and gets pergains . whereupon the oxen drew it out westward into the sea. 8. however. King Gylfi in Sweden gave her as much land as she could better Far plow about in one day with four oxen.
I allowed the auger's mouth stones. Havamal: "The man must be gifted in speech who wishes to know much and to attain anyThis I (i. Odin) thing in the world. lacking to the wise. to break me it a path between the gray The giants were going both over and under. is noAv come up since Othrerir to verge of men's abode. 106 Her well-gained beauty little is have I much enjoyed. ries it He then car- it up to the upper world and gives to men. appears proved at the home of the giants. In the oldest and purest form the myth in the Eddie poem. so danger. . 105 on the golden seat Gimnloth gave me a drink of the precious mead. ill return I later let her have (for her faithful heart) for her troubled mind.e." was by no means without HAV.124 NORSE MYTHOLOGY mission to enjoy the drink. it was not by keeping silent that I made progress in Suttung's hall.
Snorri's account embraces the following essential points: a. Gilling Gilling. the man Kvasir. Odin. who was very wise. who laid her ami about 108 The day thereafter frost-giants (to ask of liar's condition) into the hall of liar. shall trust his good faith? he forbade the drink to Suttung deceived who and he made Gunnloth weep. The two giants now invited another giant. . The blood they mixed with honey. each of them spat into a vessel. and from this arose the mead of the Scalds.rir and two vessels. has sworn: ring-oath. After the truce between the Aesir and the Vanir. if of (Junnloth I had had no joy. and from this fluid they made. the went if he to the gods had for Bolverk they inquired or had Suttung him destroyed? come 109 A I think.CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS 107 125 Doubt is in mo if I had come again that goodly maid out of the giant's court. Kvasir was slain by two giants. and his wife to come to them. who caught his blood in the kettle Othrr. b. Fjalar and Galar. as a token of peace.
that agreed. and the crafty Baugi had to bore again until the chips flew Now Bolverk proceeded into the inward. but agreed to accept the mead of the daughter. When Odin first to mead he where nine slaves were mowing grass. He drained then in three draughts both . but when Bolverk blew. When the time for work was at an end Suttung. and received the promise of a drink of the mead for each of the three nights he was there. mountain in the form of a serpent. wanted to take vengeance for his parents. proposed to Baugi that he carry on the work of the slaves with this as reward. but all were so eager to grasp it that they killed each other in the attempt. and set his Gunnloth. The god then cast it up into the air. er's men. Scalds as compensation. refused to fulfill his brother 's promise. who called himself Eolver'k. however. Suttung 's brothOdin offered to whet their scythes. Suttung. he got chips in his face. and the whetstone was so excellent that they all wanted to buy it. these weie Baugi' s.126 NORSE MYTHOLOGY sailing was drowned while on a party. to guard it within the set out to gain the mountain. It was not long before Baugi declared that the hole was through. but Bolverk thus took advantage of the fraud: he gave Baugi an auger and made him bore into the mountain where the drink was hidden. that he receive To this Baugi a draught of Suttung 's mead. won Gunnloth 's love. and when his wife grieved about it they slew her. The son. d. c. After came a field Odin.
which the gods did not collect. this. the kettle nild the vessels form toward Asirarth. Runes. that the discovery to Odin himself. to Asgarth the gods set out their vessel so thai Odin might spit out the mead into it. wherefore he ther of Magic called galdrs fathur.. and faith in the mighty runes has long been maintained in popular belief and in poetry (cf. is of runes was ascribed distinctlv tt then. This told in several is Eddie songs. Othrerir was perhaps at first the name for the mead of the Scalds itself. old Danish balof them lads).C///AT GODS AND MYTH. It was not long before 9. No wonder. later were interpreted as magic signs. secrecy.' and by the later Chris- tian church in the North was regarded as . e.and llcw tliis ill Jill 127 eagle's liini. Suttung diseovered and pursued When they drew near likewise in ea trie's form. meaning difficult to Odin is then also the god of is all sorcery. hut the giant was close upon him and some of the mead then went the wrong way.-The old world "run" signifies mystery. 'FaSong. REMARK. but the real discover. the runes themselves all at first certain of them. became the portion of the rhymsters and the poor Scalds.
All those who die in arms belong to him. however. the old for the king. he arouses it. ' ' beings ' ' whom the an account is given In the Heimskringla of how Odin. Odin enters into the life of War incites kings his work. This he fosters by teaching his favorites new means of conquering. with which he entertained the king even after At his departure the latter had gone to bed. . so that there can still be heroes when the last great battle is at hand. came to King Olaf Tryggvason when the latter was at a feast at court." Of Valhalla. Odin as God of battle is Battle.128 NORSE MYTHOLOGY evil the worst of the heathen worshiped. the Valkyrs and Einherjar an account has already been given. He gathers only nobles about him. he gave the steward fat horse-shoulders to roast In due time. man's deception was discovered. "As god of war and men. He talked long and shrewdly with the king and was surprisingly well acquainted with old traditions. He and earls against each other. 10. as an old one-eyed man. and he himself The warriors are driven by mingles in the battle to help them or bring them to himself (Harald Hildetann). a higher spirit. with his broad hat.
--The the third chief divinity among people of the North. The Ynyllngs to in Sweden this descend. where too his significance as the supposed ancestor of the Swedish race of kings is The general about Frey have been 'wife. The form is Freyja.CHIEF QODS AND MYTHS 129 FREY AND NJORTH 1. Worship of Frey. which later through German influence became llnxfni and after that was changed to Hustni. is /Vr//. cannot with certainty he pointed out as a genera 1Germanic divinity and whose nature and origin therefore are difficult to determine. however. who. whose name heretofore in Danish in the word lluxfrd. in trace a connecthe Latin torian three Gennauia names chief Germanic races. tion with from Yngvi-Frey. about whose worship we liave definite information. since his Through his- name we can perhaps Germany. of which one Tacitus . The name signifies corresponding 'The Mistress.' indicated.' feminine was preserved The Ruling One. according an old Scaldic lay. mythological details given above.
' his attendant Skirnir.' love for Gerth. Wherefore he himself apart without wishing to speak with any one. 'golden bristles. He himself is called The Shining One.130 NOESE MYTHOLOGY was the Ingvaeones. God of the World. Beli is brother of the giantess Gerth and one of the finest of the 'Skirnir's Eddie poems. his boar is called Gullinbursti. In any case Frey is originally a variation of the god of light and heaven. Skirnir's Journey. . and Chief of the Gods. 'Maker of Brightness. he is called Bell's Blond Destroyer. Skirnir is Frey's attendant but also his friend from youth is quite accustomed to the god's confidant. According to the Volva's Prophecy he There contends in Ragnarok with Surt. He lives in Alfheim. 1 Journey. One time somebeing thing was troubling Frey. for he seated up. Skirnismal. Skathi then bade Skirnir 1 Indicated by the title For Skirnis often used. deals with Frey's 2.' and he is in possession of treasures which only the most prominent god can own.
and from them too her arms shone the air and all the sea. and the sword which swings itself against giants and trolls. is In the prose introduction to the poem it related that Frey had seated himself in Hlithskjalf and had looked out over all the world. this no one wishes of Aesir and of elves that we should be together. and Frey answered: SKM. 7 A maid dearer to me than maid to any man youthful in early days. daughter of the giant Gymir. flaming magic fires. This is done. Skirnir offers latter will lend now him to ride to Jotunheim as a suitor for his friend.CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS ascertain 131 what had awakened the strong god's wrath. . and after a dangerous and intricate ride the swift Skirnir stands in Gvmir's hall in conversation with Gerth. He had also cast eyes upon the fair Gerth. 6 I sa\v walking In Gymir's court a maiden dear to me. provided the the steed which will hear him most safely through the dark.
next." to threats: people of the underworld. provided that she will give Frey her love. wroth the most excellent evil maid! (thou) who hast attained the gods' ferocious wrath. He is however refused on both scores. SKM. frost-giants. Most 34 Hear ye giants. I have the disposition of Without circumlocution he first my Then Skirnir resorts he will strike her father down and slay her with the rune-written sword. for "gold is cheap in Gymir's court. how I deny to the maid the maid the joy of men the pleasure of men. with the magic wand he will subdue her and send her as booty to the cruel trollfather's wealth. The maid who can beaming reject the bright. ye. of gods. 33 Wroth with thee is Odin. affection shall be punished god's . hear.132 NORSE MYTHOLOGY . the ring Draupnir. (ye gods too) how to I forbid. Suttung's sons. tells his errand he promises her eleven golden apples. thee shall Frey hate.
youth! full of ancient mead.CHIEF GODS AM) . and take the crystal cup that e'er I yet I have ne'er believed should love well a Yanir's son. Freyja. tion. and tells him the The poem ends with his Frey's declaration of inexpressible longing for the bride. she will celebrate her bridal with Frey. but the original relation has not been successfully determined. Frey-Njorth. Not until now does the stubborn maid submit. Then Skirnir rides back to the latter result of his journey. 38 Hail (now rather). It is well understood that there is a definite connection between Yngvi-Frey. and live partake of the most loathsome food her life under the most gruesome conditions. terror-stricken. 3. But Skirnir wishes to have full information and Gerth answers then that in nine nights. the death-realm. in the grove Barri.MYTHS \\\:\ by becoming Erimgrimnir's bride down in Thither shall she totter broken in will and without volievery day. Both Njorth and Frev in Xorse mythology are gods of fruitfuluess . and Xjorth.
* HEIMDALL AND BALDUB 1. and with this name divinity the Norse word Njorth form. a manifestation of . REMARK. the wagon. Heimdall is a purely Norse divinity to his and must according name and pe- culiarities be. and does not belong among the heathen beliefs. Then peace and joy prevailed. the goddess in solemn procession and amid the exultation of the people was led about on festal days. The tale about Hertha and her worship at Lejre (in Zealand) is only a late tradition which is founded on a perversion of Tacitus account. Upon exactly agrees as a masculine on island in the ocean was her sacred grove. the garments. In this wagon drawn by cows. and have about the same The most of these are found Tacitus also in Freyja.134 NORSE MYTHOLOGY characteristics. Before the goddess was taken back to the temple. mentions in connection with a North German tribe a female Nerthus. and the divinity herself were washed in the sacred lake. with a consecrated wagon which only the priest might touch. like Frey.
and active though advanced in years. the day's gleam which shows itself at the the horizon immediately before the rising of the sun. perhaps more definitely the god of the morning red. account has been given above of his The Volva's dwelling and employment. Long ago the wise god. with the following words Prophecy begins the world. The name means "he who lights His steed is called Gulltopp. 1 Hear me all ye holy kindred. 2. wandered along green paths until he came to the hut in which great grandstrong ." An : Vsr. is represented as the an- cestor of the different classes of society. under is the name of Rig.C'/// A'/-' dODS AX It MYTHS 135 god of heaven and light. and smaller. ircimdall's sons! That men are here called Heimdall's sons not necessarily an outcome of an ancient conception of Heimdall as supreme god. in which the god. Rig is a Celtic word which means prince or king. This expression comes rather from an Eddie song which is somewhat older than the Volva's Prophecy.
and partook of their heavy coarse bread and soup. clasps upon her shoulders." and from the two descended all the Thralls. an ugly face. Later he married Thir. gave them good advice. shirt was close fitting. Afe and Amma. 16 turning her distaff. owned: RlGSTII. a chest was in the floor.136 NORSE MYTHOLOGY father and grandmother. long hands. which was baptized with water and received the name Thraell. and a stooping back. But nine months afterwards Edda bore a child. "a thrall. made ready the cloth. 15 The couple sat there. the man was hewing there wood for a weaver's beam his beard was trimmed. a forelock on his brow. The woman sat a scarf was at her neck. thick fingers. Ae and Edda. He remained there three nights and sought rest between them. a coif was on her head. He had a furrowed skin. Eig wandered farther along the road and came to a hall which grandfather and grandmother. . kerchief on her breast. stretched out her arms. . long heels. were busy with their work. but he became great and strong and capable for work. there. dwelt. He took a situation with them.
RIGSTH. had long trained-dp'-- and Idui-h sark. drawing tight her medallion on her sleeves. veil browned bacon. fitting the arrows. But the housewife was observing her anus. and the floor covered. She set dishes silver-plated on the table.C7/7 ///' GODS AND . was called Stior. th'-v drank and talked. bending the elm-b<>\v. wine was in the tankard. forged tools. with the door towards the south.MYTHS and cooked veal 137 set Filled dishes wore Uig ate and remained there iil)on the table. her cap set high. I Jig continued his wandering until lie readied the hall of father and mother. 27-8 The householder twisting his bow-string. 1 Free man. In-east. and nine months later Annna who was bapti/ed and called tamed oxen. three nights. 1 lie race of free peasants. and their ])rogeny was the bore a son. . built His wife houses. and tilled the ground. roasted fowl. a ring in the door-post. I\'(trl. the cups were of line metal. The mother laid a white-figured cloth the table and set on fine 31 upon wheat bread. the dav was nearlv done.it stroking her dress. s.
and gave him great riches." Jarl from childhood had practice in arms. "Light were his curls. Rig came. and they had many valiant sons. warriors he gained land in war. called him son. his steed he urged. of whom the youngest was Kon ungi ('Kon the Young. the word for "king"). the field he did awake. to him. felled. He was a glorious hero and vied with or surpassed Jarl both in arms and in shrewdness. he drew his sword. Erna became his wife. bright his cheeks. 38 we The shaft he shook. strife he swung his shield. and named Jarl. taught him runes. Finally he set out for adventure in order to gain celebrity and a fair bride in Denmark. yet hear that ElGSTH. The poem consists here of incomplete fragments only. The Lay of Rig contains undoubtedly a glorification of kingly power and is supposed to have been composed in Norway . baptized.' hence Konungr.138 NORSE MYTHOLOGY But afterwards mother bore a son who was swaddled in silk. he reddened. sharp as a serpent's his shining eyes.
understood to have arisen. The plant-name "Baldur's brow" also is an in various evidence of the faith in this god. ). and strong opposition to it has arisen. . Bugge. is tin- most disputed of the myths.) 4.C7/ //:/' iii GODS AND MYTHS 13. Besides allusions in several myth Eddie songs. encounters great difficulties. also Baldur is distinctly Northern. maintains that the theories about Baldur are formed from a combination of Irish legends about Christ and misunderstood Greek and Roman tales. Two Baldur Myths. we find the Baldur forms in Snorri and Saxo. Both in Denmark and elsewhere in the North. The substance of the myth is the same in 1 Snorri's and Saxo's representations: Harald Fairhair. however. like Ileimdall.) praise of an absolute king (Ilarald Har1 fagrif 3. 8GO-933. king of Norway. Baldur. The myth all of Baldur. commonly from an Frey and embodiment of an original epithet of the old god of heaven. place-names are found and local traditions which are connected with Baldur. on the contrary. This view. (See Introduction.
140 NORSE MYTHOLOGY is Baldur slain by Hoth but a son of Odin and Frigg. In Saxo there are preserved indistinct traits of the Valkyrs (the three Forest Maids) and of the murderous sword which is kept by the giant Miming. he is is avenged by his brother.' Heathen kings Skjold. and Hoth his blind brother. the Vali of Icelandic sources. however. We must also remark that as Baldur is everywhere a son of Odin. 'kings. In Saxo the contest Gevar's turns upon the princess Nanna. who. calls the avenging brother Sous. Hoth signifies "combat" and agrees closely with the form HotJierus in Saxo.' came to mean 'princes. will 'sons now of re- Shieldings. who is loved by the 1 Shielding is ers she is the Hother. 5. section late developall ment. skjoldungar. the information about him must at all events be later than the rise of Odin faith and is therefore of comparatively Dreams. while with the Icelandgod Baldur's wife.' of Denmark were meant. Baldur's In addition to we have the 1 alluded to concerning Baldur in preceding Icel. we lit. . King daughter.
in return he agreed to tell her about earth and heaven. cantations he conjured up the dead and asked her for news from the underworld . but the conVegtam is incomplete and unpoem Funeral. Odin rode upon Sleipnir down to Helheim to the burial With powerful inplace of a wise sibyl. . 6. wished 1 The gods among it out and make Baldur's push Yegtamskvitha. and the with clear drinks and covered with shields.CHIEF GODS AND MYTIIti count a 141 this few Icelandic myths about god. is the chief content of 1 . the benches filled wagons strewn with rings.- Baldur's The Aesir it took Baldur's body and carried the largest to all to the sea. Hringhorn was the name of Baldur's ships. Since evil dreams had given warning of danger to Baldur's life. The sibyl confirms his gloomy forebodings: it is Baldur's coming that they await.. : He wants to know why such festal preparations are being made in the hall of Hel the floor is spread with straw. ship.-This the Eddie Song of clusion of the intelligible.
When his wife Nanna saw this. Thor next stepped forward and con- secrated the pyre with the hammer. but the ship could not be moved. but all the gods united in saving her by their cession. inter- Now Baldur's body was borne out upon the ship. . and the god's horse was led out with all his trappings. so that fire went out from the rollers and the whole country trembled. where he was burned. At that Thor became wroth. her heart broke from grief and she was laid upon the pyre with her hus- band. Hyrrokin went to the bow of the ship and pushed it out with the first thrust. and wanted to crush her head. She came riding upon a wolf and had a viper for a bridle. dwarf ran before his feet and Thor in his A rage kicked him into the fire. Four Berserks were to guard the wolves. They then sent a messenger to Jotunheim for a sorceress who was named Hyrrokin. Many gods and giants were present at the funeral. but they could not hold them until they had thrown them down. grasped the hammer.142 NORSE MYTHOLOGY funeral-pyre upon it. Odin laid the ring Draupnir on Baldur's breast.
do you ride hither upon the Hel-road . who Motligutli was the name of the maid She asks him watched the bridge. and the horse leaps over without touching the gate at all. she answers in the affirmative and shows him the way: "down towards the north goes the Hel-road. girds him fast.'" Hermoth asks if she has seen Baldur. it Hrnnoth the Swift." until he Xow Hermoth rides farther. Then Ilcnnoth rides on to the hall . Odiifs son. II* 1 saddled Sleipnir and rode nine nights and he days through dark and deep dales . which was covered with bright gold. Ai'ter 143 Hermoth's IJaldur's death. "but not less does the bridge resound under you alone. GODS AND MYTHS Hel-Ride. He dismounts from his horse. took upon himself to I down Id to at Frigg's request to ride hog release for Baldur. you have not the color of dead men why . could not see a hand before him. until he came to the river Ujoll and out upon (J. comes to Hel's grated gate. for his name and race and says that the day before there rode five companies of dead men over the bridge. gives him the spurs. mounts again.jallar Bridge.Clll El7.
How the test of weeping failed has already been told. Dead men neither those dead of disease nor cowards) ride to Hel in warlike hosts and all equipped. Baldur remains there over night before he discharges his commission. but and goes He to Odin. and their king takes his place on the high seat which is prepared for him. Conceptions of Hel as a place of punishment are not at all definitely indicated in the oldest poetry." The oldest belief seems to have compets (but . The narrative about Hermoth's Hel-ride deviates widely from Snorri's descriptions in various places of the realm of death and the goddess of death. for the floors are strewn and the benches covered with car- and expensive materials. 8." She is a queen and dwells in splendid halls which are decorated like a royal castle on earth. The Death-Realm. At his departure Baldur sends gifts sees his brother sitting in the high seat.144 NORSE MYTHOLOGY in. cealing one. yet on the contrary a Nifl-Hel is named "to which men die from Hel. but contains certainly an older and more Hel means "the conoriginal conception.
which is reached by the Ilel-road. fl'l-gate or death boundary. is upon her throne in the hall Eljuthnir. Her kingdom is called lliUnhn. Garm. and the Realm of the Dead (heaven. 'dead'. rims out of the Gnipa-cave. Nifl-hel). her threshold is called "falling deceit' and her couch is the "bed of sickness. Ilelsot. Hel. 'faLikewise tal disease'. . earth. Helved. the "\Vorld of Men.' 3 the widespread superstition that the howling of dogs presages death is probably a half-extinct reminder of the Hel-hound. 'hell'. men thought that the brave halla first went to Valfather.CHIEF GODS AM) MYTHS preliended three Volva's Prophecy 145 worlds tells (although : the of nine) the land of the Gods. horrible to behold. her maid is Ganglot.' -The word Hel is even now preserved in the Danish words ihjcl. The deathgoddess herself. and Hclhcst. the cowardly. 'hell-steed. over the Gjallar Bridge. according to Snorri's representation. possibly with a hint at a place But when the of punishment. and the underworld. gained sway over nine worlds in Niflheim. Odin-cult and with that the belief in Val- made its way into the popular consciousness. Then Hel became Loki's daughter and her realm a counterpart of Valhalla. past the The Hel-hound. and those dead of disease to Hel.
and just as many of the origin and meaning of the god himself. 9 Dost remember. He has also many of Odin's noble qualities. Odin.146 NORSE MYTHOLOGY LOKI 1. It is most probable that Loki signifies "the one closing. Loki. did when we in early days mingle blood together? Taste ale you never would. the one who bears the name Asa-Loki. although it is often recorded that he originally belonged to the race of giants. but his temper is such that ." and in order to understand his nature we will begin with his own words in the old lay. The Loki Quarrel: LOK. Many explanations have been given of the meaning of the name. Loki is and in the accordingly Odin's foster-brother most intimate and cordial rela- tion to the chief divinity possible between two men. We have now remaining one of the most enigmatic figures within the circle of Norse gods. unless 'twere borne to both. you vowed. bringing to an end.
it is with a certain right that he has been called the "devil of the North. must therefore become finally the worst enemy of gods and men. but the latter gain more and more control. comes the Thus Loki beof Heimdall." On the basis of his relation with the storming heaven-god. Odin's foster-brother. With Angrbotlia he begets the frightful trio.CHIEF GODS AXD MYTHS he is 147 not capable of exercising them in the lie has sense and understanding like Odin. Fire is the benefactor of the tf human race. and since he also occasions Baldur's death. is as strong in merits as in faults. Loki might properly be regarded also as the god of fire. and for this a strong argument may be found in the narratives about him. but they express themselves He in bitter malice and fraudulent acts. right way. but also its merciless enemv. who also at Ragnarok takes a commanding position among the evil powers in the destruction. Asa-Loki. just as he previously at Sin- . and with opposite him he fights the last battle at the crisis of the gods. Hence he is endowed in the later mythological evil trait after poetry with one another.
It was the giant Tliiazzi in eagle's form who had borne For his freedom he was now him away. One time the three Aesir. Loki thrust at him with a rod. 2. Seizure of Ithun. and which said it must have its full share of the ox The gods cooking succeed. cooked the eagle took both thigh and shoulder for his part.148 NORSE MYTHOLOGY gasten had fought with him for Freyja's necklace. In exasperation at this. Odin. down in a valley. Hcenir. obliged to promise to entice away Ithun with the . of which they killed one and sought to cook it over a fire. should the The eagle flew rapidly and high. Loki's limbs were almost torn from him before he yielded. but when the meat was promised this. but the rod remained fast in his body and Loki was unable to loose his hold on the other end. This was caused by an eagle which was sitting in a tree above them. First. however much they cooked it. and Loki. but the flesh would not become tender. they found a herd of oxen. traveled from home over fields and desolate lands where they could find no food. Brisingamen.
CHIEF GODS AND
Aesir's old-age remedy (the that the giant could seize her.
Apples), so At the time
agreed upon Loki coaxed Itlmn out into the wood with her apples, in order that she
might compare them with some others that he claimed to have found. The giant then came up in eagle's form and flew away with
But when Ithun was awav the Aesir soon turned gray. Ithun was last seen together with Loki, and the latter in order to save his life had to confess everything and pro/
mise to restore the goddess to Asgarth. In Freyja's falcon-cloak he flew rapidly to Jotunheim, found Ithun at home alone, transformed her into a nut, and flew awav with her in his claws. Shortly afterwards Thiazzi came back and missed Ithun. In eagle's form he pursued the robber, who, however, escaped over Asgarth's walls, behind which the gods had kindled a great
With scorched wings, Thiazzi sank to when he could not stop his mad and was slain by Thor. flight,
Skathi in Asgarth.
now put on
proceeded to Asgarth to take vengeance father. Meanwhile, to reconcile the gods offered to allow her to choose her,
for herself a husband from their number; but she was to choose according to the feet
body and head she was not She chose then a man with very handsome feet, in the belief that it was Baldur, but it proved to be Njorth.
alone, for the allowed to see.
Their experience has already been related. Skathi was even now not satisfied and demanded that the gods should make her No one was able to do this but laugh. at whose wanton jests she could not Loki,
keep serious. As additional penalty Odin (or Thor) took her father's eyes and cast them upward to heaven, where they were
transformed into stars. Loki's worst 4. Loki Scoffs at the Gods. he caused Baldur's offense was this, that death; but as we have seen, he had time
He and again defied the gods before. the offered them the greatest disdain at feast which the sea-giant Aegir instituted for the Aesir and for which Thor had brought the great kettle from Hymir. All
CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS
the gods and goddesses were present with the exception of Thor, and Loki also took
Aegir's two servants part in the feast. received much praise for their swiftness, but Loki was provoked at this and struck
one of them dead, after which he was Some time afterwards, howdriven out. ever, he returned to the hall and now be-
to scoff at the
gods and goddesses, the
first with mockery and sarcasm, the latter with venomous words in which he charged them with a lack of chastity. Some sought to quiet him, others retorted, but all in vain.
the Aesir's evil conscience.
stood there in the midst of the hall as To be sure,
he exaggerated strongly; but there was a grain of truth in all he said, and therefore
there well-nigh distracted. At last Sif, Thor's wife, became the object of
in the hall
and the strong god stood there
brandishing his strength-hammer; three times Loki ventured to defy Yingthor, but when the latter the fourth time threatened
him with death, he
spoke before Aesir's sons, spoke before Aesir, that which my mind did prompt me; shall I go out but before thee alone,
that thou dost strike.
of the Edda-
song of Loki's Quarrel (Lokasenna).
THIRD SECTION FORMS OF WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 1. and if any unlucky year came over the land. king was the and Protector of the Altar. there were cases where he himself even was sacrificed for fices the attainment of better conditions. was governed by the Gotlii (from gotli. The general administration of the Norse kingdom and the perfo nuance of the acts of religious upon "Guardian and it was in one formerly devolved person. He had charge of the sacri- of the kingdom. whose name clearly signifies 153 ." worship The his duty to see that everything religious matters proceeded properly and in order. Kings and Chieftains were Priests. the country. As the king's representative the Jarl kept up the sacrifices on the king's behalf in the differ- ent provinces. the The licratli smallest division of (Lat. ccnti(ria). meaning "god").
The institution of the Gothi is known especially country as usual from we Iceland. but similar conditions probably prevailed throughout the North. the holy places. but 2.154 NORSE MYTHOLOGY his that functions were of a religious nature." it is not possible to determine what is really meant here by this designation." An actual priestly office like that among the Egyptians or the Gauls. Temples. especially in sacred groves such as Tacitus describes in his Germania. but worshiped the gods in the open air. Wise-man. from which get the best informa- tion. our fore- rune-stones "The honored servant of fathers hardly knew. . In any case we meet the word Gode upon a few Danish on one with the addition. and perhaps it has no religious meaning at all. The probably from a foreign model. This word means "Speaker. But it was not long before the whole race of people learned to build temples. A "tkulr" is men- tioned on a Danish rune-stone on the hills of Sal (the village Sallov near Roskilde). the Germanic Originally peoples certainly had no buildings for their religious services.
occadess. and had a circular recess at one end in which the images of the gods were set up. after the images of idolatry were put away and the place was consecrated. Often the Hof was built in or by a sacred grove. means in general "a holy 1 The word 1ml persignifies the especial temple of a godhaps The lot's were large square. very nearly like the guild-halls of the chieftains. houses. and carved columns were hardly lacking in any Hof. In most cases the com] taring in size with village churches in Denmark. and surrounded by a fence. Interior of the Hof. They faced west and east. woven carpets. ]>laee. Just inside the door of the Hof stood the posts of the high . 3. It is needless to say that they employed the splendor and art which the times lowed." sionally round.AND RELIGIOUS LIFE temple of heathen antiquity in 155 the North last was called II of or I lory. The first Christians immediately transformed the Hof into a church. built in the same style and of the same kind of material as the common dwelling houses. temple was of wood. all al- Gold and silver.
was reddened with it. but meaning of these is not known. meaning 'carved gods').156 seat. in NORSE MYTHOLOGY the which were fixed great nails. and there also lay the open silver or gold ring upon which all oaths must be sworn. and dressed in accordance with the festal costume of the . At the opposite end (the Kor funding or apse) of stood the images of the gods. The Stall also. Upon the Stall stood also a large copper bowl with a sprinkler (hlautbolli and hlauttein). perhaps the whole interior of the temple. The ring was moistened in the blood of the victim. which one of the Icelandic sagas compares with the Christian altar. The statues of the gods were most often clumsy images carved from wood (skurthgoth. Upon its iron-covered upper side ornamented burned the sacred fire which must never be extinguished. and were set up on the Stall or upon a pedestal. In the bowl the blood of the victim animal or man was caught and sprinkled over those who were present. and in front them or under them the splendidly Stall. and on all festive occasions the Gothi had to wear it upon his arm.
In the Heimskringla there are given especially in the sagas of the two Olafs not a few details about the heathen temples and the sacrifice. and when lie himself reached home he went ashore and made a great sacrifice. and now . Hofs in Xorwat/. later. 'sacrifice. and of this many accounts exist. in the hand of Thor's image there can be 110 doubt. the Jarl thought that he might know that Odin had accepted the sacrifice. matter of course an individual man or a single family could institute private sacriIn fice. Sacrifice.won >////' AND I. fice is victims in the older time.' was regarded as a public act and a religious festival. the flesh of which was eaten by As a those taking part in the sacrifices.' blot. beings. general the blot.I-:LKUOUS Liri: 157 That there was always a hammer period. generally prisoners or bondsmen beasts. human . The heathen word for sacriand blnta means 'to sacrifice. The gods were worshiped with bleeding 4. Hakon Jarl had been forced to accept Christianity and to take priests with him to Norway. "Then there came flying two ravens and they screamed loudly. conducted by the highest chieftain of the place. He put them ashore at the first opportunity.
Thor was sitting there and was the most honored of all the gods. and after that caused the temple to be set on fire. Then the king's men sprang forward and thrust down the other gods. and took all the goods and all the costly ornaments from the Hof and from the gods. Afterwards he sailed to Hlathir.' : Shortly before this. "But when the king came where the gods were. . accompanied by a few retainers and peasants. He took from the door a large gold ring which Hakon Jarl had had made. 1 Now Nordmore and Lade. which he had in his hand. But if I join with you in sacrificing I shall have : instituted as great a sacrifice as was ever known and solely with human beings. laid ax. but on the contrary shall make my choice so as to provide for the gods the chief men. where the peasants had invited him to take part in the sacrifice. He -went into their Hof at More.158 NORSE MYTHOLOGY the Jarl had a favorable opportunity to fight. And for this sacrifice I shall not select serfs or wretched men.. The same king also proceeded harshly against the peasants of Trondelag. 1 had the Hof broken down. King Olaf pronounced the fol- lowing characteristic words "We have then agreed that we should meet here at More and make a great sacrifice. decorated with The king lifted his gold-ingold and silver. and struck at Thor so that the latter fell down from the Stall. at an encounter at More.' to King Olaf Truggvason went with his army Northmaer * and christianized the people.
The first sacrifice our fathers' greatest served in sacrificed festival. the midwinter. "After the ceremonies with the victim's blood were performed. They then for good luck and good the coming year. etc.WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFK .' chieftains named who resistance hastened to ciliation with the king. summer. and was and was ob- crops in January or February. The fire and Gjemse.-i 1 from tliallms. and the with the vital parts was together In the middle of distributed to be eaten. needless to say that tinhad no men for armed make peace and recon- In the course of the year the Northmen celebrated three principal sacrifices. 5.' they laid their vows concerning the great deeds they wished to accomplish in the course of the year. sonar 1 Now Melhus itself means "swine.mil 159 for 1 this I choose Orm Lym-. the flesh was drunk. or 'sacrificial boar. Kar from Gims'a. beakers had to be carried around the a fire. harvest sacrifices. choice boar. the floor in the temple there was kindled the broth flesh was cooked. Chief Sacrifices. over which the kettle hung. and upon the 2 sonar-goltr. 'Large. Styrkar from It is (irvting." .
and Viborg). and Frey. the whole Swedish commonwealth. National Sacrifice. at his own expense. also. and market at the same time.160 NORSE MYTHOLOGY no doubt the consecrated fire upon the and with the viands were blessed in Stall commemoration of different gods certainly of Thor. at Ringsted. Odin. holds one of these sacrifices gains great prestige thereby. At a certain period sacrifice of the year the midwinter was observed with especial solemnity in the whole kingdom or large parts of it. Odense. from Upsala. All the men from Sviaveldi. i. We get the best information this. where a great Frey was held every ninth year. and they held an assembly. 6. For were found temples and places for sacrifice in different parts of the kingdom (in Denmark.e. Adam of Bremen describes the Upsala sacrifice. but a chieftain who." Every peasant who takes part in the sacrifice brings his contribution to the feast. resorted thither. fair. which was observed even in his time: "There is held on this point sacrifice to . although Snorri gives a different account.
and men all together. it was very common at sacrifices to hand. The expression . No one. horses. it with whose blood is pease the gods. in the The bodies the custom to apare hung up . A Christian man told me that he had seen seventy-two such dead bodies hanging round about in the trees. one and all. so was there little trace of religious mysteries in the worship in which the whole little North knew On the other people openly took part. true of all Northern lands.WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 1G1 every ninth year at Upsala a solemn sacriiicial feast for all the provinces of Sweden. Just as the of any real priestly office. send their gifts to Upsala. This is take omens for coming events. are of the following nature from Offerings all living beings there are sent nine males. the ceremonies which are connected with such a sacrifice are manifold and hardly honorable. wherefore it is better to be silent about them. Prophecy and Omens. High and low. grove surrounding the temple there hang dogs. Moreover. not even one is who may : have excused. accepted Christianity." 7.
for a people always adheres with great fidelity to the religious usages inherited from its forefathers. and we have frequently called attention to these. e. 'to go to in- The omens were taken in a vestigate. It is probable that the chief characteristics of the forms of worship which we have sketched above have a much earlier origin. Here we should also remember that our information deals only with the last centuries of paganism.162 NORSE MYTHOLOGY til used was ganga frittar. when the Tiling (assembly) was to be consecrated.' very simple manner.g. most often. Besides the clear and simple forms used in public worship. That many more things than we have been able to relate should have taken place at the sacrifices and in the daily worship is per- fectly natural. many superstitious ideas were deeply rooted in the consciousness of the people. at the . by drawing lots with small wooden sticks. The sagas give an abundance of information about the religious customs on certain occasions. upon which the necessary signs were made. either from accidental circumstances during the sacrifice or.
witches. Besides this.:. were of very ancient origin. .AND RELIGIOUS LIFK lidliH f/<ni ga n. wizards. Every important act of the individual as well as of the community was. in heathen times. generally speaking. and other of dn<'lx t and at the institution foster-brotherhood. in the daily life. accompanied by religious ceremonies which. and sorceresses played a very prominent part In Norway prophetesses or wandering fortune-tellers en(sibyls) joyed for a time great reputation.
therefore. The hero saga ought.FOURTH SECTION HERO SAGAS The Hero Saga. worked over into great art-poems. frequently even of real persons and events as the basis of a poetic presentation. to be regarded but also makes use of neither pure mythology nor as pure It is free poetical composition history. as which must be judged from a poetical standpoint. In Northern literature we find an unusually rich and extensive saga-poetry of popular origin. human experience. 1. and the Northern poetry therefore often missed the clear164 . as with our kindred farther south and with the Roman people. since it rests on the heathen conception of life. The sagas were not. but from which we learn to a great extent our forefathers' whole view of life and their ideals. The hero saga stands midway between myth and history.
and since has become a rich source of regeneration for the new poetry century. moreover. V ' of the North in the close our review of the faith of pagan times without nineteenth we cannot first retelling some of the most widely known hero sagas. at a period in many ways both crude and barbarous. In richness. a thousand years ago and more." Since. there existed the intellectual life and mental power which produce and develop poetic compositions so admirable and so comprehensive. power. . and depth these do not yield to the ancient Greek. but quite certainly are inferior in seriousness and moral purity. which may indeed surpass the Norse in art as could well as in beauty and charm. presses his surprise "that with our forelathers in the pagan age. Svend Grundtvig justly ex.HERO SAGAS ness 165 and coherence which the regulating hand of the poet can effect but it has on the other hand far greater freshness and fullness. its this ancient poetry through original elements has more widely than any other among spread all it the Gothic-Germanic people.
they refuse to flee. the one who is have it. and only Sigmund has the needed strength. and that was his queen's brother. although they are warned by Signy. having first invited Volsung and his sons it draw out is to They make their appearance and. he departs in ill humor. while his sons are chained to a . among them Sigmund. was slain by one whom he most trusted. who was married to King Siggeir. Sigurth's Siggi He Odin's foster son and a noted king. In Volsung's hall stands the broad family-tree.166 NORSE MYTHOLOGY THE VOLSTJNGS was Forefathers. old At Signy's man mighty able to steps forward sword into the tree bridal feast a strange and thrusts a . whose branches overshadow the whole house. Since the former does not wish to give up the sword to his brother-in-law. and a daughter Signy. slain. Siggeir tries it without avail. Later his son Rerir took vengeance for his death. Volsung is to a feast at his house. 2. Rerir's son Volsung had ten sons.
a son Sinfjotlif who. but is slain after the expiration of a short time by his enemy Lynfu'i. together with his father. son of Volsung. after her husband's death. Sigmund. Signy comes to him there in the form of a strange woman and becomes the mother of other hand.I^' ICY prisoner's block out in the woods.ni:iia N. Hunding's son. where he becomes a famous king. bears ber famous son Sigurd and is taken under the protection of the Viking Alf. burns King Siggeir in his house. on the is freed with Signv's help and remains many years hidden in the forest.. who marries her. in his whose body the father bears away arms. where nine of them are eaten up by Siggeir's mother in a wolfs skin. Signy voluntarily seeks deatli in the flames she has taken vengeance for her family. Hjordis.IO'. after that returns to his native land. Sigmund. He casts off Borghild and soon after marries Hjonlix. who with poison kills her stepson Siufjotli. son of King 11 jdl lire]. Sigurd is brought up at Hie liome of King Hjal- . He marries Borg- when liild. daughter of King Eylinii.
. and Eegin. when the latter was on a jourHreithmar ney with Hcenir and Odin. and there he his family. the form of an otter caught fish. He had three sons. Volsung's son. Hreithmar's Sons. 3. Since Hreithmar will not share the gold with his sons he is slain by Fafnir. who pronounces a curse on both the gold treasure and its owner. but yet wishes to avenge first his father's death. demanded in reparation the otter skin covered with gold. who after that drives Regin away and in the form of a monstrous dragon lies down to brood over the treasure on the Gnita heath. for Sigurth and incites the latter to slay Fafnir. but the skillful smith Begin becomes his foster-father. Sigurth promises this. He of the sword of Sigurth the history of forges together the pieces Sigmund. There was a man of the race of dwarfs who was called Hreithmar. Eegin has meanwhile entered the service of King Hjalprek tells as a smith.168 NORSE MYTHOLOGY prek and his sons. This Loki prepares at the house of the dwarf Andvari. was slain by Loki once. who in Otr. Fafnirf The second son.
I II-: HO SAGAS 1G9 4. and he suddenly understands the . to the betakes himself. 21. Re^in conceals himself in the heather. lias Sigurth Fafnir's Bane. accompanied by Gnita heath. Sigurd's Fatal Thrust. AYlion Sigurth taken vengeance on the sons of Hunlie ding. ]\egin. while Sigurth succeeds in slaying the dragon. He had dug deep channels in the earth into which the monster's blood should run. Sigurth does so. but when he wants to try with his fingers to see if the meat is done he gets a little of the heart's blood on his tongue. Kegin now hastens to him and bids him roast Fafnir's heart for himself. FIG. for fear that otherwise he might be stifled by the poison- ous fluid.
Sigurth follows the advice. 21). To these "Gjukungs" Si5. and Guttorm. and their children were Gunnar. Sigurth. and then he rides farther Now (Fig. and a daughter Guthrun. named Grimhild. Hogni.' .170 NORSE MYTHOLOGY The chirping of the that Eegin has evil in advises him to slay him and voices of the birds. but Grani bears him unharmed through the flames. and takes the dragon's "terror helmet" and the treasure. Rhine country was dwelling His wife was at that time King Gjuki. Fafnisbani. away. which he loads upon his horse Grani. Valkyr Sigrdrifa. The in the 1 Icel. Sigurth and she are betrothed and he rides woman. 1 Fafnir's Bane. fells Regin. whom Odin has put to sleep. Down Gjukungs and the Nibelungs. he has earned his name. birds informs his heart him and to take possession of the whole treasure. When is a he turns the helmet back he sees that it He cuts the coat of mail asunder It is the and the sleeping woman awakes. On his way he comes to a mountain. Within upon the mountain lies a sleeping form in full armor. 'Slayer of Fafnir. surrounded by flaming fire.
///. whose castle was surrounded by flames. was to the one who should accomplish the ride through the fire.I'/. while Sigurth married Guthrun. The Valtime after that the many kyr. fore Sigurth there Slain. It was not long between the be- was strife two women.IS 171 gurth came. Sigurth accompanied him on his journey. Guthrun one day imprudently boasted of her husband's superiority and was telling how he had deceived Brynhild. Brynhild became after that Gunnar's bride.// o N. the latter burst out in wrath and injured pride and . Someness had given him Gunnar wished to sue for Valkyr Brynhild. according to a decree of fate. and when Gunnar's horse did not dare to go through the flames. Brynhild begrudged Guthrun the glorious hero as husband for whom she AYhen herself had conceived affection. but a drawn sword Sigurth shared her lay between them. established foster-brotherhood with the two older sons. couch. ami after Grimliild a potion to cause forgetfulbetrothed himself to Guthrun. Sigurth assumed Gunnar's form and forced Grani through the fire. 6.
but in general the Norse and the German versions of the Saga of the Yolsungs (Eddie Songs and Volsunga Saga. and the German art-poem. however. revengeful satisfaction. only pretense. while the Norse tradition follows other lines. she confides in Gunnar that Sigurth has fully kept his faith with his foster-brothers but that she on account of her slighted affection has been most hostile of all toward the one she loves the most. . which is.172 NORSE MYTHOLOGY she then induced Gunnar and his brothers to slay Sigurth. the Nibelungenlied of the beginning of the thirteenth century) agree as far as we have described. After that she kills herself. The more particular circumstances of the murder are variously told. Indeed. and she now induces her husband to slay the hero treacherously. But from that point the Nibelungenlied continues with the account of how Kriemhild takes vengeance upon her brothers for her husband's death. but common to all the sources is the thrilling description of Guthrun's great grief and Brynhild's wild. The earliest history of the Volsungs is known only from Northern sources. With the Germans the hero is named Siegfried and his wife Kriemhild.
her brothers in a frightful way. and when he had become intoxicated at the feast she slew him in the night. lunnar and his brothers took possession of Fal'nir's treasure. N. took vengeance for pents. invited his brothers-in-law in and then slew them to visit him.IS n:>." sou of Ltntltli and brother of was embittered at his sister's Brynhild. He had the heart cut from Hogni while living and had Gunnar cast into the garden of serBut Guthrun. from which she made Atli take a drink mixed with his children's blood. death. She recklessly told him what she V had done. order to come into possession of the l\hine treasure.I '/. After the wedding he King Atll. that she had taken vengeance for her family. Therefore the gold is called the "Khiiie's red flame. Guthrun and the Buthlings. but concluded an agreement with the Gjukungs on condition that he receive Guthrun as his wife. which later was buried in the Rhine. now after which she threw herself into the river. ( After the slaying of Sigurtli. .HERO 7. She slew her two sons and had their skulls converted into drinking-cups.
year 437 the Burgundian king Gundahari fell. quently in and the latter appears freDanish folk-songs which sing of the Story of the Volsungs in close connection with German tradition. Icelandic poetry has certainly preserved the form of the Sigurd Saga. among the chief characters in the last part of the poem there are introduced Etzel and Dietrich of Bern (Attila and Theodorio of Verona).' with large numbers of his people. NORSE MYTHOLOGY Guthrun-Jonakr. who has had their sister Svanhild slain. known to have grown up among the Franks in the course of the sixth century. However.174 8. The later form of the saga has her rescued in King Jonakr's country. In 453 Attila. one of poetry's freely formed ideal figures but In the in relation to actual historical events. king of the Huns. celebrated his wedding with a young woman named oldest 1 1 . in a battle against an army of Huns which had marched on to Worms. She marries the king and becomes the mother of Sorli. and Erp. SiHe is undoubtedly gurd's origin is obscure. These three brothers fall in battle against King Jormunrek (Ermanaric). but it is of foreign origin. In the Nibelungenlied nothing is known of this later development of the saga. Hamdir.
. be faithful to him. In Xorse poetry there appear besides the 9. 175 died suddenly during tin. who takes vengeance upon Attila for her These brother 's death. One time he was sitting upon a hill. l>nt two occurrences unite in forming tinHilda is the sister of the Burgundian saga. Helgi now performed great ex- ploits. Helgi was a son of Hjorvarth in his marriage with Sigrlinn. after which he made love to Svafa She promised to at her father's house. when he saw nine The Valkyrs come riding toward him. beautiful of them was Svafa. common Germanic hero Sigurth.HERO 8AOA& Hilda. who bemost stowed on him the name Helgi and encouraged him to warlike deeds by giving him good weapons and promising him her love. THE HELGI SAGAS Helgi Hjorvarth's Son and Svafa. He was taciturn and did not answer to any name. king.IVast. and they loved each other dearlv. two heroes of the name Helgi who have no parallels among the Germans. Fafnir's Bane.
Hethin her company. Helgi received his with great calmness. although she was a Valkyr." He had a 11. Hethin's mind was so be- wildered that he made vows to win Svafa. Helgi's foreboding of his speedy death. and the chosen boar 1 10. When he had his brother's loved one. recovered his senses. Hethin. On Christmas Eve. for it was certainly his own fylgja his brother had 1 See above. that Helgi was was led forth.176 NORSE MYTHOLOGY It so happened at one time on an expedition. Hethin was driving home alone from the wood and met on the way a witch who as riding on a wolf She offered and had vipers for reins. he repented so sorely that he rode off on wild roads to the south until he met his brother. "You will have to pay for that In the evening they at the Bragi cup!" had to make vows. At the same time Helgi's half-brother Hethin was living at home with King Hjorvarth in Norway. while Svafa remained at home with her father. but when he declined it she said. Death. . "Surely no message one could escape his destiny.
In his marriage with Borghild. 12. There was living J at that time a king IceI. famous hero's name. to forget her sorbestow her affection upon ITethin. because her husband has died with shame and infamy. especially since he had slain King Hunding. will listen to his mortally wounded.IlKRO SAGAS 177 had at met. son of Volsung. Hunding's Bane. in the form of the witch. had a son who was called He soon gained for himself a Helgi. Sigmund. 'Slayer of Hunding. the best hero under heaven. after which event he 1 was called Helgi. prince. he asks her for a kiss. Uundingsbani. is We At Frckuxtcuti / the brilliant hero he has Svafa sent for and begs her.' . Svafa answers that she will never. to a duel by Alf. but in his death-hour if she to words. for now he is going into battle and will not turn back before he has avenged Hjorvarth's son. and it resulted as he i'caivd. Helgi. Hunding's Bane. give her hand to another un- row and known Hethin then quickly decides the matter. that time been challenged son of Hrothmar. and Sigrun. perhaps the only one and the last.
for her bridegroom. He conquered and slew them all with the exception of Dag. Sefafjollum Sefa. He then sought out his brother-in-law and slew him. not live to be old. who had make a vow of loyalty to him. she is kindled with great wrath at his faithless conduct. 'affection. Dag Helgi. but still she was married to the hero. son of Hogni.178 NORSE MYTHOLOGY . Hunding's Bane. Sigrun wept much when Helgi brought her the to news of her kinsmen's death. son of Granmar. They lived in * happy union on the Seva fields and had many children. But Sigrun disdained this man and chose Helgi. 13. and lent him his spear. who were aided by Sigrun's father and brothers. When he brings his sister the death message. whom her father wished to be given in marriage to King Hotlibrodd. Helgi then went out into the battle with the sons of Granmar. oaths he has 1 Punishment for all the false sworn to Helgi shall now : Icel. named Hogni his daughter was the Valkyr Sigrun. did offered sacrifice to Odin Odin to gain vengeance for his father. Helgi's Death. however.' .
this second lay of Helgi. but becomes calmer when she re- members the fallen hero. Hu. that towers above all other beasts. 37 Thus had Helgi surpassed the battle-chiefs as nobly shaped ash does the thorn.HERO 8AQA& 179 if overtake him: his ship shall not proceed. his sword shall not bite. and with no food only carhis own head. HEI. Helgi in the Tomb. casses for nourishment. 3G in Thus had all FTelgi put terror his foes. as from the wolf impetuous run full of fear. Sigrun rejects everything.O. goats from the mountain. unless it sings about "Onlv then would Heidi's V death be avenged upon you. or the young stag dashed with dew. his horse shall not run. were you a wolf out in the forest. even if foes pursue him hard. the wind he ever so fair. The conclusion of Bane." Dag seeks to comfort her and offers heavy indemnity. without goods and without joy. 14. Ilunding's . their kindred too.
180 tells NORSE MYTHOLOGY about the meeting of Sigmn and Helgi Helgi rode to Valhalla after entombed here below. Hu. the break of day perceive. Sigrun goes into the mound to Helgi and says: 42 Now at our meeting hawks of Odin. HELG. the people's prince you fain would find. the chieftain begged of the marks of battle bleed. or wet with dew. With sharp points you spur your Has leave to return been granted hero?" to Sigrun. At evening Sigrun's maid went tomb. and Odin inbeing vited him to deliberate with him about all in the tomb. oh Sigrun. and believe her own eyes: "Is only deceit? I think I see Ragnarok or a ride of the dead. I'm so glad the ravenous . from Seva-fell. like warm flesh. things. 41 steeds. to Helgi's it come riding at was some time before she could it There she saw the hero the head of many men. you that the wound-drops you would stem. to the Helgi calms her and she hastens Go if out. when they descry the slain.
with sorrow's dew immersed. decked in gold. that Helgi is with bitter tears. wet. inclosed within the mound. oh. oh Helgi. sun-bright. prepared a couch oh Ylfing's son. fell bloody and burning on the prince's breast with sorrow filled. Sigrun.8AQA8 43 First I 181 will kiss thce. frost-bedecked. thou. beside us now in death. thy hair. is moistened with death-dew. and in thy arms I wish. prince. 1 the king is all And the prince's hands are as cold as ice. in. lifeless king. 45 Well shall we drink though we have lost the costly mead now are the brides the wives of men. She asks him then if she can do anything for him. Then Sigrun prepares a couch for Helgi and says: 46 in the tomb For thee. as with the living prince I might. Helgi answers: 44 from Seva-fell alone. dost weep ere thou dost go to sleep. I've 1 Blood. ere the bloody mail thou lay'st aside. South's child Your fault each one cold. untroubled quite. to sleep. . oh Helgi. our joy and lands.
is unhoped for say at Seva-fell,
late or early since in the arms
the lifeless one, thou'lt sleep,
white in the mound,
oh Hogni's maid!
time for me to ride to cause the fallow steed
the reddened ways, to tread the airy track;
the victor-throng. 2
Helgi thereupon rides away with his men. The following evening Sigrun wanders about the tomb to wait for her dead husband. The maid is keeping watch and
so he planned, from Odin's hall;
of the king's coming, I say, the hopes grow dim, since upon ash-limbs the eagles sit, all people hasten to the court of dreams.
so thoughtless that thou far'st alone, wife of a king, to the abode of death;
more mighty grow
at night time all than in the shining day.
Cock in Valhalla (Gering). The Einherjar.
Helgi came not, and in the course of a The long time Sigrun died from grief. sanu pretty theme is treated in the Danish
folk-song "Faestemanden "Aage og Else."
VOLTJND THE SMITH
Vdait, Wieamong all the Germanic people and have in all probability wandered from them to the Romans. In the saga of Theodoric of Verona a section is found which recounts all of Volund's
of Volund (Volundr, lant, etc.) are found
2 The Old single episode of his history. Norse poem Volundarkvitha likewise treats
merely a single section, upon which Oehlenschlaeger has composed his "Vaulundurs
Saga." Finnish king had three sons, Slagfitli, Egil, and Volund. They went out upon skis and hunted game. One time they came
The Bridegroom in the Ora\v. Lament of Dor.
to Ulvdaler, 1
and built themselves houses a lake which was called Ulvjar. 2 by Early one morning they found on the shore
three women who were spinning flax. They were Valkyrs, and their swan-garments lay
beside them. The brothers took them home with them to be their wives Egil took 01:
run, Slagfith took Svanhvit, and Volund, Alvitr.
Later they sat seven winters together but in the eighth they pined throughout, and in the ninth they needs must part; the maidens longed for the dark wood
to practice war.
They were seized by their Valkyr-nature, which drove them irresistibly into battle.
The brothers came home from
but found the rooms empty however they sought:
Eastward strode Egil for Olrun and southward Slagfith for Swanwhite, But Volund alone in Wolfdale sat.
Galleys of the Wolf (Wolfdale). Wolf -Lake. 3 "The heavenly young maidens"
the precious stone, He set in red gold wound all the rings with linden-bast:
thus did await his
shining she would come again.
The Niara king Nithutli now hears that Volund is dwelling alone in the Wolf-Dales and has gold and costly
in abundance, which he fashions with great skill. The avaricious king now places himself in ambush at night-time in Volund's house. When Volund returns
from the hunt he counts as usual the gold rings he has hanging on a fibre-cord under the roof, and one is missing the one
Nithuth has taken. Volund's first thought that his wife perhaps has returned home, but since no one is to be seen he falls
overcome and bound by the men. Upon the queen's advice they cut the tendons of his ankles and set him as a cripple out on the island SaeI'cirstath, where he must forge precious things for the king, and he may be visited
Their skulls he covered with to Nithuth for drinking-cups. and of their teeth a breastornament for her daughter.186 NORSE MYTHOLOGY VKV. that which I whetted skillfully as I was able as most fitting seemed) (and I hardened it this shining sword. He Nor was vengeance long The two sons of the avaricious delayed. king stole in upon Saevarstath to get gold for themselves. Revenge. of their eyes he fashioned jewels slew them. silver and sent them for the queen. He received her kindly and promised to repair the ring. sat. unceasing beat his hammer. She dared not confess to him her misfortune and appealed to Volund to have the damage repaired. he dishonored the king's daughter as a climax . borne far from me for aye. his art he plied right speedily for Nithuth. but Volund outwitted and 17. 19 There shone Nithuth's sword at his girdle. Bothvild. but after he had brought her to a seat and stupefied her with strong drink. 20 he slept not. A short time afterwards Bothvild broke a costly ring which her father had given her.
he had himself a feather cloak so as to fly was put the island: VKV. as to take thee from thy there so tall horse that he might shoot thee down. blame thee more. they tremble in fever and distrust each other. Volund. nor yet so strong there where you soar against the clouds. poem is incomVolund's gifts occasion plete Neither disturbance in the king's court. Nithuth It the answered : VKV. passed from the isle. no man is which would grieve me worse. the king nor the queen can sleep. At the same time to a good test. 40 Laughing Volund rose in air. 39 You spoke no word 1 will not. seems that Volund had flown hither to castle and with scornful words described the trouble he had caused. but joyless Nithuth . 31 Laughing Volund weeping Both vi Id rose in air. of the The conclusion and obscure. sat there then.HERO SAGAS to his terrible 187 his skill made away from revenge.
Verland's son.188 NORSE MYTHOLOGY his The song ends with Nithuth having daughter called. We have already mentioned the myth telling how the end of the Golden Age. Witige. that is. THE HJATHNINGAB 18. . the Valkyrs (or Norns) who give warning of the coming battle. was prepared in various ways: the three giant maids come to Asgarth. Saxo thus gives an account of the pros1 Or the Hjathnings. and she confirms the story From of other sources we know that the child Volund and Bothvild was a son. 1 The Peace of Frothi. occasioned by the struggle between the Aesir and the Vanir. This transition from the original peaceful condition of happiness and innocence to times of warfare is pic- tured in several mythical and semi-heroic poems in the works of Saxo and of Icelandic authors. he appears very commonly in our Danish folk-songs under the name of Vidrik. of what has happened.
He Menja quoth: GBOTT." when reign was such complete peace in the country that one could lay gold upon the highway without its being stolen. Grottasongr. Frothi. . two large. Whoever had stones in his possession put them into a mill he called Grotti and brought it to which King then set his strong bondwomen to grinding they took no rest and he heard them continually singing at the mill. 5 Wealth let us grind for Frothi. and also Snorri relate the following: The Danish king Frothi visited King Fjolnir in Sweden and at his house he bought. him awake to wish. sat in fortune's mill. then it is well ground. on departing. . although they could grind everything which one might desire. About this "Peace of Frothi" the Eddie Song. us grind he slept upon the down. At the same time there were found in Denmark No two large hand-mills driven ashore. one had the strength to turn them. strong bondwomen.HERO SAGAS perous there 189 of "Peace-Frothi. let let us grind most happy mass of riches He let upon the riches. Fetija and Menja.
Now they were grinding war and public calamity for the kingdom: "Frothi shall lose the throne of Hleithr. or plan his death. the poles shook. 2 Hrolf-Kraki. and then burst the heavy block asunder and in twain. The Brising Ornament. Odin loved (She was his frithla. applied were young in giant power. find in bonds.190 NORSE MYTHOLOGY 6 Here shall no one prepare his harm or strike with the hurt the other. in Zealand. they told him that they were mighty and ancient giantesses who already had occasioned great discord in the world. his 'beFreyja. 1 but Yrsa's son 2 shall later take vengeance for the murder of Halfdan** GBOTT. 1 Now Lejre. "You must not sleep bethe hour when the cuckoo's note yond sounds over the hall. their strength the casing fell." Fenja and Menja rebuked him for his folly. . sharp sword. 19. 23 The maidens ground. though his brother For all that the king would not give them the needful rest.
191 - - loved. so the ornament was dearly bought before she could call it her own. The goddess would have been glad to gain this. who at that time was on a warlike expedition. but the dwarfs demanded and insisted that her love should be the price. the Hjathning-Storm. king of Norway. the Battle.HERO SAGAS ^^ . he fitted out his fleet.e. When the latter returned shortly after Hethin's plundering. but not without some difficulty. Hethin. . pursued the thief. Meanwhile the crafty Loki had learned of the matter and immediately imparted his knowledge to Odin.) is confused with consequently One day she came to a stone where there lived four dwarfs who had prepared a very handsome necklace of gold. The latter commanded him to seize the . i. Hjatlming Battle. ornament from Freyja and bring it to him and this was done. and this Then began conflict was to last forever. carried away Hild.' Frigg. . daughter of the Danish king Hogni. In order to get the necklace back Freyja had to promise to make discord between two kings who were so mighty that twelve kings served under them.
and overtook him. It was in vain that Hild sought to effect a reconciliation between her father and her lover, although she offered her father in amends a costly
The battle began; Hogin and Hethin slew each other, and there was great slaughter on both sides. Every night Hild with her enchantments awoke the fallen
life again. The following mornthe strife would begin anew, and so it ing was to continue until Ragnarok.
This Saga of the Hjathnings wandered in Viking times to England and the Netherlands, where it soon became very popular. Prom the Netherlands it became known in Germany, where at about the same time as the Nibelungenlied (about 1200) there was composed a great 1 hero-poem, Gudrun, on the basis of this North-
The sagas of 20. The Lay of Beowulf. Beowulf, according to the opinion of most
HERO SAO AS
Sweden or Denmark.
Now they are found an Anglo-Saxon art-poem dating from the beginning of the eighth century but since the original foundation is North;
ern, we will relate briefly the chief points of the poem.
had a splenwhich he wished to hold his feasts. But at this the troll Grendel became much embittered, and
The Danish king
H roth gar
creeping at night into the king's hall seized thirty of the king's men. Since this recurred night after night, there were anxiety and despair in the whole realm. The report
of Grendel's crime also reached the Geats, whose best man, Beowulf, at the head of
chosen warriors resolved to hasten to the
He was rehelp of the Danish king. ceived with homage and exaltation and a
In the evening he and his
men remained behind
where Grendel as usual appeared and seized
one of the Geats, whom he tore in sunder. Beowulf, however, drew his sword and
after a frightful combat cut off the right arm of the troll and put him to flight.
Mother. The Danes reBut the following night the troll's joice. mother comes to avenge her son. She succeeds in dragging away ^Eschere, King Hrothgar's best friend. Then Beowulf resolves, with the united Danes and Geats, to
visit the troll in his
in a mighty swamp, which is so deep that Beowulf needs fully twenty-four hours to complete his wanderings. At the bottom he finds Grendel and his mother in a light and
wild conflict immediately enairy cave. sues between the mother and Beowulf, but his sword does not bite upon the invulnerable troll-woman.
then takes up a giant
hanging in the cave and fells the monster. Hrothgar has meanwhile believed him dead and has marched away with his army. There is therefore victor great rejoicing when he returns as
to the surface of the earth.
years pass away. Beowulf has long since returned to his country and has become its king. Then in his old age
mighty dragon begins to ravage his land, and now he must once more equip himself
'dragon, but soon afterwards he himself ex-
pires from liis wounds. Into the chief action of this
strewn a number of war-adventures and battle-pictures which we shall here pass
Besides the individual saga-cycles briefly
those which have played an
especially prominent role in popular belief and poetry, there is found a rich variety of half-mythological, half-historical herosagas..
we must read
nine books of Saxo, and also the Icelandic sagas. By way of example we may
the Danish Siklinge 1 Saga (Hagbard the tales about Skjold (and Signe)
the Skjoldungar), Hrolf Kraki, and Ragnar Lothbrok; the Saga of Hervor and
Hcjthrek, that of Orvarodd; and finally the Sagas of Starkath or Staerk odder, who has been celebrated in the songs of all the
people of the North.
Siklingar, the 'Siklings,' a royal race.
but these in gods turn must protect men." The whole character of the men Norseman's life is permeated with belief in inevitable fate.' i. This belief gives equipoise even in life's severest trials 196 him and prepares him to await death with coolness. Odin. learn to believe in troll-beings or "in their own strength. who otherwise soon weaknesses. The gods are really more excellent than but suffer from the latter's faults and Men are to believe in the and sacrifice to them.e.CONCLUSION SINCE we have brought out in the foregoing the chief points of our forefathers' belief we shall now cast a glance in con- upon the conception of life among the Northern people of the pagan age. 'The Saying clusion of the Exalted One. particularly as it is presented in the renowned lay Havamal. . which has stamped itself upon their mythology and poetry.
Sigurth says to Fafnir. Jut the tliajt so calm understanding choose and reject. . He foes in cold blood. riches. and thus gain the happiness." Scorn for death is expressed with great power in Ragnar Lothbrok's death-song: "I am not troubled about death and I wish to meet it. when he has pierced the latter's heart and is threatened with the curse of the gold: "Every man will possess wealth until his day comes one day we shall indeed all die and fare from here to Hel. The Disir whom Odin has sent to me from Herjar's hall invite me home. Ended are the hours of life." Undaunted courage is man's best virtue.CONCLUSION I 197 conception is not blind or fantastic. The conquered foe . and respect which every one desires and ought to desire here in this life. all artifices pass excepting the breaking of one's word. One must not be cruel where blood-vengefells his ance is not at stake. men should let things take their One must with cold reflection and course. before carrying out one's plans. Laughing will I die. Gladly will I drink ale with the Aesir on the high seat.
magnanim- The Northerner does not scoff like the Southerner. fare oft to visit him. 44 Know if you have a friend. to his friend. even the highly cultivated Greek. uncompromising in enmity. one whom you well trust and would get good from him. Ethical ideas are expressed with all possible clearness: HAV.198 NORSE MYTHOLOGY or treated with shall be slain ity. 43 To to his friend a man shall be a friend. in thoughts you shall commune with him and gifts exchange. fair you shall speak with him ana deceit repay with lies. but of his foe should no him and man be the friend's friend. One must be steadfast in friendship. at the fallen hero who lies in the dust before him. but false intend But respect for friendship can also a very pretty expression : make . 45 If you have another whom you ill trust yet would get good from him.
. : Men take is its consequences. not love. and this is extended to embrace the whole famis slay in cold blood until their revengeful desires are satiated. This is portrayed with great force. is If an act of killing murder. to dehim is the greatest piece of treachery yet at the same time men must preserve ceive . e> One must be faithful to his lord. and murderers. but the joy of love is only shortlived and often leads the hero and his bride to meet a tragic downfall. faithful in the relation between man love. independence and never submit to Then must one be faithful in injustice. but rather family pride. but to the good friend straight paths extend though one have traveled far. 34 199 A 'tis to an ill friend long detour though he dwell by the highway. however. but this must be observed they stand by the act and ily. This tie sacred and inviolable both among gods and men and develops a firm conviction as to the justification of blood-vengeance. The their strongest bond in human life is. it concealed. and woman.CONCLUSION ILvv.
and the whole matter smacks tries visited scribed . emphasize the crudities as they are de- by Christian writers in the counby the Normans. So also in the case of the general life-truths as expressed in the Havamal. since it would be wrong to ourselves and the life of our forefathers simply to . Inflexible strength stands as the foundation of character and involves much that is harsh and crude. but the many bright sides of the picture are equally prominent." and seducers are punished in the on Nastrand. which by no means correspond in every case with the realities among the foremost characters of all people. the "Death Naturally enough the hero poems have given us strongly idealized hero types and female characters. NORSE MYTHOLOGY Hall Serpent Shore. We should measure by a historical standard and not judge ancient times solely by the standard of the present. In earlier times these were overestimat- ed but we must not go to the opposite extreme. delicate recommendations as to the "golden mean" in daily life. They are often small.200 perjurers.
where it is well gained. man himself dies at last.COXcLrSION 201 strongly of Philistinism. . I know. this ends with the followr and with these w e also will close this presentation of our forefathers' belief: HAV. But remembrance never dies. 77 Cattle die. to use a inodorn But the same section of the expression. kinsmen die. I . < . poem containing ing lines. Such words are expressive of a standpoint of culture which deserves our attention and respect. . kinsmen die. Judgment upon all the dead. 76 Cattle die.. One thing that never dies. man himself dies at last.
POEMS OF THE GODS. 'The Hundingsbani (Helg. 'The Loki Quarrel. . .). ^n '" * ^ '' > ..' the 'Ex- alted One.)> 'The Grotti Song Song of the Mr.) II.' O.' Vafthruthnismdl Vafthruthnir. Volundarkvitha (Vkv. 'The Lay of Rig. 'The Volva's' or 'Sibyl's Prophecy. 'The Sayings of Grimnismdl (Ghrimn..' Rigsthula (Rigsfh.' . 'The Sayings of Skirnir'. 'Skirnir's Journey. HERO POEMS.). (The - .' .' Skirnismtil also (8km. . Voluspd (Vsp.EDDIC POEMS FROM WHICH THE ILLUSTRATIVE STROPHES TRANSLATED FOR THIS BOOK ARE TAKEN I. -J 202 .sic Miii" V. 'The Lay of Thrym.) Helgakvitha Bunding.' ( For Lokasenna Lok. Skirnis. 'The Sayings of Grimnir.). Hu.' Thrymskvitha (Thrkv. 'The Lay of Volund.). ) . . ) . 'The Sayings of Har. * c . > ' '* ( Grdttasdngr. i(Vo/tf.' (Vafthr.' Hdvamdl ( Hav.) Lay of Helgi Hunding's Bane' or 'Slayer of J . < .).
126. 37. 190. Alvitr. Alvis. Bremen. 82. Brisingamen. 148. 188. 27. 150. Blot. 62. 58. Alsvith. Borghild. 173. 174. Alfheim. 38. Baldur's Dream. Bor. 149. Celts. Beowulf. 53. Bragi. Adam Ae. Baugi. 69. 101. Baldur. 85. Amnui. Buthlings. 49. Aesir.INDEX The numbers An go and refer to the pages. 140. Barri. Anprbotha. Attila. 74. 119. 42. Buri. 27. Brok. 12 ff. 130. Bronze age. 46. Beli. 186. Bothvildr. 38. 184. Asebro. 160. 63. 57. 95. 105. Berserk. 15. Bestla. Bous. 41. 47. Authumla. 55. 130. 102. Breithablik. 173. 139. 167. Bergelmir. 83-85. 147. 127. Buthli. 77. 38. 38. Bilskirnir. 94. 54. Asa-Thor. 54. 167. 173. 139- Burial customs. 91. 58. 142. 112. Ask. 34. 136. 192-195. 100. 55. Aegir. Andvari. 46. 42. 55. 83. 170. 37. Bolthorn. Sophus. of 136. 38. 157. 140. Alf Hjalpreksson. Baldur's brow. Bifrost. Asgarth. 203 . 144. Asynjur. Bolverk. 79. 126. Arvak. Bugge. Af<>. 53. 133. 54. 41. Aka-Thor. All-father. 100. 168. Itautarstdnar. 102. Brynhild. Atli. 136. 183. 16. Alfrotholl. Caesar. Else. 83.
62. 49. 143. Eljuthnir. 119. 202. 116. 100. Eylimi. Gullinbursti. 100. 69. 43. 61. 51. 53. 43. Fenrir. 93. 125. 63. 53. Gangleri. 160. Fenria wolf. Giants. 59. 77-78.204 Dag. 90. 54. Oimli. Gothi. 46. 9. Erp. 174. Dwarfs. 62. Gilling. Grimnir. Gjoll. 169. 57. Einherjar. 170. Galar. 133. 54. Forseti. 64. 189. 58. 109. 176. Gullintanni. 63. 78. 190. Draupnir. 123. 36. Garni. 63. Elves. 134. 110. 142. 63. Folkvang. Gleipnir. Fenja. 60. Eddie poems. 59. the epic. 2. 116. Grith. Danske Tunge. Dreams. Gefjon. 37. Fimbulvetr. Gjukungs. 44. 177. 3. 130. 108. Ghosts. Gulltop. 68. INDEX Freyja. 79. 49. 163. Frey. 40. 170. 57. Freki. Geri. Grani. 79. 63. 101. 125. Glitnir. Demons. 59. 122. Ginnungagap. Elivagar. 51. 110. Fylgjur. 14. Fafnir. 82. Ejr. 197. 130-133. 170 Embla. 50. Gudrun. Disir. Grimhild. Fjalar. 69. 100. 59. Donar. 40. Greek Mythology. Gollveig. . Gjuki. Belling. 192. Gjallarhorn. Groa. den. Duels. Gjallabridge. Edda. 120. 61. 121. Fjorgyn. Dis. 193-194. 77. Draugr. Grendel. 168-169. 72. 24. 189. Gnita heath. Geirroth. 9 . 148. 145. 153. 191. 129-133. 167. Gullfaxi. 90. Gefn. 83. 73. 178. Egil. 58. 12. 131. 69. 87-90. 94. 93. Farbauti. Erfiol. Fensal. Drifa. 184. Grotti. 143. Fulla. 94. Glasir. Dyftus. Gerth. Grimnismal. 125.
15. Hyrrokin. 61. Holmgang. 188-192. Hel. 77-78. 157. Images of gods. 13. 86. 174. Iron age. 86. 148. 30. Gylfi. Hammer. 170-172. 72. Jafnhar. llrimfaxi. 167. Hoth. Iceland. 205 120. 145. Jotunhciin. Hrungnir. Hjathnings. 64. Jormunrek. Hunding. 49. 128. 147. Hermoth. 108. Gunnloth. 40. 111. 123. 69. Hlesey. Ida Plain. daughter. in. 100. 170. Halfred. 167. 142. 116. 94. 58. Hymir. 104. Hnttatal. 29. Hjalprek. Hof. Heimskringla. 79. 64. 23. Hrym. 33. Huginn. Hjordis. 174. Indo-European. 131. 191. 16. Helgi 175. 140. 19(5. 107. 44. 170. 174. 155. 94. 31. Jarnvith. 157. 142. Hoddmimir. 100. 87. 95. 89. 24. . 29. (iijlfaginning. Gunnar. 168. 50. 22. Horns. Gymir. Ilugr. 116. Hraesvelg. 134. 32. 170. Helgi Hundingsbani. 58. 102. (lunfinir. Heithrun. Hofuth. Hogni's 191. 53. 90. 18-20. 69. Hjorvarthsson. 174. Helgoland. 192. 126. 176. Hoenir. Jarl. 122. Hauamal. Hler. Jupiter. 94. 178. Har. 46. 101. Illithsjkalf. 101. Jonakr. Guttorm. 148-149. 81. Jorth. 163. Hvergelmir. 9. 42. 156. 59. 141. 67. Ivaldi's sons. 123. 30. 178-183. 25. 51. 173. Hethin. 63. 24. 67. 131. 27. llamdir. Hlotliyu. Hapbarth. 73. 167. Hogni. Hreithmar. 168. Hilda. 92. 41. Heimdall. Hilda. Hakon Hringhorn. 59. 40. Ithun. 35.INDEX Gundahari. 32. 84. 62. 83. 113. 118. Sign I! a mm of. 122. Guthnin. 42. 175. Hertha. Jordanes. 134.
115-122. 127. 35. Sagas. 36. 64. Lopt. 153. Muninn. 45. 116. 45. 144. 134. 61. 109. Nithogg. 185. Mothguth. Mithgarth serpent. Kumbl. 140. 67. Saehrimnir. 96. 140. 100. INDEX Niflheim. Regin. 65. Menglath. 63. 91. Mokkerkalfi. 112. 24. 41. 58. 40. 63. 94. Odin. 72. Nari. Nerthus. 168-170. 166. 200. 39. Ratatosk. 146-152. 108. 152. 188. 143. 85. 54. Lothur. 144. 61. Olaf Tryggvason. 189. Nat. Saint. Nithuth. 158. Roskva. Noatun. Nanna. 74. 94. 50. 70| Mjolnir. 82. Othrerir. 26. 123. Runes. 65-67. 69. 90. 44. 69. Od. Nightmare. Nor. Lofn. 46. 56. 128. Nep. Mistletoe. Laufey. 46. 4. Njorth. 56. 134. 21-22. Saga. Magni. Orvandil. 167. Rerir. 55. 125. 17. 76. 133. 125. 100. 79. 45. 51. 61. Lif. 195. 41. Mani. 121. 148. 172. 40. 99. 149. Rune-stones. 164. Njal's Saga. 70. Norns. 114. Sacrifice. 40. 49. Rind. 56. Olaf Paa. Middelhjem. 80. 109. 29. 95. 40. 50. 50. Mundilfari. 59. Nibelungenlied. 86. Narfi. 178. 105. Saxnot. Lokasenna. . Niflhel. Rig. 146. 37. Paulus Diaconus. Muspell. 36. 62. 31. 95. Priests. 192. Nastrond. 159. 69. Mithgarth. 42. Menja. 41. Mimir. Ran. 52. 60. 49. 58. 184. Lyngvi. 58. Olaf. Miming. 52. Managarm. Ragnarok. 41. 62.206 Kenningar. Loki. 110. Mardal. Olrun. 127. "Naglfar. 46. Kvasir. Lifthrasir. 74.
167. 22-24. 140. 91. Thing. Upsala. 123. 109. 57. 149. Skathi. 13. 112Thraell. Sigfried. Thrithi. 33. Skirmismal.'!>. 195. 33. Skuld. 64. Swans. Sigurth 172. 118. Siumy. 207 26. Thor. 174. Sol. 52. 130. 63. 101. 166. Siklings. 172. Thulr. Svanhild. skithblathnir. Tyr. 28. Thrymheim. 36. Stall. 159. Sinfjotli. 32. 188. Urth's Well. 130. 130-133. 41. 13. 107. 109. 167. 54. 154. Thokk. 105. Thruthvangar. 170. 45. 111. 56. Sokkvabekk. 41. Signlrifa. . 115. 79. 53. 100. 162. Sonar-goltr. 43. 58. 156. 195. Sleipnir. Tacitus. 17"). 69. Skirnir. 136. 99. 139. TiwaR. 148. Surt. 86. 112. 13. 13!). Skalds. 42. 174. Svanhvit. Urth. Sigmund. 70. Tiu. 57. 91. 184. Snorri. Svasuth. Vafthruthnir. 83. Svipdag. Svathilfari. Skinfaxi. Valaskjalf. 72. '. 45. ThonaraR. Utgarth. 15. 62. Svafa. 126. 67. 42. 9. Siggi. Sigrun. Sigyn. 116. 142. 100. 166. Fafnisbani. 166. Skrymir. Sit. Skjold. Sorli. 53. 174. Suttung. Signe. Shisfith. Thrym. Sessryninir. Skaldskaparmal. 63. 24. 45. Val. Thiaz/i. 112. 95-107. Sjofn. Siggeir. 94. 54. 56. 82. 177-183. 151. Souls. 197. 154. 115. Temples. 59. 29. 160. L'rnordisk. 56.IXDEX Saxo QrammaticuB. Swan-maidens. 67. 85. 121. Scalds. Stone age. Thruthheim. 195. 52. 34. 111. Theodoric of 166- Verona. 61. 118. 72. 130. Sindri. Ull. 51. 92. 183. Thialfi. 125. 30. 31. 44. 16. Ulfhethinn.
166. Vingthor. 54. 79. 20. 43-44. 49. 184. 43. 160. 140. 59. Vi. Vanlandi. 133. Ve son of Bor ) 38. 63. 117. Worsase. 110. 49. Vanaheim. 77. Vithar. Wurd. 38. ( . 90-92. Prophecy. 53. 45. 43. Valhalla. WothanaR. 27. 32. 13. Witches. 15. 172. 97. 141. 63. Yggdrasil. Zeus. Vanir. Vali. Vanadis. 84. 101. 46. 47. 129. 38. 59. 59. 77. Valfathir. 180. 58. 119. 92. 54. 151. Vindsval. 57. 38. 98. Verthandi. Ziu. 91. 42. 20. 65. 24. 72. 65. Wodan. Ydalir. 81. World-tree. .208 INDEX Volsung. 91. Vithrik. 22. Volund the Smith. Vithgar. 79. 52. Wild Hunt. Volva's Valkyrs. Vili. Volsung Saga. Yngvi-Frey. Ve. Var. 130. Vikings. 183-188. 14. 118. 37. 49. 72. Veurr. 29. Ymir. 13. 188. Vegtam. 22. Vigrith. Vingolf. 188. 188. Ynglinga Saga. 13. 48. 32. 50. 50. 166. Voluspa. 63. Viborg. 56.
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