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A HANDBOOK OF NORSE MYTHOLOGY BY KARL MORTENSEN DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN ADJUNCT AT THE CATHEDRAL SCHOOL (ROYAL GYMNASIUM) AT ODENSB . . l I I . . * - . NEW YORK THOMAS Y. TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH BY A. CLINTON CROWELL ' . ' - * r ' . ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN BROWN UNIVERSITY 1 . CROWELL COMPANY PUBLISHERS .
1913. Published March. 1913. BY THOMAS Y. .THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY COPYRIGHT. CROWELL COMPANY.
I find great satisfaction m. 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. Since Professor Crowell has thought that the little book might also achieve a modest success in the youngest but richest and. I have without hesitation. hav -.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. cur ccmin-on >. where I have so many friends.uot.mosi powerful branch which has grown iron. where so many relatives and fellow-countrymen have found a home and a iii .ig my work put into the world's most comprehensive lanr guage and placed before students in the United States. accopte^ his friendly proposal to transjate.jc into English.
it has called uncommon insight. which has inspired the anther in his task. common memorials. 1912. KAKL MOKTENSEN. since on account of the nature of the subject and the half-poetic form. I would likewise thank the Thomas Y. Crowell Company of New York for their for patient work and for willingness to publish the book. DENMARK. 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. . I sincerely thank Professor Crowell for his intelligent rendering of my Danish text. 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. December. ODENSE.iv AUTHOR'S PREFACE and toward country we Northerners look with the deepest admirafuture.
Vollstdndiges Worterbuch der in the Germanistische German translation of Gering. and the English of some unpublished selections by my friend. according to the text of B. I saw Olive Bray's more recent translation and was slightly influenced by it. Adrian Scott. 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. Dr. IIoHflliilHotlH'k. sometime member of the the Brown University facultv. Gering's Ed da. who has read the translation of all the prose and fessor E. the late Dr. Mogk commented upon unusual points. all with friendly and cordial interest. Danish of Gjessing. V +/ When practically complete. H. Her- work was v . the the Sijmons having for consultation H. With his consent I have translated the illustrative stro- phes from the Icelandic.TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE The idea of translating Dr.
1918. I have also been assisted in many ways by my Professor wife. and I thank Professor A. making corrections and suggestions..vi TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE mannsson of Cornell University has read my strophes.. January. H. W. Heusler of Berlin for many helpful hints. Carrie E.M. PROVIDENCE. R. 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. I thank him for his interest and encouragement. .A. Crowell. A.
75 II.CONTEXTS PAGE GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1 FIRST SECTION CHAPTER I. How THE WORLD WAS CREATED ... 48 69 III. RAGNAROK SECOND SECTION I.. CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS OF THE GODS Thor 95 95 115 129 134 Odin Frey and Njorth Heimdall and Baldur Loki vii 146 . THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE . ... COMMON POPULAR BELIEF .. 36 II. .
203 .viii CONTENTS THIRD SECTION PAGE FORMS OF WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFE . 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 .
since it shows us what stage the l . One can. There has never been found on earth a tribe of people which did not have some kind of religion. but the lower the plane of civilization on which the people are found. but remnants or memories of it long endured in the superstitious ideas of the common people. there- fore. By "Norse mythology" we mean the information we have concerning the religious conceptions and usages of our heathen forefathers. their faith and manner of worshiping the gods.GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1. and can even be traced in our own day. The importation of Christianity drove out the old heathen faith. the ruder and less pleasing are their religious ideas. Religions conse- quently change and develop according as civilization goes forward. and also their legends and songs about the gods and heroes. learn much by knowing the mythology of a race.
These nature-demons make themselves plainly known through the roaring of the storm. Such beings are often designated by the Greek word Demons. peopled by mysterious bewhich control regular and irregular changes in nature upon which man feels himself dependent. But races in the childhood period of their development cannot hold fast to a belief in life apart from bodies.NORSE MYTHOLOGY people in question have attained in lectual development. Demons. Sun-worship and Nature-worship. In this we begin to find the first germ lessness . Religious ideas proceed partly from soul belief. intel- what they regard as highest and most important in life and death. 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. or the wind's gentle play with ings the tree-tops. then. and what they regard as good or evil. thereas men or fore. are thought of in bodily form beasts. belief in the continued life of the soul. the rippling of the water. and partly from the belief that nature something living. he is prompted. by offerings and supplications to gain friendly relations with these powers which he with his own strength cannot overcome. At the same time man feels his help- is and powerlessness in the presence of Nature and its mysterious forces.
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. of talent for the it often befelt comes rude the lack Norsemen sculptor's and . Norse mythology as we know it from the latest periods of the heathen age is. but also as inspired Greek artists and poets. a striking distinction also be- tween Greek and Norse mythology. the character of the There people. producers of statues and songs. the equal of which the world has scarcely tolled not seen. who are thought of as beautiful and perfect human forms. more dark and serious. the gods are thought of as great and beautiful human forms who are ex- merely as gods. like the country itself. and when it lays the serious aside in its jesting. is.--With the more developed heathen people there is always an exact correspondence between the nature of the country. and their religious belief. with offering and worship.GENERAL INTRODUCTION of divine worship which quent development. since capable of subseever increasing domain is -given to the single demon. therefore. is Greek mid Norse Mythology. on the contrary. The Greek is bright and pleasant.
Whi/ We Teach Norse Mythology. Their religious on the other hand. although they were really clever in carving wood their idols were as a rule merely clumsy wooden images em. For us Norse mythology has in any case the advantage of being the religion of our own forefathers. and our forefathers' view of death and particularly their teaching about Eagnarok.NORSE MYTHOLOGY painter's art. can rightly be preferred to the Greeks' faith in a miserable shadowlife in a realm of death (Hades). This is especially true . 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. Finally. bellished in various ways. concerning which we shall speak later. faith. has called forth poetry which in its way is by no means inferior to the Greek. and through it we learn to know that religion. 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.
life." "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. who not only have embodied large pails of the Norse mythology in independent poetic works (as -The Gods of the North. both before and after the year 1000 B. AVe must.. Oldest Inhabitants of the North. 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." "Earl Hakon. belonged to the same race as the Northmen of the iron age. inhabited Scandinavia. Learned investigations have in every case proved as most probable and reasonable that people of the bronze age. several thousand years before the Christian era. It is possible that it was our ancestors who. so that our heathen era stretches over a space of at least two thousand years. 2. in the stone age.C. seek information about the . therefore.GENERAL INTRODUCTION concerning Oelenschlaeger and (Jnintvig. To point to the antiquity of the to our fathers' faith.
Burned places and remnants of pyres in the graves seem to indicate . 1. 1-3). and stone "chests. no burial places have been discovered. a. which shows a belief in a continued life after death. FIG. In the remains of the earliest stone age. Round Barrows. is especially burial rites and the in graves of objects supposed to be placing it Here offerings which have mythological significance. sepulchral chambers (Figs. but from the latest stone age have been found a great number of graves. the refuse heaps. the science which in- vestigates and throws light upon every species of relic preserved from antiquity." in which bodies were laid unburned and supplied with the necessary implements.NORSE MYTHOLOGY oldest religious ideas of the North in prehistoric archaeology. round and long barrows.
but were placed in raised mounds in a tightly closed stone setting or in chests of hollowed trunks of oaks. Bodies were not burned. and hewn in the stones are often found certain saucer-like depressions. . therefore. the burning of bodies became more and more common ashes were preserved in stone vessels or most often in clay urns within the mounds. wheels . The greatest number of our barrows contain. b. The reason for this change in the mode of burial seems to . FIG. 2. 4). however. men long preserved burial rites from the stone age. In the liron/e a<_re. which most likely have religious significance (Fig.ind crosses. Later. Long Barrows. tombs from the bronze age (Figs. 5-7).tin.dead. which ends some hundred years before the birth of Christ.GEXERAL INTRODUCTION offerings to or I'm. many times use was made of old mounds from the stone age.
Likewise in the stone age men deposited in the graves sacrificial gifts.C. among other things. 3. From about the time of Christ's birth there begins a strong Roman influence. The iron age begins probably sometime in the fourth century B. whose significance is not known. In very ancient times. 8-9). which. later they burned the body to set free the soul. the Northmen had enjoyed commercial relations with Asia and Greece. or Cairn. handsomely wrought objects for use or ornament. Sepulchral Chambers. are found used as sacred tokens ("religious symbols") among all Indo-European peoples. These emblems.8 NORSE MYTHOLOGY first new ideas about life after death. and trefoils (Figs. even. For decoration are used now also hooked crosses be the rise of At FIG. c. gives . people believed in a continued life oi the body.
the Danes. the last division is the 800-1000). perhaps even altars upon which rude l images of the gods seem to have been raised (Fig. with a succession of natural transitions and changes. Urn. 10). Discovery has been made of large and splendid offerings (e.orPrimitive Norse. Viking time iron the age Viking times. since. Several other things from the middle-iron-age will be touched upon in what follows. golden horns). In the course of people again stopped burning bodies. to be sure. was 1 about the year 1000. 3. indicating belief in gods. At the beginning of the Christian era. In Viking times this called den danske Tunge.g. Norwegians. guage was preserved.GENERAL INTRODUCTION the Gothic-Germanic people a peculiar alphabetic writing. The iron age stretch 's even into historic limes. but we do not see anything really definite. as Snorri says. undoubted images of gods were . This common landisk. and Swedes constituted but one speaking the same language. urns with slain animals. the Runes. "the Danish Tongue. Bodies were once more regularly provided with objects for use weapons and vessels for food and drink. the cremation-age was succeeded by the mound-age. until far on toward (c. tribe." and from it the separate Norse to In a single instance found in certain marsh-lands. Common Norse Language.
Stone with Saucer-like Depressions. . even in the worship of the gods there has been but little difference in the different provinces. Wheels and Crosses. points.10 NORSE MYTHOLOGY Northmen had main languages have gradually been developed. 4. It is also probable that the the same heathen religion in all the FIG.
and witli the inhabitants of Persia and India.g. Indo-Europcmis--\\\> must then picture to ourselves a "primitive people" whose original place of abode we cannot determine.\L i.\ rnonrcriox 11 Gothic-Germanic /u/rr. and Gothic-Germanic race VI FIG. which is usually called this the Gothic- Gennanic. Oak Collins from the Bronze Age.. and it is probable .GEM-:I. This primitive people as a matter of course had certain religious ideas. lias again a common European peoples (e. origin with most of the the Greeks). 5. but from which these related peoples have through long periods been developed. and Englishmen also were once one great in ninny race. Germans. for it can he established ways that Northmen.--AYe may even go a step farther hack.
Greek. been able to establish many such points. but here we must be content with bringing forward a few examples. Aesir. and Norse mythology. and this is actually The linguists who are occupied with comparisons between the languages of the different Indo-European races have the case. among the Northmen. CorreAesir.12 NORSE MYTHOLOGY we may be able to find traces of the that original divine faith in the Indian. 6. The Heaven-God was among the Indians Dydus. by the . The general name for the gods was. which is developed from the older Anser. Grave Mound with Urns. sponding forms are found in most of the lated called re- languages. FIG.
iLi<'- <!" tin- iMii'jini^r. Tuesday). ." only appendages name. and it was not long hefore they forgot that these names were or Thonarai. Unmans in .u climate. which signifies "the lirinht one" or the shining one. no\v 1 \\'o- ("the lilowin*. while ihere is ( god round whom in the Xnrse religion the name Tiff reser\'ed ill Man. "the thundering one"). In the oldest Xorse language this word must have J heen T W i i\ i. Odin. T//r. him now llianai. Tlir. liy tin- i:>.i The (lermanie people helieved they called '/'///." and which consequently from <'oininon hasal may have or tlie designated the --od ot' the heaven sun. Kng. Tir-dag. . as the hiin the course different regions with greatly diffeiin. . they uave to theii' i:nd of heaven many epithets.tn \<>ir"<l older st. one. : Xow to the old heaven-god's they enumerated as many gods N in 1! . settled 1 dO-Europeans scattered and of time in (Jradually. according t<> the nature of the country in which they had The Gothic-Germanic jM-ople called -ettled.1 n piter.GENERAL INTRODUCTION (ireeks Zeus.m>\\ri.' ! 'lit all these a names 1111- doubtedly spring 1'onn. liy the original name.
one can easily imagine that something similar can be the case with many other sonal being.14 NORSE MYTHOLOGY as there were names. Tyr. Odin. Row of Grave Mounds. and Thor. In the North we have . 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. (The Germans said Wodan and little Donar. belief in the three divinities. Since this is points in mythology.) Gonse- FIG. among other things. or nothing of the worship of Tyr Frey takes the place of this god. and thus arose. 7. .
--Resides this know lar hut points in with certainty ahont particuthe mythology of the old*-1 Gothic-Germanic people. !l. Greeks. 1. Myths ahont lioth world-tree arc fouml Indians and Xorthmcn.-i (myths) corre- pond.. or a ('+<n- chili. and our forefathers alike is armed with a surestriking missile in his ea]>aeity of the thuiider--od.!//////>. highest uod amonir the Indians. mid little Tacitus. \\\\\ a direct comparison also hetwcen the heathen faiths of the [ndo-European people shows gle points B S iii that many sin- their religions . The FIG. a hamw<- mer. and so it is also with i<-ard to the religion of the Northern j)eo}tle in the first centuries of the < 'hristiaii . whether this he represented plainly as a thunderbolt (lightning-flash). Quatrefoil ( or I'M. 1 8.GENERAL I \ TRODUCTIOX 15 Common . inked 'ross. 'I'lVtnil.
taken as a whole. 10. for they no written records ancient finds.16 NORSE MYTHOLOGY have left era. About Roman the Teutons. behind them. Altar from the Iron Age. what we can We have already spoken of learn from FIG. the historians Caesar and Tacitus give .
11. the so-called "Runes. especially the latter in his historical hooks and in his brief account of Germany. But about the third century the after Christ Gothic-Germanic people FIG. 4. Runes.GENERAL INTRODUCTION 17 not a few important points of information. A Gold Horn." The Runes . learned to use an alphabet remodeled from the Latin.
Pictures on Gold Horns. 12.FIG. 18 .
9TKln. - FIG. > '.--. 19 .-" -. Pictures on Gold Horns. 13.
clasps. on which there were engraved figures and ornaments. These were found in 1639 and 1734 and had a value in our money of about 17. They consisted of two smooth golden horns of very fine gold with an outer casing of tight-fitting rings likewise of gold. which may have been a sacrificial gift. Here belong the aforementioned golden horns from Galuse.000 kroner At the very beginning of our ($4. was of the opinion that one horn represented life in hell (the serpents). where they were scratched upon objects in com- mon as combs. weapons. and drinking or sacrificial horns. and between these again there were raised figures firmly soldered (Figs. our renowned archaeologist. the other life in Val- .760). which easily have a religious significance. Many attempts have been made to interpret these pictorial representations. century they were stolen on account of their great value and melted over.20 NORSE MYTHOLOGY soon reached also the Northern races. lehus in southern Jutland. 11-13). so we now must content ourselves with drawings and casts of these splendid monuments of an- tiquity. Worsaae.
. from Holt). Along the uppermost ring of one horn one may read Norse language : in the primitive ek hlewagnsiii. but with us Danes only from epochs between 800 and 1070. On the Glaven- drup stone from about 900. we 1 Some younger stones from Bornholm and a r sin. (or. Lu'g:rst. that is: I. Such rune-stones are found in Denmark. holtingai. which contains the longest Danish runic inscription. Tlior on Ftuue-stones. Holt's son the hovn. Rune-stones give the earliest and surest contribution to our knowledge of Aesir-faith 1 in the Nortli. which however is wholly uncertain.GENERAL INTRODUCTION lialla 21 (the stars). and Sweden from different ages.L l' one from Skaune need not be mentioned here. the oldest therefore even from the heathen time. Norway. liorna tawido. which were placed in or oftenest upon grave mounds or elsewhere. Somewhat later men began runes for inscriptions on bowlders. made to use Rune-Stones. as memorials for the departed.
22 NORSE MYTHOLOGY memorial words themselves. the latter is called "Vierne's honorable serv- ant. which is raised over the Chieftain Alle. or hammers (Fig. 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. Only on these two the name of the god of thunder expressly given.e. Odinsve) and Viborg. which name we have preserved in Odense (i. after the the following: May Thor On consecrate these runes! another Danish rune-stone the invoca- tion comprises the whole memorial. Thor stones is the Chief God. On the Glavendrup stone. read. but on others we find en- graved ("hooked crosses")." and on a south Jutland rune-stone Chieftain Odinkar's daughter calls herself Vi-Asfrid. and same thing we can establish in many . which is an evidence of the fact that Thor at this trefoils. quatrefoils this time ivas the chief god of the Danes. 14).
' i U* FIG. 23 .ill II fitfflL* I > A . 14. Laeborg Stone with Sign of Hammer.
Donnerstag). part Odin-worship at an early Iceland. Odin and Frey.g. Tliors- dagr. it can be emphasized the Gothic-Germanic people translated the Latin names for the days of the week. therefore. There are. but few details known to us of our forefathers' re- ligion at the beginning of Viking times. Torsdag. among He is so represented only in Norwegian-Icelandic poetry. Odin. 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.24 NORSE MYTHOLOGY other ways. This is shown by the many compound person and place names in which Thor's name that is the first member (e. which in Latin is called Jupiter's day (dies Jovis). Ger. Dan. and some evidences of this fact are found upon rune-stones. however. when Finally. But from about the year 900 and later we . and for the rest of the North also. Odin and Frey were especially worshiped. Thorbergr). Together with Thor. 5. they translated Jupiter by Thor (Icel. in the fifth day. Thorsteinn.
This poetry (reserved faithfully by oral transmis] from generation to generation. which com- . 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. cal activity was soon evinced themselves. whose intellectual productions took a on foreign. therefore. 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. We can. through Christianity Latin stamp.GEXKHAL INTRODUCTION liavo full 25 and rirh information about the religious ideas of the Northern people in the Norwegian-Icelandic literature.--When different Norwegian nobility at the close of the century began to settle in Iceland. Poetision. and such is also the case. Mythological /V>r//-^/. that of the rest of the Scandinavian country. expect to find among the Icelanders fuller information about the old faith than elsewhere. In the Norwegian-Old learned- Icelandic poetry the Norse religion is worked together into a whole.
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. both gods and goddesses. 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. we now. An essential point which we ought to note here is. viewed as a whole. must bow. the relation of gods to men in life and death.26 NORSE MYTHOLOGY prises the creation of the world. that various details in the teachings about the gods are told otherwise . and not for their bravery alone. before whom the others. that Odin in this poetry is conceived of as the chief god. after which there shall come a new heaven and a new earth where men are judged after their uprightness and good conduct. and finally the downfall of the gods and of the world at Ragnarok. even if there are points of conformity in essentials. in what follows. Odin Chief God. as touched upon before.
have been strongly influenced by Christianity. 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. Against this view. especially liy the Norwegian philologist Bugge. even by Jewish and Graeco-Roman ideas. however. Jut in the next place the contention is made. it is Norwegian-Icelandic nuisuch as developed hi Vikiuy tunes tliology Tlicrcfon- .GENERAL INTRODUCTION hero that 27 (in Denmark) than in Iceland. many things in mythological poetry. many and important objections are raised. but no one can deny that Christianity can and must have had in any case some influence upon the later development of Xorse mythology. but generally are only a poetically interpreted and modified portrayal. through contact with the Celts and others in the Viking expeditions. the material for which is most phasized that certainly derived from the belief of the people. yes. and we have traditions to which nothing in I Iceland corresponds and vice versa. Finally.
in the time of transition and of conflict between paganism and oldest Christianity. The oldest and best are from the same period as the Eddie Poems. The most important of the Eddie poems will be mentioned in the following pages. It is customary to distinguish between the so-called Eddie Poems and the Scaldic Lays.28 NORSE MYTHOLOGY and soon afterwards (800-1100) icliich we know best. we derive this knowledge. Eddie Poems and Scaldic Lays. and partly the different sagas of gods and heroes which in the North are usually given a mythological background. and it is all ice know connectWe must see first. but only a few of them have . The Scaldic Lays come from authors whose names are mentioned. The Eddie Poems preserved in an Icelandic manuscript and wrongly called the Elder Edda were composed in the aforementioned period. from what edly. then. They are of unknown authorship and treat partly doctrines of the gods and the heathen view of life in connected form. The and most important sources are the old Norwegian-Icelandic poems. sources 6.
Snorri Sturlason was Iceland's most important prose author In his historical and withal a clever Scald. namely Snorri's Edda and the Saga of the Volsungs. 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. When the gallows can be called by a poet "the cool. they all contain in their poetic paraphrases. "Heimskringla. Snorri (d. windy h'< the so-called steed of Signy's bridegroom. allusions to myor legendary history which presupthology poses that the myth or saga in question is known to the hearer." treating the * 29 rhiellv . 1241). On the other hand of the shields. masterpiece. 7." he used especially for matters concerning the earliest .GENERAL INTRODUCTION a thoroughly invtlmln^ical eontenl the "shield poems." the hearer must in order to understand the expression know low-. Hnhiyar. inyllis which arc pictorially represented fields on the and the "Song of Praise" to the chieftain whose lineage is traced up to the gods.
Gylfaginning. 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 disguised hima wayfarer and came to a great hall in which were many people and three chiefthe self as tains. one higher than the other. These he questioned about ail the mythological relations.30 NORSE MYTHOLOGY time. particularly following old poems which he frequently cites in evidence. This word is most closely deas Scalds. Within this framework Snorri takes occa- sion to present a general view of the whole doctrine of the gods. and he received clear answers to all his inquiries. old Scaldic lays as proofs for his description. who journeyed forth to learn about power of the Aesir. 'De- lusion of Gylfi. "Poetics" or "Handbook for The book falls into three main The first. and therefore he composed Edda.' relates the story of a king Gylfi. who sat each in his high seat." fined divisions. He then conceived the plan of committing his knowlhis edge to writing. He mentions several of the Eddie .
finally. since Odin is made into myths a 1 coherence prince versed in magic. is the least important for the mya practical application of the foregoing theory. but also some which we do not know now from any other source. of Meters. since Snorri has composed a number of verses in different meters. . Hattatal? which is thology. the myths or traditions in question are recounted and a number of scaldic verses are cited as passages in evidence. Skaldskaparmal* reviews and explains the different poetic Where these allude to the paraphrases. The third section. 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.GENERAL INTRODUCTION 31 poems still preserved. The second section. dwelling origi"Enumeration or Tale Poetic Phraseology or Language of Poetry. making use of the paraphrases which he has explained in what preceded.
The Saga of the Volsungs contains a con- nected prose version of the Sagas of the Volsungs and Nibelung. There are also found mythical-heroic sagas in the style of the 1 "The Round World." History of the Scandinavian Races. 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. . contains important but obscure mythological information. it is apparent that the unknown author had lost. the kings of the realm and was worshiped as a god. an amplified renarration of the Eddie Hero-Poems. as in Gylfa ginning. but here. Snorri advances the same view also in the first part of the Heimskringthe so-called Ynglinga Saga. 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.32 NORSE MYTHOLOGY nally in Asia. which la. but who later wandered to the where he became the ancestor of North.
Finally. In the Gersaga-poetry Dietrich von Bern (Theotalcs man and doric of Verona) plays the leading part. 8. and partly treat whole saga-cycles ("The Volsungs. about him have also wandered to the North. In several of the magic songs also there are preserved many heathen ideas." "Hagbarth and Signe"). while their apparent Christian character is some- what superficial. popular traditions and especially Here we can also mention and popular adventures popular usages.CEXERAL INTRODUCTION mythological material. where tliev are treated both in Kddic poetry and in folk-songs. 33 Yolsunga Saga and romantic sagas with Popular Songs and Saxo." "Aage and Else")." "The Youth Svejdal. an important but late source is found in the ancient ballads proper. which have . Meanwhile tt the same theme in the is treated far more exT Thithrek Saga. 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." "Sven Vonved. Folk-Songs.
the first nine books of his works. The old gods are interpreted as might be expected from a religious author. retells and works in together a number of sagas about the gods. who lived contemporaneously with Svend Estridson. As already remarked above. he has made use of both Danish and Icelandic 'tradition for its foundation. in which he also tells of the paganism of the Northern countries. In his work. but unfortunately in a remodeled Latin version. which was finished in the beginning of the 13th century. 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.34 NORSE MYTHOLOGY preserved one or another heathen often reminiscence. The ancient history has extraordinary mythological importance. Canon Adam of Bremen. NOTE. Of foreign sources which can throw light upon the . made a Latin account of the history of the Archbishop of Hamburg. Old songs are often quoted. Saxo in his ancient history. and kings. heroes. but as a source it must be used with the greatest caution.
now Christian with a background of heathen ideas and expressions. lially.' written by -Jordanes. of which several will be used in what follows. there are found important contributions n this point in Old (Jerman and Anglo-Saxon poetry. . which is now purely heathen. and the "History Fio!' the Lombards.GENERAL INTRODUCTION interrelation of myths amon^ the Gothic-Germanic people can be named the "History of the Goths. In England are found not a few pictorial representations with half-heathen content.' by Paiiliis Diaeonns.
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.FIKST SECTION MYTHOLOGY IN CONNECTED FORM ACCORDING TO NORWEGIAN-ICELANDIC SOURCES I. Long years before the heim was created. HOW THE WORLD WAS CHEATED The Fog-Country and the Fire-World. Midway between 36 the fog-country and . streams. Niflthe midst of it lay 1. and burning. earth existed. defender of the country. with a flaming sword in his hand. and therefore impassglowing able for any one who had not his home there. had Niflheim lay toward the but southward there was a place north. In the well Hvergelmir. At Muspell's boundary sat Surt as called Muspell. ice- venomous origin. cold their from which ten Elivagar. where it was light and hot.
From her udders there came four streams of milk. This sou again had a son by if . frost-covthe first dav she licked them a there came forth toward evening man's . the fire-world was a yawning Ginnungagap. lite Coic Autltumhi.1K>}\' Till: WORLD WAS there <TJ-:. while the cow herself lived < by red stones.--T\\e congealed venomous streams continued to send out frost. from which Ymir got his nourishment. On licking the salt. both heaven and earth also were afterward constructed from his bodv. of the The waves venomous streams soon froze to ice and the ])oisonous vapor condensed to frost. The Primitive Giant Ymir. and from this the cow Antltiniild stood forth.\TKD 37 gulf. Bar's Sons. From of this contact the primitive giant Yinir. name Beryi-lmir. 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. which was met hv tlie warm air from Mus* I'i'll. '2. came into being and lie became the as ancestor the race of giants.
3 when Ymir lived. neither heaven above. So much blood flowed from his wound that all his progeny 3. the next third by name Bor. The whole story of the creation is told explicitly in Snorri's "Edda. Odin. who married the giant Bolthorn's daughter Bestla. tall. Voluspa. the Volva's Prophecy: VSP. But it Bor's sons took the giant's body. Their sons were and Ve. who saved themselves from the streams of blood in a boat or tree-trunk. and the day the whole man stood there. and mighty to look upon. Vili. Bor's sons now Ymir and killed him. and was fair." but is mentioned also in the beginning of the old poem.38 NORSE MYTHOLOGY day a man's head. took was drowned his son's son in it. ' Twns there Heaven and Earth. brought . He was named Burl. earth was found nowhere a gulf was Ginnunga but grass was nowhere. the beginning of time was no sand nor sea nor billows cool. with the exception of Bergelmir and his wife. Later he had a son hair. and later became the ancestors of a new race of giants.
mid formed heaven and earth from it. 41 the kindly gods made And from his eye-lashes Mithgarth for the sons of men. i Now it was the sun. the sons of Bor placed everywhere in the sky over the yawning gulf.Iln\v out into Til!' }\'<>i. and stars which had and courses appointed for men's computation of time. under each of these dwarf who bore the same name as the corner of the earth. while the lightning went freely around. their places moon. and from his skull the sky./J) WAS CREATED 39 midst of the yawning gulf. In one of the Kddir poems we get more tin- exact information as to pass: GRIMN. The heaven was made fast over the earth sat a liy four corners. the mountains from his bones from his hair. so that thev should illuminate the world. how H> this came to From Ymir's and flesh the earth was shaped trees from his blood the sea. The earth was spher- . The sparks that went out from Muspell. were the forbidding and from his brain clouds all shaped.
and out around it flowed the great sea. and with him she had a son. men were to have . applied to the world of men. .' But midway between. who was light and handsome like his father. 4. and who had a daughter by the name of Nat. Anglo-Saxons. Odin now took mother and son and set them up in heaven. In a Danish ballad our dead Lord begs leave to return to Middelhjem. giant's eyetheir dwell- hedged about with the primitive lashes there. appear among the Goths. Nat was married to Delling. along whose coast the giants obtained land for settlement Joturiheim.40 ical in NORSE MYTHOLOGY form. Nat drives first with the steed Hrimfaxi. In Jotunheim there dwelt meanwhile a man who was named Nor. over which they were to drive every twenty-four hours. Following . ing-place. Odin brothers constructed and his Mithgarth. 'Giants' Home. She was dark and swarthy. Terms like Mithgarth. from whose bit foam flies down over the earth this is what we call dew. Dag. of Bor's race. Day and Night. and Germans. like all her family. REMARK.
east of Mithgartli. dwells in the forest Janii'ith. but this will not happen before the destruction of the world. who were so failthat he called the son Mani and the daughter Sol.HOW THE WOULD WAS CREATED after comes 41 Dag with his steed Skinfa. whose mane throws radiance over air and laud. who wolves. Mani guides controls its the in- course of the its moon and waning. of bellows to cool them. A man. bv name Munhad two children. and is to redden the seat of the gods with blood when he swallows the moon. under their bellies were two pairs 5. The moon-wolf is also called flesh Mana- He is satisfied with of dead men. Sun and Moon.ri. dilfari. But the gods were offended at his arrogance and placed both the children up in heaven. The places and courses of the heavenly . The sun steeds were called Arvak and Alsvitli. ge! nn. 'perfectly wise'. crease and The reason that Sol and Mani pass so hurriedly over is that they are pursued by Their mother is a giantess. where they have to drive the cars of the moon and sun.
colored bridge the rainbow which is called Bif-rost or Asebro. Over this ride the gods to their place of assembly in heaven with the exception of Thor. Dwarfs and Elves.42 NORSE MYTHOLOGY bodies determine chronology and the divisions of the year. In addition to . but 6. but this not happen until Ragnarok. only two are named. when Surt rides over it at the head of Muspell's sons. At the end of the bridge up in the mountains of heaven dwells Heimdall. 7. Hraesvelg. 'the mild. 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. If he should drive over with his wagon. Asebro would break and take fire. who takes a shorter route by fording the streams beneath it. Between heaven and earth goes the tridestroyer. Of seasons. Summer is a son of Svasuth. who guards the bridge against the mountain shall giants. 'bodya giant in eagle's form.' is Wind and Rainbow.' The father of Winter is called Vindsval.
thciv were also created other living beings. According to the Eddie Poems.e. others in the earth. among them dwarfs and elves. They were toward gods and men. largest and best of . who soon existence like to be regarded as evil spirits.\TI-:D 43 giants and gods. Dwarfs were small.. but in Snorri dark elves are also mentioned. Some of them dwelt in stones. Odin's 8.IN CRI-. The World-Tree and the Noras. This ash is the all trees: the branches themselves over the whole worl. In the midst of the world stood a great tree. while Snorri relates that they had come into maggots in the flesh of the Ymir. and kindly disposed so were called light elves. The tree has three main roots.HOW THE \\ouij) U'. Nothing distinct is told slaughtered of the creation of the Elves. but possessed great sagacity and skill. ugly creatures. came gallows). i. at the foot of which the gods had their place of assembly.l spread and rise high up over heaven. the ash Ygg-drasil (Odin's horse. they were created from the blood and bones of two giants whom the gods had slain.
and the third over Niflheim. It is every morning with the Odin had to pledge one of Gjallarhorn. Under the root among the frost- giants lies Mimir's well. upon which the dragon Nithhogg gnaws. in which all wisdom and understanding are concealed. Here drink it owned by from the giant Mimir. which is called Urth's Well. every day a splendid hall. under the second the frost- giants.44 NORSE MYTHOLOGY In an Eddie Poem it is said of these: GKIMN. Unis der the last root. 3 in three directions Three roots stretch out under the ash of Ygg-drasil: Hel lives under one. his eyes to him for a single draught from the well of wisdom. under the third the race of men. the Snorri relates that one root stands Aesir. who dips his is the gods' assembly place. the well there is liberate where they deand hold their court. the second among the among frost- giants. the well Hvergelmir found. Under the worldtree's third root there is a very sacred spring. By in .
Again. In the well two swans are nurtured. four deer run between the branches and eat the leaves of the tree. 9. In the later Icelandic sources three are named: Urtli. Of the ash-tree there is still to be told branches lives a very clever between whose eyes sits a hawk. Ratatosk.HOW THE WORLD \VAtf CREATED 45 which the Norns or Fates have tlieir dwellThese deliberate about destinies in ing. Verthnndi. and from them the swans of the earth proceed. The water in the well is so pure that everything which is moistened in it becomes completely white. Hvergelinir there are so no one can count them. that it may thrive and continue fresh. but at times many more are mentioned. now of the race of gods and now of the race of elves. It chanced one time that the sons of Bor were walking along . and carries hateful words between the eagle and Nithhogg. Up and down among the branches darts a that in its eagle. many serpents that Men are Created. and in squirrel. and Xknld. the world. The Norns sprinkle the world-tree every day with water from Urtli's well.
in which the crethe . which they called Asgartli. Odin married Frigg. The man they called A s k and the woman Embla. that they gave them clothing and names. In some verses inserted in the Volva's Prophecy. the three gods are called Odin. . Thor.46 NORSE MYTHOLOGY beach. Vili and Ve. ation of man is narrated. The gods now built for themselves in the midst of the world a castle. and from them descend all the inhabitants of Mithgarth. while the sons of Bor are in every other case named Odin. and therefore the whole human race. Hcenir and Lothur. With Jorth. speech. After visage. The first of the sons gave them soul and life the second. Odin had a son. They pulled them up by the roots and fashioned two human beings from them. where they found two trees. understanding and the power of motion. hearing. a man and a woman. 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. the third. REMARK. and sight. and from them descend the gods or the race of Aesir.
. 15. Cross and Ash Tree. this is represented. since the opposite view is just as plausible. WOULD WAS cni:. on English stone-crosses from the earliest Chris- FIG. that Bugge is right.riir.g. It is possible. 15). tin. tian times in a form which reminds one of Yggdrasil (Fig. but far from ri-rtain. e.\TED 47 tintin- Bugge is of the opinion that.doctrine of of i<lt-a world-tree is inflnrm-ed by tin 1 Christum Cross.
4 earth's surface raised. until three came. nocence. forges they placed tongs they shaped and rich treasures wrought. Early the sons of Bor the wondrous shaped. time of inAs a not last very long. from Jotunheim. tools they made. they who Mithgarth The sun shone from the south on the stones of the ground then was earth grown with green herbs. who sanctuary and temple erected high. After an account 1. The has been given in the Volva's Prophecy of the conditions at the beginning of time. that "sin was to come into the warning The Golden Age of did . the gods. of the giant maids. the poem continues: VSP. THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE Golden Age. 8 in court. greatest might.48 NORSE MYTHOLOGY II. 7 The Aesir met on Ida-field. were They played at draughts a lack of gold they in no wise had joyful.
but the Aesir in return gave Hoenir. Besides the gods who de- scend from Bor.THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE 49 world. the Vault'. This ended. In the Ynglinga Saga. This feature reappears in the most developed heathen religions. V '2. commonly supposed to be the Noms. the Northern people have also conceived of another race of gods." the three giant maidens appeared. as to whose origin the old sources give us few and obscure particulars. but not al- mighty. who in . as it seems. to which even the gods themselves must bow. Only one thing can be definitely stated: it came to a conflict between the two races of gods. Frey and Freyja. after which the contending parties concluded peace and reconciliation and gave each other hostages. and his son Frey. The Vanir. in a victory for the Aesir. REMARK. The heathen gods are mighty. 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. came to Asgarth. Njorth the Rich. one cannot comprehend the relation of things in the world without assuming a belief in inexorable fate.
from the Vanir to Asgarth. a kind of magic prevalent among the Vanir. She caused nothing but calamities. Kvasir. wherefore they took Mimir. With him the Aesir sent the very wise Mimir. so that it could not decay. but among the Aesir. Odin anointed the head with medicinal herbs. noted chieftain. Njorth was the father of the two children mentioned in union with his sister. and the Vanir gave for him the wisest man in their Hoenir became forthwith a number. and sent his head to the Aesir. But if he was admitted to the court or in other assemblies where Mimir was not present. he always answered: "Let others decide it. and pronounced magic songs over it. by name Gollveig. and the . for Mimir gave him advice against all dangers. and when one or another difficult matter was laid before him.50 NORSE MYTHOLOGY every respect looked as a chieftain ought and tall and very handsome man. marriage between such near relatives was forbidden. The Volva's Prophecy occasion for the conflict relates that the was this.' So the Vanir soon conceived a suspicion that the Aesir had duped them in the exchange of hostages. The Vanir were versed in magic to a peculiar Freyja was the first who practiced en- chantments among the Aesir. so that it spoke and revealed to him many secret who was a matters. beheaded him. There came a woman versed in magic. degree.
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
the iron mittens for grasping the hammerNo one is so well versed in knowlshaft. however. that none of his decisions hold. Baldur is the all plants. it is. which the frost giants and mountain giants recognize when he comes and that is not so strange. the whitest of wisest. 55 house that was ever goats.Till-: GODS AND THEIR LIFE hiiilt. . has is besides three wonderful treasures: one Mjolnir. when lie drives. and he the is called Aka-Thor. either. the strengthit about him. next. Another son of Odin is Baldur. most eloquent and gracious of all This pecularity follows him. Of 6. 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 the is only good to tell him there . finally. his godlike grows twofold. edge of the past that he can recount all of Thor's mighty deeds. the Aesir. fair and shining in visage that light comes from him. He is so praise him. for it hammer has crushed many a skull of their lathers and girdle when he puts strength kinsmen. they Thor lias two draw his lie wagon.
but as He was we have heard before. nine days in Thrymheim and then nine in Noatun. and in this place there can be nothing impure. but when Njorth came back from the mountains he Odious to said: me are the mountains. Njorth dwells in heaven in Noatun. on the contrary. Njorth. to calms the sea and him shall upon the sea and in the chase. and yet I tarried there not long. a daughter of a giant. stay alternately. governs the course of the wind and fire. 7. where her father had his farm. the Vanir gave him as a hostage to the gods in Asgarth. up in Tlirymheim. compared with the singing of the But Skathi answered about Noa- . really born in Vanaheim. He was married to Skathi. among the mountains. Skathi much preferred to live Thiazzi. was most attached to the So they agreed to vicinity of the sea. and the howling of the wolves methinks is evil swans.56 NORSE MYTHOLOGY His dwelling is in heaven in Breifhdbtik. only nine nights. men He is so rich in land and goods that he can give richly of these to those who ask. He call.
One \-f / . Vanaheim. Xjorth of Noatun." 8. excellent His sister. 'the slain. in the castle which is called Folk- When she rides to battle she takes half the Val. wherefore she is also called the "Snowshoe Goddess.77/7? GODS AXD THEIR LIFE 57 tun: I could not sleep on the borders of tinshore for the screaming of the birds every . had had two children in a son. She often runs upon snowshoes and shoots deer with her how. Freyja. Frey and Freyja. After that she moved up into the mountains and continued to dwell there. morning the gull wakens me when it comes from the sea. Frey. wherefore men shall call upon him to obtain good years and times of peace. half.' but Odin the other she has a Her hall is called Sessrymnir. and a daughter. and wagon drawn bv two cats. Freyja. as he as we have also governs men's happiness with reference to the gods. Frey is the grandest among the Aesir: he governs the rain and sunshine and thereby the products of the earth. among the Asynjur. is the most and dwells in heaven ran (j. His dwelling is called Alfltrhu. said.
in which he lost his right hand. and he is married to Ithun. He is master especially among of victory in combat. she weeping. band a man named Qd. and so 11. wherefore she is called Menglaih. but a long journey. Gefn. 'the one shining over the sea' 9. it will continue until is Eagnarok. may is be emphasized. Afterwards they grow young again. the most hardy and courageous Tyr the Aesir. Tyr is therefore called the one-handed god. Heimdall called the white god. the chaining of the Fenris Wolf (14) can be cited. Vanadis. owned the costly ornament Brisingamen. Bragi is god of the scaldic art. while she remained behind Her tears were red gold. As a proof of his bravery. who guards the apples which the gods eat when they grow old. and for this reason brave men should call upon him. but no one calls him the reconciler of men.' Of her other epithets. 10. he .58 is NORSE MYTHOLOGY to call concerns love. upon her She in everything which herself had as hus- whom she dearly he forsook her and set out on loved. 'glad in adornment. and Mardal.
also called (<uUuitan)ii. Xine maids. 16 ). As mentioned above. who is unrivaled as an archer and snow-skater and good to call upon in single combat. and his sword is ! called II o futh. for his teeth are of gold. His horn is called Gjallarhorn (Fig. Odin's blind We son. He needs less sleep than a bird. Thor. sees a hundred rosts (miles) before him just as well by night as by day. Vali. which sounds so loud that it can be heard over all worlds. Other Aesir. Vitliar. Ull of Ydalir. tion the silent next strongest after god. son of Odin and Rind. and also Thor's stepson. all sisters. is can further menHotlir. He called (iulltop. he dwells in the mountains of heaven at the end of the bridge of the Aesir. and has such acute hearing that he hears the grass growing in the field and the wool upon the sheep. 'head. as caretaker of the bridge and of the gods.' 12. Forseti 1 who is the name of the son of Baldur From an English stone cross: Hoimdall representing Christ? .THE GODS AND THEIR LU'K is 50 great and holy. and his horse is is bore him.
daughter of Nep. Heimdall with Horn. who owns in heaven the hall Glitnir. 16. and is the god FIG.60 NORSE MYTHOLOGY and Nanna. .
14. or Lopt. shrewdness invent means of escape from Loki's wife was named Sigyn. 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. Loki's Offspring. the originator of all fraud and the disgrace of gods and men. Loki is handsome and fair in countenance but evil in character and of very changeable mien. and from his sacred well one might draw only in silence. of cattle or other property. and although he caused the Aesir the greatest misfortunes.Forseti of the Norsemen. or Narfi. and son of the giant Farbauti and the giantess Laufey. Loki. and he is taken for the same as tin. he could just as often with his difficulties. is He is called Loki. 13.THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE of justice. In Jotunheim lived a woman by . their son Nari. He is gifted with great ingenuity and cunning. He had a great temple no one was allowed to touch his herd Fositi . who ters that arise. But Loki had other children.
until Tyr put his right hand as a pledge into the monster's mouth. mountain. the beard of a woman. the roots of a world. underworld. the sinews of a bear. All the gods laughed when the fetter bound his limbs together. Only the third fetter. Since it was prophesied that these children should cause great calamities. and the spittle of a bird. to be sure. but the Aesir brought up the wolf at their home. 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. and Hel. the breath of a fish. and that.62 NORSE MYTHOLOGY name Angrbotha. two chains he burst with ease. excepting Tyr. The wolf was not willing that the slender and insignificant fetter should be placed upon him. he had lost his right hand. Gleipnir. since he suspected fraud. could hold. and thereThe first fore they resolved to bind him. where it the whole earth. was made of the noise of a cat's paw. the serpent Miihgarthsorm. . and with her Loki had the wolf Fenrir. When he grew up his evil nature became fairly known.
63 The Asynjur.m- tin- jnr." She lias a very magnificent Ilmvdwelling. which is called /'< .THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE 15." and have control of the strife and its result.' \Vlm-h . she is Frigg's handmaid and knows her secret plans. Now those women must be Valkyrs. in Sokabove. 'goddesses' liar answers./. We can further mention Var.w//. and she is served by all those who die as maidens. Odin sends them to every battle. who has streaming hair with a golden head-band. we have told about her and Freyja ver." 16. they "choose the slain. Gefjon is a maiden. Life in Valhalla. There are many mentioned with different names. Valhalla is thatched . who listens to the agreements which men and women make with each other. named who are called Valkyr jur and serve at table in Valhalla. Ejr is the best physician. Another goddess is Saga. while she also avenges every infringement of them and also Sjofn and Lofn. . i kvabek.. another maiden is Fulla. the goddess of promises. all of which mean "battle" and "tumult of war. /'////// /x //// ^uictne one.
. those dying down to the shadow realm only the brave dying in arms of disease go of Hel. But it is who go to Odin. they put on their armor and go out upon the court to fight against each other. 41 All Einherjar at Odin's court contend together every day. whose foliage live is shining flesh Odin's heroes the from the which boar Saehrimnir yields them.64 NORSE MYTHOLOGY with golden shields and has five hundred and forty doors. thereupon in peace together. the slain they choose and ride from the fray. Thus it reads in the Eddie Poem of Vafthruthnir: reconciled. But the fallen rise again. Outside of Valhalla lies the grove gold. they drink beside the mead which flows from the udders of the goat Heithrun. to the drinkVAFTH. Every day. when the Einherjar awake. while the goat feeds on the leaves from Valhalla's tree. Through each of these eight hundred Einherjar can go at one time. joyous and ing bout in Odin's hall. and all return at evening. Glasir. sit.
fate. according to the decree of Evil dreams have augured danger for his life. 1 In tin Volva's Prophecy the further course of the life of gods and men is described. 33-34 There grew from the tree a perilous pain-shaft. goes. their The Valkyrs ride away. it is Balin- dur's blind brother who becomes the strument of fate: but behind him stands . Loki is Punished. for Valhalla's woe. to Hel's abode. which signifies trouble and in the earth. in Fensal do ye yet know? or how? 18. the Mistletoe: VSP.THE QODS AND THEIR LIFE 17. But ! rir.r g shed tears what slender seemed Hothr did shoot. Indeed. brandishing war spears. \\V see how correct Odin's evil forebodings were. excepting the slender and supple but beautiful shoot. The giants begin to as- semble and equip themselves for the last battle with the gods. G5 The World's Downfall Approaches. the god of gentleness and innocence. Frigg takes oath of everything dead and living. and now comes to pass also the world's greatest misfortune: JJaldur.
17. as Loki. The gods punishment upon him.66 NORSE MYTHOLOGY terrible all evil. the originator of inflict FIG. Loki's Punishment. .
so that the earth trembles (Fig. This is really of but little advantage. Tlio~k~k.THE GODS AND with his Till'. they found in a gloomy mountain cavern. death. It whom 19. Meanwhile his faithful wife Sigyn stands by him and catches the poison in a bowl. "Home of the Eddie Poems. Hi LIFE 67 him upon edge. since Balits dur must remain with Hel. gained of the death-goddess permission for Baldur's return in case everything in the world should weep over his was done." wherefore Hel kept what she had. and fix a poisonous serpent over his face. 17 *). and great crimes are committed 1 From an English stone cross. 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. Odin's swain. Loki writhes in terrible pain. (Introd." Cf. Nastrond. would "weep with dry tears. the two foregoing figures and the remark on Bugge's interpre- tation. Now evil really breaks in loose. since Loki is said to signify "the bound devil. Hermoth. only a giant woman.") . but every time it is filled and she must empty own son's intestines they bind last to three stones set contents. The picture is commonly understood to represent Loki's punishment.
sister's children it is and become each other's will violate kinship. in which all go to destruction. poison drips in at the louver. . and the ceiling is plaited with serpent's backs. 45 Brothers will fight together bane. "death-shore. will spare another. Its door turns toward the north.68 NORSE MYTHOLOGY wade through heavy streams the world. Then comes finally the fearful encounter between the warrior gods and the evil powers in the earth. that a new and . murderers. Moral corruption increases in a frightful degree : VSP. evil no man in the world. arises. perjured men. ." far from the sun. . with gods in purified forms. and seducers must into a hall on Nastrond. adultery serious. But means only the conclusion of the conflict men earth.
Fenrir goes forth the . From the east comes Hrym with the ship Naglfar. with Loki in command. 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. 'great winter. 1. is Hel's in kingdom take groan the mountains.G9 III. the dwarfs. from the north sail Hel's sons over the sea. RAGNAROK In the The Enemies of the Gods Assemble. built of dead men's nails. fright. with flaming sword.' which repeated three times. and Surt rides on from the south. Fenrir bursts his chains. and there a crashing in Jotunheim. still the world-tree remains standing. the last periods of the world is came first frightful Fimbulvetr. at the head of Muspell's sons. Then the bridge of the Aesir falls under the horses' hoofs and heaven is on fire. while the gods hold their last assembly and Heimdall sends the V calling tones of the Gjallarhorn out over the world.
VSP. poison to Odin's son goes meet the worm. The last incident in the conflict is Thor's victory over the Mithgarth serpent. . 2 Not in Sijmon's text. The mighty god of heaven and crushes with his totter on. all men will forsake their home. 55 Then comes the great there yawns across the fire it air it son of Hlothyn. the Girdle of the earth speivs* 1 spurts. from the snake. 1 Strikes with wrath Mithgarth Serpent. abyss. Nine feet goes Fjorgyn's son who fears no shame. Fire spurts out from the monster's eyes and nostrils when Odin meets him in swallowed up by the terriHeimdall fights with Loki.70 NORSE MYTHOLOGY . 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. before earth hammer the head of his deadly foe. Thor Fights with the Mithgarth Ser- pent. 2. bowed. 56 Mithgarth's defender. but only nine steps does he he sinks dead to the earth. choked by the serpent's poison.
18.RAONABOK 71 FIG. . Vithar.
Regeneration. into Now the sun the This is Ragna-rok. and it is Surt who hurls fire over the earth. Odin's silent son. 1 But the downfall is and not everlasting. flame. 1 From an English stone cross. The only temporary Volva's Prophecy continues with its charm4. which is a hundred rasts on every side. grasps with his hands the upper jaw. and afterwards tears the monster's mouth asunder (Fig. has avenged the death of the Father of the Gods. 17. But within the time. 3. 18 ). Fig. Tyr fights with the Hel hound Garm. the clear stars fall from and everything goes up in fire and heaven. cf.72 NORSE MYTHOLOGY grows dark. the gods' crisis. Vithar. . the earth sinks sea. Snorri renarrates the Eagnarok myths with detailed descriptions of all the incidents. sun and moon are swallowed by the wolves. The battle was fought on the plain Vigrith. Snorri's Version. the last destiny by which the gods of Valhalla are overtaken. he steps with his heavy shoe on the wolf's under jaw.
the old life of the gods. Baldur in will come. hall I know is . who governs all things. and the last terrible summons of fate. evil will be cured. there shall the faithful hosts abide and for lasting time delights enjoy. recall the Mithgarth serpent. Then they find in the grass the wonderful golden tablets which they themselves owned in the morning of time. strong from above. 65 to the sublime tribunal. Then dawn a new golden age and a calm period of happiness. There comes the mighty one. battle-homo. from the sea. which is to be everlasting: VSP 62 Unsown . . 1 or Iloth and Baldur dwell Hropt's abode of war-gods. 'Valhalla. green and glorious. The earth rises once more. standing at Gimli thatched with gold.RAGXAROK 73 ing description of the new heaven and earth where justice and peace shall prevail. Do ye yet know? how? 64 A fairer than the sun. The regenerated gods meet again on Ida-plain.i!l will acres grow.
and from them descend all the future races of men. moreover. they received morning dew for nourishment. NORSE MYTHOLOGY The New to Generation. in harmony with another Eddie lay. bears a daughter.' i. Nor does Snorri inform us who the great ruler is. know how Through an old song we learn.e. 'elf- glance. On the contrary he tells.74 5. Lif and Lifilirasir. two persons. were grove hiding during the burning of the world. the sun. about the rise of In Hoddmimir's the new race of men. before the wolf swallows her. that Alf-rotholl. . The maiden is to drive in her mother's course when the gods are dead.
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. independent of the more developed national re75 . the oldest foundation of heathen religion. We find here a marked conformity among all the Gothic-Germanic peoples. ideas reappear among all heathen people. Lower Mythology. It has been pointed out in the General Introduction that the worship of souls and nature-demons. AND GODS I.SECOND SECTION SOULS. COMMON POPULAR BELIEF (LOWER MYTHOLOGY) 1. and we shall now bring forward some of the chief points from this so-called lower mythology. although in details the belief may have de- veloped in a very distinct manner. has yielded a succession of superstitious ideas. DEMONS.
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 . Through the smallest crack or crev- ice the nighmare slips to the sleeping one. other heathen people. forefathers. usually in the form of animals or men. and many legends about it have him from crying arisen. They therefore took it for granted that they were spirits. It is felt as an oppressing weight upon the breast or throat. Our Nightmare.76 NORSE MYTHOLOGY ligion which in the main acquires its character from those most highly developed in the community. 2. as they lacked all other means of explaining those things. 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. and torments and troubles him so sadly that he becomes ill or that it causes his death. 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.
Drihi. through which fate in some way is revealed to men. Baldur had and in and our Danish folk songs we meet dreams at every turn. rayed his 3. The part that in the popular consciousness is dreams play well known. if is caught. it took . that he in punishment for that had l>een killed by a "mare" with which the magic arts of the Finns had tormented him. and if they went to the legs.COMM'J\ POTl'LAR BELIEF same way happens In liiufli. as it transpires in dreams. the "'mare' trod upon his legs so that they were nearly broken. its it one stops up The same thing one names Saga Itet name. she was directly occupied at the head. but when they turned to his head. and so the king was actually tortured to death. but when lie had slept a little lie cried that a 'mare' was treading him. who had Dreams. lie became suddenly sleepy and lay down to rest. 77 that it it came in. Such a soul is called in the old evil dreams before his fateful death. 'thought' or 'soul'. Jn our fathers' poetry every great event is presaged by dreams. if the opening. told of tin 1 YnuliiiLia is King Vtiu- Finnish bride. The king's men hastened to his assistance. the Icelandic sagas tt language hugr. Souls can even in one's lifetime forsake the bodv and wander far and wide.
squeeze. The holy Bishop John's "soul" was often occupied with what belonged to the divine service. a wolf.' which boded an approaching battle. both before the Bishop fell asleep and before he awoke.) .78 NORSE MYTHOLOGY on the most varied forms of beasts. . (The common basal meaning seems to be "to press. this man has often "dreamed me" has often tortured me as originally has often later "mare" while I slept = . for example. now has the same meaning as hugr. the Draumr-Draugr. or an eagle. 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. From the same root as word "dream" (Old Norse draumr) is also the old word draugr. When he was awakened he knew immediately that they were manna hugir. 'men's souls." Therefore the older language used also the verb "to dream" in a peculiar construction. which means now soul as specter. appearing most often as a bear. presented himself to me in dreams.
5. Warriors who in the heat of battle were attacked by wild and brutal frenzy were called Berscrkir or Ulfhethinn.<\ the soul's ability to leave the body and assume another form. the giants oftenest in the form of eagles. i." Freyja has a falcon T cloak or form. that he ''changed his form . Men who had a peculiar aptitude for changing form were AVe called hamramir. "strong in form. men who wear furs . In the Ynglinga Saga it is told about Odin. heavy with sleep or dead. and went in a twinkling on his own or another's errand the body lay there as if to distant countries. / w lief of bear or wolf skin. But it is especially the souls . but the original bewas really that they went about in the form of bears or wolves. 79 is Form Shifting. fish or worm. hamr. but he himself was in the form of a bird or beast.COMMON POPULAR BELIEF 4.e. the Valkyrs flew in swans' form." must certainly regard the fury of the Bero serk as in the same category. i. Ghosts. Ham ram and Berserk. A kindred relation presented by our fathers' widespread belief in form xliifinty.
which was a long way from the farmyard. but the man preferred cattle man who Olaf then to seek another place for himself. or they move about preferably in the vicinity of their burialplace. "Hrap is standing in the stable door and is groping for me. until they are properly "put to rest. Olaf asks then why he acts so awkwardly. at Hjartharholt. One day the took care of the farrow horned came and asked to be released from that work.80 NORSE MYTHOLOGY literature Older Norse of the dead that "haunt. lodged in a mound of heaped-up stones.e.' 1 . Olaf Paa." abounds in evidences of a belief in ghosts. had many servants. went with him at evening to the cow stable." i. Olaf thought that he should perform the work that was given to him. The renowned Icelandic chieftain. He now went in at the door. Frequently the spirits occasion only evil when they reappear. to The felinvestigate the cause of the trouble. and the surviving must withstand dangerous conflicts with them. as he would rather do something else. They most often return to the dwelling they had while in the flesh. 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. low received orders to bind the creatures fast after Olaf drove them in. He answers.
morning Olaf went to the place where Hrap had been ''put to rest" and had him exhumed. was interest in the surviving which brought the spirit back to earth.\ evil-tempered POPULAR BELIEF farmer. This was now burned and the ashes were cast into the sea. Later we shall tell about Helgi. 81 liis Iceland who. or He returns to see from longing again his loved ones. for the first time. 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. who in the tomb receives a visit from his beloved Sigrun. to expiate a fault. after own door wish. outlawed spirits who in dismal forms on and Lenore.) Here headless steeds and with their own heads under their arms at night-time drive through . also belongs the widespread popular tradition of The Wild Hunt.COMM<). it At times Spirits in Popular Tradition. lie was even then not decayed. Now Olaf goes in at the door and thrusts after Ilrap with his spear. Hunditig's Bane. and Olaf found his spear-point also with the body. the point breaks off meanwhile and the The next apparition vanishes into the earth. Then. (Folk songs about Aage and Else. neighborhood had peace. the people in the to oversee his property.
Hervar conjures up her father Angantyr from the tomb on Samso and compels him to deliver up the sword Tyrfing." Svipdag. Norwegians tell about Aasgaardsrei. hunt at Schley and Valdemar's at Gurre. Odin rides down to the charms to use. The Dead are Conjured. chants potent valgaldir or charms over the dead. . if seems as among others some for this use. Belief is conjuration is very ancient and common to all people using our group of languages.82 NORSE MYTHOLOGY From Denmark we know Abel's the air. 6. who then steps forth and speaks "the death-word. One can con- jure them up when one knows the right In the Eddie Song about Baldur's Dreams. according to the wishes of men. the hero in another Eddie Poem. It our older poetry especially has contained magic songs of different kinds. underworld to the grave of a prophetess. 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. goes to his mother Groa's grave and calls her forth to his aid.
At the fu- neral feasts the heir for the first time occupied the high seat of the deceased and completely assumed his dignity. POPl'LAl: 1U-:UKF 83 Funerals and Funeral.or Grave-Feasts.' 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. But also historic times we have good evidence of our fathers' burial customs. (Ceremonies . must We understand the erfiol. 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. our fore fathers took particular care for the burial of the dead. the earliest times. simply necessary objects for use. then was brought forward also the "Bragi cup" over which they made their vows. somelimes splendid implements and ornaments. 'funeral feast. They gave them the necessa- Even from sometimes life.COMMOX 7.
1 But criminals and trolls who es- Jomsburg Vikings and Svein Twibeard. 2 occurred. and richly supplied with lying Gunnar from implements and weapons. house as soon as posremoved it from the sible. stretched the body out after which the face and closed the was covered. the Therefore they remained near by. . Then the mother of the dead asks who ventures to touch the weapon. Hogni answers: I intend to take it to my father so that he can have it with him at Valhalla Peoat the weapon-show. They approached the dead person from be- eyes. or in it and exhibit forests.84 NORSE MYTHOLOGY the Jomsvikingar 1 of and Svein Tiugus- kegg. early king of Denmark. or sitting. ple usually chose open and nicely situated burial places on mountains or hills. preferably the same day that death First they rendered nabjargir. Hlitharendi laughed and sang in the tomb.) soul So long as the body was not buried. the body was placed in a mound. 'Last service to dead. hind. When the son Hogni seizes his renowned father's spear to undertake blood-vengeance. See the Heimskringla.
e. i. Worship of the Dead. because earthly plainly prince who later was worshiped as a god. sav definitely whether there was * difficult to among our .' Bautar from baulathr moans . It is 8. popularity. 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. Transmigration of Souls. There is also 9. forefathers a complete system of ancestorcult. fathers of the race were considered the family's natural protectors in the spirit world. Pul'l' LAI: BELIEF 85 as ghosts were "put to The mound and monu- ment upon Knnihl.. are called in the old language Bautarsteinar 1 (memorial stones it without inscriptions) and rune stones have been discussed above.COMMOX pecially did evil ivsl" or burned. to a man named Grim of his Sacrifice was after his death. in and many passages the old literature relate about offerings to the dead either in or at grave-mounds or family-mounds. or made upon adjacent mountains. understood Frey as and an Snorri much 1 that goes to show that our heathen 'fighter' or 'hero.
Those human beings thus reborn are called in its live another the old sources Helgi.' son.86 NORSE MYTHOLOGY forefathers had a widespread belief in the transmigration of souls. Hjorvarth's endrbornir. 'born again. one born again from a traditionalhistorical king." Saint Olaf was. 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." In the course of time new religious ideas were developed . who received sacrifice. Of the renowned Helgi. Independent "Souls. a in the Elder Edda relates: prose piece belief "The prevailed in ancient times that people became endrbornir. and the Valkyr Svafa were endrbornir. that they were born again. but now it is called old wives' talk. after the opinion of people. Olaf Geirstathaalf. it was said Also about Helgi and Sigrun. The soul of the deceased could take born child and abode in a newlife. 10. Hunding's Bane.
lief in souls and the worship of souls in to the simplest form. 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. in its own or another's form. can manifest itself especially as a warning of great events or of near approaching death. a belief in hide- supernatural xoul Icings whose life and activity are not dependent upon the particular human body. then. the quite the same as hnyr. is fylgja dreams Originally. 'attendant. and since it can forsake the body and put on a new form. from the cradle man's fylyja.' to the grave. namely. Fi/Ii/jnr.COMMOX from patdcttt POPt'LMl liEUl-I* 87 soul-bel i<T. according to a person's char- same manner as wanna . forms our fathers' faith in the The soul is soul as a guardian spirit. A transition from the bea. Fylgjur appear in the liuyir. it is also called hawinyja. fylgja is To see one's is own near. which in or in waking condition. oftenest in animal form. supernatural soul- beings.
wish to help. or those for their especial good fortune. that one can lend another When his known Powerful persons. Fylgjur as Women." said the old man. in the guage uses 1 same sense. other Oxfoot.' fylgja. and when you then came hurIt was Thorstein 's rying in you fell over it. b. "Wise old Gejt saw it and burst out So the lad went to him and asked laughing. Fylgjur here resemble good and besides hamingja the old lanalso. Thorstein Uxafot l was a boy of seven he once came quickly rushing into the years. The next step in the development of the belief in tutelary goddesses is this. bestow their fylgjur upon those whom they fylgja. room.88 NORSE MYTHOLOGY acter. why his falling appeared to him so laughable. When you entered the room a white bear's cub followed you and ran before you on the floor. "because I saw it as you did not see it. and Gejt concluded from that that he was not of ordinary origin. but which could be seen by only a few specially gifted persons. Great chieftains and men of note had "strong" fylgjur which walked in front of them. ''Well. . luck. but when it set eyes on me it stopped. as children are wont to do. and fell on the floor.
as a kind of luck goddess. his good wishes and thoughts for the journey. i. () King. Jiitf/r in case and give my Family Fylgja.' capacity as aettar-fylgja. in its fylgja. the opinion seems to have .' The Icelander IljuUi Rkcggi's son drove with Bjorn Shilling to Sweden on an errand for Olaf the Stout. "You shall know for a certainly that I shall bestow all my it weighs anything in the scale. that you give your hamingja.COMMaX rori'LM. The king's huyr.' Here the king unconsciously indicates how the pretty and implicit belief developed among our forefathers. of the members. ''And we now greatly need. but this is interpreted as if the king's second ego. 'family which cares for the fortunes of the family one. for tliis journey. On leaving he said to the king:. After its owner dies. his hamingja or fylyja set free. AVlicn Christianity was introduced. BELIEF 89 words whirli ordinarily have the general meaning 'good fortune. the fylgja seeks an abode with another person. follows them on their way. hamingja to go with yon and all of yon. preferably one of the same family. now and takes up its abode now with with another. More plainly does the fylgja appear as an independent soul-being c.' Olaf answered among other things. follow them.e.
Then the people saw a woman walking along the ship. The old chieftain let himself be baptized by Tangbrand on condition that the archangel Michael should for the future be his fylgja. Another man to whom she applied did not wish to have her. divine beings has developed from the . Halfred. she went over the waves with the same readiness as if she were walking on the ground. or to Draum-Kona. The scald. who upon Odin's com- mand summon 11. either. is As a being set free. " or fetch. from whom he now had freed himself. the fylgja also called Dis. but finally she was accepted by the poet's son.90 NORSE MYTHOLOGY developed that one could change his Hall together ivith his belief. upon his death-bed on board his ship did not wish to have the company of his fylgja over into the next life. Norns and Valkyrs. d. The conception of fate-women and battle-women as personal. Spadis. who makes her appearance help men.woman. She then closely resembles the Norns and Valkyrs who are also plainly designated as Disir. heroes home to Valhalla. handsome to look upon and dressed in a coat of mail. and in this way remained in ' the family. It was Half red's fylgja. Dream-Women.
Song" 1 1 in Njal's of Saga. on the other hand Wnnl Xorse. when as wellequipped shield-maidens they take part in the conflict and determine its course. Valkyrs are the "Noras of Battle. They serve at table in Valhalla and they "choose the slain. Val." the among our people Odin's command. who "wind fate-threads" and fix man's life from the cradle to the grave.) the Weaving Song twelve Valkyrs: a 'Battle' Song. .//:/' 91 among all the Gothic-Germanic people. Hakonarmal. but Noras and Valkyrs represent a distinctly Northern development. good and evil. Urth 'spinning woman'?) as a name for inexorable fate is found among all racially related people. ( In our fathers' belief there are many Noras." but they have received their character from Odin faith and the teaching about Valhalla. at A series of pretty myths about Odin's divine maids has arisen in Norwegian-Icelandic (The "Darrath mythology and poetry.COMMOX POPULAR soul-belief /. the other with Anglo-Saxons as well./:/. The firstword is found only among Norsemen.
it section on Hero-Sagas). (they) of their own of their go deprived own home. by various Lit. 155 This I know. Such 1 evil spirits are designated Farm-riders. . lay off the but if this swan form in order to bathe. who after death continue their evil dealings with men. Witches. In the Eddie says: HAV. Our forefathers had then a widespread belief also in evil soul-beings. hurry through the air. since they contract marriage with earthly heroes. the tenth. In this 12. I so If I see witches 1 arrange that shape. As swan-maidens they fly far across the country. the maid must follow him and give him her love (cf. Song HavaOdin enumerates in a special section mal. peculiar souls of the witches of the earth.92 NORSE MYTHOLOGY The Valkyrs appear often with half- nature. until the battle nature human suddenly awakens in them and drives them away from hearth and home into the tumult of conflict. the magic songs he is able to use. At times they is stolen by a man.
which to form a transition the real nature- demons. night-creature. 13. bear the imprint of the calm. Nature-Demons. mild. AVith these must also be classed such supernatural beings as goblins.is 93 troll. even- ing-. and mermaids. river-sprites. soul-worship. s. . Giants. and friendly in nature.COMMOX POPULAR BELIEF words. mermen. the belief in and (/mum's seems to have dirnrfs. with which a hard struggle . frost and mountain "\Vhile elves and dwarfs especially giants. the later myths these beings play an important part and belief in them has been preserved a very long time among the common people. 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. sprite. giants are symbols of the forces of nature and the elements in their might and fury. and farm-rider. out of Again. The common names for naturedemons are giants. darkness-.
. To what tion. is named Ran. and she catches shipwrecked men in her net. 14. for whom he arranges great banquets. has his dwelling on Hlesey. is indeed a giant but he is on terms of hospitality with the gods. The His wife 1 billows are called Aegir's daughters. daughter of Gymir. who. therefore. now Laeso in the Kattegat. awaken love in the breasts of the gods. Aegir The foremost sea- Aegir or Hler. from the giant is giant's world. is told about giants in the first secwill we add some individual examples and Ran. Njorth was married to the giant Thiazzi's daughter Skathi.94 NORSE MYTHOLOGY in order to insure ex- must be carried on istence. in wild and dismal forms. It was at one of these that Loki took occasion to pour out his venom upon the gods and goddesses. Ordinarily giants are thought of. with which she Island of Hler. and Frey's affection for Gerth. so that they even . is treated in one of the finest of the Eddie Songs. according to 1 He Snorri. corre- sponding to the elements by which they are surrounded but giant women may after all be very handsome.
Worship of Odin and Thor. 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.CHIEF GODS ASD MYTHS 95 mav come crucllv A^ pursue the seafarer. Another more violent sea-giant is Ilymir. 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. II. To Kan all who suffer death upon the sea by * accident. to when the drowned man obtains leave turn back to take part in the funeral feast which is held for him. who in the form of a pike was darting around in a waterfall. at whose home Thor sought the great kettle of which we shall tell in a later paragraph. personal . Loki borrowed Kan's net to catch the dwarf Atiflrari. but he was later understood to be an independent. CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS OF THE GODS (THOR) 1.
Not only does the general occurrence of the symbol of the hammer bear witness to this. Thor as Chief God.96 NORSE MYTHOLOGY its being. made Odin worship is far younger and way north from a Germanic peo- In the conple dwelling farther south. since Icelandic poetry. An Jupiter's day is rendered by Thor's day. 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. but Odin faith received full and pleasing development in Norse- Thor was at one time the chief divinity with all the GothicGermanic peoples. conceptions of Thor as the supreme god were never superseded. and "Saxnot" (the one armed with the sword) are precisely the . but also the fact that he is placed by the side of Jupiter. sciousness of the common people. Odin. Thunar and Woden and Saxnot and all the Trolls which are worshiped here." the all Thor.
The same testimony recurs in names of persons and places. It is at the same time not solely the significance of the name and in hammer-symbol.CHIEF GODS AXD MYTHS three chief gods 97 who . was opened on a Thursday. The Yule-offering. the chief offering of our heathen was consecrated to Thor. compared with Odin and Frey. statues of the chief gods in them are sometimes named. the court important week-day in all legal questions. Norwegian-Icelandic poetry itself gives here and there unmistakable evidence of Thor's prominent position. and Thor's day appears as the most forefathers. or the testimony of rune stones. Where heathen temples are the mentioned. .are most often named Xorse sources. in which we find Tlior in overwhelming abundance. and Thursday is the most common court day even now. as Most baptismal formula above. or a representation of Tlior alone. provided we can identify Saxnot with Fivy. name often a temple of Tlior only is mentioned. and in that case Thor's in the ordinarily comes first. which tell us about the extent of the worship of Tlior.
and he occupies a similar position even among the gods. with the strongest and mightiest powers at his i. NORSE MYTHOLOGY Mithgarth's Keeper. he thereby becomes the protecting divinity not merely of the individual man. Or Defender. The of Volva's Prophecy in its description Ragnarok in the verse cited on page 70 calls Thor.e." Veurr. Other poets call him Friend of Human Kind or Defender of the Race. related to the Danish word vie. and Mithgarth is certainly the land of human beings. the the lightning the thunderbolt which crushes hammer. 'to consecrate. "Veurr. Therefore he is called Aesir. the most prominent of is consecrator and protector of all human life. Thor Asa-bragr. but also of the home and the state. command. and splinters whatever offers resistance (desolate nature in giant forms) but which also brings with 1 it fruit-producing rain. as 1 Mithgarth's Keeper.' and to Ve.98 2. He is the great god of civilization.' signifies protector and consecrator. . who constantly seek protection through his strength even if Odin or Frey is present. 'sanctuary.
but under ordinary circumstances he is gracious and mild. this is in flames and the mountains tremble or burst in the thunder's crash. The God's Treasures. When he wanted to it.number of myths or divine traditions. Snorri relates the following: Loki had once from malice cut off the hair of Thor became aware of Thor's wife Sif. and he is dreadful in his wrath. 'driving of As.' means 'Thor-rumbling.plowing red beard. crush every bone in Loki's body. He is tremendously strong. and of these we shall now recount the most important. but the . AYhen he. the word being a conish traction of as-eka. in his wagon drawn by he-goats.' like the older Danish form.CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS .' To Thor's name there are attached a . drives over the sky. Of the origin of the god's treasures. 99 Characteristics of to often picture Thor Thor. The modern Dan- Torden.'!. his flaming glance is enough to terrify any one. rarely a \nung man. 'thunder. but in both cases he has a . the Swedes say aska. People most themselves as a strong middle -aged man. 4.
100 latter NORSE MYTHOLOGY promised to get golden hair from the dark elves for Sif in compensation. After that Loki wagered with a dwarf Brok. This good ship Frey received. Odin the ring. are called the sons of Ivaldi. and Frey the boar. in case one preferred. Loki with his stings accomplished only hamnier handle remained a this. The wager was to be settled in Asgarth. and the ship SkithblatJinir which could sail over both sea and land hut could also be folded together and carried in a pouch. and they his who upon demand made hair for Sif. the ring Draupnir. little that the too short.. staking his head that the latter's brother Sindri could not complete three Brok plied the equally good treasures. after which these three gods . the spear Gungnir which Odin received. Thor took the hammer. He applied therefore to the dwarfs. bellows and Sindri forged. and although Loki in the form of a gadfly three times him stung the one plying the bellows and forced to stop a moment. Sindri notwithstand- ing finished the three great pieces of work: the boar Gullinbursti. and the hammer Mjolnir.
5. The hammer decided the matter. Thrym. the dwarf then sewed Loki's wily mouth together. flies bor- over latter The king of the giants. god of thunder describes his rows Frey's feather garment and the to loss.. but the hammer was lost and could not be found. In exasperation. and Loki was now to lie ordered Brok to take it. Angry awoke Ving-Thor and missed his hammer. Loki. and he will not give it back unless Freyja is brought to him as the his bride. admits having concealed the hammer deep in the earth. since tin 1 wager applied only to the head itself. but the neck must not be touched. to whom . Loki flew back and the demand of the king of the giants was communicated to the goddess of love. lose his head. his beard and hair shook the son of Jorth groped around. The Hammer is Recovered. One of the oldest Eddie Songs relates how Thor lost his hammer and recovered it.GODS AX1> MYTHS were to 101 pronounce judgment. but .
head and breast be decked in woman's fashion. and she fumed. 'goddesses. for the giants will take possession of Asgarth if he does not regain the hammer. Loki. ." Thor must submit to the hard necessity. also dresses in women's clothes. Odin's son drove into Jotunheim. Laufey's son. they must run well. mountains burst. if I drive with thee to Jotunheim.' assembled for deliberation at the court to consider how the hammer could be reHeimdall solves the problem: gained.102 NORSE MYTHOLOGY THKKV. women's garments fall about his knees. 12 Wroth grew all Freyja. 21 driven homeward." there bursts the Aesir's hall The Aesir and Asynjur. hurried to the traces. earth burned with fire. "Let us bind bridal linen about Thor and give him the great Brisinga ornament to put on. trembled therefrom. keys shall rattle at his girdle. so as to follow Thor as his maid upon the strange bridal journey. . 1 that great Brisinga chain Thou knowst me to be most mad for men. 1 Soon were the goats Necklace.
and the giant's race all the giants' chief. for Freyja's eyes are sharp and shine like fire. the hammer perceived. since she had neither eaten nor slept in eight days. 30 Then quoth Thryin Bear bless in the hammer <>n the giants' chief: to bless the bride! Mjolnir place tin- maklen's knees. 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. Hlorrithi's Thrym he slow first. in Thryin lifts the veil to kiss his bride. prepared a splenis ill adapted his ability to and drink awakens amazement. hard-hearted. comes the hour of reparation and vengeance for Asgarth's mighty god: 31 Xow heart within his breast. and when the almost terror. THRKV. Laughed when he. bridegroom back terror-stricken the length lie darts of the hall. . nay. he crushed.cnn:r GODS AM> urnis In Jotunlioini there did bridal feast. but to the bride's is 103 part. and join us by the hand of Varr. Thor At first .
Hymir's Kettle. 'foolish count. she received a begged hammer-blow instead of golden rings.' After this.' who has hidden the hammer and will not give it back unless he gets "Jomfru Fredensborg (Miss Peacecastle) with all the goods she has. re- Lay of Hymir. will fare to our own land. Thor one time. and the Tossegreve with all his tribe were crushed. had to go to the giant Hymir for a great kettle which was lates the . Tor and Lokke. After this the thunder-god returned to Asgarth with his recovered weapon. as in the Eddie Song. must put on women's clothes and proceed to the Tossegreve 's land. The wretched The same theme is treated in a jesting manner in the ancient Danish ballad about Tor of Havsgaard. as the bride has become a widow. crafty man. Tor of Havsgaard rides over green meadows and loses his golden hammer. Tor's appetite in the ancient ballad is quite astonishing he ate a whole ox and thirty hams. The ballad ends thus: Lokke he did consider said this. no wonder that he was thirsty after that! But when the hammer was brought in. Lokke Lojemand (jester) puts on the feather cloak and seeks out the Tossegreve.104 NORSE MYTHOLOGY sister of the giant had for a bridal gift. it was evident that he could use it. it well : Now we 6.
Hymir is frightened at Thor's violent strokes and objects to keeping on for fear of coming upon the Mithgarth serThis.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. He sets out with Tyr. and while the giant is attending his affairs. and is much offended both at his guests and at Thor's The following morning Thor appetite. and they reach the together home The hitter does not conic giant's dwelling. goes out with the giant to fish. again One of the very oldest Scalds gives a . home until towards night. The god demands asks him bait of the ferocious giant. who to look out for it himself. is exactly Thor's pent. to Encircler" his Thor makes the "Earthswallow the hook and draws to the head up surface of the sea. after which they begin to row. Thor then wrenches the head from one of the giant's black oxen. however. purpose. This adventure has and again inspired our forefathers.
" like a wildly floundering gazes FIG. . Thor's Fishing. circler.106 NORSE MYTHOLOGY picture graphic of how the "Earth-Eneel. 19.
which he the kettle crushes with his hammer. and the Scalds often alluded to it. 19)." to "Cleaver of the waiting give Fig. Hrungnir. pursued by the giant's hosts. Thor. 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. The myth of Thor and Hrungnir has been very widespread and popular. however. him the fatal blow In Snorri. may not now obtain the kettle until he can further prove his strength by crushThat does not ing the giant's beaker. just as they went out. 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. As the giant has hindered him in his purpose. frightful box on the ear.CU1EI' defiantly LiODS AM) MYTHS who is 107 at the from the depths below up (limit's Skull. after which he The poem on the other hand has them both turn back to- gether. but in connected form it is preserved . only (cf. 7.
Now drink was borne before him. . At the appointed time Thor made his appear. nir. but the giant followed him even into the dwelling of the gods. nine rasts high. and he had a mare's heart in his breast Hrungnir's heart was a three-cornered stone. he must rather meet him in a duel at the frontier. where Hrungnir would then appear with shield and grindstone. Such a challenge Thor did not allow to be offered twice.108 NORSE MYTHOLOGY only in Snorri. Odin rode back to Asgarth. and the giant went away satisfied. who quickly appeared and was on the point of crushing the The latter intimated that it was giant. He was called Mokkrkalfi. who Here he met the giant Hrungboasted that his steed Gullfaxi was far better than Odin's. but when his boasting become too arrogant. As help for him the other giants called built now a champion of clay. and three rasts broad between the shoulders. Odin seated himself upon Sleipnir and rode to Jotunheim. a slight honor to slay a defenseless only foe. Once when Thor was in the East in order to crush the trolls. the gods upon Thor.
Thor meanwhile went forward through the air amidst lightning and crash of thunder. Meanwhile no one could awav. although Odin himself had meant to have that good steed. was brought. after which Ilrungnir ste))j)ed upon his shield and grasped the grindstone with both hands. Thialfi strove with the clay giant. the healing woman. " 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. who recited magic songs over him until the stone began to swav in his forehead. Mjolnir holds its course and crushes the giant. Siiorri adds that it did . When Thor came back to Thruthvang. The grindstone and hammer were hurled at the same time and met midway. attended by 77m////. At the same time Thialfi Trent forward and ealled to him that Tlior Nsas coming from below. Groa. who trembled with fear and fell with little glory. he then received Gullfaxi as a reward for his strength.CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS ance. 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.
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. Geirroth. her iron gloves. One of his toes. to whose court he had from curiosity betaken himself in Frigg's falcon cloak. Thor came first to a brook in which one of the giant's daughters had He slew her occasioned an inundation. NORSE MYTHOLOGY told however. get completely loose. In Geirroth's hall there was only one chair. however. and escaped to land by drawing himself up into a mountain ash. Loki had once been caught 8. and her staff. and quickly as far as the ceiling it went up when Thor . Thor had borne him on his back in a basket over the poisonous streams on the return journey from Jotunheim. structed him about Geirroth and lent him at parting her strength-belt. successful. but on the way Thor visited the She ingiantess Grith. and Thor had cast it up to heaven and made it into a star. Vithar's mother. was coming home presently. was frozen off. by the giant Geirroth.110 not. But Groa became so joyful at this information that she forgot her witchcraft. Orvandil. for Thor Groa that her husband.
tf Thor's Journey to Utgarth. This tale attained great celebrity after Oehlenschlaeger made use of it as the basis for his poem. is retold bv Snorri. ." Tors Rejse til l the introduction to "Gods Jotunheim. is which 9. In Snorri also found the late adventure of Thor's journey to Utgarth. Thor now hurled it the wedge with such force that pierced through the pillar and Geirroth also. for the giant's daughters had been under the chair and lay there now with broken backs. and went out through the wall on the is opposite side. which probably is the best known. "Thor's Journey to 1 Jotunheim. after which the giant hid himself in terror behind a mighty iron pillar. fire. who caught it wedge and cast it at with the borrowed gloves. The main source of this myth the obscure Scaldic lay Thorsdrapa. beside which people Geirroth then seized a glowing iron Thor. after which there was heard a great roar. Tie then pressed staff against it with (Jrith's and pushed with all his might.CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS -ated himself 111 upon it. On the floor there was kindled a great took their seats.
The optical illusion is Thor wishes to take vengeance.112 NORSE MYTHOLOGY l of the North. lost. wrestles with Elli. Utgarthaloki (the eating test and the Thor drinks from the sea. but without success." free Snorri's long account is a and fanciful transformation of a whole series of Thor-myths now for the most part a. . and Old Age). The meeting with Skrymir lunch bag. Eoskva from (the gloves. b. c. The dwarf does not know him and asks him to mind his Nordens Guder. d. Alvis. Alvis is a dwarf who. serpent.e. removed and 10. race. Thor's hammer-thrust. comes to take her. but is addressed with scornful words by Thor. An entirely characteristic but not very transparent myth lies also at the basis of the Eddie Song of Alvis. Thor gets Thialfi and the peasant (Egil). lifts the Mithgarth i. has received the He now promise of Thor's daughter. without its being evident wherefore and from whom.
are named by gods. however. giants. e." Now the interrogation begins.g. Thor. dwarfs. "The questions in accordance with his All-wise. Thor-Faith long Prevalent. only when he is informed who Thor is does he become humble and tell his errand. The dwarf is remarkably well informed but does not give heed to the time. 11. elves. will not give him his daughter unless he can an- swer name. When the vigorous priest Tangbrand preached Christianity in Iceland. but Christ dared not contend with Thor?" This tale is significant as to our fathers' first view of the new doctrine.CHIEF GODS AM) MYTHS 113 own business. . he once fell into conversation with a heathen woman. who said to him. 'islet'). Thor asking the dwarf how all different things. and other mythical beings. and it really ideas were preserved proved that the old among the people long after the introduction of Christianity. the sun. moon. earth. he is overtaken by the day and turned to stone before the beams of the rising sun. "Have you heard that Thor chal- lenged Christ to a holm-going (duel fought on a holmr.
strange to say.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. were confused. 20). the common people transferred not a few of Thor's qualities to Saint Olaf. indeed were even placed side by side as sacred symbols in ChrisIn Norway. The sign the sign of the cross FIG. From the Norwegian peasant's . Figure of Thor (?). tian churches (Fig. 20.
Worship of Odin. Together with Tyr and Thor as well as the goddess Frija a ('the beloved. Odin is common Germanic divinity. Thor hammer! splinter the cross ODIN 1.rHIEF GODS AXD MYTHS 115 King Olaf. with (laming red board and with ax in hand. to the red-bearded thunder-god with the hammer. for them Christ and Thor are as incompatible as good and evil. flames ! "Hakon Jarl": Heaven will strike shall thee with its with his HAKON. is a leap not nearly so great as one at the first glance might But with the Christian priests. Tyr's original . who crushes the giants' and mountain giants' skulls. It contrast which Oehlenschlaeger is this brings out in the famous conclusion of the third act of OLAF. and this can be proved also by philology. the sorcerer's bitter foe. think.' Mother Earth). Thor and Odin naturally stood as the worst among all the evil beings of the heathen davs.
tall. . Odin's divinity and the closely which are attached to him. broad hat. On his arm he wears the ring Draupnir. as we have already remarked. Odin's name signifies "the one blowing. it permeates all Norselittle we must now look a more 2. completely obscured. in the North. 'Thought' and 'Memory.116 NORSE MYTHOLOGY significance as the ancient god of heaven is. a single a god of heaven is thought of as and an independent divinity. one-eyed man with a long beard. and an ample blue or parti-colored cloak. Geri and Freki. on his shoulders sit the ravens Huginn and Muninn. 'Greedy' and 'Eager." and the relation here is quite the same as in the case of Thor. person Odin's worship is. the sources relate nothing particular about him beyond that which is stated in the foregoing. but since Icelandic poetry. myths at Odin's Appearance and Surroundings. Odin is thought of as an old.' Ordinarily he is armed with the spear Gungnir. and rides upon Sleipnir (he has many other horses.' and at his feet lie the two wolves. somewhat young in the Northern side of the lands.
Bushy-browed.' the King of Herfathir. the most of them signify one or another characteristic of the god: Allfather. From these examples alone it will appear that Norwegian-Icelandic poetry represents Odin as the world's chief divinity. the Blustering. First of 3. King of Spears. God Hanged. the Stormer. and Lord of Spirits (i. . the Changeable.C1I !/:/' OOD8 AND MYTHS the 117 among tliein war-horse Blotlioghofi).e. all Odin acquired his wisdom by personal investigation: he traveled through all counBut in tries and had wide experience. 'Father Victory. of the Fimbultijr ('Mighty God'). Odin. and in theories about Valhalla. God of Burdens. the the the Gray-bearded. we have more than two hundred. Helmet-bearer. Odin's N<uncfi.--If we sinn up all of Odin's names in poetry. the Wanderer. Valfathir.and the Art of Poetry. Father of the of Slain. Terrifier. the Traveler.' Armies. ghosts). God of Wisdom. as God of War. the Great Hat. and he often travels as a wanderer around the world with staff in hand. But the clearest picture of him is that of God of IVixdoin.
for other the ravens fly every morning out over all the world and bring tidings back with them. from which Odin can look out over the whole world. 3 to remain have journeyed much. In the Eddie Songs 4. I have tested oft the powers. attempted much. how Vafthruthnir's this I wish to know household may be. I He departs. Odin is described as the most prominent God of Wisdom. Odin is speaking with Frigg. he has a desire to visit the wise giant Vafthruthnir. and in heaven there is besides his also a place castle Valaskjalf or Valhalla Hlithskjalf. 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. . to test his sagacity. and comes to the giant's hall. at home. accompanied by Frigg's best wishes.118 NORSE MYTHOLOGY ways also he gained information. a castle or simply a high seat. Vafthruthnir. about Vafthruthnir. but Frigg advises him Odin answers: VAFTHR.
he challenges the latter to a contest of wisdom.CHIEF GOD* AND MYTHS 119 where. 19 \Vi<o now thou art. and the Then quoth Vafthruthnir: plain Viyrith. hall. After that the song rehearses a number of the main points of the belief in the gods in questions on Odin's part. oh guest. answers the giant's question ahout the steeds of day and the countries of gods boundary river ///>/// between and giants. upon our wisdom. iii^lit. . but the giant never hesitates about an answer. the \'. Xo man knows and of the downfall of the gods. pass to the giant's bench and let us talk on the seat together! shall \vc two in the Wager our heads oh guest. standing. 55 what thou in early days didst say in thy son's ear: I uttered ancient lore With fated lips this. under the name of Wanderer. First of all Odin. until the god asks him.\1 TIIR. "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.
however. Grimnir. of whom the first was ten. Agnar and Geirrotk. the spring they went away in a boat. but the wind drove them off over the sea. wagered upon his opinion. took charge of Geirroth and gave him good In counsel. but the peasant whispered something first to his fosterWhen the boys came to their father's anchoring ground. while Geirroth went up to the royal castle and later son. not poor people. and called out to his after which To the Trolls with thee brother. 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. to which she answered that Geirroth was. who had two sons. thrust the boat out again. Now. to be sure. These two rowed out with a boat to fish.120 NORSE MYTHOLOGY There was once a king by name 5. a king. Geirroth sprang quickly ashore. Here a man and woman met them and cared for them The peasant (the man) during the winter. while his wife preferred Agnar. as indeed it was. Odin declared this to be untrue. Odin taunted his wife on account of Agnar and his fortune. and set out in order But to inquire into the matter for himself. but he was so niggardly about food that he tormented his guests in case too many came. the second eight winters old. the boat again drove out upon the sea. The foster- parents were. Hrauthung. and in the darkness of the night they were stranded upon a foreign shore. as they were sitting one time in Hlithskjalf. but Odin and Frigg. that dogs did not dare to bitp . ' * ' ' ! became an illustrious prince.
Sokkvabekk should really be ren- . Odin is enumerating the dwellHere lie says among ings of the gods. Grimnir drained it. since the name lias been associated with the well-known words. however. there Odin and Saga. There he sat eight nights. wairirimr their tails. and there do cool drink every day. pyres so as to force him to say who he was. have pointed out that this conception cannot be correct. after which he began to speak. Then the king's tenyear-old son Agnar had pity on him and brought him a filled horn to drink. "The Masked". This Saga has been understood as a kind of Muse of History." Philologists. while his cloak caught fire. "a saga. Thus it is told in the prose introduction to the Sayings of Grimnir. the dogs shrank back before liini. cheerful from golden cups. other things: GRIMN. 6. Sokkvabekk the fourth waves go rushing over. of which we shall quote a single one. GODS AND MYTHS 121 Soon afterward a man eame in a blue ami called himself iiritmnr.CIIIKF him. Saga. The poem itself contains a number of disconnected names and myths. upon which the king gav orders to seize him and place him between two cloak. is 7 called.
' and Saga is doubta name for Frigg. one of the few Germanic female divinities that can be pointed out. she is readily confused with Freyja. but when Odin supplanted him he came wife. when the sun every day sinks below the horizon westward into the sea. grew into Frigg. in Norse mythology.122 NORSE MYTHOLOGY dered 'Sinking Bench. Of the other names of the of the gods can be mentioned Jorth. . just as the constellation called but later Freyja's.' was only an epithet of the queen of heaven and was later made into a new divine being. for which reason it is difficult to determine which myth concerns the one or the other. Frija. Hlotliyn. Frea in the Norse language. according to which the myth is an allusion to the sunset. It is most likely that Freyja. 'the Ruling One. origi- nally Frigg's day. Spinning-wheel. queen Fjorgyn. Originally she was married to the god of heaven Tiwan. a poetic expression for the sun-god's meetless ing with Frigg. Orion was first Friday means Frigg's. into possession of his maid and his Furthermore.
GODS AM) MYTH* 123 (i< is also fjon Probably In originally from one of Frigg's names. Odin says that Gefjon knows the destinv of the world as well as he himself. * known. makes where Gunnloth guarded it. the The myth of the about Odin Scalds has. however. the Eddie Song Lokasenna (the Loki Quarrel). 8. where the land had been. It is now called Zealand. acquiring briefly. Scaldship the Mead following content: (poetry) is represented as an inspiring drink. King Gylfi in Sweden gave her as much land as she could better Far plow about in one day with four oxen. and the headlands correspond to the inlets of the sea which remained behind in Sweden. The Mead of the Scalds. It was kept at the home of the giants. and gets pergains . he who partakes of it is a Scald. whereupon the oxen drew it out westward into the sea. is Snorri's account of Gefjon and (lylfi. Odin his way through all hindrances. She brought her four giant sons and transformed them into plow oxen. but this team plowed so deep that the land was loosened. Gumiloth's affection.C11 1Kb" 7. Gefjon.
is noAv come up since Othrerir to verge of men's abode. so danger. Havamal: "The man must be gifted in speech who wishes to know much and to attain anyThis I (i. to break me it a path between the gray The giants were going both over and under. ill return I later let her have (for her faithful heart) for her troubled mind. In the oldest and purest form the myth in the Eddie poem. 106 Her well-gained beauty little is have I much enjoyed.e. lacking to the wise. I allowed the auger's mouth stones. Odin) thing in the world. ries it He then car- it up to the upper world and gives to men. ." was by no means without HAV. appears proved at the home of the giants.124 NORSE MYTHOLOGY mission to enjoy the drink. 105 on the golden seat Gimnloth gave me a drink of the precious mead. it was not by keeping silent that I made progress in Suttung's hall.
rir and two vessels. has sworn: ring-oath. Fjalar and Galar. and from this fluid they made. Gilling Gilling. Odin. each of them spat into a vessel. Kvasir was slain by two giants. the went if he to the gods had for Bolverk they inquired or had Suttung him destroyed? come 109 A I think. the man Kvasir. and his wife to come to them. b. Snorri's account embraces the following essential points: a. as a token of peace. shall trust his good faith? he forbade the drink to Suttung deceived who and he made Gunnloth weep. if of (Junnloth I had had no joy. and from this arose the mead of the Scalds. who caught his blood in the kettle Othrr. The two giants now invited another giant. The blood they mixed with honey. who was very wise. .CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS 107 125 Doubt is in mo if I had come again that goodly maid out of the giant's court. After the truce between the Aesir and the Vanir. who laid her ami about 108 The day thereafter frost-giants (to ask of liar's condition) into the hall of liar.
c. that agreed. and the crafty Baugi had to bore again until the chips flew Now Bolverk proceeded into the inward. that he receive To this Baugi a draught of Suttung 's mead. but all were so eager to grasp it that they killed each other in the attempt. When Odin first to mead he where nine slaves were mowing grass. 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.126 NORSE MYTHOLOGY sailing was drowned while on a party. It was not long before Baugi declared that the hole was through. to guard it within the set out to gain the mountain. 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. The god then cast it up into the air. Suttung 's brothOdin offered to whet their scythes. wanted to take vengeance for his parents. these weie Baugi' s. but when Bolverk blew. and set his Gunnloth. who called himself Eolver'k. Scalds as compensation. The son. Suttung. however. He drained then in three draughts both . won Gunnloth 's love. and when his wife grieved about it they slew her. After came a field Odin. refused to fulfill his brother 's promise. and the whetstone was so excellent that they all wanted to buy it. proposed to Baugi that he carry on the work of the slaves with this as reward. mountain in the form of a serpent. he got chips in his face. er's men. but agreed to accept the mead of the daughter. d.
is of runes was ascribed distinctlv tt then. this. that the discovery to Odin himself.-The old world "run" signifies mystery. It was not long before 9. REMARK. which the gods did not collect. 'FaSong. e.C///AT GODS AND MYTH. the runes themselves all at first certain of them. This told in several is Eddie songs. later were interpreted as magic signs. secrecy. the kettle nild the vessels form toward Asirarth. old Danish balof them lads). Othrerir was perhaps at first the name for the mead of the Scalds itself. No wonder. hut the giant was close upon him and some of the mead then went the wrong way. became the portion of the rhymsters and the poor Scalds.. to Asgarth the gods set out their vessel so thai Odin might spit out the mead into it. but the real discover. and faith in the mighty runes has long been maintained in popular belief and in poetry (cf. meaning difficult to Odin is then also the god of is all sorcery. Suttung diseovered and pursued When they drew near likewise in ea trie's form. Runes.and llcw tliis ill Jill 127 eagle's liini.' and by the later Chris- tian church in the North was regarded as . wherefore he ther of Magic called galdrs fathur.
He and earls against each other. ' ' beings ' ' whom the an account is given In the Heimskringla of how Odin. the Valkyrs and Einherjar an account has already been given." Of Valhalla. He talked long and shrewdly with the king and was surprisingly well acquainted with old traditions. He gathers only nobles about him.128 NORSE MYTHOLOGY evil the worst of the heathen worshiped. man's deception was discovered. 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. with which he entertained the king even after At his departure the latter had gone to bed. Odin enters into the life of War incites kings his work. and he himself The warriors are driven by mingles in the battle to help them or bring them to himself (Harald Hildetann). All those who die in arms belong to him. a higher spirit. with his broad hat. however. as an old one-eyed man. "As god of war and men. he gave the steward fat horse-shoulders to roast In due time. the old for the king. . This he fosters by teaching his favorites new means of conquering. he arouses it. Odin as God of battle is Battle. 10.
The form is Freyja.' indicated. since his Through his- name we can perhaps Germany.' feminine was preserved The Ruling One. tion with from Yngvi-Frey. mythological details given above. cannot with certainty he pointed out as a genera 1Germanic divinity and whose nature and origin therefore are difficult to determine. who. The name signifies corresponding 'The Mistress.--The the third chief divinity among people of the North. of which one Tacitus .CHIEF QODS AND MYTHS 129 FREY AND NJORTH 1. whose name heretofore in Danish in the word lluxfrd. about whose worship we liave definite information. in trace a connecthe Latin torian three Gennauia names chief Germanic races. is /Vr//. which later through German influence became llnxfni and after that was changed to Hustni. Worship of Frey. however. according an old Scaldic lay. 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.
' and he is in possession of treasures which only the most prominent god can own. Skathi then bade Skirnir 1 Indicated by the title For Skirnis often used. God of the World. Skirnir's Journey. his boar is called Gullinbursti. deals with Frey's 2.130 NOESE MYTHOLOGY was the Ingvaeones.' love for Gerth. Beli is brother of the giantess Gerth and one of the finest of the 'Skirnir's Eddie poems. for he seated up. he is called Bell's Blond Destroyer. Wherefore he himself apart without wishing to speak with any one. 'golden bristles. Skirnir is Frey's attendant but also his friend from youth is quite accustomed to the god's confidant. In any case Frey is originally a variation of the god of light and heaven. He himself is called The Shining One. 'Maker of Brightness. . He lives in Alfheim. and Chief of the Gods. According to the Volva's Prophecy he There contends in Ragnarok with Surt. Skirnismal.' his attendant Skirnir. 1 Journey. One time somebeing thing was troubling Frey.
this no one wishes of Aesir and of elves that we should be together. flaming magic fires.CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS ascertain 131 what had awakened the strong god's wrath. This is done. 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. and the sword which swings itself against giants and trolls. and after a dangerous and intricate ride the swift Skirnir stands in Gvmir's hall in conversation with Gerth. and Frey answered: SKM. daughter of the giant Gymir. 7 A maid dearer to me than maid to any man youthful in early days. and from them too her arms shone the air and all the sea. . provided the the steed which will hear him most safely through the dark. 6 I sa\v walking In Gymir's court a maiden dear to me. Skirnir offers latter will lend now him to ride to Jotunheim as a suitor for his friend. He had also cast eyes upon the fair Gerth.
The maid who can beaming reject the bright. (ye gods too) how to I forbid. the ring Draupnir.132 NORSE MYTHOLOGY . of gods. He is however refused on both scores. 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. thee shall Frey hate. how I deny to the maid the maid the joy of men the pleasure of men. affection shall be punished god's . next. with the magic wand he will subdue her and send her as booty to the cruel trollfather's wealth. ye. wroth the most excellent evil maid! (thou) who hast attained the gods' ferocious wrath. frost-giants." to threats: people of the underworld. Suttung's sons. for "gold is cheap in Gymir's court. hear. provided that she will give Frey her love. Most 34 Hear ye giants. 33 Wroth with thee is Odin. tells his errand he promises her eleven golden apples. SKM.
But Skirnir wishes to have full information and Gerth answers then that in nine nights. Then Skirnir rides back to the latter result of his journey. Not until now does the stubborn maid submit. 3.MYTHS \\\:\ by becoming Erimgrimnir's bride down in Thither shall she totter broken in will and without volievery day. and take the crystal cup that e'er I yet I have ne'er believed should love well a Yanir's son. but the original relation has not been successfully determined. in the grove Barri. Frey-Njorth. and tells him the The poem ends with his Frey's declaration of inexpressible longing for the bride. and live partake of the most loathsome food her life under the most gruesome conditions. and Xjorth. It is well understood that there is a definite connection between Yngvi-Frey. Freyja.CHIEF GODS AM) . youth! full of ancient mead. 38 Hail (now rather). she will celebrate her bridal with Frey. tion. terror-stricken. Both Njorth and Frev in Xorse mythology are gods of fruitfuluess . the death-realm.
In this wagon drawn by cows. Then peace and joy prevailed. with a consecrated wagon which only the priest might touch. Before the goddess was taken back to the temple. Heimdall is a purely Norse divinity to his and must according name and pe- culiarities be.134 NORSE MYTHOLOGY characteristics. like Frey. and have about the same The most of these are found Tacitus also in Freyja. 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. and does not belong among the heathen beliefs. and the divinity herself were washed in the sacred lake. mentions in connection with a North German tribe a female Nerthus. the garments. * HEIMDALL AND BALDUB 1. Upon exactly agrees as a masculine on island in the ocean was her sacred grove. and with this name divinity the Norse word Njorth form. REMARK. the wagon. the goddess in solemn procession and amid the exultation of the people was led about on festal days. a manifestation of .
under is the name of Rig. This expression comes rather from an Eddie song which is somewhat older than the Volva's Prophecy. is represented as the an- cestor of the different classes of society. and smaller. wandered along green paths until he came to the hut in which great grandstrong . account has been given above of his The Volva's dwelling and employment." An : Vsr. perhaps more definitely the god of the morning red. the day's gleam which shows itself at the the horizon immediately before the rising of the sun. and active though advanced in years. Long ago the wise god. ircimdall's sons! That men are here called Heimdall's sons not necessarily an outcome of an ancient conception of Heimdall as supreme god. 2. Rig is a Celtic word which means prince or king. in which the god. 1 Hear me all ye holy kindred.C'/// A'/-' dODS AX It MYTHS 135 god of heaven and light. with the following words Prophecy begins the world. The name means "he who lights His steed is called Gulltopp.
. made ready the cloth. and partook of their heavy coarse bread and soup. Later he married Thir. Ae and Edda. kerchief on her breast. were busy with their work. long hands. He remained there three nights and sought rest between them. He took a situation with them. . "a thrall. and a stooping back. there. Afe and Amma. dwelt. stretched out her arms. long heels. thick fingers. a forelock on his brow.136 NORSE MYTHOLOGY father and grandmother. a coif was on her head. 16 turning her distaff. owned: RlGSTII. He had a furrowed skin. but he became great and strong and capable for work. an ugly face. the man was hewing there wood for a weaver's beam his beard was trimmed. Eig wandered farther along the road and came to a hall which grandfather and grandmother. The woman sat a scarf was at her neck. shirt was close fitting. clasps upon her shoulders. a chest was in the floor. which was baptized with water and received the name Thraell. But nine months afterwards Edda bore a child. 15 The couple sat there." and from the two descended all the Thralls. gave them good advice.
the dav was nearlv done. 1 lie race of free peasants. drawing tight her medallion on her sleeves. But the housewife was observing her anus. 27-8 The householder twisting his bow-string. built His wife houses. The mother laid a white-figured cloth the table and set on fine 31 upon wheat bread. the cups were of line metal. th'-v drank and talked. and the floor covered. I Jig continued his wandering until lie readied the hall of father and mother.it stroking her dress. with the door towards the south. forged tools. had long trained-dp'-- and Idui-h sark. wine was in the tankard. and tilled the ground. 1 Free man. was called Stior. her cap set high. fitting the arrows. RIGSTH. veil browned bacon. I\'(trl.C7/7 ///' GODS AND . .MYTHS and cooked veal 137 set Filled dishes wore Uig ate and remained there iil)on the table. roasted fowl. In-east. and their ])rogeny was the bore a son. three nights. bending the elm-b<>\v. and nine months later Annna who was bapti/ed and called tamed oxen. a ring in the door-post. s. She set dishes silver-plated on the table.
Finally he set out for adventure in order to gain celebrity and a fair bride in Denmark. and named Jarl. felled. warriors he gained land in war. bright his cheeks. Erna became his wife. the word for "king"). to him. the field he did awake. and gave him great riches. The Lay of Rig contains undoubtedly a glorification of kingly power and is supposed to have been composed in Norway . The poem consists here of incomplete fragments only. of whom the youngest was Kon ungi ('Kon the Young. Rig came. "Light were his curls. he drew his sword.138 NORSE MYTHOLOGY But afterwards mother bore a son who was swaddled in silk.' hence Konungr. He was a glorious hero and vied with or surpassed Jarl both in arms and in shrewdness. and they had many valiant sons. taught him runes. sharp as a serpent's his shining eyes. baptized. his steed he urged. yet hear that ElGSTH. strife he swung his shield." Jarl from childhood had practice in arms. he reddened. 38 we The shaft he shook. called him son.
understood to have arisen. place-names are found and local traditions which are connected with Baldur. maintains that the theories about Baldur are formed from a combination of Irish legends about Christ and misunderstood Greek and Roman tales. 8GO-933. The substance of the myth is the same in 1 Snorri's and Saxo's representations: Harald Fairhair. also Baldur is distinctly Northern. we find the Baldur forms in Snorri and Saxo. Two Baldur Myths. Bugge. king of Norway. commonly from an Frey and embodiment of an original epithet of the old god of heaven. The plant-name "Baldur's brow" also is an in various evidence of the faith in this god. like Ileimdall. Both in Denmark and elsewhere in the North. and strong opposition to it has arisen. (See Introduction. ). on the contrary.) praise of an absolute king (Ilarald Har1 fagrif 3. The myth all of Baldur. Besides allusions in several myth Eddie songs.) 4. Baldur. is tin- most disputed of the myths. . This view.C7/ //:/' iii GODS AND MYTHS 13. encounters great difficulties. however.
skjoldungar. King daughter. calls the avenging brother Sous. Hoth signifies "combat" and agrees closely with the form HotJierus in Saxo. 5. who. the information about him must at all events be later than the rise of Odin faith and is therefore of comparatively Dreams. In Saxo the contest Gevar's turns upon the princess Nanna. and Hoth his blind brother. Baldur's In addition to we have the 1 alluded to concerning Baldur in preceding Icel. 'kings.140 NORSE MYTHOLOGY is Baldur slain by Hoth but a son of Odin and Frigg. the Vali of Icelandic sources.' came to mean 'princes. section late developall ment.' Heathen kings Skjold. 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. will 'sons now of re- Shieldings. who is loved by the 1 Shielding is ers she is the Hother. We must also remark that as Baldur is everywhere a son of Odin.' of Denmark were meant. however. . we lit. he is is avenged by his brother. while with the Icelandgod Baldur's wife.
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. .- Baldur's The Aesir it took Baldur's body and carried the largest to all to the sea. is the chief content of 1 . Hringhorn was the name of Baldur's ships. Odin rode upon Sleipnir down to Helheim to the burial With powerful inplace of a wise sibyl. but the conVegtam is incomplete and unpoem Funeral. the benches filled wagons strewn with rings. wished 1 The gods among it out and make Baldur's push Yegtamskvitha. in return he agreed to tell her about earth and heaven. ship.. cantations he conjured up the dead and asked her for news from the underworld . and the with clear drinks and covered with shields. 6.CHIEF GODS AND MYTIIti count a 141 this few Icelandic myths about god.-This the Eddie Song of clusion of the intelligible. : He wants to know why such festal preparations are being made in the hall of Hel the floor is spread with straw.
At that Thor became wroth. When his wife Nanna saw this. Thor next stepped forward and con- secrated the pyre with the hammer. Four Berserks were to guard the wolves. but the ship could not be moved. inter- Now Baldur's body was borne out upon the ship. They then sent a messenger to Jotunheim for a sorceress who was named Hyrrokin. and the god's horse was led out with all his trappings. grasped the hammer. She came riding upon a wolf and had a viper for a bridle. but all the gods united in saving her by their cession. Many gods and giants were present at the funeral. .142 NORSE MYTHOLOGY funeral-pyre upon it. Hyrrokin went to the bow of the ship and pushed it out with the first thrust. where he was burned. and wanted to crush her head. Odin laid the ring Draupnir on Baldur's breast. dwarf ran before his feet and Thor in his A rage kicked him into the fire. but they could not hold them until they had thrown them down. so that fire went out from the rollers and the whole country trembled. her heart broke from grief and she was laid upon the pyre with her hus- band.
girds him fast. until he came to the river Ujoll and out upon (J. it Hrnnoth the Swift. He dismounts from his horse. GODS AND MYTHS Hel-Ride.'" Hermoth asks if she has seen Baldur. took upon himself to I down Id to at Frigg's request to ride hog release for Baldur. "but not less does the bridge resound under you alone. comes to Hel's grated gate." until he Xow Hermoth rides farther.Clll El7. gives him the spurs. mounts again. Odiifs son. II* 1 saddled Sleipnir and rode nine nights and he days through dark and deep dales . for his name and race and says that the day before there rode five companies of dead men over the bridge. do you ride hither upon the Hel-road .jallar Bridge. could not see a hand before him. which was covered with bright gold. and the horse leaps over without touching the gate at all. you have not the color of dead men why . Then Ilcnnoth rides on to the hall . Ai'ter 143 Hermoth's IJaldur's death. she answers in the affirmative and shows him the way: "down towards the north goes the Hel-road. who Motligutli was the name of the maid She asks him watched the bridge.
but and goes He to Odin. and their king takes his place on the high seat which is prepared for him. for the floors are strewn and the benches covered with car- and expensive materials. Baldur remains there over night before he discharges his commission. The Death-Realm. but contains certainly an older and more Hel means "the conoriginal conception. At his departure Baldur sends gifts sees his brother sitting in the high seat. yet on the contrary a Nifl-Hel is named "to which men die from Hel. 8. 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. Dead men neither those dead of disease nor cowards) ride to Hel in warlike hosts and all equipped.144 NORSE MYTHOLOGY in. How the test of weeping failed has already been told." The oldest belief seems to have compets (but . Conceptions of Hel as a place of punishment are not at all definitely indicated in the oldest poetry." She is a queen and dwells in splendid halls which are decorated like a royal castle on earth. cealing one.
and those dead of disease to Hel. Hel. rims out of the Gnipa-cave. possibly with a hint at a place But when the of punishment. Helved. 'hell-steed. 'hell'. Odin-cult and with that the belief in Val- made its way into the popular consciousness. Garm. and Hclhcst. men thought that the brave halla first went to Valfather. earth.CHIEF GODS AM) MYTHS preliended three Volva's Prophecy 145 worlds tells (although : the of nine) the land of the Gods. Her kingdom is called lliUnhn. according to Snorri's representation. her threshold is called "falling deceit' and her couch is the "bed of sickness.' -The word Hel is even now preserved in the Danish words ihjcl. over the Gjallar Bridge. Then Hel became Loki's daughter and her realm a counterpart of Valhalla. past the The Hel-hound. . fl'l-gate or death boundary. horrible to behold. gained sway over nine worlds in Niflheim. 'dead'. the "\Vorld of Men. the cowardly. and the Realm of the Dead (heaven. 'faLikewise tal disease'. which is reached by the Ilel-road.' 3 the widespread superstition that the howling of dogs presages death is probably a half-extinct reminder of the Hel-hound. and the underworld. The deathgoddess herself. Ilelsot. is upon her throne in the hall Eljuthnir. her maid is Ganglot. Nifl-hel).
although it is often recorded that he originally belonged to the race of giants. bringing to an end. Odin. the one who bears the name Asa-Loki. did when we in early days mingle blood together? Taste ale you never would. and just as many of the origin and meaning of the god himself. you vowed. The Loki Quarrel: LOK. We have now remaining one of the most enigmatic figures within the circle of Norse gods." and in order to understand his nature we will begin with his own words in the old lay. He has also many of Odin's noble qualities. Loki. unless 'twere borne to both. but his temper is such that . 9 Dost remember. It is most probable that Loki signifies "the one closing. 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.146 NORSE MYTHOLOGY LOKI 1.
Hence he is endowed in the later mythological evil trait after poetry with one another. Fire is the benefactor of the tf human race. comes the Thus Loki beof Heimdall. With Angrbotlia he begets the frightful trio. Asa-Loki. right way.CHIEF GODS AXD MYTHS he is 147 not capable of exercising them in the lie has sense and understanding like Odin. just as he previously at Sin- . and with opposite him he fights the last battle at the crisis of the gods. Odin's foster-brother. but also its merciless enemv." On the basis of his relation with the storming heaven-god. but they express themselves He in bitter malice and fraudulent acts. must therefore become finally the worst enemy of gods and men. who also at Ragnarok takes a commanding position among the evil powers in the destruction. and since he also occasions Baldur's death. it is with a certain right that he has been called the "devil of the North. Loki might properly be regarded also as the god of fire. but the latter gain more and more control. and for this a strong argument may be found in the narratives about him. is as strong in merits as in faults.
and which said it must have its full share of the ox The gods cooking succeed. Brisingamen. and Loki. but the rod remained fast in his body and Loki was unable to loose his hold on the other end. 2. Loki's limbs were almost torn from him before he yielded. One time the three Aesir. should the The eagle flew rapidly and high. of which they killed one and sought to cook it over a fire. however much they cooked it. Loki thrust at him with a rod. Seizure of Ithun. Odin. First. In exasperation at this. down in a valley. cooked the eagle took both thigh and shoulder for his part. but when the meat was promised this.148 NORSE MYTHOLOGY gasten had fought with him for Freyja's necklace. Hcenir. traveled from home over fields and desolate lands where they could find no food. It was the giant Tliiazzi in eagle's form who had borne For his freedom he was now him away. obliged to promise to entice away Ithun with the . This was caused by an eagle which was sitting in a tree above them. they found a herd of oxen. but the flesh would not become tender.
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).
" worship The his duty to see that everything religious matters proceeded properly and in order. He had charge of the sacri- of the kingdom. and if any unlucky year came over the land. whose name clearly signifies 153 . 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. there were cases where he himself even was sacrificed for fices the attainment of better conditions.THIRD SECTION FORMS OF WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 1. the The licratli smallest division of (Lat. was governed by the Gotlii (from gotli. meaning "god"). ccnti(ria). As the king's representative the Jarl kept up the sacrifices on the king's behalf in the differ- ent provinces. king was the and Protector of the Altar. Kings and Chieftains were Priests. the country.
This word means "Speaker. the holy places. But it was not long before the whole race of people learned to build temples. In any case we meet the word Gode upon a few Danish on one with the addition. especially in sacred groves such as Tacitus describes in his Germania. and perhaps it has no religious meaning at all." it is not possible to determine what is really meant here by this designation.154 NORSE MYTHOLOGY his that functions were of a religious nature. our fore- rune-stones "The honored servant of fathers hardly knew. The institution of the Gothi is known especially country as usual from we Iceland. the Germanic Originally peoples certainly had no buildings for their religious services. A "tkulr" is men- tioned on a Danish rune-stone on the hills of Sal (the village Sallov near Roskilde). but 2. . but worshiped the gods in the open air. but similar conditions probably prevailed throughout the North." An actual priestly office like that among the Egyptians or the Gauls. Temples. Wise-man. The probably from a foreign model. from which get the best informa- tion.
Interior of the Hof.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. In most cases the com] taring in size with village churches in Denmark. and surrounded by a fence. means in general "a holy 1 The word 1ml persignifies the especial temple of a godhaps The lot's were large square. ]>laee." sionally round. woven carpets. temple was of wood. all al- Gold and silver. and carved columns were hardly lacking in any Hof. built in the same style and of the same kind of material as the common dwelling houses. houses. Just inside the door of the Hof stood the posts of the high . and had a circular recess at one end in which the images of the gods were set up. They faced west and east. 3. after the images of idolatry were put away and the place was consecrated. Often the Hof was built in or by a sacred grove. very nearly like the guild-halls of the chieftains. It is needless to say that they employed the splendor and art which the times lowed. occadess.
was reddened with it. Upon the Stall stood also a large copper bowl with a sprinkler (hlautbolli and hlauttein). perhaps the whole interior of the temple.156 seat. The Stall also. At the opposite end (the Kor funding or apse) of stood the images of the gods. The ring was moistened in the blood of the victim. and in front them or under them the splendidly Stall. The statues of the gods were most often clumsy images carved from wood (skurthgoth. in NORSE MYTHOLOGY the which were fixed great nails. 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. and on all festive occasions the Gothi had to wear it upon his arm. meaning 'carved gods'). In the bowl the blood of the victim animal or man was caught and sprinkled over those who were present. but meaning of these is not known. 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 . which one of the Icelandic sagas compares with the Christian altar.
generally prisoners or bondsmen beasts. later. The gods were worshiped with bleeding 4.I-:LKUOUS Liri: 157 That there was always a hammer period. the flesh of which was eaten by As a those taking part in the sacrifices. Sacrifice. 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. conducted by the highest chieftain of the place. and of this many accounts exist.' was regarded as a public act and a religious festival. in the hand of Thor's image there can be 110 doubt. and now . fice is victims in the older time. Hakon Jarl had been forced to accept Christianity and to take priests with him to Norway. general the blot. 'sacrifice.' blot. matter of course an individual man or a single family could institute private sacriIn fice. human . The heathen word for sacriand blnta means 'to sacrifice. He put them ashore at the first opportunity.won >////' AND I. the Jarl thought that he might know that Odin had accepted the sacrifice. "Then there came flying two ravens and they screamed loudly. beings. and when lie himself reached home he went ashore and made a great sacrifice. Hofs in Xorwat/.
accompanied by a few retainers and peasants. 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. Afterwards he sailed to Hlathir. and struck at Thor so that the latter fell down from the Stall. "But when the king came where the gods were. And for this sacrifice I shall not select serfs or wretched men. The same king also proceeded harshly against the peasants of Trondelag. King Olaf pronounced the fol- lowing characteristic words "We have then agreed that we should meet here at More and make a great sacrifice. . Thor was sitting there and was the most honored of all the gods. He took from the door a large gold ring which Hakon Jarl had had made. 1 Now Nordmore and Lade. and after that caused the temple to be set on fire. decorated with The king lifted his gold-ingold and silver. 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.158 NORSE MYTHOLOGY the Jarl had a favorable opportunity to fight..' to King Olaf Truggvason went with his army Northmaer * and christianized the people. and took all the goods and all the costly ornaments from the Hof and from the gods. laid ax. 1 had the Hof broken down. which he had in his hand. at an encounter at More. Then the king's men sprang forward and thrust down the other gods. He -went into their Hof at More.' : Shortly before this.
choice boar. over which the kettle hung. sonar 1 Now Melhus itself means "swine. summer.' chieftains named who resistance hastened to ciliation with the king. They then for good luck and good the coming year. etc. The fire and Gjemse. the floor in the temple there was kindled the broth flesh was cooked. beakers had to be carried around the a fire.WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFK . 'Large. The first sacrifice our fathers' greatest served in sacrificed festival." . the flesh was drunk. 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.' they laid their vows concerning the great deeds they wished to accomplish in the course of the year.mil 159 for 1 this I choose Orm Lym-. and the with the vital parts was together In the middle of distributed to be eaten.-i 1 from tliallms. Chief Sacrifices. and was and was ob- crops in January or February. the midwinter. Styrkar from It is (irvting. and upon the 2 sonar-goltr. harvest sacrifices. "After the ceremonies with the victim's blood were performed. 5. or 'sacrificial boar. Kar from Gims'a.
Adam of Bremen describes the Upsala sacrifice. holds one of these sacrifices gains great prestige thereby.e. where a great Frey was held every ninth year. Odin. and Frey. 6. We get the best information this. which was observed even in his time: "There is held on this point sacrifice to . fair. from Upsala.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. also. For were found temples and places for sacrifice in different parts of the kingdom (in Denmark. at Ringsted. but a chieftain who. resorted thither." Every peasant who takes part in the sacrifice brings his contribution to the feast. At a certain period sacrifice of the year the midwinter was observed with especial solemnity in the whole kingdom or large parts of it. and market at the same time. i. and they held an assembly. All the men from Sviaveldi. although Snorri gives a different account. at his own expense. and Viborg). National Sacrifice. the whole Swedish commonwealth. Odense.
Just as the of any real priestly office. A Christian man told me that he had seen seventy-two such dead bodies hanging round about in the trees. accepted Christianity. it was very common at sacrifices to hand. it with whose blood is pease the gods. one and all. High and low. in the The bodies the custom to apare hung up .WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFE 1G1 every ninth year at Upsala a solemn sacriiicial feast for all the provinces of Sweden." 7. No one. and men all together. horses. true of all Northern lands. are of the following nature from Offerings all living beings there are sent nine males. wherefore it is better to be silent about them. Prophecy and Omens. the ceremonies which are connected with such a sacrifice are manifold and hardly honorable. 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. This is take omens for coming events. Moreover. The expression . not even one is who may : have excused. send their gifts to Upsala. grove surrounding the temple there hang dogs.
'to go to in- The omens were taken in a vestigate. by drawing lots with small wooden sticks. either from accidental circumstances during the sacrifice or. e. The sagas give an abundance of information about the religious customs on certain occasions. upon which the necessary signs were made. when the Tiling (assembly) was to be consecrated. 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. at the . for a people always adheres with great fidelity to the religious usages inherited from its forefathers. Here we should also remember that our information deals only with the last centuries of paganism. It is probable that the chief characteristics of the forms of worship which we have sketched above have a much earlier origin. and we have frequently called attention to these.162 NORSE MYTHOLOGY til used was ganga frittar.g. many superstitious ideas were deeply rooted in the consciousness of the people.' very simple manner. most often.
witches.:. wizards. Every important act of the individual as well as of the community was. Besides this. accompanied by religious ceremonies which. and other of dn<'lx t and at the institution foster-brotherhood.AND RELIGIOUS LIFK lidliH f/<ni ga n. and sorceresses played a very prominent part In Norway prophetesses or wandering fortune-tellers en(sibyls) joyed for a time great reputation. in heathen times. generally speaking. were of very ancient origin. . in the daily life.
and the Northern poetry therefore often missed the clear164 .FOURTH SECTION HERO SAGAS The Hero Saga. but from which we learn to a great extent our forefathers' whole view of life and their ideals. 1. The sagas were not. to be regarded but also makes use of neither pure mythology nor as pure It is free poetical composition history. human experience. since it rests on the heathen conception of life. therefore. The hero saga stands midway between myth and history. worked over into great art-poems. as which must be judged from a poetical standpoint. The hero saga ought. as with our kindred farther south and with the Roman people. In Northern literature we find an unusually rich and extensive saga-poetry of popular origin. frequently even of real persons and events as the basis of a poetic presentation.
. presses his surprise "that with our forelathers in the pagan age. 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." Since. Svend Grundtvig justly ex. there existed the intellectual life and mental power which produce and develop poetic compositions so admirable and so comprehensive. at a period in many ways both crude and barbarous. and since has become a rich source of regeneration for the new poetry century. In richness. which may indeed surpass the Norse in art as could well as in beauty and charm.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. power. a thousand years ago and more. moreover. but quite certainly are inferior in seriousness and moral purity. and depth these do not yield to the ancient Greek. its this ancient poetry through original elements has more widely than any other among spread all it the Gothic-Germanic people.
who was married to King Siggeir. whose branches overshadow the whole house. slain. Sigurth's Siggi He Odin's foster son and a noted king.166 NORSE MYTHOLOGY THE VOLSTJNGS was Forefathers. he departs in ill humor. the one who is have it. Later his son Rerir took vengeance for his death. and that was his queen's brother. and a daughter Signy. In Volsung's hall stands the broad family-tree. among them Sigmund. Volsung is to a feast at his house. 2. Rerir's son Volsung had ten sons. was slain by one whom he most trusted. old At Signy's man mighty able to steps forward sword into the tree bridal feast a strange and thrusts a . having first invited Volsung and his sons it draw out is to They make their appearance and. although they are warned by Signy. Since the former does not wish to give up the sword to his brother-in-law. they refuse to flee. and only Sigmund has the needed strength. while his sons are chained to a . Siggeir tries it without avail.
bears ber famous son Sigurd and is taken under the protection of the Viking Alf. Sigurd is brought up at Hie liome of King Hjal- . son of King 11 jdl lire]. Signy comes to him there in the form of a strange woman and becomes the mother of other hand. Signy voluntarily seeks deatli in the flames she has taken vengeance for her family.I^' ICY prisoner's block out in the woods. in his whose body the father bears away arms. He marries Borg- when liild. He casts off Borghild and soon after marries Hjonlix. Sigmund. a son Sinfjotlif who. who marries her. Hjordis. Sigmund. where nine of them are eaten up by Siggeir's mother in a wolfs skin. together with his father.. after that returns to his native land. burns King Siggeir in his house.ni:iia N. son of Volsung. where he becomes a famous king. after her husband's death. on the is freed with Signv's help and remains many years hidden in the forest. daughter of King Eylinii. who with poison kills her stepson Siufjotli. Hunding's son. but is slain after the expiration of a short time by his enemy Lynfu'i.IO'.
the form of an otter caught fish. He had three sons. and Eegin.168 NORSE MYTHOLOGY prek and his sons. who in Otr. He of the sword of Sigurth the history of forges together the pieces Sigmund. Sigurth promises this. Since Hreithmar will not share the gold with his sons he is slain by Fafnir. 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. 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. demanded in reparation the otter skin covered with gold. Hreithmar's Sons. when the latter was on a jourHreithmar ney with Hcenir and Odin. for Sigurth and incites the latter to slay Fafnir. 3. but yet wishes to avenge first his father's death. but the skillful smith Begin becomes his foster-father. who pronounces a curse on both the gold treasure and its owner. and there he his family. Fafnirf The second son. This Loki prepares at the house of the dwarf Andvari. . was slain by Loki once. Volsung's son.
Sigurd's Fatal Thrust. Re^in conceals himself in the heather. He had dug deep channels in the earth into which the monster's blood should run. 21. 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. FIG.I II-: HO SAGAS 1G9 4. lias Sigurth Fafnir's Bane. for fear that otherwise he might be stifled by the poison- ous fluid. to the betakes himself. Sigurth does so. Kegin now hastens to him and bids him roast Fafnir's heart for himself. accompanied by Gnita heath. while Sigurth succeeds in slaying the dragon. and he suddenly understands the . ]\egin. AYlion Sigurth taken vengeance on the sons of Hunlie ding.
Hogni. and then he rides farther Now (Fig. fells Regin. Sigurth. which he loads upon his horse Grani. and their children were Gunnar. 1 Fafnir's Bane. he has earned his name. On his way he comes to a mountain. Rhine country was dwelling His wife was at that time King Gjuki.170 NORSE MYTHOLOGY The chirping of the that Eegin has evil in advises him to slay him and voices of the birds. 'Slayer of Fafnir. whom Odin has put to sleep.' . and takes the dragon's "terror helmet" and the treasure. surrounded by flaming fire. away. Valkyr Sigrdrifa. To these "Gjukungs" Si5. 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. Within upon the mountain lies a sleeping form in full armor. The in the 1 Icel. birds informs his heart him and to take possession of the whole treasure. Down Gjukungs and the Nibelungs. Sigurth follows the advice. 21). and Guttorm. Fafnisbani. and a daughter Guthrun. but Grani bears him unharmed through the flames. named Grimhild. Sigurth and she are betrothed and he rides woman.
established foster-brotherhood with the two older sons. the latter burst out in wrath and injured pride and . Sigurth accompanied him on his journey. was to the one who should accomplish the ride through the fire. It was not long between the be- was strife two women. Someness had given him Gunnar wished to sue for Valkyr Brynhild.I'/. and when Gunnar's horse did not dare to go through the flames. Sigurth assumed Gunnar's form and forced Grani through the fire.///. ami after Grimliild a potion to cause forgetfulbetrothed himself to Guthrun. Brynhild became after that Gunnar's bride. Guthrun one day imprudently boasted of her husband's superiority and was telling how he had deceived Brynhild.// o N. The Valtime after that the many kyr. while Sigurth married Guthrun. but a drawn sword Sigurth shared her lay between them. couch. according to a decree of fate. Brynhild begrudged Guthrun the glorious hero as husband for whom she AYhen herself had conceived affection. fore Sigurth there Slain. 6.IS 171 gurth came. whose castle was surrounded by flames.
172 NORSE MYTHOLOGY she then induced Gunnar and his brothers to slay Sigurth. but common to all the sources is the thrilling description of Guthrun's great grief and Brynhild's wild. After that she kills herself. only pretense. 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. 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. The earliest history of the Volsungs is known only from Northern sources. The more particular circumstances of the murder are variously told. revengeful satisfaction. But from that point the Nibelungenlied continues with the account of how Kriemhild takes vengeance upon her brothers for her husband's death. which is. however. while the Norse tradition follows other lines. and she now induces her husband to slay the hero treacherously. Indeed. the Nibelungenlied of the beginning of the thirteenth century) agree as far as we have described. . With the Germans the hero is named Siegfried and his wife Kriemhild.
order to come into possession of the l\hine treasure. that she had taken vengeance for her family.IS n:>. ( After the slaying of Sigurtli. She slew her two sons and had their skulls converted into drinking-cups. He had the heart cut from Hogni while living and had Gunnar cast into the garden of serBut Guthrun. took vengeance for pents. lunnar and his brothers took possession of Fal'nir's treasure. invited his brothers-in-law in and then slew them to visit him. Therefore the gold is called the "Khiiie's red flame. now after which she threw herself into the river. death. Guthrun and the Buthlings. and when he had become intoxicated at the feast she slew him in the night. N. After the wedding he King Atll. which later was buried in the Rhine.I '/.HERO 7. but concluded an agreement with the Gjukungs on condition that he receive Guthrun as his wife." sou of Ltntltli and brother of was embittered at his sister's Brynhild. . from which she made Atli take a drink mixed with his children's blood. She recklessly told him what she V had done. her brothers in a frightful way.
known to have grown up among the Franks in the course of the sixth century. but it is of foreign origin. SiHe is undoubtedly gurd's origin is obscure. The later form of the saga has her rescued in King Jonakr's country. However. In 453 Attila. NORSE MYTHOLOGY Guthrun-Jonakr. celebrated his wedding with a young woman named oldest 1 1 . She marries the king and becomes the mother of Sorli. who has had their sister Svanhild slain. These three brothers fall in battle against King Jormunrek (Ermanaric). Hamdir.' with large numbers of his people. 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. and Erp. king of the Huns. among the chief characters in the last part of the poem there are introduced Etzel and Dietrich of Bern (Attila and Theodorio of Verona).174 8. one of poetry's freely formed ideal figures but In the in relation to actual historical events. in a battle against an army of Huns which had marched on to Worms. In the Nibelungenlied nothing is known of this later development of the saga.
Helgi was a son of Hjorvarth in his marriage with Sigrlinn. One time he was sitting upon a hill. king. after which he made love to Svafa She promised to at her father's house. be faithful to him. He was taciturn and did not answer to any name. THE HELGI SAGAS Helgi Hjorvarth's Son and Svafa. In Xorse poetry there appear besides the 9. . common Germanic hero Sigurth. two heroes of the name Helgi who have no parallels among the Germans. when he saw nine The Valkyrs come riding toward him. l>nt two occurrences unite in forming tinHilda is the sister of the Burgundian saga. Fafnir's Bane.IVast. who bemost stowed on him the name Helgi and encouraged him to warlike deeds by giving him good weapons and promising him her love. 175 died suddenly during tin. Helgi now performed great ex- ploits. and they loved each other dearlv.HERO 8AOA& Hilda. beautiful of them was Svafa. who takes vengeance upon Attila for her These brother 's death.
although she was a Valkyr. At the same time Helgi's half-brother Hethin was living at home with King Hjorvarth in Norway. that Helgi was was led forth. for it was certainly his own fylgja his brother had 1 See above. Hethin her company. When he had his brother's loved one.176 NORSE MYTHOLOGY It so happened at one time on an expedition. On Christmas Eve. while Svafa remained at home with her father. 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. and the chosen boar 1 10. but when he declined it she said. Hethin's mind was so be- wildered that he made vows to win Svafa. he repented so sorely that he rode off on wild roads to the south until he met his brother." He had a 11. "You will have to pay for that In the evening they at the Bragi cup!" had to make vows. Helgi's foreboding of his speedy death. Hethin. Helgi received his with great calmness. . Death. "Surely no message one could escape his destiny. recovered his senses.
after which event he 1 was called Helgi. to forget her sorbestow her affection upon ITethin. in the form of the witch. prince. because her husband has died with shame and infamy. 12.IlKRO SAGAS 177 had at met. and it resulted as he i'caivd. Hunding's Bane. especially since he had slain King Hunding. Uundingsbani. will listen to his mortally wounded. give her hand to another un- row and known Hethin then quickly decides the matter. In his marriage with Borghild. is We At Frckuxtcuti / the brilliant hero he has Svafa sent for and begs her. There was living J at that time a king IceI. had a son who was called He soon gained for himself a Helgi. for now he is going into battle and will not turn back before he has avenged Hjorvarth's son. perhaps the only one and the last. but in his death-hour if she to words. famous hero's name. Helgi. he asks her for a kiss. 'Slayer of Hunding. son of Volsung. and Sigrun. the best hero under heaven. that time been challenged son of Hrothmar. to a duel by Alf.' . Svafa answers that she will never. Sigmund. Hunding's Bane.
When he brings his sister the death message. Sefafjollum Sefa. whom her father wished to be given in marriage to King Hotlibrodd. Hunding's Bane. who had make a vow of loyalty to him. Helgi then went out into the battle with the sons of Granmar. Helgi's Death. son of Granmar.' . 'affection. Dag Helgi. He then sought out his brother-in-law and slew him. and lent him his spear. did offered sacrifice to Odin Odin to gain vengeance for his father. oaths he has 1 Punishment for all the false sworn to Helgi shall now : Icel.178 NORSE MYTHOLOGY . but still she was married to the hero. 13. for her bridegroom. who were aided by Sigrun's father and brothers. He conquered and slew them all with the exception of Dag. not live to be old. But Sigrun disdained this man and chose Helgi. Sigrun wept much when Helgi brought her the to news of her kinsmen's death. however. son of Hogni. They lived in * happy union on the Seva fields and had many children. named Hogni his daughter was the Valkyr Sigrun. she is kindled with great wrath at his faithless conduct.
" Dag seeks to comfort her and offers heavy indemnity. even if foes pursue him hard. 14.O. as from the wolf impetuous run full of fear. Helgi in the Tomb. HEI. his sword shall not bite. 37 Thus had Helgi surpassed the battle-chiefs as nobly shaped ash does the thorn. and with no food only carhis own head. but becomes calmer when she re- members the fallen hero. this second lay of Helgi. 3G in Thus had all FTelgi put terror his foes. his horse shall not run.HERO 8AQA& 179 if overtake him: his ship shall not proceed. The conclusion of Bane. Hu. or the young stag dashed with dew. Ilunding's . without goods and without joy. were you a wolf out in the forest. casses for nourishment. that towers above all other beasts. Sigrun rejects everything. the wind he ever so fair. goats from the mountain. unless it sings about "Onlv then would Heidi's V death be avenged upon you. their kindred too.
HELG. and believe her own eyes: "Is only deceit? I think I see Ragnarok or a ride of the dead. Hu. and Odin inbeing vited him to deliberate with him about all in the tomb. things. when they descry the slain. or wet with dew. oh Sigrun. At evening Sigrun's maid went tomb. Sigrun goes into the mound to Helgi and says: 42 Now at our meeting hawks of Odin. the break of day perceive. to Helgi's it come riding at was some time before she could it There she saw the hero the head of many men. from Seva-fell. the chieftain begged of the marks of battle bleed. With sharp points you spur your Has leave to return been granted hero?" to Sigrun. I'm so glad the ravenous . 41 steeds. to the Helgi calms her and she hastens Go if out. you that the wound-drops you would stem. the people's prince you fain would find. like warm flesh.180 tells NORSE MYTHOLOGY about the meeting of Sigmn and Helgi Helgi rode to Valhalla after entombed here below.
oh. wet. that Helgi is with bitter tears. She asks him then if she can do anything for him. beside us now in death. thy hair. fell bloody and burning on the prince's breast with sorrow filled. ere the bloody mail thou lay'st aside. inclosed within the mound.8AQA8 43 First I 181 will kiss thce. oh Helgi. as with the living prince I might. sun-bright. prince. thou. oh Helgi. to sleep. in. Then Sigrun prepares a couch for Helgi and says: 46 in the tomb For thee. our joy and lands. Sigrun. with sorrow's dew immersed. South's child Your fault each one cold. decked in gold. dost weep ere thou dost go to sleep. frost-bedecked. 1 the king is all And the prince's hands are as cold as ice. untroubled quite. . lifeless king. and in thy arms I wish. I've 1 Blood. is moistened with death-dew. prepared a couch oh Ylfing's son. 45 Well shall we drink though we have lost the costly mead now are the brides the wives of men. Helgi answers: 44 from Seva-fell alone.
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
unceasing beat his hammer. 20 he slept not. He received her kindly and promised to repair the ring. A short time afterwards Bothvild broke a costly ring which her father had given her. She dared not confess to him her misfortune and appealed to Volund to have the damage repaired. of their eyes he fashioned jewels slew them. 19 There shone Nithuth's sword at his girdle. He Nor was vengeance long The two sons of the avaricious delayed. and of their teeth a breastornament for her daughter. his art he plied right speedily for Nithuth. Revenge. sat. borne far from me for aye. silver and sent them for the queen. he dishonored the king's daughter as a climax . king stole in upon Saevarstath to get gold for themselves. but Volund outwitted and 17.186 NORSE MYTHOLOGY VKV. but after he had brought her to a seat and stupefied her with strong drink. that which I whetted skillfully as I was able as most fitting seemed) (and I hardened it this shining sword. Bothvild. Their skulls he covered with to Nithuth for drinking-cups.
he had himself a feather cloak so as to fly was put the island: VKV. Nithuth It the answered : VKV. seems that Volund had flown hither to castle and with scornful words described the trouble he had caused. 39 You spoke no word 1 will not. At the same time to a good test. as to take thee from thy there so tall horse that he might shoot thee down. of the The conclusion and obscure. the king nor the queen can sleep. no man is which would grieve me worse. they tremble in fever and distrust each other. but joyless Nithuth . Volund. nor yet so strong there where you soar against the clouds. 31 Laughing Volund weeping Both vi Id rose in air. passed from the isle. blame thee more. sat there then. poem is incomVolund's gifts occasion plete Neither disturbance in the king's court.HERO SAGAS to his terrible 187 his skill made away from revenge. 40 Laughing Volund rose in air.
and she confirms the story From of other sources we know that the child Volund and Bothvild was a son. Witige. Saxo thus gives an account of the pros1 Or the Hjathnings. he appears very commonly in our Danish folk-songs under the name of Vidrik. of what has happened. .188 NORSE MYTHOLOGY his The song ends with Nithuth having daughter called. occasioned by the struggle between the Aesir and the Vanir. 1 The Peace of Frothi. was prepared in various ways: the three giant maids come to Asgarth. We have already mentioned the myth telling how the end of the Golden Age. 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. that is. THE HJATHNINGAB 18. the Valkyrs (or Norns) who give warning of the coming battle. Verland's son.
." when reign was such complete peace in the country that one could lay gold upon the highway without its being stolen. us grind he slept upon the down. 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.HERO SAGAS perous there 189 of "Peace-Frothi. then it is well ground. sat in fortune's mill. Frothi. him awake to wish. one had the strength to turn them. He Menja quoth: GBOTT. and also Snorri relate the following: The Danish king Frothi visited King Fjolnir in Sweden and at his house he bought. . Grottasongr. 5 Wealth let us grind for Frothi. let let us grind most happy mass of riches He let upon the riches. At the same time there were found in Denmark No two large hand-mills driven ashore. strong bondwomen. on departing. although they could grind everything which one might desire. Fetija and Menja. About this "Peace of Frothi" the Eddie Song.
and then burst the heavy block asunder and in twain. his 'beFreyja. their strength the casing fell. . Odin loved (She was his frithla. 23 The maidens ground. "You must not sleep bethe hour when the cuckoo's note yond sounds over the hall. The Brising Ornament." Fenja and Menja rebuked him for his folly. 19. sharp sword. find in bonds. Now they were grinding war and public calamity for the kingdom: "Frothi shall lose the throne of Hleithr. 1 but Yrsa's son 2 shall later take vengeance for the murder of Halfdan** GBOTT. though his brother For all that the king would not give them the needful rest. 1 Now Lejre. applied were young in giant power.190 NORSE MYTHOLOGY 6 Here shall no one prepare his harm or strike with the hurt the other. in Zealand. the poles shook. they told him that they were mighty and ancient giantesses who already had occasioned great discord in the world. 2 Hrolf-Kraki. or plan his death.
but the dwarfs demanded and insisted that her love should be the price. the Battle. king of Norway. ornament from Freyja and bring it to him and this was done. and this Then began conflict was to last forever. carried away Hild. but not without some difficulty. Meanwhile the crafty Loki had learned of the matter and immediately imparted his knowledge to Odin. he fitted out his fleet. i. The latter commanded him to seize the . Hjatlming Battle. pursued the thief. the Hjathning-Storm. . 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. Hethin. daughter of the Danish king Hogni.) 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 goddess would have been glad to gain this. so the ornament was dearly bought before she could call it her own.e.HERO SAGAS ^^ . . who at that time was on a warlike expedition. 191 - - loved.' Frigg. When the latter returned shortly after Hethin's plundering.
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.
." The whole character of the men Norseman's life is permeated with belief in inevitable fate. particularly as it is presented in the renowned lay Havamal. who otherwise soon weaknesses.' i. which has stamped itself upon their mythology and poetry. 'The Saying clusion of the Exalted One. learn to believe in troll-beings or "in their own strength. but these in gods turn must protect men. Odin. 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.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.e. This belief gives equipoise even in life's severest trials 196 him and prepares him to await death with coolness.
and thus gain the happiness. all artifices pass excepting the breaking of one's word." 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. Jut the tliajt so calm understanding choose and reject. The conquered foe . One must not be cruel where blood-vengefells his ance is not at stake. . Sigurth says to Fafnir. men should let things take their One must with cold reflection and course. Gladly will I drink ale with the Aesir on the high seat. riches. Laughing will I die. He foes in cold blood.CONCLUSION I 197 conception is not blind or fantastic. Ended are the hours of life. before carrying out one's plans." Undaunted courage is man's best virtue. 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. and respect which every one desires and ought to desire here in this life. The Disir whom Odin has sent to me from Herjar's hall invite me home.
One must be steadfast in friendship. but of his foe should no him and man be the friend's friend.198 NORSE MYTHOLOGY or treated with shall be slain ity. 45 If you have another whom you ill trust yet would get good from him. in thoughts you shall commune with him and gifts exchange. 43 To to his friend a man shall be a friend. at the fallen hero who lies in the dust before him. uncompromising in enmity. fare oft to visit him. 44 Know if you have a friend. one whom you well trust and would get good from him. but false intend But respect for friendship can also a very pretty expression : make . even the highly cultivated Greek. fair you shall speak with him ana deceit repay with lies. Ethical ideas are expressed with all possible clearness: HAV. magnanim- The Northerner does not scoff like the Southerner. to his friend.
but the joy of love is only shortlived and often leads the hero and his bride to meet a tragic downfall. it concealed. faithful in the relation between man love. however. not love. The their strongest bond in human life is. This is portrayed with great force. 34 199 A 'tis to an ill friend long detour though he dwell by the highway. is If an act of killing murder.CONCLUSION ILvv. and murderers. independence and never submit to Then must one be faithful in injustice. and woman. e> One must be faithful to his lord. . This tie sacred and inviolable both among gods and men and develops a firm conviction as to the justification of blood-vengeance. and this is extended to embrace the whole famis slay in cold blood until their revengeful desires are satiated. : Men take is its consequences. to dehim is the greatest piece of treachery yet at the same time men must preserve ceive . but this must be observed they stand by the act and ily. but rather family pride. but to the good friend straight paths extend though one have traveled far.
In earlier times these were overestimat- ed but we must not go to the opposite extreme." and seducers are punished in the on Nastrand. So also in the case of the general life-truths as expressed in the Havamal. We should measure by a historical standard and not judge ancient times solely by the standard of the present. since it would be wrong to ourselves and the life of our forefathers simply to . but the many bright sides of the picture are equally prominent. the "Death Naturally enough the hero poems have given us strongly idealized hero types and female characters. They are often small. NORSE MYTHOLOGY Hall Serpent Shore.200 perjurers. which by no means correspond in every case with the realities among the foremost characters of all people. and the whole matter smacks tries visited scribed . emphasize the crudities as they are de- by Christian writers in the counby the Normans. delicate recommendations as to the "golden mean" in daily life. Inflexible strength stands as the foundation of character and involves much that is harsh and crude.
this ends with the followr and with these w e also will close this presentation of our forefathers' belief: HAV. But remembrance never dies.. I know. One thing that never dies. .COXcLrSION 201 strongly of Philistinism. where it is well gained. I . poem containing ing lines. man himself dies at last. 76 Cattle die. man himself dies at last. 77 Cattle die. . kinsmen die. Such words are expressive of a standpoint of culture which deserves our attention and respect. to use a inodorn But the same section of the expression. kinsmen die. Judgment upon all the dead. < .
'The Volva's' or 'Sibyl's Prophecy.. Skirnis. < ..)> 'The Grotti Song Song of the Mr. 'The Loki Quarrel.' the 'Ex- alted One.).) II. 'The Lay of Rig. 'Skirnir's Journey.). . .sic Miii" V. 'The Sayings of Skirnir'.) Lay of Helgi Hunding's Bane' or 'Slayer of J . ) . 'The Hundingsbani (Helg.' Skirnismtil also (8km.' . -J 202 . ) . 'The Lay of Volund. 'The Sayings of Har. POEMS OF THE GODS.) Helgakvitha Bunding.' O.EDDIC POEMS FROM WHICH THE ILLUSTRATIVE STROPHES TRANSLATED FOR THIS BOOK ARE TAKEN I. (The - .' Vafthruthnismdl Vafthruthnir. 'The Sayings of Grimnir. > ' '* ( Grdttasdngr.).' Thrymskvitha (Thrkv. 'The Sayings of Grimnismdl (Ghrimn.' Rigsthula (Rigsfh.' ( For Lokasenna Lok. Volundarkvitha (Vkv. ^n '" * ^ '' > . .' (Vafthr. HERO POEMS. Hu.). * c . i(Vo/tf.' Hdvamdl ( Hav. 'The Lay of Thrym. . Voluspd (Vsp.' .).
Bestla. Asgarth. Arvak. 42. 173. Alfheim. Andvari. Alvis. 95. Baugi. Buthlings. 101. Breithablik. Asa-Thor. 37. 150. 85. 58. Bugge. 77. 147. 186. 130. Beowulf. Atli. 54. Alsvith. Sophus. 47. Bremen. Ask. 144. Amnui. 100. Else. 184. 15. Alf Hjalpreksson. 16. Berserk. 83-85. Blot. Bilskirnir. 130. Bothvildr. 139- Burial customs. 140. Aesir. Brynhild. 34. 119. 105. Buthli. 127.INDEX The numbers An go and refer to the pages. 46. 170. 54. Aegir. 168. of 136. 173. Anprbotha. 27. 192-195. 41. 173. Bous. 183. Af<>. 102. 63. 133. Bragi. 174. 188. 38. 41. Celts. Authumla. 142. 12 ff. Bolverk. 74. 55. 83. 55. 37. Borghild. All-father. Attila. 102. Bergelmir. 94. 112. 79. 53. 126. 83. Itautarstdnar. Brok. 42. 49. Bronze age. Buri. 100. 82. Baldur's brow. 136. Asebro. 190. 53. 57. 38. Barri. 167. Caesar. 160. 148. 55. 69. 203 . Baldur's Dream. 27. Bifrost. 139. 58. 126. Bor. Brisingamen. 149. 157. Alvitr. 62. 38. 136. Adam Ae. 140. 38. Baldur. 54. 91. Asynjur. 46. Aka-Thor. 38. Bolthorn. Beli. Alfrotholl. 167.
60. 170. Ghosts. 176. Eylimi. Gollveig. Danske Tunge. 3. Oimli. INDEX Freyja. 63. 145. 100. 101. Glasir. 62. 53. 72. Gudrun. 197. 51. Gjukungs. 69. 58. 82. 78. Gjoll. Erfiol. 125. Fulla. Eddie poems. 168-169. 184. Grotti. 93. Ejr. 69. 36. 57. Gjallarhorn. 14. Fenrir. 49. 108. Dreams. 100. Geri. Duels. 64. 63. Fimbulvetr. 90. Elivagar. Drifa. 125. 163. 79. 192. 193-194. 129-133. 2. Fjalar. 169. the epic. Garni. Gilling. 116. Grimnismal. Fensal. Dwarfs. Gullinbursti. 79. 57. Gefjon. 123. 46. 170. 59. Gjallabridge. Donar. 100. Gothi. Galar. 190. Erp. 53. Grimnir. Grimhild. 142. 170 Embla. 44. 63. 87-90. Gullfaxi. Farbauti. 90. 93. 130-133. 54. 143. 122. 177. Dyftus. 189. 59. Grani. 40. Freki. 73. 130. 121. 63. Elves. 143. 50. 83. Gleipnir. 61. 9 . Gangleri. 148. Demons. Geirroth. Egil. Belling. 109. 116. 54. Edda. 133. Grendel. . Fylgjur. Frey. 61. 77. Draupnir. 134. Fafnir. 167. 110. 43. Ginnungagap. Gnita heath. Dis. Draugr. Giants. Fjorgyn. Glitnir. Gerth. Gulltop. Fenja. 119. 189. Folkvang. 9. 40. 178. 24. 51. 37. Disir. Grith. 191. 94.204 Dag. 63. den. Gjuki. Groa. 160. 59. 58. 131. 77-78. Fenria wolf. 174. Einherjar. 110. Gefn. 120. 59. 43. 12. Gullintanni. 202. 94. 68. 69. 62. Eljuthnir. 125. Greek Mythology. Forseti. 153. 49.
92. 170. Huginn. 148-149. Ida Plain. Hymir. 95. Holmgang. 24. 108. Jarl. Ivaldi's sons. 67. 73. 25. Hel. Hvergelmir. llrimfaxi. Hilda. Heimdall. 41. 142. 77-78. llamdir. Hjorvarthsson. 168. Hoenir. Images of gods. Hler. 19(5. 40. 126. Hoth. 42. 18-20. 53. 51. 94. 46. 72. 67. Heimskringla. 94. Hunding. 131. Gunnar. Hlotliyu. 123. Horns. Hogni's 191. daughter. 89. Har. 113. 29. Iron age. 174. Hreithmar. Hrungnir. 94. 157. 29. 16. 156. Sign I! a mm of. 131. 192. Hermoth. 44. 191. Gunnloth. 118. Jupiter. 61. 100. 42. 122. 157. Guttorm. 90. 163. 174. 167. 24. 32. Jarnvith. 32. 128. Jorth. (iijlfaginning. in. 175. 134. 87. 141. 178-183. 167. 64. 62. 111. 145. 107. 101. 168. 84.INDEX Gundahari. 123. 79. 101. 122. 167. 58. Hethin. 31. 33. Hjathnings. 176. 116. 30. 63. 140. 148. Indo-European. Jormunrek. 35. 40. Hauamal. Hammer. Gylfi. Helgoland. 170-172. 142. 69. 23. Hogni. 27. Hertha. 102. Jafnhar. Gymir. 134. 64. 174. Hoddmimir. 49. Jordanes. 155. 170. 116. 9. Hofuth. 22. Helgi 175. 173. Hlesey. 83. Hraesvelg. Hnttatal. 59. 81. Halfred. 86. Hof. 170. Heithrun. 13. 178. Hjalprek. 59. Hrym. 86. 30. 174. 205 120. . Hapbarth. Ithun. 188-192. Hilda. Hakon Hringhorn. 15. 104. Ilugr. Helgi Hundingsbani. Iceland. Illithsjkalf. 69. Jotunhciin. (lunfinir. 147. 58. Hyrrokin. 50. 100. Jonakr. Hjordis. Guthnin.
Ragnarok. Nor. 49. 70| Mjolnir. 46. 109. Menja. Lopt. Loki. Olrun. Njal's Saga. Nibelungenlied. Priests. 115-122. Mundilfari. Muspell. 149. 36. Nerthus. 59. 64. 116. 56. Niflhel. Mardal. 41. Mani. Lyngvi. 100. 178. 121. Ran. Nanna. 41. Magni. Lif. Runes. INDEX Niflheim. Lothur. 195. 74. 82. 188. Mistletoe. 185. 192. Nastrond. Njorth. 184. 74. 24. 91. Mothguth. 127. 58. Sacrifice. 67. 50. 61. 50. 41. Menglath. 158. 140. 105. 108. Mokkerkalfi. Rerir. 200. 26. 99. 58. 86. Narfi. Rune-stones. 94. 37. 146. Mithgarth serpent. 45. Saxnot. 125. 100. 36. Nat. 52. 164. 54. 95. Lofn. 46. 72. 69. 123. 85. 148. Mimir. Lokasenna. 51. 63. Olaf Tryggvason. 69. 60. 189. 172. Managarm. Nari. . Nithogg. 31. Othrerir. 61.206 Kenningar. Rig. 133. Nep. 62. 40. Ratatosk. Saint. 144. 94. 55. Sagas. 110. Olaf Paa. 134. Rind. 109. Mithgarth. 45. 143. Kvasir. 114. 134. Saehrimnir. Laufey. 168-170. 127. 125. 79. Muninn. Nightmare. 146-152. 61. 65-67. 42. 152. 56. 70. "Naglfar. 69. Miming. 4. 46. 76. Roskva. Kumbl. 95. Lifthrasir. Olaf. 167. 45. Orvandil. Od. 21-22. 40. Saga. 52. Paulus Diaconus. Noatun. 40. 41. Odin. 44. 96. 40. 17. 90. 58. 35. 128. 140. Norns. 166. 153. Middelhjem. 63. 144. 80. Regin. 62. 159. 112. 56. Nithuth. 65. 49. 50. 39. 29.
95-107. 160. 130-133. Skirnir. Sigyn. 36. 61. 167. Sindri. 57. Thialfi. 86. Skathi. Sigurth 172. 45. 22-24. 166. Surt. Stall. Skjold. 109. 43. 125. Thokk. 118. Thruthvangar. 148. Sol. 56. 59. 139. 62. 32. Thrym. 101. 166. 41. . 58. 64. Thrymheim. Sessryninir. Valaskjalf. Ulfhethinn. 13. 151. 13!). Thruthheim. Siklings. Sigmund. 53. 140. 170. 79. Sonar-goltr. 121. Sorli. Temples. TiwaR. 100. 118. 52. Thulr. Urth's Well. Urth. 174. 92. Svanhild. 72. 33. Skalds. Sinfjotli. 42. 72. Vafthruthnir. Val. 167. 156. Sokkvabekk. 63. 183. Sjofn. Sleipnir. 177-183. Skrymir. Sigfried. Fafnisbani. Tacitus. 149. 53. Siggi. Svasuth. 123. 130. Siggeir. 45. 42. 130. 184. 15. L'rnordisk. Signe. 188. 174. 45. skithblathnir. 56. 136. Siumy. Scalds. 91. 207 26. 130. 9.IXDEX Saxo QrammaticuB. 174. Thor. Tyr. Suttung. 195. Swan-maidens. 115. Sigrun. ThonaraR. 17"). 70. 28. Thiaz/i. Stone age. 116. Utgarth. Skaldskaparmal. 112Thraell. Svipdag. 33. 105. Thrithi. 126. Souls. 56. 52. Svafa. 99. 63. 67. 69. 94. 13. 166. 111. 162. 197. Svathilfari. Skinfaxi. 107. Upsala. 51. 30. 112. Shisfith. 83. '. 44. 159. 112. 29. 54. Thing. 57. Ull. 109. 85. 13. 82. Skirmismal. Skuld. 31. 154. Swans. Svanhvit. 172. 67. Tiu. 54. 41. 195. 24. Theodoric of 166- Verona. 154. 111. 195. Snorri. 91. 16. 142. 34. Sit. Signlrifa. 100.'!>. 115.
118. Vikings. Wodan. 180. Yggdrasil. Viborg. 45. 117. Vili. 46. 188. Valhalla. 63. 48. Veurr. 14. Vanadis. Vanaheim. 183-188. 92. 166. 65. Yngvi-Frey. Ynglinga Saga. 54. Vanlandi. 58. 22. 32. 130. 90-92. 140. 57. 42. ( . Witches. Vindsval. 47. 91. 101. 38. Vigrith. Volsung Saga. 38. 129. 184. 24. 15. 119. 91. Vithar. Vithrik. 13. Vi. 54. 172. 188. 77. Wurd. Volva's Valkyrs. 77. 49. 50. 133. Worsase. 79. Voluspa. Ve son of Bor ) 38. Ziu. 72. 32. Ymir. 63. 20. 56. Vingthor. 50. 84. 49. Verthandi. 97. Var. 188. Vithgar. 63. 29. 13. 49. 160. 38. 20. 141. WothanaR. Volund the Smith. 13. 59. 53. 22. 59. 81. Vali.208 INDEX Volsung. 110. 151. Valfathir. World-tree. 27. Ydalir. 65. . Ve. Zeus. 72. 79. 43. Vegtam. Wild Hunt. 43. 52. 43-44. Vingolf. Vanir. 59. Prophecy. 98. 37. 166.