Norse mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, folk tradition; the source texts mention numerous gods, such as the hammer-wielding, humanity-protecting thunder-god Thor, who relentlessly fights his foes. Most of the surviving mythology centres on the plights of the gods and their interaction with various other beings, such as humanity and the jötnar, beings who may be friends, foes or family members of the gods; the cosmos in Norse mythology consists of Nine Worlds that flank Yggdrasil. Units of time and elements of the cosmology are personified as beings. Various forms of a creation myth are recounted, where the world is created from the flesh of the primordial being Ymir, the first two humans are Ask and Embla.
These worlds are foretold to be reborn after the events of Ragnarök when an immense battle occurs between the gods and their enemies, the world is enveloped in flames, only to be reborn anew. There the surviving gods will meet, the land will be fertile and green, two humans will repopulate the world. Norse mythology has been the subject of scholarly discourse since the 17th century, when key texts were brought to the attention of the intellectual circles of Europe. By way of comparative mythology and historical linguistics, scholars have identified elements of Germanic mythology reaching as far back as Proto-Indo-European mythology. During the modern period, the Romanticist Viking revival re-awoke an interest in the subject matter, references to Norse mythology may now be found throughout modern popular culture; the myths have further been revived in a religious context among adherents of Germanic Neopaganism. The historical religion of the Norse people is referred to as Norse mythology. In certain literature the terms Scandinavian mythology or Nordic mythology have been used.
Norse mythology is attested in dialects of Old Norse, a North Germanic language spoken by the Scandinavian people during the European Middle Ages, the ancestor of modern Scandinavian languages. The majority of these Old Norse texts were created in Iceland, where the oral tradition stemming from the pre-Christian inhabitants of the island was collected and recorded in manuscripts; this occurred in the 13th century. These texts include the Prose Edda, composed in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, the Poetic Edda, a collection of poems from earlier traditional material anonymously compiled in the 13th century; the Prose Edda was composed as a prose manual for producing skaldic poetry—traditional Old Norse poetry composed by skalds. Composed and transmitted orally, skaldic poetry utilizes alliterative verse and various metrical forms; the Prose Edda presents numerous examples of works by various skalds from before and after the Christianization process and frequently refers back to the poems found in the Poetic Edda.
The Poetic Edda consists entirely of poems, with some prose narrative added, this poetry—Eddic poetry—utilizes fewer kennings. In comparison to skaldic poetry, Eddic poetry is unadorned; the Prose Edda features layers of euhemerization, a process in which deities and supernatural beings are presented as having been either actual, magic-wielding human beings who have been deified in time or beings demonized by way of Christian mythology. Texts such as Heimskringla, composed in the 13th century by Snorri and Gesta Danorum, composed in Latin by Saxo Grammaticus in Denmark in the 12th century, are the results of heavy amounts of euhemerization. Numerous further texts, such as the sagas, provide further information; the saga corpus consists of thousands of tales recorded in Old Norse ranging from Icelandic family histories to Migration period tales mentioning historic figures such as Attila the Hun. Objects and monuments such as the Rök Runestone and the Kvinneby amulet feature runic inscriptions—texts written in the runic alphabet, the indigenous alphabet of the Germanic peoples—that mention figures and events from Norse mythology.
Objects from the archaeological record may be interpreted as depictions of subjects from Norse mythology, such as amulets of the god Thor's hammer Mjölnir found among pagan burials and small silver female figures interpreted as valkyries or dísir, beings associated with war, fate or ancestor cults. By way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, comparisons to other attested branches of Germanic mythology may lend insight. Wider comparisons to the
Old Norse religion
Norse paganism known as Old Norse religion, is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. It was displaced by Christianity during the Christianization of Scandinavia. Scholars reconstruct aspects of North Germanic religion by historical linguistics, archaeology and records left by North Germanic peoples, such as runic inscriptions in the Younger Futhark, a distinctly North Germanic extension of the runic alphabet. Numerous Old Norse works dated to the 13th century record Norse mythology, a component of North Germanic religion. Old Norse religion was polytheistic, entailing a belief in various goddesses. Norse mythology divided these deities into two groups, the Æsir and the Vanir, who engaged in an ancient war until realizing that they were powerful. Among the most widespread deities were the gods Odin and Thor; this world was inhabited by various other mythological races, including giants, dwarfs and land-spirits.
Norse cosmology revolved around a world tree known as Yggdrasil, with various realms existing alongside that of humans, named Midgard. These include multiple afterlife realms. Transmitted through oral culture rather than through codified texts, Old Norse religion focused on ritual practice, with kings and chiefs playing a central role in carrying out public acts of sacrifice. Various cultic spaces were used. Norse society contained practitioners of Seiðr, a form of sorcery which some scholars describe as shamanistic. Various forms of burial were conducted, including both inhumation and cremation accompanied by a variety of grave goods. Throughout its history, varying levels of trans-cultural diffusion occurred among neighbouring peoples, such as the Sami and Finns. By the twelfth century Old Norse religion had succumbed to Christianity, with elements continuing into Scandinavian folklore. A revival of interest in Old Norse religion occurred amid the romanticist movement of the nineteenth century, during which it inspired a range of artworks.
It attracted the interest of political figures, was used by a range of right-wing and nationalist groups. Academic research into the subject began in the early nineteenth century influenced by the pervasive romanticist sentiment; the archaeologist Anders Andrén noted that "Old Norse religion" is "the conventional name" applied to the pre-Christian religions of Scandinavia. See for instance Other terms used by scholarly sources include "pre-Christian Norse religion", "Norse religion", "Norse paganism", "Nordic paganism", "Scandinavian paganism", "Scandinavian heathenism", "Scandinavian religion", "Northern paganism", "Northern heathenism", "North Germanic religion", or "North Germanic paganism"; this Old Norse religion can be seen as part of a broader Germanic religion found across linguistically Germanic Europe. Rooted in ritual practice and oral tradition, Old Norse religion was integrated with other aspects of Norse life, including subsistence and social interactions. Open codifications of Old Norse beliefs were either non-existent.
The practitioners of this belief system themselves had no term meaning "religion", only introduced with Christianity. Following Christianity's arrival, Old Norse terms that were used for the pre-Christian systems were forn sið or heiðinn sið, terms which suggest an emphasis on rituals and behaviours rather than belief itself; the earliest known usage of the Old Norse term heiðinn is in the poem Hákonarmál. Old Norse religion has been classed as an ethnic religion, as a "non-doctrinal community religion", it varied across time, in different regions and locales, according to social differences. This variation is due to its transmission through oral culture rather than codified texts. For this reason, the archaeologists Andrén, Kristina Jennbert, Catharina Raudvere stated that "pre-Christian Norse religion is not a uniform or stable category", while the scholar Karen Bek-Pedersen noted that the "Old Norse belief system should be conceived of in the plural, as several systems"; the historian of religion Hilda Ellis Davidson stated that it would have ranged from manifestations of "complex symbolism" to "the simple folk-beliefs of the less sophisticated".
During the Viking Age, the Norse regarded themselves as a more or less unified entity through their shared Germanic language, Old Norse. The scholar of Scandinavian studies Thomas A. DuBois said Old Norse religion and other pre-Christian belief systems in Northern Europe must be viewed as "not as isolated, mutually exclusive language-bound entities, but as broad concepts shared across cultural and linguistic lines, conditioned by similar ecological factors and protracted economic and cultural ties". During this period, the Norse interacted with other ethno-cultural and linguistic groups, such as the Sámi, Balto-Finns, Anglo-Saxons, Greenlandic Inuit, various speakers of Celtic and Slavic languages. Economic and religious exchange occurred between the Norse and many of these other groups. Enslaved individuals from the British Isles were common throughout the Nordic world during the Viking Age. Different elements of Old Norse religion had different origins and his
In Norse mythology, Nótt is night personified, grandmother of Thor. In both the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nótt is listed as the daughter of a figure by the name of Nörvi and is associated with the horse Hrímfaxi, while the Prose Edda features information about Nótt's ancestry, including her three marriages. Nótt's third marriage was to the god Dellingr and this resulted in their son Dagr, the personified day; as a proper noun, the word nótt appears throughout Old Norse literature. In stanza 24 of the poem Vafþrúðnismál, the god Odin asks the jötunn Vafþrúðnir from where the day comes, the night and its tides. In stanza 25, Vafþrúðnir responds: Delling hight he who the day's father is, but night was of Nörvi born. In stanza 14 of the Vafþrúðnismál, Odin states that the horse Hrímfaxi "draws every night to the beneficent gods" and that he lets foam from his bit fall every morning, from which dew comes to the valleys.
In stanza 30 of the poem Alvíssmál, the god Thor asks the dwarf Alvíss to tell him what night is called in each of the nine worlds, whom "Nórr" birthed. Alvíss responds that night is referred as "night" by mankind, "darkness" by the gods, "the masker" by the mighty Powers, "unlight" by the jötunn, "joy-of-sleep" by the elves, while dwarves call her "dream-Njörun". In Sigrdrífumál, after the valkyrie Sigrdrífa is woken from her sleep curse by the hero Sigurd, Sigurd asks her name, she gives him a "memory-drink" of a drinking horn full of mead, Sigrdrifa says a heathen prayer; the first verse of this prayer features a reference to the "sons of Dagr" and the "daughter of Nótt": Hail to the Day! Hail to the sons of Day! To Night and her daughter hail! With placid eyes behold us here, here sitting give us victory. Hail to the Æsir! Hail to the Asyniur! Hail to the bounteous earth! Words and wisdom give to us noble twain, healing hands while we live! In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Nótt is again personified.
In chapter 10, the enthroned figure of High states that Nótt is the daughter of a jötunn from Jötunheimr by the name of "Norfi or Narfi". Nótt is described as "black and swarthy", has had three marriages, her first marriage was with Naglfari, the two produced a son by the name of Auðr. Nótt's second marriage was to Annar, resulting in the personified earth. Nótt marries the god Dellingr, the couple have Dagr, who takes after his "father's people" in brightness and fairness. Odin took Nótt and her son Dagr, placed them into the sky with a chariot and a horse each, they ride around the earth every 24 hours. Nótt rides before Dagr, foam from her horse Hrímfaxi's bit sprinkles the earth. However, scholar Haukur Thorgeirsson points out that the four manuscripts of Gylfaginning vary in their descriptions of the family relations between Nótt, Jörð, Dellingr. In other words, depending on the manuscript, either Jörð or Nátt is the mother of Dagr and partner of Dellingr. Haukur details that "the oldest manuscript, U, offers a version where Jǫrð is the wife of Dellingr and the mother of Dagr while the other manuscripts, R, W and T, cast Nótt in the role of Dellingr's wife and Dagr's mother", argues that "the version in U came about accidentally when the writer of U or its antecedent shortened a text similar to that in RWT.
The results of this accident made their way into the Icelandic poetic tradition". In the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, means of referring to Jörð are provided, including "daughter of Nótt". Chapter 58 states that "Hrimfaxi or Fiorsvartnir draw the night", in chapter 64, "nótt" is stated as one of various words for time and a version of the Alvíssmál passage is cited
Sága and Sökkvabekkr
In Norse mythology, Sága is a goddess associated with the wisdom Sökkvabekkr. At Sökkvabekkr, Sága and the god Odin merrily drink. Both Sága and Sökkvabekkr are attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Scholars have proposed theories about the implications of the goddess and her associated location, including that the location may be connected to the goddess Frigg's fen residence Fensalir and that Sága may be another name for Frigg; the etymology of the name Sága is held to be connected to the Old Norse verb sjá, meaning "to see". This may mean. Since Frigg is referred to as a seeress in the poem Lokasenna, this etymology has led to theories connecting Sága to Frigg. Rudolf Simek says that this etymology raises vowel problems and that a link to saga and segja is more yet that this identification is problematic. In the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál, Sökkvabekkr is presented fourth among a series of stanzas describing the residences of various gods.
In the poem, Odin tells the young Agnar that Odin and Sága drink there from golden cups while waves resound: In the Poetic Edda poem Helgakviða Hundingsbana I, the hero Sinfjötli references Sága in the name of a location found in a stanza where Sinfjötli flyts with Guðmundr. The location name, nes Ságu, has been variously translated as "Saga's Headland," "Saga's Cape," and "Saga's ness" Part of the stanza may be missing and, due to this, some editors have joined it with the stanza prior. Sága is mentioned once in both the Prose Edda books Gylfaginning and Skáldskaparmál, while Sokkvabekk is only mentioned once, in Gylfaginning. In chapter 35 of Gylfaginning, High tells Gangleri about the ásynjur. High follows a description of Frigg and her dwelling Fensalir with "Second is Saga, she dwells in Sokkvabekk, and, a big place." In chapter 75 of the book Skáldskaparmál, Sága is present among a list of 27 ásynjur, but no information is provided about her there. John Lindow says that due to similarity between Sökkvabekkr and Fensalir, "Odin's open drinking with Sága", the potential etymological basis for Sága being a seeress has "led most scholars to understand Sága as another name for Frigg."
Stephan Grundy states that the words Sága and Sökkvabekkr may be by-forms of Frigg and Fensalir used for the purpose of composing alliterative verse. Britt-Mari Näsström theorizes that "Frigg's role as a fertility goddess is revealed in the name of her abode, Fensalir ", that Frigg is the same as Sága, that both the names Fensalir and Sökkvabekkr "imply a goddes living in the water and recall the fertility goddess Nerthus". Näsström adds that "Sökkvabekkr, the subterranean water, alludes to the well of Urd, hidden under the roots of Yggdrasil and the chthonic function, manifest in Freyja's character."Rudolf Simek says that Sága should be considered "one of the not closer defined Asyniur" along with Hlín, Sjöfn, Snotra, Vár, Vör, that they "should be seen as female protective goddesses." Simek adds that "these goddesses were all responsible for specific areas of the private sphere, yet clear differences were made between them so that they are in many ways similar to matrons."19th century scholar Jacob Grimm comments that "the gods share their power and influence with goddesses, the heroes and priests with wise women."
Grimm notes that Sökkvabekkr is "described as a place where cool waters rush" and that Odin and Sága "day to day drink gladly out of golden cups." Grimm theorizes that the liquid from these cups is: the drink of immortality, at the same time of poesy. Saga may be taken as daughter of Oðinn. With the Greeks the Musa was a daughter of Zeus, but hear of three or nine Muses, who resemble our wise women and schöpferins, dwell beside springs or wells; the cool flood well befits daughters of Wish. Saga can be no other than our sage, the'mære' personified and deified
Forseti is the god of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology. He is identified with Fosite, a god of the Frisians. Jacob Grimm noted that if, as Adam of Bremen states, Fosite's sacred island was Heligoland, that would make him an ideal candidate for a deity known to both Frisians and Scandinavians, but that it is surprising he is never mentioned by Saxo Grammaticus. Grimm took Forseti, "praeses", to be the older form of the name, first postulating an unattested Old High German equivalent *forasizo, but preferring a derivation from fors, a "whirling stream" or "cataract", connected to the spring and the god's veneration by seagoing peoples. It is plausible that Fosite is Forseti a folk etymology. According to the German philologist Hans Kuhn the Germanic form Fosite is linguistically identical to Greek Poseidon, hence the original name must have been introduced before the Proto-Germanic sound change via Greek sailors purchasing amber; the Greek traveller Pytheas of Massalia, who describes the amber trade, is known to have visited the region around 325 BC.
According to Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, Forseti is the son of Nanna. His home is Glitnir, its name, meaning "shining," refers to its silver ceiling and golden pillars, which radiated light that could be seen from a great distance, his is the best of courts. This suggests skill in mediation and is in contrast to his fellow god Týr, who "is not called a reconciler of men." However, as de Vries points out, the only basis for associating Forseti with justice seems to have been his name. The first element in the name Forsetlund, a farm in the parish of Onsøy, in eastern Norway, seems to be the genitive case of Forseti, offering evidence he was worshipped there. According to Alcuin's Life of St. Willebrord, the saint visited an island between Frisia and Denmark, sacred to Fosite and was called Fositesland after the god worshipped there. There was a sacred spring from which water had to be drawn in silence, it was so holy. Willebrord defiled the spring by killing a cow there. Altfrid tells the same story of St. Liudger.
Adam of Bremen adds that the island was Heiligland, i.e. Heligoland. There is a late-medieval legend of the origins of written Frisian laws. Wishing to assemble written lawcodes for all his subject peoples, Charlemagne summoned twelve representatives of the Frisian people, the Āsegas, demanded they recite their people's laws; when they could not do so after several days, he let them choose between death, slavery, or being set adrift in a rudderless boat. They chose the last and prayed for help, whereupon a thirteenth man appeared, with a golden axe on his shoulder, he steered the boat to land with the axe threw it ashore. He taught them laws and disappeared; the stranger and the spring have traditionally been identified with Fosite and the sacred spring of Fositesland. Modern scholarship, however, is critical about this hypotheses, as the attribute of the axe is associated with Thor, not with Forseti; the German neofolk band Forseti named itself after the god. Poetic Edda The dictionary definition of forseti at Wiktionary Media related to Forseti at Wikimedia Commons
In Norse mythology, Gefjon is a goddess associated with ploughing, the Danish island of Zealand, the legendary Swedish king Gylfi, the legendary Danish king Skjöldr and virginity. Gefjon is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla both report that Gefjon plowed away what is now lake Mälaren and with this land formed the island of Zealand, Denmark. In addition, the Prose Edda describes that not only is Gefjon a virgin herself, but that all who die a virgin become her attendants. Heimskringla records that Gefjon married the legendary Danish king Skjöldr and that the two dwelled in Lejre, Denmark. Scholars have proposed theories about the etymology the name of the goddess, connections to fertility and ploughing practices, the implications of the references made to her as a virgin, five potential mentions of the goddess in the Old English poem Beowulf, potential connections between Gefjon and Grendel's Mother and/or the goddesses Freyja and Frigg.
The etymology of theonym Gefjon has been a matter of dispute. In modern scholarship, the element Gef- is held to be related to the element Gef- in the name Gefn, one of the numerous names for the goddess Freyja, means'she who gives'; the connection between the two names has resulted in etymological interpretation of Gefjun as "the giving one." The names Gefjun and Gefn are both related to the Matron groups the Ollogabiae. Albert Murey Sturtevant notes that "the only other feminine personal name which contains the suffix -un is Njǫr-un, recorded only in the þulur, among the kvenna heiti ókend. Whatever the stem syllable Njǫr- represents, the addition of the n- and un-suffixes seems to furnish an exact parallel to Gef-n: Gefj-un."A Finnish word for "bride's outfit, trousseau" may derive from Gefjon's name. In the Poetic Edda, Gefjon appears in three stanzas of the poem Lokasenna, where an exchange occurs between Gefjun and Loki at a dinner feast, the god Odin comes to Gefjon's defense. After an exchange occurs between Loki and the goddess Iðunn, Gefjon questions why Loki wants to bring negativity into the hall with the assembled gods: The last two lines of the stanza above differ by translation.
Henry Adams Bellows comments that the manuscript text for these two lines is "puzzling" and that as a result they have been "freely amended." In the stanza that follows, Loki responds to Gefjon, commenting that a youthful male once gave her a necklace, that with this youth Gefjon slept: Odin interjects. This woman was "of the race of the Æsir" and her name was Gefjun. Gefjun took four oxen from Jötunheimr in the north; these oxen were her sons from a jötunn. Gefjun's plough "cut so hard and deep that it uprooted the land, the oxen drew the land out into the sea to the west and halted in a certain sound." Gefjun there placed the land, bestowed upon it the name Zealand. Where the land had been taken from a lake stands. According to Snorri, the lake is now known as Lake Mälar, located in Sweden, the inlets in this lake parallel the headlands of Zealand; as a reference, the prose account presents a stanza from a work attributed to the 9th century skald Bragi Boddason: Gefjun dragged from Gylfi, gladly the land beyond value.
Denmark's increase, steam rising from the swift-footed bulls. The oxen bore eight moons of the forehead and four heads, hauling as they went in front of the grassy isle's wide fissure. In chapter 35 of Gylfaginning, the enthroned figure of High presents a list of goddesses. High presents Gefjun fourth, says that Gefjun is a virgin, all who die as virgins attend her. In relation, High notes that, like Gefjun, the goddess Fulla is a virgin. At the beginning of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Gefjun is listed among nine goddesses who attend a banquet for Ægir on the island of Hlesey. In chapter 32, Gefjun is listed among six goddesses. In chapter 75, Gefjun is included among a list of 27 ásynjur names. In addition, Gefjun appears in a kenning for the völva Gróa employed in the skald Þjóðólfr of Hvinir's composition Haustlöng as quoted in chapter 17 of Skáldskaparmál. In chapter 5 of Ynglinga saga, a euhemerized prose account relates that Odin sent Gefjun from Odense, Funen "north over the sound to seek for land."
There, Gefjun encountered king Gylfi "and he gave her ploughland." Gefjun went to the land of Jötunheimr, there bore four sons to a jötunn. Gefjun transformed these four sons into oxen, attached them to a plough, drew forth the land westward of the sea, opposite to Odense; the saga adds that this land is now called Zealand, that Gefjun married Skjöldr. The two dwelled in Lejre thereafter. From where Gefjun took the land
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker to the Althing, he was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning, a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language, the Háttatal, a list of verse forms. He was the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is taken to be the author of Egil's saga. Snorri Sturluson was born in Hvammur í Dölum into the wealthy and powerful Sturlungar family of the Icelandic Commonwealth in 1179, his parents were his second wife, Guðný Böðvarsdóttir. He had two older brothers, Þórðr Sturluson and Sighvatr Sturluson, two sisters and nine half-siblings. Snorri was raised from the age of three by Jón Loftsson, a relative of the Norwegian royal family, in Oddi, Iceland; as Sturla was trying to settle a lawsuit with the priest and chieftain Páll Sölvason, Páll's wife lunged at him with a knife — intending, she said, to make him like his one-eyed hero Odin — but bystanders deflected the blow to his cheek instead.
The resulting settlement would have beggared Páll, but Jón Loftsson intervened in the Althing to mitigate the judgment and, to compensate Sturla, offered to raise and educate Snorri. Snorri therefore received an excellent education and made connections that he might not otherwise have made, he attended the school of Sæmundr fróði, grandfather of Jón Loftsson, at Oddi, never returned to his parents' home. His father died in his mother as guardian soon wasted Snorri's share of the inheritance. Jón Loftsson died in 1197; the two families arranged a marriage in 1199 between Snorri and Herdís, the daughter of Bersi Vermundarson. From her father, Snorri inherited an estate at a chieftainship, he soon chieftainships. Snorri and Herdís were together for four years at Borg, they had Hallbera and Jón. The marriage succumbed to Snorri's philandering, in 1206, he settled in Reykholt as manager of an estate there, but without Herdís, he made significant improvements including a hot outdoor bath. The bath and the buildings have been preserved to some extent.
During the initial years at Reykholt he fathered five children by three different women: Guðrún Hreinsdóttir, Oddný, Þuríður Hallsdóttir. Snorri became known as a poet, but was a lawyer. In 1215, he became lawspeaker of the Althing, the only public office of the Icelandic commonwealth and a position of high respect. In the summer of 1218, he sailed to Norway, by royal invitation. There he became well acquainted with the teen-aged King Hákon Hákonarson and his co-regent, Jarl Skúli, he spent the winter as house-guest of the jarl. They showered gifts upon him, including the ship in which he sailed, he in return wrote poetry about them. In the summer of 1219 he met his Swedish colleague, the lawspeaker Eskil Magnusson, his wife, Kristina Nilsdotter Blake, in Skara, they were both related to royalty and gave Snorri an insight into the history of Sweden. Snorri was interested in history and culture; the Norwegian regents, cultivated Snorri, made him a skutilsvein, a senior title equivalent to knight, received an oath of loyalty.
The king hoped to extend his realm to Iceland, which he could do by a resolution of the Althing, of which Snorri had been a key member. In 1220, Snorri returned to Iceland and by 1222 was back as lawspeaker of the Althing, which he held this time until 1232; the basis of his election was his fame as a poet. Politically he was the king's spokesman, supporting union with Norway, a platform that acquired him enemies among the chiefs. In 1224, Snorri married Hallveig Ormsdottir, a granddaughter of Jón Loftsson, now a widow of great means with two young sons, made a contract of joint property ownership with her, their children did not survive to adulthood, but Hallveig's sons and seven of Snorri's children did live to adulthood. Snorri was the most powerful chieftain in Iceland during the years 1224–1230. Many of the other chiefs found his position as royal office-holder contrary to their interests the other Sturlungar. Snorri's strategy was to consolidate power over them, at which point he could offer Iceland to the king.
His first moves were civic. On the death in 1222 of Sæmundur, son of Jón Loftsson, he became a suitor for the hand of his daughter, Sólveig. Herdís' silent vote did nothing for his suit, his nephew, Sturla Sighvatsson, Snorri's political opponent, stepped in to marry her in 1223, the year before Snorri met Hallveig. A period of clan feuding followed. Snorri perceived that only resolute, saga-like actions could achieve his objective, but he proved unwilling or incapable of carrying them out, he raised an armed party under another nephew, Böðvar Þórðarson, another under his son, Órækja, with the intent of executing a first strike against his brother Sighvatur and Sturla Sighvatsson. On the eve of battle he dismissed those offered terms to his brother. Sighvatur and Sturla with a force of 1000 men drove Snorri into the countryside, where he sought refuge among the other chiefs. Órækja undertook guerrilla operations in the fjords of western Iceland and the war was on. Haakon IV made an effort to intervene from afar, inviting al