In Germanic mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, storms, oak trees, the protection of mankind and hallowing and fertility. Besides Old Norse Þórr, extensions of the god occur in Old English as Þunor and in Old High German as Donar. All forms of the deity stem from a Common Germanic *Þunraz. Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the tribal expansions of the Migration Period, to his high popularity during the Viking Age, when, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, emblems of his hammer, Mjölnir, were worn and Norse pagan personal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his popularity. Due to the nature of the Germanic corpus, narratives featuring Thor are only attested in Old Norse, where Thor appears throughout Norse mythology. Norse mythology recorded in Iceland from traditional material stemming from Scandinavia, provides numerous tales featuring the god.
In these sources, Thor bears at least fifteen names, is the husband of the golden-haired goddess Sif, is the lover of the jötunn Járnsaxa, is described as fierce eyed, red haired and red bearded. With Sif, Thor fathered the goddess Þrúðr. By way of Odin, Thor has numerous brothers, including Baldr. Thor has two servants, Þjálfi and Röskva, rides in a cart or chariot pulled by two goats and Tanngnjóstr, is ascribed three dwellings. Thor wields the mountain-crushing hammer, Mjölnir, wears the belt Megingjörð and the iron gloves Járngreipr, owns the staff Gríðarvölr. Thor's exploits, including his relentless slaughter of his foes and fierce battles with the monstrous serpent Jörmungandr—and their foretold mutual deaths during the events of Ragnarök—are recorded throughout sources for Norse mythology. Into the modern period, Thor continued to be acknowledged in rural folklore throughout Germanic-speaking Europe. Thor is referred to in place names, the day of the week Thursday bears his name, names stemming from the pagan period containing his own continue to be used today in Scandinavia.
Thor has inspired numerous works of art and references to Thor appear in modern popular culture. Like other Germanic deities, veneration of Thor is revived in the modern period in Heathenry. Old Norse Þórr, Old English ðunor, Old High German Donar, Old Saxon thunar, Old Frisian thuner are cognates within the Germanic language branch, descending from the Proto-Germanic masculine noun *þunraz'thunder'; the name of the god is the origin of the weekday name Thursday. By employing a practice known as interpretatio germanica during the Roman Empire period, the Germanic peoples adopted the Roman weekly calendar, replaced the names of Roman gods with their own. Latin dies Iovis was converted into Proto-Germanic *Þonares dagaz, from which stems modern English "Thursday" and all other Germanic weekday cognates. Beginning in the Viking Age, personal names containing the theonym Thórr are recorded with great frequency. Prior to the Viking Age, no examples are recorded. Thórr-based names may have flourished during the Viking Age as a defiant response to attempts at Christianization, similar to the wide scale Viking Age practice of wearing Thor's hammer pendants.
The earliest records of the Germanic peoples were recorded by the Romans, in these works Thor is referred to—via a process known as interpretatio romana —as either the Roman god Jupiter or the Greco-Roman god Hercules. The first clear example of this occurs in the Roman historian Tacitus's late first-century work Germania, writing about the religion of the Suebi, he comments that "among the gods Mercury is the one they principally worship, they regard it as a religious duty to offer to him, on fixed days, human as well as other sacrificial victims. Hercules and Mars they appease by animal offerings of the permitted kind" and adds that a portion of the Suebi venerate "Isis". In this instance, Tacitus refers to the god Odin as "Mercury", Thor as "Hercules", the god Týr as "Mars", the identity of the Isis of the Suebi has been debated. In Thor's case, the identification with the god Hercules is at least in part due to similarities between Thor's hammer and Hercules' club. In his Annals, Tacitus again refers to the veneration of "Hercules" by the Germanic peoples.
In Germanic areas occupied by the Roman Empire and votive objects dating from the 2nd and 3rd century AD have been found with Latin inscriptions referring to "Hercules", so in reality, with varying levels of likelihood, refer to Thor by way of interpretatio romana. The first recorded instance of the name of the god appears in the Migration Period, where a piece of jewelry, the Nordendorf fibula, dating from the 7th century AD and found in Bavaria, bears an Elder Futhark inscription that contains the name Þonar, i.e. Donar, the southern Germanic form of the god's name. According to a near-contemporary account, the Christian missionary Saint Boniface felled an oak tree dedicated to "Jove" in the 8th century, the Donar's Oak in the region of Hes
In Germanic mythology, Fulla or Volla is a goddess. In Norse mythology, Fulla is described as wearing a golden band and as tending to the ashen box and the footwear owned by the goddess Frigg, and, in addition, Frigg confides in Fulla her secrets. Fulla is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources. Volla is attested in the "Horse Cure" Merseburg Incantation, recorded anonymously in the 10th century in Old High German, in which she assists in healing the wounded foal of Phol and is referred to as Frigg's sister. Scholars have proposed theories about the implications of the goddess. In the prose introduction to the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál, Frigg makes a wager with her husband—the god Odin—over the hospitality of their human patrons. Frigg sends her servant maid Fulla to warn the king Geirröd—Frigg's patron—that a magician will visit him. Fulla meets with Geirröd, gives the warning, advises to him a means of detecting the magician: In chapter 35 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, High provides brief descriptions of 16 ásynjur.
High lists Fulla fifth, stating that, like the goddess Gefjun, Fulla is a virgin, wears her hair flowing with a gold band around her head. High describes that Fulla carries Frigg's eski, looks after Frigg's footwear, that in Fulla Frigg confides secrets. In chapter 49 of Gylfaginning, High details that, after the death of the deity couple Baldr and Nanna, the god Hermóðr wagers for their return in the underworld location of Hel. Hel, ruler of the location of the same name, tells Hermóðr a way to resurrect Baldr, but will not allow Baldr and Nanna to leave until the deed is accomplished. Hel does, allow Baldr and Nanna to send gifts to the living. Of these "other gifts" sent, the only specific item that High mentions is a finger-ring for Fulla; the first chapter of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Fulla is listed among eight ásynjur who attend an evening drinking banquet held for Ægir. In chapter 19 of Skáldskaparmál, poetic ways to refer to Frigg are given, one of, by referring to her as "queen of Fulla."
In chapter 32, poetic expressions for gold are given, one of which includes "Fulla's snood." In chapter 36, a work by the skald Eyvindr skáldaspillir is cited that references Fulla's golden headgear. Fulla receives a final mention in the Prose Edda in chapter 75, where Fulla appears within a list of 27 ásynjur names. One of the two Merseburg Incantations, recorded in Old High German, mentions Volla; the incantation describes how Phol and Wodan rode to a wood, there Balder's foal sprained its foot. Sinthgunt sang charms, her sister Sunna sang charms, Friia sang charms, her sister Volla sang charms, Wodan sang charms, followed by a verse describing the healing of the foal's bone; the charm reads: Phol and Wodan went to the forest. Balder's horse sprained its foot. Sinthgunt sang charms, Sunna her sister. Andy Orchard comments that the seeming appearance of Baldr with Volla in the Merseburg Incantation is "intriguing" since Fulla is one of the three goddesses the deceased Baldr expressly sends gifts to from Hel.
John Lindow says that since the name Fulla seems to have something to do with fullness, it may point to an association with fertility. Rudolf Simek comments that while Snorri notes that Baldr sends Fulla a golden ring from Hel in Gylfaginning, "this does not prove that she plays any role in the Baldr myth, but shows that Snorri associated her with gold" because of kennings used associating Fulla with gold. Simek says that since Fulla appears in the poetry of Skalds as early as the 10th century that she was "not a late personification of plenty" but that she is likely identical with Volla from the Merseburg Incantation. Simek adds that it is unclear as to who Fulla is. John Knight Bostock says that theories have been proposed that the Fulla may at one time have been an aspect of Frigg; as a result, this notion has resulted in theory that a similar situation may have existed between the figures of the goddesses Sinthgunt and Sunna, in that the two may have been understood as aspects of one another rather than separate figures.
Hilda Ellis Davidson states that the goddesses Gefjun, Gerðr, Skaði "may represent important goddesses of early times in the North, but little was remembered about them by the time Snorri was collecting his material." On the other hand, Davidson notes that it is possible that these goddesses are viewable as aspects of a single Great Goddess. Davidson calls Fulla and Volla "vague, uncertain figures, emerging from odd references to goddesses which Snorri has noted in the poets, but they suggest the possibility that at one time three generations were represented among the goddesses of fertility and harvest in Scandinavia."
Nanna (Norse deity)
In Norse mythology, Nanna Nepsdóttir or Nanna is a goddess associated with the god Baldr. Accounts of Nanna vary by source. In the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nanna is the wife of Baldr and the couple produced a son, the god Forseti. After Baldr's death, Nanna dies of grief. Nanna is placed on Baldr's ship with his corpse and the two are set aflame and pushed out to sea. In Hel and Nanna are united again. In an attempt to bring back Baldr from the dead, the god Hermóðr rides to Hel and, upon receiving the hope of resurrection from the being Hel, Nanna gives Hermóðr gifts to give to the goddess Frigg, the goddess Fulla, others. Nanna is mentioned in the poetry of skalds and a Nanna, who may or may not be the same figure, is mentioned once in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources. An account provided by Saxo Grammaticus in his 12th century work Gesta Danorum records Nanna as a human female, the daughter of King Gevar, the love interest of both the demi-god Baldr and the human Höðr.
Spurred by their mutual attraction to Nanna, Baldr and Höðr do battle. Nanna weds him, while Baldr wastes away from nightmares about Nanna; the Setre Comb, a comb from the 6th or early 7th century featuring runic inscriptions, may reference the goddess. The etymology of the name Nanna is a subject of scholarly debate. Scholars have debated connections between Nanna and other named deities from other cultures and the implications of the goddess's attestations; the etymology of the name of the goddess Nanna is debated. Some scholars have proposed that the name may derive from a babble word, meaning "mother". Scholar Jan de Vries connects the name Nanna to the root *nanþ-, leading to "the daring one". Scholar John Lindow theorizes that a common noun may have existed in Old Norse, that meant "woman". Scholar John McKinnell notes that the "mother" and *nanþ- derivations may not be distinct, commenting that nanna may have once meant "she who empowers". In the Poetic Edda poem Hyndluljóð, a figure by the name of Nanna is listed as the daughter of Nökkvi and as a relative of Óttar.
This figure may not be the same Nanna as Baldr's wife. In chapter 38 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, the enthroned figure of High explains that Nanna Nepsdóttir and her husband Baldr produced a son, the god Forseti. In Gylfaginning, High recounts Baldr's death in Asgard at the unwitting hands of his blind brother, Höðr. Baldr's body is taken to the seaside and, when his body is placed unto his ship Hringhorni, Nanna's collapses and dies of grief, her body is placed upon Hringhorni with Baldr, the ship is set aflame, the god Thor hallows the pyre with his hammer Mjölnir. Sent by Baldr's mother, the goddess Frigg, the god Hermóðr rides to the location of Hel to resurrect Baldr. Hermóðr arrives in Hel to find Baldr in a hall, seated in the seat of honor and with his wife Nanna. Hermóðr bargains with Hel, the being, for Baldr's resurrection. Hel and Hermóðr come to an agreement and Baldr and Nanna accompany Hermóðr out of the hall. Baldr gives Hermóðr the ring Draupnir, which the god Odin had placed on Baldr's pyre, to return to Odin.
Nanna presents to Hermóðr a series of gifts: a linen robe for Frigg, a golden ring for the goddess Fulla, other unspecified items. Hermóðr returns to Asgard. In the first chapter of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Nanna is listed among 8 goddesses attending a feast held in honor of Ægir. In chapter 5 of Skáldskaparmál, means of referring to Baldr are provided, including "husband of Nanna". In chapter 19, means of referring to Frigg are provided, including "mother-in-law of Nanna." In chapter 75, Nanna is included among a list of goddesses. In chapter 18, the skald Eilífr Goðrúnarson's work Þórsdrápa is quoted, which includes a kenning that references Nanna. In book III of Gesta Danorum, Nanna is not a goddess but rather a daughter of the mortal King Gevar. Nanna is attracted to her foster-brother Höðr, son of Hothbrodd, "seeks his embraces". One day, who Saxo describes as the son of the god Odin, witnesses Nanna bathing and lusts for her. Fearing that Höðr will serve as an obstacle for his conquest of Nanna, Baldr resolves to slay Höðr.
While out hunting, Höðr loses his path in a mist and a group of forest maidens greet him by name. The maidens tell him that they are able to guide fate, that they appear invisibly on battlefields, where they award victory or defeat at their whim, they inform Höðr that Baldr witnessed Nanna bathing, yet warn Höðr not to challenge Baldr to combat—no matter what he may do—for Baldr sprang from divine seed and is therefore a demi-god. The maidens and their dwelling vanish and Höðr finds himself standing in a wide open plain. Saxo explains. Höðr returns home, recounts to King Gevar that he had lost his path and been tricked by the forest maidens, asks King Gevar for his daughter Nanna's hand in wedlock. Gevar tells Höðr that he would most approve of the marriage, but that Baldr has requested Nanna's hand. Gevar says that he fears Baldr's wrath, for Baldr's body is infused with a holy strength and cannot be harmed by steel. Gevar is, aware of a sword that will kill Baldr, he explains that it is well protected, tells him how to retrieve the sword.
After Höðr retrieves the loot, a series of events occur unrelated to Nanna. Meanwhile, Baldr t
Antlers are extensions of an animal's skull found in members of the deer family. They are a single structure, they are found only on males, with the exception of the caribou. Antlers are shed and regrown each year and function as objects of sexual attraction and as weapons in fights between males for control of harems. In contrast, found on pronghorns and bovids such as sheep, goats and cattle, are two-part structures. An interior of bone is covered by an exterior sheath grown by specialized hair follicles, the same material as human fingernails and toenails. Horns continue to grow throughout the animal's life; the exception to this rule is the Pronghorn which regrows its horn sheath each year. They grow in symmetrical pairs. Antler comes from the Old French antoillier from some form of an unattested Latin word *anteocularis, "before the eye". Antlers are unique to cervids; the ancestors of deer had tusks. In most species, antlers appear to replace tusks. However, two modern species have tusks and no antlers and the muntjac has small antlers and tusks.
Antlers are found only on males. Only reindeer have antlers on the females, these are smaller than those of the males. Fertile does from other species of deer have the capacity to produce antlers on occasion due to increased testosterone levels; the "horns" of a pronghorn meet some of the criteria of antlers, but are not considered true antlers because they contain keratin. Each antler grows from an attachment point on the skull called a pedicle. While an antler is growing, it is covered with vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone. Antlers are considered one of the most exaggerated cases of male secondary sexual traits in the animal kingdom, grow faster than any other mammal bone. Growth occurs at the tip, is cartilage, replaced by bone tissue. Once the antler has achieved its full size, the velvet is lost and the antler's bone dies; this dead bone structure is the mature antler. In most cases, the bone at the base is destroyed by osteoclasts and the antlers fall off at some point.
As a result of their fast growth rate, antlers are considered a handicap since there is an immense nutritional demand on deer to re-grow antlers annually, thus can be honest signals of metabolic efficiency and food gathering capability. In most arctic and temperate-zone species, antler growth and shedding is annual, is controlled by the length of daylight. Although the antlers are regrown each year, their size varies with the age of the animal in many species, increasing annually over several years before reaching maximum size. In tropical species, antlers may be shed at any time of year, in some species such as the sambar, antlers are shed at different times in the year depending on multiple factors; some equatorial deer never shed their antlers. Antlers function as weapons in combats between males, which sometimes cause serious wounds, as dominance and sexual displays; the principal means of evolution of antlers is sexual selection, which operates via two mechanisms: male-to-male competition and female mate choice.
Male-male competition can take place in two forms. First, they can compete behaviorally where males use their antlers as weapons to compete for access to mates. Males with the largest antlers are more to obtain mates and achieve the highest fertilization success due to their competitiveness and high phenotypic quality. Whether this is a result of male-male fighting or display, or of female choosiness differs depending on the species as the shape and function of antlers vary between species. There is evidence to support that antler size influences mate selection in the red deer, has a heritable component. Despite this, a 30-year study showed no shift in the median size of antlers in a population of red deer; the lack of response could be explained by environmental covariance, meaning that lifetime breeding success is determined by an unmeasured trait, phenotypically correlated with antler size but for which there is no genetic correlation of antler growth. Alternatively, the lack of response could be explained by the relationship between heterozygosity and antler size, which states that males heterozygous at multiple loci, including MHC loci, have larger antlers.
The evolutionary response of traits that depend on heterozygosity is slower than traits that are dependent on additive genetic components and thus the evolutionary change is slower than expected. A third possibility is that the costs of having larger antlers exert enough selective pressure to offset the benefit of attracting mates. If antlers functioned only in male–male competition for mates, the best evolutionary strategy would be to shed them after the rutting season, both to free the male from a heavy encumbrance and to give him more time to regrow a larger new pair, yet antlers are retained through the winter and into the spring, suggesting that they have another use. Wolves in Yellowstone National Park are 3.6 times more to
In Norse mythology, Ragnarök (. After these events, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in Norse mythology and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory in the history of Germanic studies; the event is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In the Prose Edda and in a single poem in the Poetic Edda, the event is referred to as Ragnarök or Ragnarøkkr, a usage popularised by 19th-century composer Richard Wagner with the title of the last of his Der Ring des Nibelungen operas, Götterdämmerung, "Twilight of the Gods" in German; the Old Norse compound ragnarok has a long history of interpretation. Its first element, ragna, is unproblematic, being the genitive plural of regin "the ruling powers, gods"; the second element is more problematic, as it occurs in - rök and - røkkr.
Writing in the early 20th century, philologist Geir Zoëga treats the two forms as two separate compounds, glossing ragnarök as "the doom or destruction of the gods" and ragnarøkkr as "the twilight of the gods". The plural noun rök has several meanings, including "development, cause, fate"; the word ragnarök as a whole is usually interpreted as the "final destiny of the gods". The singular form ragnarøkr is found in a stanza of the Poetic Edda poem Lokasenna, in the Prose Edda; the noun røkr means "twilight", suggesting a translation "twilight of the gods". This reading was considered a result of folk etymology, or a learned reinterpretation, of the original term due to the merger of /ɔ:/ and /ø/ in Old Icelandic after c. 1200. Other terms used to refer to the events surrounding Ragnarök in the Poetic Edda include aldar rök from a stanza of Vafþrúðnismál, tíva rök from two stanzas of Vafþrúðnismál, þá er regin deyja from Vafþrúðnismál, unz um rjúfask regin from Vafþrúðnismál, Sigrdrífumál, aldar rof from Helgakviða Hundingsbana II, regin þrjóta from Hyndluljóð, and, in the Prose Edda, þá er Muspellz-synir herja can be found in chapters 18 and 36 of Gylfaginning.
The Poetic Edda contains various references to Ragnarök: In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, references to Ragnarök begin from stanza 40 until 58, with the rest of the poem describing the aftermath. In the poem, a völva recites information to Odin. In stanza 41, the völva says: The völva describes three roosters crowing: In stanza 42, the jötunn herdsman Eggthér sits on a mound and cheerfully plays his harp while the crimson rooster Fjalar crows in the forest Gálgviðr; the golden rooster Gullinkambi crows to the Æsir in Valhalla, the third, unnamed soot-red rooster crows in the halls of the underworld location of Hel in stanza 43. After these stanzas, the völva further relates that the hound Garmr produces deep howls in front of the cave of Gnipahellir. Garmr's bindings break and he runs free; the völva describes the state of humanity: The "sons of Mím" are described as being "at play", though this reference is not further explained in surviving sources. Heimdall raises the Gjallarhorn into the air and blows into it, Odin converses with Mím's head.
The world tree Yggdrasil groans. The jötunn Hrym comes from his shield before him; the Midgard serpent Jörmungandr furiously writhes. "The eagle shrieks, pale-beaked he tears the corpse," and the ship Naglfar breaks free thanks to the waves made by Jormungandr and sets sail from the east. The fire jötnar inhabitants of Muspelheim come forth; the völva continues that Jötunheimr, the land of the jötnar, is aroar, that the Æsir are in council. The dwarfs groan by their stone doors. Surtr advances from the south, his sword brighter than the sun. Rocky cliffs open and the jötnar women sink; the gods do battle with the invaders: Odin is swallowed whole and alive fighting the wolf Fenrir, causing his wife Frigg her second great sorrow. Odin's son Víðarr avenges his father by rending Fenrir's jaws apart and stabbing it in the heart with his spear, thus killing the wolf; the serpent Jörmungandr opens its gaping maw, yawning in the air, is met in combat by Thor. Thor a son of Odin and described here as protector of the earth, furiously fights the serpent, defeating it, but Thor is only able to take nine steps afterward before collapsing.
The god Freyr loses. After this, people flee their homes, the sun becomes black while the earth sinks into the sea, the stars vanish, steam rises, flames touch the heavens; the völva sees the earth reappearing from the water, an eagle over a waterfall hunting fish on a mountain. The surviving Æsir meet together at the field of Iðavöllr, they discuss Jörmungandr, great events of the past, the runic alphabet. In stanza 61, in the grass, they find the golden game pieces that the gods are described as having once enjoyed playing games with long
In Norse mythology, Víðarr is a god among the Æsir associated with vengeance. Víðarr is described as the son of Odin and the jötunn Gríðr, is foretold to avenge his father's death by killing the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarök, a conflict which he is described as surviving. Víðarr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, is interpreted as depicted with Fenrir on the Gosforth Cross. A number of theories surround the figure, including theories around potential ritual silence and a Proto-Indo-European basis. In the Poetic Edda, Víðarr is mentioned in the poems Völuspá, Vafthrúdnismál, Grímnismál, Lokasenna. In stanzas 54 and 55 of the poem Völuspá, a völva tells Odin that his son Víðarr will avenge Odin's death at Ragnarök by stabbing Fenrir in the heart. In stanzas 51 and 53 of Vafthrúdnismál, Vafþrúðnir states that Víðarr and his brother Váli will both live in the "temples of the gods" after Surtr's fire has ceded and that Víðarr will avenge the death of his father Odin by sundering the cold jaws of Fenrir in battle.
In stanza 17 of Grímnismál, during Odin's visions of various dwelling places of the gods, he describes Víðarr's residence: Brushwood grows and high grass in Vidar's land and there the son proclaims on his horse's back that he's keen to avenge his father. According to Lokasenna, Loki rebukes the gods at the start of the poem for not properly welcoming him to the feast at Ægir's hall. In stanza 10, Odin relents to the rules of hospitality, urging Víðarr to stand and pour a drink for the quarrelsome guest. Víðarr does so, Loki toasts the Æsir before beginning his flyting. Víðarr is referenced in the Prose Edda books Gylfaginning and Skáldskaparmál: Víðarr is referenced in the book Gylfaginning in chapters 29, 51, 53. In chapter 29, Víðarr is introduced by the enthroned figure of High as "the silent god" with a thick shoe, that he is nearly as strong as the god Thor, that the gods rely on him in times of immense difficulties. In chapter 51, High foretells that, during Ragnarök, the wolf Fenrir will devour Odin, Víðarr will avenge him by stepping down with one foot on the lower jaw of the monster, grabbing his upper jaw in one hand and tearing his mouth apart, killing him.
Víðarr's "thick shoe" is described as consisting of all the extra leather pieces that people have cut from their own shoes at the toe and heel, collected by the god throughout all time. Therefore, anyone, concerned enough to give assistance to the gods should throw these pieces away. In chapter 54, following Ragnarök and the rebirth of the world, Víðarr along with his brother Váli will have survived both the swelling of the sea and the fiery conflagration unleashed by Surtr unharmed, shall thereafter dwell on the field Iðavöllr, "where the city of Asgard had been". According to Skáldskaparmál, Víðarr was one of the twelve presiding male gods seated in their thrones at a banquet for the visiting Ægir. At a point in dialogue between the skaldic god Bragi and Ægir, Snorri himself begins speaking of the myths in euhemeristic terms and states that the historical equivalent of Víðarr was the Trojan hero Aeneas who survived the Trojan War and went on to achieve "great deeds". In the book, various kennings are given for Víðarr, including again the "silent As", "possessor of the iron shoe", "enemy and slayer of Fenrisulf", "the gods' avenging As", "father's homestead-inhabiting As", "son of Odin", "brother of the Æsir".
In the tale of the god Thor's visit to the hall of the jötunn Geirröd, Gríðr is stated as the mother of "Víðarr the Silent" who assists Thor in his journey. In chapter 33, after returning from Asgard and feasting with the gods, Ægir invites the gods to come to his hall in three months. Fourteen gods make the trip to attend the feast, including Víðarr. In chapter 75, Víðarr's name appears twice in a list of Æsir; the mid-11th century Gosforth Cross, located in Cumbria, has been described as depicting a combination of scenes from the Christian Judgement Day and the pagan Ragnarök. The cross features various figures depicted in Borre style, including a man with a spear facing a monstrous head, one of whose feet is thrust into the beast's forked tongue and on its lower jaw, while a hand is placed against its upper jaw, a scene interpreted as Víðarr fighting Fenrir; the depiction has been theorized as a metaphor for Jesus's defeat of Satan. Theories have been proposed that Víðarr's silence may derive from a ritual silence or other abstentions which accompany acts of vengeance, as for example in Völuspá and Baldrs draumar when Váli, conceived for the sole purpose of avenging Baldr's death, abstains from washing his hands and combing his hair "until he brought Baldr's adversary to the funeral pyre".
Parallels have been drawn between chapter 31 of Tacitus' 1st century CE work Germania where Tacitus describes that members of the Chatti, a Germanic tribe, may not shave or groom before having first slain an enemy. Georges Dumézil theorized that Víðarr represents a cosmic figure from an archetype derived from the Proto-Indo-Europeans. Dumézil stated that he was aligned with both vertical space, due to his placement of his foot on the wolf's lower jaw and his hand on the wolf's upper jaw, horizontal space, due to his wide step and strong shoe, that, by killing the wolf, Víðarr keeps the wolf from destroying the cosmos, the cosmos can thereafter be restored after the destruction resulting from Ragnarök, thus Dumézil conceives of Víðarr as a spatial god Dumézil substantiates this claim with the text of the Lokasenna, in which Víðarr, trying to mediate the dispute with Loki, ur
Bragi is the skaldic god of poetry in Norse mythology. Bragi is associated with bragr, the Norse word for poetry; the name of the god may have been derived from bragr, or the term bragr may have been formed to describe'what Bragi does'. A connection between the name Bragi and Old English brego'chieftain' has been suggested but is now discounted. A connection between Bragi and the bragarfull'promise cup' is sometimes suggested, as bragafull, an alternate form of the word, might be translated as'Bragi's cup'. See Bragarfull. Snorri Sturluson writes in the Gylfaginning after describing Odin and Baldr: One is called Bragi: he is renowned for wisdom, most of all for fluency of speech and skill with words, he knows most of skaldship, after him skaldship is called bragr, from his name that one is called bragr-man or -woman, who possesses eloquence surpassing others, of women or of men. His wife is Iðunn. In Skáldskaparmál Snorri writes: How should one periphrase Bragi? By calling him husband of Iðunn, first maker of poetry, the long-bearded god, son of Odin.
That Bragi is Odin's son is mentioned only here and in some versions of a list of the sons of Odin. But "wish-son" in stanza 16 of the Lokasenna could mean "Odin's son" and is translated by Hollander as Odin's kin. Bragi's mother is the giantess Gunnlod. If Bragi's mother is Frigg Frigg is somewhat dismissive of Bragi in the Lokasenna in stanza 27 when Frigg complains that if she had a son in Ægir's hall as brave as Baldr Loki would have to fight for his life. In that poem Bragi at first is overruled by Odin. Loki gives a greeting to all gods and goddesses who are in the hall save to Bragi. Bragi generously offers his sword, an arm ring as peace gift but Loki only responds by accusing Bragi of cowardice, of being the most afraid to fight of any of the Æsir and Elves within the hall. Bragi responds that if they were outside the hall, he would have Loki's head, but Loki only repeats the accusation; when Bragi's wife Iðunn attempts to calm Bragi, Loki accuses her of embracing her brother's slayer, a reference to matters that have not survived.
It may be. A passage in the Poetic Edda poem Sigrdrífumál describes runes being graven on the sun, on the ear of one of the sun-horses and on the hoofs of the other, on Sleipnir's teeth, on bear's paw, on eagle's beak, on wolf's claw, on several other things including on Bragi's tongue; the runes are shaved off and the shavings are mixed with mead and sent abroad so that Æsir have some, Elves have some, Vanir have some, Men have some, these being speech runes and birth runes, ale runes, magic runes. The meaning of this is obscure; the first part of Snorri Sturluson's Skáldskaparmál is a dialogue between Ægir and Bragi about the nature of poetry skaldic poetry. Bragi tells the origin of the mead of poetry from the blood of Kvasir and how Odin obtained this mead, he goes on to discuss various poetic metaphors known as kennings. Snorri Sturluson distinguishes the god Bragi from the mortal skald Bragi Boddason, whom he mentions separately; the appearance of Bragi in the Lokasenna indicates that if these two Bragis were the same, they have become separated for that author or that chronology has become muddled and Bragi Boddason has been relocated to mythological time.
Compare the appearance of the Welsh Taliesin in the second branch of the Mabinogi. Legendary chronology sometimes does become muddled. Whether Bragi the god arose as a deified version of Bragi Boddason was much debated in the 19th century by the scholars Eugen Mogk and Sophus Bugge; the debate remains undecided. In the poem Eiríksmál Odin, in Valhalla, hears the coming of the dead Norwegian king Eric Bloodaxe and his host, bids the heroes Sigmund and Sinfjötli rise to greet him. Bragi is mentioned, questioning how Odin knows that it is Eric and why Odin has let such a king die. In the poem Hákonarmál, Hákon the Good is taken to Valhalla by the valkyrie Göndul and Odin sends Hermóðr and Bragi to greet him. In these poems Bragi could be either a dead hero in Valhalla. Attempting to decide is further confused because Hermóðr seems to be sometimes the name of a god and sometimes the name of a hero; that Bragi was the first to speak to Loki in the Lokasenna as Loki attempted to enter the hall might be a parallel.
It might have been useful and customary that a man of great eloquence and versed in poetry should greet those entering a hall. He is depicted in tenth-century court poetry of helping to prepare Valhalla for new arrivals and welcoming the kings who have been slain in battle to the hall of Odin. In the Prose Edda Snorri Sturluson quotes many stanzas attributed to Bragi Boddason the old, a Norwegian court poet who served several Swedish kings, Ragnar Lodbrok, Östen Beli and Björn at Hauge who reigned in the first half of the 9th century; this Bragi was reckoned as the first skaldic poet, was the earliest skaldic poet remembered by name whose verse survived in memory. Snorri quotes passages from Bragi's Ragnarsdrápa, a poem composed in honor of the famous legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrók describing the images on a decorated shield which Ragnar had given to Bragi; the images included Thor's fishing for Jörmungandr, Gefjun's ploughing of Zealand from the soil of Sweden, the attack of Hamdir and Sorli against King Jörmunrekk, the never-ending battle between Hedin and Högni.
Bragi son of Hálfdan the Old is mentioned only in the Skjáldskaparmál. This Bragi is the sixth of the second of