In Norse mythology, Mjölnir is the hammer of Thor, the Norse god associated with thunder. Mjölnir is depicted in Norse mythology as one of the most fearsome and powerful weapons in existence, capable of leveling mountains. In its account of Norse mythology, the Prose Edda relates how the hammer's characteristically short handle was due to a mistake during its manufacture. Similar hammers were a common symbol of the god of thunder in other North European mythologies. Old Norse Mjǫllnir /ˈmjɔlːnir/ becomes Mjøllnir /ˈmjœlːnir/ in Old Icelandic by the 13th century; the modern Icelandic form is Mjölnir and Danish Mjølner, Swedish Mjölner. The name is derived from a Proto-Germanic form *meldunjaz, from the Germanic root of *malanan "to grind", yielding an interpretation of "the grinder. Additionally, there is a suggestion that the mythological "thunder weapon" being named after the word for "grindstone" is of considerable, Proto-Indo-European age. In the Old Norse texts, Mjölnir is identified as hamarr "a hammer", a word that in Old Norse and some modern Norwegian dialects can mean "hammer" as well as "stone, cliff" derived from an Indo-European word for "stone, stone tool", h₂éḱmō.
One account regarding the origins of Mjölnir, arguably the most well known, is found in the Skáldskaparmál, the second half of medieval Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda. The story depicts the creation of objects central to Norse mythology. In this story, Loki the trickster finds himself in an mischievous mood and cuts off the gorgeous golden hair of Sif, the wife of Thor. Upon learning of Loki's trickery, Thor threatens to break every bone in his body. Loki pleads with Thor and asks for permission to go down to Svartalfheim, the cavernous home of the dwarves, to see if these master craftspeople could fashion a new head of hair for Sif. Thor sends Loki to Svartalfheim. Upon his arrival, Loki is able to complete his promise to Thor as The Sons Ivaldi forge not only a new head of hair for Sif, but two other marvels: Skidbladnir, the best of all ships, Gungnir, the deadliest of all spears. Having accomplished his task, Loki remains in the caves with the intention of causing mayhem.
He approaches the brothers Brokkr and Sindri and taunts them, saying that he is sure the brothers could never forge three creations equal in caliber to those of the sons of Ivaldi betting his head against their lack of ability. Brokkr and Sindri, being prideful dwarves, accept the wager and begin their creation of three marvels; the first begins with Sindri putting a pig's skin in the forge and telling Brokkr to work the bellows nonstop until his return. Loki, in disguise as a fly and bites Brokkr on the arm to ensure the brothers lose their bet. Brokkr continues to pump the bellows as ordered; when Sindri returns and pulls their creation from the fire, it is revealed to be a living boar with golden hair which they name Gullinbursti. This legendary creature gives off light in the dark and runs better than any horse through water or air. Next, Sindri gives Brokkr the same order. Loki comes again, still in the guise of a fly, bites Brokkr's neck, this time twice as hard to ensure the brothers lose the bet.
Brokkr, continues to work the bellows despite the pain. When Sindri returns they draw out a magnificent ring. From this ring, every ninth night, eight new golden rings of equal weight emerge. Sindri puts iron in the forge and repeats his previous order once more. Loki comes a third time and bites Brokkr on the eyelid harder, the bite being so deep that it draws blood; the blood runs into Brokkr's eyes and forces him to stop working the bellows just long enough to wipe his eyes. This time, when Sindri returns, he takes Mjölnir out of the forge; the handle is shorter than Sindri had planned, the reason for the hammer's iconic imagery as a one handed weapon throughout Thor's religious iconography. The pair are sure of the great worth of their three treasures and they make their way to Asgard to claim the wages due to them. Loki makes it to the halls of the gods just before the dwarves and presents the marvels he has acquired. To Thor he gave the hammer Mjollnir. To Odin, the ring Draupnir and the spear Gungnir.
To Freyr he gives Skidbladnir and Gullinbursti. As grateful as the gods were to receive these gifts they all agreed that Loki still owed his head to the brothers; when the dwarves approach Loki with knives, the cunning god points out that he had promised them his head but not his neck voiding their agreement. Brokkr and Sindri content themselves with returning to their forge. Though most famous for its use as a weapon, Mjolnir played a vital role in Norse religious practices and rituals, its use in formal ceremonies to bless marriages and funerals is described in several episodes within the Prose Edda. Historian and pagan studies scholar Hilda Ellis Davidson summarizes and explains the significance of Mjolnir in these rites marriage, stating: The existence of this rite is assumed in the tale of T
Wayland's Smithy is a Neolithic long barrow and chamber tomb site located near the Uffington White Horse and Uffington Castle, at Ashbury in the English county of Oxfordshire. It is near to The Ridgeway, an ancient road running along the Berkshire Downs. Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building, widespread across Neolithic Europe, Wayland's Smithy belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced in the south-west of Britain, now known as the Severn-Cotswold group. Of these, it is in one of the best surviving conditions; the mound was 185 feet long and 43 feet wide at the south end. Its present appearance is the result of restoration following excavations undertaken by Stuart Piggott and Richard Atkinson in 1962–63, they demonstrated that the site had been built in two different phases, a timber-chambered oval barrow built around 3590 and 3550 BC and a stone-chambered long barrow in around 3460 to 3400 BC.
The Early Neolithic was a revolutionary period of British history. Between 4500 and 3800 BCE, it saw a widespread change in lifestyle as the communities living in the British Isles adopted agriculture as their primary form of subsistence, abandoning the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that had characterised the preceding Mesolithic period; this came about through contact with continental societies, although it is unclear to what extent this can be attributed to an influx of migrants or to indigenous Mesolithic Britons adopting agricultural technologies from the continent. The wooden mortuary house consisted of a paved stone floor with two large posts at either end. A single crouched burial had been placed at one end and the disarticulated remains of a further 14 individuals were scattered in front of it. Analysis of these remains indicated that they had been subjected to excarnation before burial and deposited in four different phases. Postholes at one end have been interpreted as supporting a timber facade.
The whole monument was covered by an earth barrow with material excavated from two flanking ditches and measured around 20m in length. The stone tomb consists of two opposing transept chambers and terminal chamber. At the entrance four large sarsen stones stand, having been returned to their upright locations following the 1962 excavations, it is classified by archaeologists as one of the Severn-Cotswold tombs. The large trapezoidal earth barrow erected over it was revetted with a stone kerb and its material was again excavated from two large flanking ditches. Excavation in 1919 revealed the jumbled remains of one child; the site is important as it illustrates a transition from a timber-chambered barrow to stone-chamber tomb over a period that may have been as short as 50 years. Carbon dating of the burials in the second tomb suggest it was a late use of this style of burial, being similar to West Kennet Long Barrow, in use 200 years before. Wayland's Smithy is one of many prehistoric sites associated with Wayland or Wolund, a Germanic smith-god.
The name was applied to the site by the Saxons who settled in the area some four thousand years after Wayland's Smithy was built. The first documented use of the name was in a Saxon charter of King Eadred. In 1738, Francis Wise recorded a belief held about the site in local folklore. Like several other early commentators, Wise referred to the site not as "Wayland's Smithy", but only as "Wayland Smith". Wise related that: All the account which the country people are able to give of it is'At this place lived an invisible Smith, if a traveller's Horse had lost a Shoe upon the road, he had no more to do than to bring the Horse to this place with a piece of money, leaving both there for some little time, he might come again and find the money gone, but the Horse new shod; the deposition of coins at the site has taken place since at least the 1960s, with visitors lodging the coins into cracks in the site's stones. As of 2015, the local wardens from The National Trust are tasked with removing said deposits, circa 2010 English Heritage removed information about the coin deposition custom from the site's information panel.
The coins removed by the wardens are donated to local charities. As the folklorist Ceri Houlbrook noted, all of this deposited material "contributes to the ritual narrative of a site", being "integral to the contextualisation of a site". Walter Scott's Elizabethan novel Kenilworth features both the stone chambered tomb and a character named'Wayland Smith'. Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series of young-adult novels features a supporting character named Wayland Smith, deals with English lore and legend. Julian Cope included a song called "Wayland's Smithy Has Wings" on his 1992 album The Skellington Chronicles. Author Patricia Kennealy-Morrison has a protagonist named Turk Wayland in her Rennie Stride mystery series, sets a scene at the end of the fourth book, A Hard Slay's Night: Murder at the Royal Albert Hall, at Wayland's Smithy. Rudyard Kipling, in his interlinked collection of stories Puck of Pook's Hill, set many of the stories near the Smithy, told of the arrival of the smith god in the first.
Both the Uffington White Horse and Wayland's Smithy were incorporated into the BBC miniseries The Moon Stallion, produced in 1978. In the serial, set in 1906, the stones are associated with witchcraft; the British music group Radiohead recorded a music video here for their non-album single "Pop Is Dead". Flibbertig
The Loire is the longest river in France and the 171st longest in the world. With a length of 1,012 kilometres, it drains an area of 117,054 km2, or more than a fifth of France's land area, while its average discharge is only half that of the Rhône, it rises in the highlands of the southeastern quarter of the French Massif Central in the Cévennes range at 1,350 m near Mont Gerbier de Jonc. Its main tributaries include the rivers Nièvre and the Erdre on its right bank, the rivers Allier, Indre and the Sèvre Nantaise on the left bank; the Loire gives its name to six departments: Loire, Haute-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire, Saône-et-Loire. The central part of the Loire Valley, located in the Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire regions, was added to the World Heritage Sites list of UNESCO on December 2, 2000. Vineyards and châteaux are found along the banks of the river throughout this section and are a major tourist attraction; the human history of the Loire river valley begins with the Middle Palaeolithic period of 90–40 kya, followed by modern humans, succeeded by the Neolithic period, all of the recent Stone Age in Europe.
Came the Gauls, the historical tribes in the Loire during the Iron Age period 1500 to 500 BC. Gallic rule ended in the valley in 56 BC when Julius Caesar conquered the adjacent provinces for Rome. Christianity was introduced into this valley from the 3rd century AD, as missionaries, converted the pagans. In this period, settlers began producing wines; the Loire Valley has been called the "Garden of France" and is studded with over a thousand châteaux, each with distinct architectural embellishments covering a wide range of variations, from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods. They were created as feudal strongholds, over centuries past, in the strategic divide between southern and northern France; the name "Loire" comes from Latin Liger, itself a transcription of the native Gaulish name of the river. The Gaulish name comes from the Gaulish word liga, which means "silt, deposit, alluvium", a word that gave French lie, as in sur lie, which in turn gave English lees. Liga comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *legʰ-, meaning "to lie, lay" as in the Welsh word Lleyg, which gave many words in English, such as to lie, to lay, law, etc.
Studies of the palaeo-geography of the region suggest that the palaeo-Loire flowed northward and joined the Seine, while the lower Loire found its source upstream of Orléans in the region of Gien, flowing westward along the present course. At a certain point during the long history of uplift in the Paris Basin, the lower, Atlantic Loire captured the "palaeo-Loire" or Loire séquanaise, producing the present river; the former bed of the Loire séquanaise is occupied by the Loing. The Loire Valley has been inhabited since the Middle Palaeolithic period from 40–90 ka. Neanderthal man navigated the river. Modern man inhabited the Loire valley around 30 ka. By around 5000 to 4000 BC, they began clearing forests along the river edges and cultivating the lands and rearing livestock, they built megaliths to worship the dead from around 3500 BC. The Gauls arrived in the valley between 1500 and 500 BC, the Carnutes settled in Cenabum in what is now Orléans and built a bridge over the river. By 600 BC the Loire had become a important trading route between the Celts and the Greeks.
A key transportation route, it served as one of the great "highways" of France for over 2000 years. The Phoenicians and Greeks had used pack horses to transport goods from Lyon to the Loire to get from the Mediterranean basin to the Atlantic coast; the Romans subdued the Gauls in 52 BC and began developing Cenabum, which they named Aurelianis. They began building the city of Caesarodunum, now Tours, from AD 1; the Romans used the Loire as far as Roanne, around 150 km downriver from the source. After AD 16, the Loire river valley became part of the Roman province of Aquitania, with its capital at Avaricum. From the 3rd century, Christianity spread through the river basin, many religious figures began cultivating vineyards along the river banks. In the 5th century, the Roman Empire declined and the Franks and the Alemanni came to the area from the east. Following this there was ongoing conflict between the Franks and the Visigoths. In 408, the Iranian tribe of Alans crossed the Loire and large hordes of them settled along the middle course of the Loire in Gaul under King Sangiban.
Many inhabitants around the present city of Orléans have names bearing witness to the Alan presence – Allaines. In the 9th century, the Vikings began invading the west coast of France, using longships to navigate the Loire. In 853 they attacked and destroyed Tours and its famous abbey destroying Angers in raids of 854 and 872. In 877 Charles the Bald died. After considerable conflict in the region, in 898 Foulques le Roux of Anjou gained power. During the Hundred Years' War from 1337 to 1453, the Loire marked the border between the French and the English, who occupied territory to the north. One-third of the inhabitants died in the epidemic of the Black D
Uley Long Barrow
Uley Long Barrow known locally as Hetty Pegler's Tump, is a Neolithic burial mound, near the village of Uley, England. Although described as a long barrow, the mound is a transepted gallery grave, it was built before 3000 BC. It measures about 37 metres long, 34 metres wide, has a maximum height of 3 metres, it contains a stone-built central passage with another at the end. The earthen mound is surrounded by a dry-stone revetting wall; the barrow was archaeologically excavated in 1821, revealing the remains of fifteen skeletons and a intrusive Roman age burial above the northeast chamber. It was excavated again in 1854; the mound is nicknamed after wife of the 17th-century landowner Henry Pegler. Hester died in 1694, Henry in 1695, it is signposted from the side of the nearby Crawley Hill between Uley and Nympsfield. It is about 1.4 kilometres south of Nympsfield Long Barrow. The barrow was reopened in 2011 after a short closure for essential safety work. List of English Heritage properties Megalithic Portal: Hetty Peglers Tump English Heritage: Hetty Pegler's Tump
Vale of Glamorgan
The Vale of Glamorgan referred to as The Vale, is a county borough in Wales, bordering Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taf. With an economy based on agriculture and chemicals, it is the southernmost unitary authority in Wales. Attractions include Barry Island Pleasure Park, the Barry Tourist Railway, Porthkerry Park, St Donat's Castle, Cosmeston Lakes Country Park and Cosmeston Medieval Village, it is the location of Atlantic College, one of the United World Colleges. The largest town is Barry. Other towns include Llantwit Major and Cowbridge. There are many villages in the county borough. In medieval times, the village of Cosmeston, near what is today Penarth in the south east of the county, grew up around a fortified manor house constructed sometime around the 12th century by the De Costentin family; the De Costentins, who originated on the Cotentin peninsula in northern France, were among the first Norman invaders of Wales in the early 12th century following William the Conqueror's invasion of neighbouring England in 1066.
The village would have consisted of a number of small stone round houses, or crofts, with thatched roofs. Clemenstone, to the west, was the seat of several high sheriffs of Glamorganshire, including John Curre, known have occupied the estate in 1712. William Curre, known to have lived in Clemenstone in 1766, was an occupant of Itton Court in Monmouthshire. In the early 19th century, Lady Sale née Wynch, wife of Sir Robert Sale, spent much of her early life on the Clemenstone Estate. In 1974, the area became part of South Glamorgan, under the Local Government Act 1972, it created several problems in local governance, between the South Glamorgan County Council, Cardiff City Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council owing to their conflicting interests. It was a turbulent time for governance in the city of Cardiff, as for the first time in its history it had to share authority with the county council, larger and better resourced. In April 1996, the Vale of Glamorgan became a county borough of Wales, after forming part of South Glamorgan county.
Located to the west of Cardiff between the M4 motorway and the Severn Estuary, the Vale of Glamorgan covers 33,097 hectares and has 53 km of coastline. The largest centre of population is Barry. Other towns include Dinas Powys, Llantwit Major and Penarth. Much of the population inhabits villages and individual farms; the area is low-lying, with a maximum height of 137.3 metres above sea level at Tair Onen to the east of Cowbridge. The borough borders Cardiff to the north east, Rhondda Cynon Taf to the north, Bridgend to the north west and the Bristol Channel to the south; the yellow-grey cliffs on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast are unique on the Celtic Sea coastline as they are formed of a combination of liassic limestone and carboniferous sandstone/limestone. They were formed 200 million years ago when the whole area lay underneath a warm, equatorial sea at the start of the Jurassic Era, thus today the cliffs contain traces such as ammonites. The stratification of overlapping shale and limestone was caused by a geological upheaval known as the Variscan orogeny, which pushed the cliffs out of the sea, contorting them as they did so.
This stratification can be found on other parts of the Celtic seaboard, such as Bude in Cornwall, across the Bristol Channel. The calcium carbonate in the soil allows crops to be grown which would be difficult elsewhere in Wales or the West Country: most of the West Country has poor quality and acidic Devonian soils); the liassic limestone and carboniferous sandstone are used in the Vale as building materials. As the Glamorgan Heritage Coast faces westwards out to the Atlantic, it bears the brunt of onshore winds: ideal for surfing, but a nuisance for ships sailing up the Bristol Channel to Cardiff; as in North Cornwall and South-West Ireland, the fierce Atlantic gales created ideal conditions for deliberate shipwrecking, which until 100 years ago was common along the coast. Nash Point and Ogmore-by-Sea have some of the highest shipwreck victims on the coast of Wales; the Vale of Glamorgan was determined to be the wealthiest area in Wales in a 2003 survey conducted by Barclays Bank that measured disposable income.
Chemical industries are located to the east of the port of Barry while further inland the main activity is agriculture beef and dairy cattle, with marketing facilities at Cowbridge. The Vale of Glamorgan parliamentary and assembly constituencies sway between Labour control and Conservative Party control in both the National Assembly for Wales and Westminster. There is substantial Labour support in the east of the constituency and in the town of Barry, substantial Conservative support in the agricultural area in the west. Since 2017, there has
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. It is used for such buildings belonging to all faiths where a more specific term such as church, mosque or synagogue is not used in English; these include Hinduism and Jainism among religions with many modern followers, as well as other ancient religions such as Ancient Egyptian religion. The form and function of temples is thus variable, though they are considered by believers to be in some sense the "house" of one or more deities. Offerings of some sort are made to the deity, other rituals enacted, a special group of clergy maintain, operate the temple; the degree to which the whole population of believers can access the building varies significantly. Temples have a main building and a larger precinct, which may contain many other buildings, or may be a dome shaped structure, much like an igloo; the word comes from Ancient Rome, where a templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur.
It has the same root as the word "template", a plan in preparation of the building, marked out on the ground by the augur. Templa became associated with the dwelling places of a god or gods. Despite the specific set of meanings associated with the word, it has now become used to describe a house of worship for any number of religions and is used for time periods prior to the Romans; the temple-building tradition of Mesopotamia derived from the cults of gods and deities in the Mesopotamian religion. It spanned several civilizations; the most common temple architecture of Mesopotamia is the structure of sun-baked bricks called a Ziggurat, having the form of a terraced step pyramid with a flat upper terrace where the shrine or temple stood. Ancient Egyptian temples were meant as places for the deities to reside on earth. Indeed, the term the Egyptians most used to describe the temple building, ḥwt-nṯr, means "mansion of a god". A god's presence in the temple linked the human and divine realms and allowed humans to interact with the god through ritual.
These rituals, it was believed, sustained the god and allowed it to continue to play its proper role in nature. They were therefore a key part of the maintenance of maat, the ideal order of nature and of human society in Egyptian belief. Maintaining maat was the entire purpose of Egyptian religion, thus it was the purpose of a temple as well. Ancient Egyptian temples were of economic significance to Egyptian society; the temples stored and redistributed grain and came to own large portions of the nation's arable land. In addition, many of these Egyptian temples utilized the Tripartite Floor Plan in order to draw visitors to the center room. Though today we call most Greek religious buildings "temples," the ancient Greeks would have referred to a temenos, or sacred precinct, its sacredness connected with a holy grove, was more important than the building itself, as it contained the open air altar on which the sacrifices were made. The building which housed the cult statue in its naos was a rather simple structure, but by the middle of the 6th century BCE had become elaborate.
Greek temple architecture had a profound influence on ancient architectural traditions. The rituals that located and sited Roman temples were performed by an augur through the observation of the flight of birds or other natural phenomenon. Roman temples faced east or toward the rising sun, but the specifics of the orientation are not known today. In ancient Rome only the native deities of Roman mythology had a templum; the Romans referred to a holy place of a pagan religion as fanum. Medieval Latin writers sometimes used the word templum reserved for temples of the ancient Roman religion. In some cases it is hard to determine whether a temple was an outdoor shrine. For temple buildings of the Vikings, the Old Norse term hof is used. A Zoroastrian temple may be called a Dar-e-mehr and a Atashkadeh. A fire temple in Zoroastrianism is the place of worship for Zoroastrians. Zoroastrians revere fire in any form, their temples contains an eternal flame, with Atash Behram as the highest grade of all, as it combines 16 different types of fire gathered in elaborate rituals.
In the Zoroastrian religion, together with clean water, are agents of ritual purity. Clean, white "ash for the purification ceremonies is regarded as the basis of ritual life," which, "are the rites proper to the tending of a domestic fire, for the temple fire is that of the hearth fire raised to a new solemnity". Hindu temples are known by many different names, varying on region and language, including Alayam, Mandira, Gudi, Koil, Kovil, Déul, Devasthana, Deva Mandiraya and Devalaya. A Hindu temple is the seat and dwelling of Hindu gods, it is a structure designed to bring human gods together according to Hindu faith. Inside its Garbhagriha innermost sanctum, a Hindu temple contains a Hindu god's image. Hindu temples are magnificent with a rich history. There is evidence of use of sacred ground as far back as the Bronze Age and during the Indus Valley Civilization. Outside of the Indian subcontinent (India