In Germanic mythology, Frija and Frige is a goddess. In nearly all sources, she is described as the wife of the god Odin. In Old High German and Old Norse sources, she is connected with the goddess Fulla; the English weekday name Friday bears her name. Frigg is described as a goddess associated with foresight and wisdom in Norse mythology, the northernmost branch of Germanic mythology and most extensively attested. Frigg is the wife of the major god Odin and dwells in the wetland halls of Fensalir, is famous for her foreknowledge, is associated with the goddesses Fulla, Lofn, Hlín, Gná, is ambiguously associated with the Earth, otherwise personified as an separate entity Jörð; the children of Frigg and Odin include the gleaming god Baldr. Due to the significant thematic overlap, scholars have proposed a particular connection to the goddess Freyja. After Christianization, the mention of Frigg continued to occur in Scandinavian folklore. During modern times, Frigg has appeared in popular culture, has been the subject of art and receives veneration in Germanic Neopaganism.
The theonyms Frigg and Frija are cognate forms—linguistic siblings of the same origin—that descend from a substantivized feminine of Proto-Germanic *frijaz. *frijaz descends from the same source as the feminine Sanskrit noun priyā and the feminine Avestan noun fryā. In the modern period, an -a suffix is sometimes applied to denote femininity, resulting in the form Frigga; this spelling serves the purpose of distancing the goddess from the English word frig. The connection with and possible earlier identification of the goddess Freyja with Frigg in the Proto-Germanic period is a matter of scholarly debate. Like the name of the group of gods to which Freyja belongs, the Vanir, the name Freyja is not attested outside of Scandinavia; this is in contrast to the name of the goddess Frigg, attested as a goddess common among the Germanic peoples, whose name is reconstructed as Proto-Germanic *Frijjō. Evidence does not exist for the existence of a common Germanic goddess from which Old Norse Freyja descends, but scholars have commented that this may be due to the scarcity of surviving sources.
Regarding a Freyja–Frigg common origin hypothesis, scholar Stephan Grundy comments that "the problem of whether Frigg or Freyja may have been a single goddess is a difficult one, made more so by the scantiness of pre-Viking Age references to Germanic goddesses, the diverse quality of the sources. The best that can be done is to survey the arguments for and against their identity, to see how well each can be supported."The English weekday name Friday comes from Old English Frīġedæġ, meaning'day of Frig'. It is cognate with Old High German frîatac. Several place names refer to Frigg in what are now Norway and Sweden, although her name is altogether absent in recorded place names in Denmark; the 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum, Paul the Deacon's 8th-century Historia Langobardorum derived from it, recount a founding myth of the Langobards, a Germanic people who ruled a region of what is now Italy. According to this legend, a "small people" known as the Winnili were ruled by a woman named Gambara who had two sons and Agio.
The Vandals, ruled by Ambri and Assi, came to the Winnili with their army and demanded that they pay them tribute or prepare for war. Ybor and their mother Gambara rejected their demands for tribute. Ambra and Assi asked the god Godan for victory over the Winnili, to which Godan responded: "Whom I shall first see when at sunrise, to them will I give the victory."Meanwhile and Agio called upon Frea, Godan's wife. Frea counseled them that "at sunrise the Winnil should come, that their women, with their hair let down around the face in the likeness of a beard should come with their husbands". At sunrise, Frea woke him. Godan saw the Winnili, including their whiskered women, asked "who are those Long-beards?" Frea responded to Godan, "As you have given them a name, give them the victory". Godan did so, "so that they should defend themselves according to his counsel and obtain the victory". Thenceforth the Winnili were known as the Langobards. A 10th-century manuscript found in what is now Merseburg, features an invocation known as the Second Merseburg Incantation.
The incantation calls upon various continental Germanic gods, including Old High German Frija and a goddess associated with her—Volla, to assist in healing a horse: In the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional material, Frigg is mentioned in the poems Völuspá, Vafþrúðnismál, the prose of Grímnismál, Oddrúnargrátr. Frigg receives three mentions in the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá. In the first mention, the poem recounts. In the poem, when the future death of Odin is foretold, Odin himself is referred to as the "beloved of Frigg" and his future death is referred to as the "second grief of Frigg". Like the reference to Frigg weeping in Fensalir earlier in the poem, the implied "first grief" is a reference to the grief she felt upon the death of her son, Baldr. In the prose introduction to the poem Grímnismál, Frigg plays a prominent role; the prose introduction recounts that two sons of king Hrauðungr and Geirröðr, once sailed out with a trailing line to catch small fish.
However, wind drove them out into the ocean and, d
In Norse mythology, Rán is a goddess and a personification of the sea. Rán and her husband Ægir, a jötunn who personifies the sea, have nine daughters, who personify waves; the goddess is associated with a net, which she uses to capture sea-goers. According to the prose introduction to a poem in the Poetic Edda and in Völsunga saga, Rán once loaned her net to the god Loki. Rán is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Old Norse common noun rán means'plundering' or'theft, robbery'. In turn, scholars view the theonym Rán as meaning, for example,'theft, robbery'. On the etymology of the theonym, scholar Rudolf Simek says, "although the meaning of the name has not been clarified, Rán was understood as being'robber'... and has nothing to do with ráða'rule'. Because Rán is a personification of the sea, skalds employ her name in a variety of kennings to refer to the sea. Examples include Ránar-land, -salr, -vegr, rán-beðr and meaning'the bed of the sea'.
Rán receives mention in poem Sonatorrek composed by Icelandic skald Egill Skallagrímsson in the 10th century. In the poem, Egill laments the death of his son Böðvar. In doing so, he mentions Rán: Rán receives three mentions in the Prose Edda, twice in poetry and once in prose; the first mention occurs in a stanza in Helgakviða Hundingsbana I, when the valkyrie Sigrún assists the ship of the hero Helgi as it encounters ferocious waters: In the notes for her translation, Larrington says that Rán "seeks to catch and drown men in her net" and that "to give someone to the sea-goddess is to drown them."The second instance occurs in a stanza found in Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar. In this stanza, the hero Atli references Rán while flyting with Hrímgerðr, a female jötunn: Finally, in the prose introduction to Reginsmál, Loki visits Rán to borrow her net: sent Loki to get the gold. Translator Henry Adams Bellows notes how this version of the narrative differs from how it appears in other sources, where Loki catches the pike with his own hands.
The Prose Edda sections Skáldskaparmál and Háttatal contain several references to Rán. Section 25 of Skáldskaparmál manners in which poets may refer to the sea, including "husband of Ran" and "land of Ran and of Ægir's daughters", but "father of Ægir's daughters". In the same section, the author cites a fragment of a work by the 11th century Icelandic skald Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, where Rán is referred to as'Gymir's... völva': Standardized Old Norse Ok sem kvað Refr: Fœrir bjǫrn, þar er bára brestr, undinna festa opt í Ægis kjǫpta *ursǫl Gymis vǫlva. Anthony Faulkes translation And as Ref said: Gymir's spray-cold spæ-wife brings the twisted-rope-bear into Ægir's jaws where the wave breaks; the section's author comments that the stanza" that they are all Ægir and Hler and Gymir. The author follows with a quote from another stanza by the skald that references Rán: But sea-crest-Sleipnir, spray-driven, tears his breast, covered with red paint, out of white Ran's mouth. Chapter 33 of Skáldskaparmál discusses why skalds may refer to gold as "Ægir's fire".
The section traces the kenning to a narrative surrounding Ægir, in which the jötunn employs "glowing gold" in the center of his hall to light it "like fire". The section explains that "Ran is the name of Ægir's wife, the names of their nine daughters are as was written above... The Æsir discovered that Ran had a net in which she caught everyone that went to sea... so this is the story of the origin of gold being called fire or light or brightness of Ægir, Ran or Ægir's daughters, from such kennings the practice has now developed of calling gold fire of the sea and of all terms for it, since Ægir and Ran's names are terms for the sea, hence gold is now called fire of lakes or rivers and of all river-names."In the Nafnaþulur section of Skáldskaparmál, Rán appears in a list of goddesses. Rán receives a single mention in Völsunga saga. Like in the prose introduction to the eddic poem Reginsmál, "they sent Loki to obtain the gold, he went to Ran and got her net."In the legendary saga Friðþjófs saga hins frœkna, Friðþjófr and his men find themselves in a violent storm, the protagonist mourns that he will soon rest in Rán's bed: The protagonist decides that as they are to "go to Rán" they would better do so in style with gold on each man.
He divides the gold and talks of her again: According to Rudolf Simek, "... Rán is the ruler of the realm of the dead at the bottom of the sea to which people who have drowned go." Simek says that "while Ægir personifies the sea as a friendly power, Rán embodies the sinister side of the sea, at least in the eyes of the late Viking Age Icelandic seafarers."
In Germanic mythology, Odin is a revered Germanic god. In Norse mythology, from which stems most surviving information about the god, Odin is associated with wisdom, death, the gallows, war, victory, poetry and the runic alphabet, is the husband of the goddess Frigg. In wider Germanic mythology and paganism, the god was known in Old English as Wōden, in Old Saxon as Wōdan, in Old High German as Wuotan or Wōtan, all stemming from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz. Odin is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania through the tribal expansions of the Migration Period and the Viking Age. In the modern period, Odin continued to be acknowledged in the rural folklore of Germanic Europe. References to Odin appear in place names throughout regions inhabited by the ancient Germanic peoples, the day of the week Wednesday bears his name in many Germanic languages, including English. In Old English texts, Odin holds a particular place as a euhemerized ancestral figure among royalty, he is referred to as a founding figure among various other Germanic peoples, such as the Langobards.
Forms of his name appear throughout the Germanic record, though narratives regarding Odin are found in Old Norse works recorded in Iceland around the 13th century. These texts make up the bulk of modern understanding of Norse mythology. In Old Norse texts, Odin is depicted as one-eyed and long-bearded wielding a spear named Gungnir, wearing a cloak and a broad hat, he is accompanied by his animal companions and familiars—the wolves Geri and Freki and the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from all over Midgard—and rides the flying, eight-legged steed Sleipnir across the sky and into the underworld. Odin is the son of Bestla and Borr and has two brothers, Vili and Vé. Odin is attested as having many sons, most famously the gods Thor and Baldr, is known by hundreds of names. In these texts, he seeks greater knowledge, at times in disguise, makes wagers with his wife Frigg over the outcome of exploits, takes part in both the creation of the world by way of slaying the primordial being Ymir and giving the gift of life to the first two humans Ask and Embla.
Odin has a particular association with Yule, mankind's knowledge of both the runes and poetry is attributed to him, giving Odin aspects of the culture hero. In Old Norse texts, female beings associated with the battlefield—the valkyries—are associated with the god and Odin oversees Valhalla, where he receives half of those who die in battle, the einherjar; the other half are chosen by the goddess Freyja for Fólkvangr. Odin consults the disembodied, herb-embalmed head of the wise being Mímir for advice, during the foretold events of Ragnarök, Odin is told to lead the einherjar into battle before being consumed by the monstrous wolf Fenrir. In folklore, Odin appears as a leader of the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession of the dead through the winter sky, he is associated with charms and other forms of magic in Old English and Old Norse texts. Odin is a frequent subject of study in Germanic studies, numerous theories have been put forward regarding his development; some of these focus on Odin's particular relation to other figures.
Other approaches focus on Odin's place in the historical record, a frequent question being whether the figure of Odin derives from Proto-Indo-European religion, or whether he developed in Germanic society. In the modern period, Odin has inspired numerous works of poetry and other forms of media, he is venerated in most forms of the new religious movement Heathenry, together with other gods venerated by the ancient Germanic peoples. The Old Norse theonym Óðinn and its cognates, including Old English Wōden, Old Saxon Wōden, Old High German Wuotan, derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz; the masculine noun *wōđanaz developed from the Proto-Germanic adjective *wōđaz, related to Latin vātēs and Old Irish fáith, both meaning'seer, prophet'. Adjectives stemming from *wōđaz include Gothic woþs'possessed', Old Norse óðr,'mad, furious', Old English wōd'mad'; the adjective *wōđaz was further substantivised, leading to Old Norse óðr'mind, soul, sense', Old English ellen-wōd'zeal', Middle Dutch woet'madness', Old High German wuot'thrill, violent agitation'.
Additionally the Old Norse noun æði'rage, fury' and Old High German wuotī'madness' derive from the feminine noun *wōđīn, from *wōđaz. The weak verb *wōđjanan derived from *wōđaz, gave rise to Old Norse æða'to rage', Old English wēdan'to be mad, furious', Old Saxon wōdian'to rage', Old High German wuoten'to be insane, to rage'. Over 170 names are recorded for Odin; these names are variously descriptive of attributes of the god, refer to myths involving him, or refer to religious practices associated with the god. This multitude of names makes Odin the god with the most names known among the Germanic peoples; the modern English weekday name Wednesday derives from Old English wōdnesdæg. Cognate terms are found in other Germanic languages, such as Middle Low German wōdensdach, Old Norse Óðinsdagr (Danish, Nor
Völuspá is the first and best known poem of the Poetic Edda. It tells the story of the creation of the world and its coming end, related to the audience by a völva addressing Odin, it is one of the most important primary sources for the study of Norse mythology. Henry Adam Bellows proposed a 10th-century dating and authorship by a pagan Icelander with knowledge of Christianity, he assumes the early hearers would have been familiar with the "story" of the poem and not in need of an explanation. The poem is preserved whole in the Codex Regius and Hauksbók manuscripts while parts of it are quoted in the Prose Edda, it consists of 60 fornyrðislag stanzas. Völuspá is found in the Codex Regius manuscript and in Haukr Erlendsson's Hauksbók Codex, many of its stanzas are quoted or paraphrased in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda; the order and number of the stanzas varies in these sources. Some editors and translators have further rearranged the material; the Codex Regius version is taken as a base for editions.
The poem starts with the völva requesting silence from "the sons of Heimdallr" and asking Odin whether he wants her to recite ancient lore. She says, she goes on to relate a creation myth and mentions Ymir. The Æsir established order in the cosmos by finding places for the sun, the moon and the stars, thereby starting the cycle of day and night. A golden age ensued where the Æsir had plenty of gold and constructed temples and made tools, but three mighty giant maidens came from Jötunheimr and the golden age came to an end. The Æsir created the dwarves, of whom Mótsognir and Durinn are the mightiest. At this point ten of the poem's stanzas are over and six stanzas ensue which contain names of dwarves; this section, sometimes called "Dvergatal", is considered an interpolation and sometimes omitted by editors and translators. After the "Dvergatal", the creation of the first man and woman are recounted and Yggdrasil, the world-tree, is described; the seer recalls the burning of Gullveig that led to the first "folk" war, what occurred in the struggle between the Æsir and Vanir.
She recalls the time Freyja was given to the giants, interpreted as a reference to the myth of the giant builder, as told in Gylfaginning 42. The seeress reveals to Odin that she knows some of his own secrets, that he sacrificed an eye in pursuit of knowledge, she tells him how he gave it up in exchange for knowledge. She asks him in several refrains if he would like to hear more. In the Codex Regius version, the seeress goes on to describe the slaying of Baldr and fairest of the gods and the enmity of Loki, of others, she prophesies the destruction of the gods where fire and flood overwhelm heaven and earth as the gods fight their final battles with their enemies. This is the "fate of the gods" - Ragnarök, she describes the summons to battle, the deaths of many of the gods and how Odin, himself, is slain by Fenrir, the great wolf. Thor, the god of thunder and sworn protector of the earth, faces Jörmungandr, the world serpent, wins but Thor is only able to take nine steps afterward before collapsing due to the serpent's venom.
Víðarr kicks his jaw open before stabbing the wolf in the heart with his spear. The god Freyr fights the giant Surtr, who wields a fiery sword that shines brighter than the sun, Freyr falls. A beautiful reborn world will rise from the ashes of death and destruction where Baldr and Höðr will live again in a new world where the earth sprouts abundance without sowing seed; the surviving Æsir reunite with Hœnir and meet together at the field of Iðavöllr, discussing Jörmungandr, great events of the past, the runic alphabet. A final stanza describes the sudden appearance of Nidhogg the dragon, bearing corpses in his wings, before the seeress emerges from her trance. Völuspá is still one of the most discussed poems of the "Poetic Edda" and dates to the 10th century, the century before the Christianization of Iceland. Most scholars agree that there are Christian influences on the text, some pointing out parallels with the Sibylline Prophecies. Bellows stated in 1936 that the author of Völuspá would have had knowledge of Christianity and infused it in his poem.
Bellows dates the poem to the 10th century, a transitional period between paganism and Christianity and both religions would have co-existed before Christianity was declared the official religion on Iceland and the old paganism was tolerated if practiced in private. This allowed the traditions to survive to an extent in Iceland unlike in mainland Scandinavia; some authors have pointed out. Some have suggested that the Dvergatal section and the part where the "Almighty who rules over all" are insertions to the poem. Although some have identified "the Almighty" with Jesus, Bellows thought this was not the case. J. R. R. Tolkien, a philologist familiar with the Völuspá, utilized names from the Dvergatal for the Dwarves in his 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit; the Norwegian band Burzum released a Skaldic metal album titled Umskiptar in 2012, where an old Norse translation of Völuspa provided the lyrics for the entire album. Stanzas from Völuspa are used as battle chants. Bugg
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
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
In early Germanic paganism, *Wulþuz appears to have been an important concept personified as a god, or an epithet of an important god. The term wolþu- "glory" in reference to the god, is attested on the 3rd century Thorsberg chape, there are many placenames in Ullr and a related name, but medieval Icelandic sources have only sparse material on the god Ullr; the medieval Norse word was Latinized as Ollerus. The Icelandic form is Ullur. In the mainland North Germanic languages, the modern form is Ull; the Old English cognate wuldor means "glory" but is not used as a proper name, although it figures in kennings for the Christian God such as wuldres cyning "king of glory", wuldorfæder "glory-father" or wuldor alwealda "glorious all-ruler". The Thorsberg chape bears an Elder Futhark inscription, one of the earliest known altogether, dating to AD 200. Owlþuþewaz / niwajmariz The first element owlþu, for wolþu-, means "glory", "glorious one", Old Norse Ullr, Old English wuldor; the second element, -þewaz, means "slave, servant".
The whole compound is a personal name or title, "servant of the glorious one", "servant/priest of Ullr". Niwajmariz means "well-honored". In Saxo Grammaticus' 12th century work Gesta Danorum, where gods appear euhemerized, Ollerus is described as a cunning wizard with magical means of transportation: When Odin was exiled, Ollerus was chosen to take his place. Ollerus ruled under the name Odin for ten years. Ullr is mentioned in the poem Grímnismál; the English versions shown here are by Thorpe. The name Ýdalir, meaning "yew dales", is not otherwise attested; the yew was an important material in the making of bows, the word ýr, "yew", is used metonymically to refer to bows. It seems that the name Ýdalir is connected with the idea of Ullr as a bow-god. Another strophe in Grímnismál mentions Ullr; the strophe may refer to some sort of religious ceremony. It seems to indicate Ullr as an important god; the last reference to Ullr in the Poetic Edda is found in Atlakviða: Both Atlakviða and Grímnismál are considered to be among the oldest extant Eddic poems.
It may not be a coincidence. Again we seem to find Ullr associated with some sort of ceremony, this time that of swearing an oath by a ring, a practice associated with Thor in sources. In chapter 31 of Gylfaginning in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Ullr is referred to as a son of Sif and as a stepson of Sif's husband. Snorri informs his readers that Ullr can be called bow-god, hunting-god and shield-god. In turn a shield can be called Ullr's ship. Despite these tantalising tidbits Snorri relates no myths about Ullr, it seems that he didn't know any, the god having faded from memory. Snorri's note that a shield can be called Ullr's ship is borne out by surviving skaldic poetry with kennings such as askr Ullar, far Ullar and kjóll Ullar all meaning Ullr's ship and referring to shields. While the origin of this kenning is unknown it could be connected with the identity of Ullr as a ski-god. Early skis, or sleds, might have been reminiscent of shields. A late Icelandic composition, Laufás-Edda, offers the prosaic explanation that Ullr's ship was called Skjöldr, "Shield".
The name of Ullr is common in warrior kennings, where it is used as other god names are. Ullr brands – Ullr of sword – warrior rand-Ullr – shield-Ullr – warrior Ullr almsíma – Ullr of bowstring – warriorThree skaldic poems, Þórsdrápa, Haustlöng and a fragment by Eysteinn Valdason, refer to Thor as Ullr's stepfather, confirming Snorri's information. Ullr's name appears in several important Swedish place names; this indicates that Ullr had at some point a religious importance in Scandinavia, greater than what is apparent from the scant surviving textual references. It is probably significant that the placenames referring to this god are found close to placenames referring to another deity: Njörðr in Sweden and Freyr in Norway; some of the Norwegian placenames have Ullinn. It has been suggested that this is the remnant of a pair of divine twins and further that there may have been a female Ullin, on the model of divine pairs such as Fjörgyn and Fjörgynn. Ullarhváll - name of an old farm in Oslo and of Ullevaal Stadion Ullestad - name of old farm in Voss.
Ullarnes - name of an old farm in Rennesøy. Ullerøy - name of four old farms in Skjeberg, Spind, Sør-Odal and Vestre Moland. Ullern - name of old farms in Hole, Ullensaker, Sør-Odal and Øvre Eiker. Ullinsakr - name of two old farms in Hemsedal and Torpa. Ullinshof - name of three old farms in Nes, Nes and Ullensaker. Ullensvang - name of an old farm in Ullensvang. Ullinsvin - name of an old farm in Vågå. Ullsfjorden - fjord in Troms county. Believed to be named after Ullr, although there is some uncertainty. Ulvik - village and fjord in Hordaland county.(For a possible nickname *Ringir for Ullr see under the na