In Germanic paganism, Nerthus is a goddess associated with fertility. Nerthus is attested by first century AD Roman historian Tacitus in his ethnographic work Germania. In Germania, Tacitus records that the remote Suebi tribes were united by their veneration of the goddess at his time of writing and maintained a sacred grove on an island and that a holy cart rests there draped with cloth, which only a priest may touch; the priests feel her presence by the cart, with deep reverence, attend her cart, drawn by heifers. Everywhere the goddess deigns to visit, she is met with celebration and peace. All iron objects are locked away, no one will leave for war; when the goddess has had her fill she is returned to her temple by the priests. Tacitus adds that the goddess, the cart, the cloth are washed by slaves in a secluded lake; the slaves are drowned. The name Nerthus is held to be a Latinized form of Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz, a direct precursor to the Old Norse deity name Njörðr. While scholars have noted numerous parallels between the descriptions of the two figures, Njörðr is attested as a male deity.
Various scholarly theories exist regarding the goddess and her potential traces amongst the Germanic peoples, including that the figure may be identical to the unnamed sister-wife of Njörðr mentioned in two Old Norse sources. Nerthus is identified with the van Njörðr, attested in various 13th century Old Norse works and in numerous Scandinavian place names; the connection between the two is due to the linguistic relationship between Njörðr and the reconstructed Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz, Nerthus being the feminine, Latinized form of what Njörðr would have looked like around the first century. This has led to theories about the relation of the two, including that Njörðr may have once been a hermaphroditic deity or that the name may indicate the otherwise forgotten sister-wife in a divine brother-sister pair like the Vanir deities Freyja and Freyr. While developments in historical linguistics allowed for the identification of Nerthus with Njörðr, various other readings of the name were in currency prior to the acceptance of this identification, most the form Hertha.
This form was proposed as an attempt to mirror the Old Norse goddess name Jörð'earth'. Writing on this topic in 1912, Raymond Wilson Chambers says "strange has been the history of this goddess Nerthus in modern times. Sixteenth century scholars found irresistible the temptation to emend the name of'Mother Earth' into Herthum, which nineteenth century scholars further improved into Hertham, Ertham. For many years this false goddess drove out the rightful deity from the fortieth chapter of the Germania". Up until its superseding, the name Hertha had some influence. For example and Herthasee play major roles in German novelist Theodor Fontane's 1896 novel Effi Briest. In chapter 40 of his Germania, Roman historian Tacitus, discussing the Suebian tribes of Germania, writes that beside the populous Semnones and warlike Langobardi there are seven remoter Suebian tribes; the seven tribes are surrounded by rivers and forests and, according to Tacitus, there is nothing worthy of comment about them as individuals, yet they are distinguished in that they all worship the goddess Nerthus, provides an account of veneration of the goddess among the groups.
The chapter reads as follows: A number of theories have been proposed regarding the figure of Nerthus, including the location of the events described, relations to other known deities and her role amongst the Germanic tribes. A number of scholars have proposed a potential location of Tacitus's account of Nerthus as on the island of Zealand in Denmark; the reasoning behind this notion is the linking of the name Nerthus with the medieval place name Niartharum located on Zealand. Further justification is given in that Lejre, the seat of the ancient kings of Denmark, is located on Zealand. Nerthus is commonly compared to the goddess Gefjon, said to have plowed the island of Zealand from Sweden in the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning and in Lejre wed the legendary Danish king Skjöldr. Chambers notes that the mistaken name Hertha led to the hydronym Herthasee, a lake on the German island of Rügen, which antiquarians proposed as a potential location of the Nerthus site described in Tacitus. However, along with the rejection of the reading Hertha, the location is now no longer considered as a potential site.
Nerthus is identified as a Vanir goddess. Her wagon tour has been likened to several archeological wagon finds and legends of deities parading in wagons. Terry Gunnell and many others have noted various archaeological finds of ritual wagons in Denmark dating from 200 AD and the Bronze Age; such a ceremonial wagon, incapable of making turns, was discovered in the Oseberg ship find. Two of the most famous literary examples occur in the Icelandic family sagas; the Vanir god Freyr is said to ride in a wagon annually through the country accompanied by a priestess to bless the fields, according to a late story titled Hauks þáttr hábrókar in the 14th century Flateyjarbók manuscript. In the same source, King Eric of Sweden is said to consult a god named Lýtir, whose wagon was brought to his hall in order to perform a divination ceremony. Hilda Davidson draws a parallel between these incidents and Tacitus's account of Nerthus, suggesting that in addition a neck-ring-wearing female figure "kneeling as if to drive a chariot" dates from the Bronze Age.
Davidson says that the evidence suggests that similar customs as detailed in Tacitus's account continued to exist during the close of the p
North Germanic peoples
North Germanic peoples, sometimes called Scandinavians, Nordic peoples and in a medieval context Norsemen, are a Germanic ethnolinguistic group of the Nordic countries. They are identified by their cultural similarities, common ancestry and common use of the Proto-Norse language from around 200 AD, a language that around 800 AD became the Old Norse language, which in turn became the North Germanic languages of today; the North Germanic peoples are thought to have emerged as a distinct people in Sweden in the early centuries AD. Several North Germanic tribes are mentioned by classical writers in antiquity, in particular the Swedes, Danes and Gutes. During the subsequent Viking Age, seafaring North Germanic adventurers referred to as Vikings and settled territories throughout Europe and beyond, founding several important political entities and exploring the North Atlantic as far as North America. Ethnic groups that arose from this expansion include the Normans, the Norse-Gaels and the Rus' people.
The North Germanic peoples of the Viking Age went by various names among the cultures they encountered, but are referred to as Norsemen. With the end of the Viking Age in the 11th century, the North Germanic peoples were converted from their native Norse paganism to Christianity, while their tribal societies were centralized into the modern kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden. Modern North Germanic ethnic groups are the Danes, Icelanders and Swedes and the Faroese; these ethnic groups are referred to as Scandinavians, although Icelanders and the Faroese are sometimes excluded from that definition. The modern North Germanic languages have a common word: the word nordbo, used for both ancient and modern North Germanic peoples. In English "Norsemen" is the usual term for the speakers of Old Norse, a North Germanic language, spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th century. In the earlier period, when outside Scandinavia, they are often called Vikings.
Although the early North Germanic peoples had a common identity, it is uncertain if they had a common ethnonym. Their identity was rather expressed through the geographical and linguistic terms The North Lands and The Danish Tongue. In the Old Norse language, the term norrœnir menn, was used correspondingly to the modern English name Norsemen, referring to North Germanic peoples. In the early Medieval period, as today, "Vikings" was a common term for attacking Norsemen in connection with raids and monastic plundering by Norsemen in the British Isles; the word Vikings: Vikinger in Danish and Norwegian Bokmål, Vikingar in Swedish and Norwegian Nynorsk is not used as a word for Norsemen by natives, as "Viking" is the name for a specific occupation or activity, not a demographic group. The Vikings were people partaking in the raid; the Norse were known as Ascomanni by the Germans, Dene by the Anglo-Saxons. The Old Frankish word Nortmann "Northman" was Latinised as Normanni and entered Old French as Normands, whence the name of the Normans and of Normandy, conquered from the Franks by Vikings in the 10th century.
The Gaelic terms Finn-Gall, Dubh-Gall and Gall Goidel were used for the people of Norse descent in Ireland and Scotland, who assimilated into the Gaelic culture. Dubliners called them Ostmen, or East-people, the name Oxmanstown comes from one of their settlements; the Slavs, Muslims and other peoples of the east knew them as the Rus' or Rhōs derived from various uses of rōþs-, i.e. "related to rowing", or from the area of Roslagen in east-central Sweden, where most of the Vikings who visited the Slavic lands originated. After the Rus' established Kievan Rus' and merged with the Slavic population, the North Germanic people in the east become known as Varangians, after the bodyguards of the Byzantine known as the Varangian Guard; the Battle Axe culture emerged in the southern Scandinavia in the early 3rd millennium BC. The Proto-Germanic language is thought to have emerged from this culture through is superimposition upon the earlier megalithic cultures of the area; the Germanic tribal societies of Scandinavia were thereafter stable for thousands of years.
Scandinavia is considered the only area in Europe where the Bronze Age was delayed for a whole region. The period was characterized by the independent development of new technologies, with the peoples of southern Scandinavia developing a culture with its own characteristics, indicating the emergence of a common cultural heritage; when bronze was introduced, its importance was established, leading to the emergence of the Nordic Bronze Age. During the Iron Age the peoples of Scandinavia were engaged in the export of slaves and amber to the Roman Empire, receiving prestige goods in return; this is attested by artifacts of gold and silver that have been found at rich burials from the period. North Germanic tribes, chiefly Swedes, were engaged as middlemen in the slave trade along the Baltic coast between Balts and Slavs and the Roman Empire; the North Germanic tribes at the time were skilled metal and leather workers, which supplemented their trade in iron and amber. In his book Germania, the Roman histor
The Nordwestblock is a hypothetical Northwestern European cultural region that several scholars propose as a prehistoric culture in the present-day Netherlands, northern France, northwestern Germany, in an area bounded by the Somme, Oise and Elbe Rivers extending to the eastern part of what is now England, during the Bronze and Iron Ages from the 3rd to the 1st millennia BCE, up to the onset of historical sources, in the 1st century BCE. The theory was first proposed by two authors working independently: Hans Kuhn and Maurits Gysseling, whose proposal included research indicating that another language may have existed somewhere in between Germanic and Celtic in the Belgian region; the term Nordwestblock itself was coined by Hans Kuhn, who considered the inhabitants of the area neither Germanic nor Celtic and so attributed it to the people a distinct ethnicity or culture up to the Iron Age. Concerning the language spoken by the Iron Age Nordwestblock population, Kuhn speculated on linguistic affinity to the Venetic language, other hypotheses connect the Northwestblock with the Raetic or generic Centum Indo-European.
Gysseling suspected an intermediate Belgian language between Germanic and Celtic, that might have been affiliated to Italic. According to Luc van Durme, a Belgian linguist, toponymic evidence to a former Celtic presence in the Low Countries is nearly utterly absent. Kuhn noted that since Proto-Indo-European, /b/ was rare, since that PIE /b/, via Grimm's law, is the main source of inherited /p/ in words in Germanic languages, the many words with /p/ occurring must have some other language as source. In Celtic, PIE /p/ disappeared and in regularly-inherited words did not reappear in p-Celtic languages except as a result of proto-Celtic *kʷ becoming *p. All that taken together means that any word starting with a /p/ in a Germanic language, not evidently borrowed from either Latin or a p-Celtic language, such as Gaulish, must be a loan from another language. Kuhn ascribes those words to the Nordwestblock language. Linguist Peter Schrijver speculates on the reminiscent lexical and typological features of the region from an unknown substrate whose linguistic influences may have influenced the historical development of the languages of the region.
He assumes the pre-existence of pre-Indo-European languages linked to the archeological Linear Pottery culture and to a family of languages featuring complex verbs, of which the Northwest Caucasian languages might have been the sole survivors. Although assumed to have left traces within all other Indo-European languages as well, its influence would have been strong on Celtic languages originating north of the Alps and on the region including Belgium and the Rhineland, it is uncertain. The Nordwestblock region north of the Rhine is traditionally conceived as belonging to the realms of the Northern Bronze Age, with the Harpstedt Iron Age assumed to represent the Germanic precedents west of the Jastorf culture; the general development converged with the emergence of Germanic within other Northern Bronze Age regions to the east, maybe involving a certain degree of Germanic cultural diffusion. The local continuity of the Dutch areas was not affected by pre-Roman or Celtic immigration. From about the 1st century CE, that region saw the development of the "Weser-Rhine" group of West Germanic dialects which gave rise to Old Frankish from the 4th century.
The issue still remains unresolved and so far no conclusive evidence has been forwarded to support any alternative. Mallory considers the issue a salutary reminder that some anonymous linguistic groups that do not obey the current classification may have survived to the beginning of historical records; the archaeological case for the Nordwestgroup hypothesis makes reference to a time as early as 3000 BCE. The following prehistoric cultures have been attributed to the region and are compatible with but do not prove the Nordwestblock hypothesis; the Bell Beaker culture is thought to originate from the same geographic area, as early stages of the culture derived from early Corded Ware culture elements, with the Netherlands/Rhineland region as the most accepted site of origin. The Bell Beaker culture locally developed into the Bronze Age Barbed Wire Beaker culture. In the 2nd millennium BCE, the region was at the boundary between the Atlantic and Nordic horizons, split up in a northern and a southern region divided by the course of the Rhine.
To the north emerged the Elp culture, featuring an initial tumulus phase showing a close relationship to other Northern European tumulus groups and a subsequent smooth local transformation to the Urnfield culture. The southern region became dominated by the Hilversum culture, which inherited the previous Barbed Wire Beaker cultural ties with Britain. From 800 BCE onward, the area was influenced by the Celtic Hallstatt culture; the current view in the Netherlands holds that subsequent Iron Age innovations did not involve substantial Celtic intrusions but featured a local development from Bronze Age culture. In the final centuries BCE, areas occupied by the Elp culture emerge as the probably-Germanic Harpstedt culture west of the Germanic Jastorf culture, the southern parts become assimilated to the Celtic La Tène culture, as is consistent with Julius Caesar's account of the Rhine forming the boundary between Celtic and Germanic tribe
Heathenry (new religious movement)
Heathenry termed Heathenism, contemporary Germanic Paganism, or Germanic Neopaganism, is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religious studies classify Heathenry as a new religious movement, its practitioners model it on the pre-Christian belief systems adhered to by the Germanic peoples of Iron Age and Early Medieval Europe. To reconstruct these past belief systems, Heathenry uses surviving historical and folkloric evidence as a basis, although approaches to this material vary considerably. Heathenry does not have a unified theology but is polytheistic, centering on a pantheon of deities from pre-Christian Germanic Europe, it adopts cosmological views from these past societies, including an animistic view of the cosmos in which the natural world is imbued with spirits. The religion's deities and spirits are honored in sacrificial rites known as blóts in which food and libations are offered to them; these are accompanied by symbel, the act of ceremonially toasting the gods with an alcoholic beverage.
Some practitioners engage in rituals designed to induce an altered state of consciousness and visions, most notably seiðr and galdr, with the intent of gaining wisdom and advice from the deities. Although many solitary practitioners follow the religion by themselves, members of the Heathen community assemble in small groups known as kindreds or hearths, to perform their rites outdoors or in specially constructed buildings. Heathen ethical systems emphasize honor, personal integrity, loyalty, while beliefs about an afterlife vary and are emphasized. A central division within the Heathen movement concerns the issue of race; some groups adopt a "universalist" perspective which holds that the religion is open to all, irrespective of ethnic or racial identity. Others adopt a racialist attitude—often termed "folkish" within the community—by viewing Heathenry as an ethnic or racial religion with inherent links to a Germanic race that should be reserved explicitly for people of Northern European descent or white people in general.
Some folkish Heathens further combine the religion with explicitly racist, white supremacist, far right-wing perspectives, although these approaches are repudiated by many Heathens. Although the term Heathenry is used to describe the religion as a whole, many groups prefer different designations, influenced by their regional focus and ideological preferences. Heathens focusing on Scandinavian sources sometimes use Vanatrú, or Forn Sed; the religion's origins lie in the 19th- and early 20th-century Romanticist movement which glorified the pre-Christian beliefs of Germanic societies. In this period, organised groups venerating the Germanic gods developed in Austria. In the 1970s, new Heathen groups emerged in Europe and North America, developing into formalized organizations in order to promote their faith. In recent decades, the Heathen movement has been the subject of academic study by scholars active in the field of Pagan studies. Scholarly estimates put the number of Heathens at no more than 20,000 worldwide, with communities of practitioners active in Europe, the Americas, Australasia.
Scholars of religious studies classify Heathenry as a new religious movement, more as a reconstructionist form of modern Paganism. Heathenry has been defined as "a broad contemporary Pagan new religious movement, consciously inspired by the linguistically and ethnically'Germanic' societies of Iron Age and early medieval Europe as they existed prior to Christianization", as a "movement to revive and/or reinterpret for the present day the practices and worldviews of the pre-Christian cultures of northern Europe". Practitioners seek to revive these past belief systems by using surviving historical source materials. Among the historical sources used are Old Norse texts associated with Iceland such as the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, Old English texts such as Beowulf, Middle High German texts such as the Nibelungenlied; some Heathens adopt ideas from the archaeological evidence of pre-Christian Northern Europe and folklore from periods in European history. Among many Heathens, this material is referred to as the "Lore" and studying it is an important part of their religion.
Some textual sources remain problematic as a means of "reconstructing" pre-Christian belief systems, because they were written by Christians and only discuss pre-Christian religion in a fragmentary and biased manner. The anthropologist Jenny Blain characterises Heathenry as "a religion constructed from partial material", while the religious studies scholar Michael Strmiska describes its beliefs as being "riddled with uncertainty and historical confusion", thereby characterising it as a postmodern movement; the ways in which Heathens use this historical and archaeological material differ. Some, for instance, adapt their practices according to "unverified personal gnosis" that they have gained through spiritual experiences. Others adopt concepts from the world's surviving ethnic religions as well as modern polytheistic faiths such as Hinduism and Afro-Americ
The Bructeri were a Germanic tribe in Roman imperial times, located in northwestern Germany, in present-day North Rhine-Westphalia. Their territory included both sides of the upper Lippe rivers. At its greatest extent, their territory stretched between the vicinities of the Rhine in the west and the Teutoburg Forest and Weser river in the east. In late Roman times they moved south to settle upon the east bank of the Rhine facing Cologne, an area known as the kingdom of the Ripuarian Franks; the Bructeri formed an alliance with the Cherusci, the Marsi, the Chatti and the Chauci, under the leadership of Arminius, that defeated the Roman General Varus and annihilated his three legions at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. Six years one of the generals serving under Germanicus, L. Stertinius defeated the Bructeri near the Ems and devastated their lands. Among the booty captured by Stertinius was the eagle standard of Legio XIX, lost at Teutoburg Forest. "The troops were marched to the furthest frontier of the Bructeri, all the country between the rivers Amisia and Luppia was ravaged, not far from the forest of Teutoburgium, where the remains of Varus and his legions were said to lie unburied."The Bructeri in 69-70 participated in the Batavian rebellion.
The best known of the Bructeri was their wise virgin Veleda, the spiritual leader of the Batavi rising, regarded as a goddess. She foretold the success of the Germans against the Roman legions during the Batavian revolt. A Roman Munius Lupercus was murdered on the road; the inhabitants of Cologne, the Ubii, asked for her as an arbiter, "they were not, allowed to approach or address Veleda herself. In order to inspire them with more respect they were prevented from seeing her, she dwelt in a lofty tower, one of her relatives, chosen for the purpose, like the messenger of a divinity, the questions and answers." The Bructeri were sometimes divided into minor divisions. Strabo describes the Lippe river running through the territory of the lesser Bructeri, about 600 stadia from the Rhine. Ptolemy says that the Sicambri occupied the area just to the north of the Rhine. Both authors agree that the greater Bructeri in their time lived between the Ems and the Weser, to the south of a part of the Chauci.
Tacitus on the other hand, states that the Bructeri had been forced from their territory, which he describes as having been north of the Tencteri who were on the Rhine at the time, between Cologne and the Chatti. This was done by the Chamavi and Angrivarii, who neighbored the Bructeri upon their north, along with other neighboring tribes. More than sixty thousand fell in this conflict, which the Romans had been able to observe with satisfaction. Pliny the Younger mentioned in a letter that in his time "a triumphal Statue was decreed by the Senate to Vestricius Spurinna", at the Motion of the Emperor, because he "had brought the King of the Bructeri into his Realm by force of War; the Bructeri disappear from historical records absorbed into the Frankish communities of the early Middle Ages. The final mentions of their name seem to indicate this, that they had moved south from their old position north of the Lippe. In 307-308, after having spent the year before fighting Franks, emperor Constantine fought the Bructeri over the Rhine and built a bridge at Cologne.
In 392 AD, according to a citation by Gregory of Tours, Sulpicius Alexander reported that Arbogast crossed the Rhine to punish the "Franks" for incursions into Gaul. He first devastated the territory of the "Bricteri", near the bank of the Rhine the Chamavi their neighbours. Both tribes did not confront him; the Ampsivarii and the Chatti however were under military leadership of the Frankish princes Marcomer and Sunno and they appeared "on the ridges of distant hills". At this time the Bructeri lived near Cologne. In the Peutinger map, the Bructeri appear as a distinct entity on the opposite side of the Rhine to Cologne and Bonn, the "Burcturi", with Franks to their north, Suevi to their south; this has been interpreted to mean that the Bructeri had moved into the area inhabited by the Tencteri and Usipetes, which had in the time of Caesar been inhabited by the Ubii. In the description of Claudius Ptolemy, the Bructeri and Sicambri are close to their old positions, but with Suevi having inserted themselves upon the Rhine and the Tencteri and Usipetes much further south, near the Black Forest.
This document is however suspected of resulting from confused use of primary sources. Sidonius, in his Poems, VII, lists the Bructeri among the allies who crossed the Rhine into Gaul under Attila in 451, leading to the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields, but it is possible, according for example to E. A. Thompson that Sidonius included names of historical tribes, for effect. By 690 Bructeri were found in Thuringia. Under the Carolingians the name of the Bructeri was still being used for a gau in the region near where they had lived, the so-called Bruk
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the prehistoric people of Eurasia who spoke Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of the Indo-European languages according to linguistic reconstruction. Knowledge of them comes chiefly from that reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics; the Proto-Indo-Europeans lived during the late Neolithic, or the 4th millennium BC. Mainstream scholarship places them in the Pontic–Caspian steppe zone in Eastern Europe; some archaeologists would extend the time depth of PIE to the middle Neolithic or the early Neolithic, suggest alternative location hypotheses. By the early second millennium BC, offshoots of the Proto-Indo-Europeans had reached far and wide across Eurasia, including Anatolia, the Aegean, the north of Europe, the edges of Central Asia, southern Siberia. Using linguistic reconstruction, hypothetical features of the Proto-Indo-European language are deduced. Assuming that these linguistic features reflect culture and environment of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, the following cultural and environmental traits are proposed: pastoralism, including domesticated cattle and dogs agriculture and cereal cultivation, including technology ascribed to late-Neolithic farming communities, e.g. the plow a climate with winter snow transportation by or across water the solid wheel, used for wagons, but not yet chariots with spoked wheels worship of a sky god, *Dyḗus Ph2tḗr, vocative *dyeu ph2ter oral heroic poetry or song lyrics that used stock phrases such as imperishable fame and wine-dark sea a patrilineal kinship-system based on relationships between menThe Proto-Indo-Europeans had domesticated horses – *eḱwos.
The cow played a central role, in mythology as well as in daily life. A man's wealth would have been measured by the number of his animals, *peḱu; as for technology, reconstruction indicates a culture of the late Neolithic bordering on the early Bronze Age, with tools and weapons likely composed of "natural bronze". Silver and gold were known. Sheep were kept for wool, textiles were woven. Burials in barrows or tomb chambers apply to the Kurgan culture, in accordance with the original version of the Kurgan hypothesis, but not to the previous Sredny Stog culture, generally associated with PIE. Important leaders would have been buried with their belongings in kurgans. Many Indo-European societies know a threefold division of priests, a warrior class, a class of peasants or husbandmen. Georges Dumézil has suggested such a division for Proto-Indo-European society. If there was a separate class of warriors, traces of initiation rites in several Indo-European societies suggest that this group would have identified with wolves.
Researchers have made many attempts to identify particular prehistoric cultures with the Proto-Indo-European-speaking peoples, but all such theories remain speculative. Any attempt to identify an actual people with an unattested language depends on a sound reconstruction of that language that allows identification of cultural concepts and environmental factors associated with particular cultures; the scholars of the 19th century who first tackled the question of the Indo-Europeans' original homeland, had only linguistic evidence. They attempted a rough localization by reconstructing the names of plants and animals as well as the culture and technology; the scholarly opinions became divided between a European hypothesis, positing migration from Europe to Asia, an Asian hypothesis, holding that the migration took place in the opposite direction. In the early 20th century, the question became associated with the expansion of a supposed "Aryan race," a fallacy promoted during the expansion of European empires and the rise of "scientific racism."
The question remains contentious within some flavours of ethnic nationalism. A series of major advances occurred in the 1970s due to the convergence of several factors. First, the radiocarbon dating method had become sufficiently inexpensive to be applied on a mass scale. Through dendrochronology, pre-historians could calibrate radiocarbon dates to a much higher degree of accuracy, and before the 1970s, parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia had been off limits to Western scholars, while non-Western archaeologists did not have access to publication in Western peer-reviewed journals. The pioneering work of Marija Gimbutas, assisted by Colin Renfrew, at least addressed this problem by organizing expeditions and arranging for more academic collaboration between Western and non-Western scholars; the Kurgan hypothesis, as of 2017 the most held theory, depends on linguistic and archaeological evidence, but is not universally accepted. It suggests PIE origin in the Pontic-Caspian steppe during the Chalcolithic.
A minority of scholars prefer the Anatolian hypothesis, suggesting an origin in Anatolia d
Norse mythology in popular culture
The Norse mythology, preserved in such ancient Icelandic texts as the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, other lays and sagas, was little known outside Scandinavia until the 19th century. With the widespread publication of Norse myths and legends at this time, references to the Norse gods and heroes spread into European literary culture in Scandinavia and Britain. In the 20th century, references to Norse mythology became common in science fiction and fantasy literature, role-playing games, other cultural products such as Japanese animation. Antiquaries of the 19th century such as George Webbe Dasent brought the mythology of Scandinavia back to the popular notice of many people in Germany and England. Germany and England were Christianized far earlier than the Scandinavian countries and much of their own traditions were lost. In Britain, William Morris composed poetry such as Sigurd the Volsung on Norse legendary subjects as well as translating Icelandic sagas into English. In Germany, Richard Wagner borrowed characters and themes from Norse mythology to compose the four operas that make up Der Ring des Nibelungen, though he utilized medieval German sources and Germanized the names of the Norse gods.
In the Marvel Universe, the Norse Pantheon and related elements play a prominent part Thor, one of the longest-running superheroes for the company and has had a starring role in The Avengers, the movie based on the comic books. Loki is one of the most prominent villains in the Marvel Universe, serving as one of the main antagonists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Odin, Thor and several other beings and places in Norse mythology have recurring roles in Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel series, most notably in the Season of Mists and The Kindly Ones stories. Lucifer, being a Sandman-spinoff, continues this trend, having Sigyn appear briefly. Bergelmir and Naglfar have prominent roles, Fenris is a major antagonist; the American graphic novel Gods of Asgard by Erik Evensen is an adaptation of several of the Norse myths. Gods of Asgard was awarded a Xeric grant in 2007; the comic miniseries Hammer of the Gods by Michael Avon Oeming and Mark Wheatley, from Insight Studios Group, 2001, uses the world of the Norse myths as a setting.
The graphic novel series Norse Myths: A Viking Graphic Novel Series by Louise Simonson, Michael Dahl, Carl Bowen, Eduardo Garcia, Tod Smith adapts several of the Norse myths for early readers. The Danish comic book series Valhalla is based on the Norse myths; the Belgian comic book series Thorgal is based on Norse mythology, but on Atlantean fantasy and science fiction. The Norse Pantheon heroes are the main characters of the Japanese manga and anime Matantei Loki Ragnarok; the manhwa series Ragnarok, by Myung-Jin Lee, is based on Norse mythology and the events of Ragnarok, the prophesied fall of the gods. Vinland Saga takes place in Iceland and 11th-century Europe, which makes many references to Norse mythology In History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, the protagonists fight against a gang organization known as Ragnarok; each of the Eight Fists were nicknamed after a figure in Norse mythology, including Berserker, Loki, Siegfried, Hermit and their leader Odin. Oh! My Goddess! has aspects of Norse mythology.
Heaven's main computer is called Yggdrasil, the goddesses and demons' names are based on Norse gods and goddesses, the Underworld's computer is called Nidhogg. Attack on Titan has prominent themes of Norse mythology, including: Ymir, Castle Utgard, the walls, the Titans, parallels between Norse gods/goddesses and characters, as well as plot lines that seem to mimic events in Norse mythology; the conflict between the Titan shifters and normal humans may be compared to the wars between the Aesir and Vanir. There are other references that are minor as well, such as the can of herring found by Ymir and the giant boar killed in the second OVA of the anime. Sword Art Online has characters and story based on Norse mythology. High School DxD has Norse mythical gods in the light novel and anime. Saint Seiya: Poseidon and the Asgardians has characters and story based on Norse mythology such as Odin, Freyja, Jörmungandr, Sleipnir, Sigurd etc. Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki is a webcomic featuring Yuuki, a boy turned into a Valkyrie by Hermod to stand against Surt and the Giants.
It features many representations of Norse mythological figures in a modern-day setting. Brat-halla is a mythology webcomic about the Norse gods during their elementary school days. All-Father Odin and his wife Frigg have their hands full with youngsters Thor, Balder, Hod and the rest of the Norse pantheon; the Order of the Stick features the Norse pantheon deities, including Thor, Sif and Odin, as the gods of the Northern lands and participants in the creation of the universe. Durkon Thundershield, one of the main characters, is a cleric of Thor. Stand Still. Stay Silent. by Finnish Swede illustrator and cartoonist Minna Sundberg, is a post apocalyptic webcomic with elements from Nordic mythology, set 90 years in the future. In this story and Norway have returned to the embrace of their ancient Gods. Stephanie Edgley of the Skulduggery Pleasant novel series took up the name Valkyrie Cain, based on the creature