A heathen hof or Germanic pagan temple was a temple building of Germanic religion. The term hof is taken from Old Norse. Etymologically, the Old Norse word hof is the same as the Afrikaans and German word hof, which meant a hall and came to refer to a court and also to a farm. In medieval Scandinavian sources, it occurs once as a hall, in the Eddic poem Hymiskviða, beginning in the fourteenth century, in the "court" meaning. Otherwise, it occurs only as a word for a temple. Hof occasionally occurs with the meaning "temple" in Old High German. In Scandinavia during the Viking Age, it appears to have displaced older terms for a sacred place, vé, hörgr, lundr and vin in the West Norse linguistic area, namely Norway and Iceland, it is rare in skaldic poetry. Many places in Scandinavia, but in West Norse regions, are named hof or hov, either alone or in combination; these include: Hov on Suðuroy, Faroe Islands Hof in Vestfold, Norway Hof, a village in Iceland Hov, part of Båstad Municipality in Scania, SwedenSome placenames names of farms, combine the word, such as: Several places in Iceland named Hofstaðir, one the site of a hof excavation.
Hofsós, village in Iceland. Norderhov, a former municipality in Norway - dedicated to Njörðr. Torshov, a neighborhood in Oslo and Thorsø, a farm in Torsnes, Norway - dedicated to Thor. There is one in England: the village of Hoff in Cumbria, with an associated Hoff Lund, "temple grove." The nature of Germanic places of worship has long been a subject of scholarly debate. Tacitus famously wrote in Germania:The Germans do not think it in keeping with the divine majesty to confine gods within walls or to portray them in the likeness of any human countenance, their holy places are woods and groves, they apply the names of deities to that hidden presence, seen only by the eye of reverence. There are in fact several sites in the historical period at which heathen rites took place in the open, including Hove in Trøndelag, where offerings were brought to images of the gods on a row of ten posts, but no trace of buildings was found, yet Tacitus himself wrote of an image of Nerthus. And in his Annals he refers to a temple of Tanfana.
Most older scholars considered that a hof would be a dedicated temple: an independent sacred place, built for ritual proceedings, comparable to a Christian church. By extension, it was commonly believed that the hofs had been located on the same sites as the churches that had superseded them; this was the dominant theory until in 1966 the Danish archeologist Olaf Olsen published the results of a comprehensive study of archeological investigations in Iceland and Sweden and of a large number of the oldest Danish churches. He was not able to confirm a single case of a heathen hof underlying a Christian church, concluded in light of this that a hof could not have been an independent building. In reference to the Hofstaðir building in Iceland, he suggested the model of the temple-farm: that rather than being dedicated to religious use, the hofs were dwellings, that the word hof referred to the great farm in a rural settlement, at which the most powerful man held sacrifices and feasts. However, new archeological discoveries in the late 20th century revealed several buildings in various parts of Scandinavia that do appear to have functioned purely as cult sites.
Some of them, for example the hall at Tissø, were associated with the aristocracy, but others, for example Uppåkra in Scania functioned as places of assembly for the local population. The temple found in England, at Yeavering, now appears to be an early example of a hall-associated hof, rather than an anomaly. Gro Steinsland, a historian of Norse paganism, is of the opinion that in effect it was economic resources as much as local tradition that led to the development of dedicated hofs: in the richest areas, actual temples developed, while in poor areas, the spaces that people had were what they used for blót. Chapter 2 of Kjalnesinga saga contains an extended description of Thorgrim Helgason's temple at Hof: He had a large temple built in his hayfield, a hundred feet long and sixty wide. Everybody had to pay a temple fee. Thor was the god most honoured there, it was rounded on the inside, like a vault, there were windows and wall-hangings everywhere. The image of Thor stood with other gods on both sides.
In front of them was an altar made with great skill and covered with iron on the top. On this there was to be a fire which would never go out—they called it sacred fire. On the altar was to lie a great armband, made of silver; the temple godi was to wear it on his arm at all gatherings, everyone was to swear oaths on it whenever a suit was brought. A great copper bowl was to stand on the altar, into it was to go all the blood which came from animals or men given to Thor, they called the sacrificial blood bowl. This blood was to be sprinkled over men and animals, the animals that were given in sacrifice were to be used for feasting when sacrificial banquets were held. Men whom they sacrificed were to be cast into a pool, outside by the door. There is a similar passage in Eyrbyggja saga about Thorolf Mostrarskegg's temple at Hofstaðir, which gives more information about the layout of the hof: There he had a temple built, it was a sizeable building, with a door on the side-wall near the gable; the high-seat pillars were placed insi
Sturlunga saga is a collection of Icelandic sagas by various authors from the 12th and 13th centuries. It deals with the story of the Sturlungs, a powerful family clan during the Age of the Sturlungs period of the Icelandic Commonwealth. Sturlunga saga covers the history of Iceland between 1117 and 1264, it begins with Geirmundar þáttr heljarskinns, the legend of Geirmundr heljarskinn, a regional ruler in late 9th-century Norway, who moves to Iceland to escape the growing power of King Harald Finehair. The more historical sagas commence in 1117 with Þorgils saga ok Hafliða. Other sagas included in the collection are Sturlu saga, Prestssaga Guðmundar Arasonar, Guðmundar saga biskups, Hrafns saga Sveinbjarnarsonar, Þórðar saga kakala, Svínfellinga saga and Íslendinga saga, composed by Sturla Þórðarson, which constitutes half of the compilation and covers the period 1183–1264; the compiler assembled the components in chronological order, added þættir including Geirmundar þáttr and Haukdæla þáttr and genealogies, endeavoured to combine them into a single work replacing the beginning and the ending with a linking passage.
In some cases he broke up sagas to achieve chronological order. Sturlunga saga is the main source of Icelandic history during the 12th and 13th centuries and was written by people who experienced the internal power struggle which ended in Iceland's loss of sovereignty and submission to Norway in 1262–64, it is indispensable for the details of social history which it contains. Indirect evidence suggests that it was compiled by Þórðr Narfason, who may have written Geirmundar þáttr and Haukdæla þáttr and also Sturlu þáttr; the work is preserved in somewhat differing versions in two defective Western Icelandic parchments dating to the second half of the 14th century, the Króksfjarðarbók and the Reykjafjarðarbók, in 17th-century paper manuscripts derived from these. The former contains material from Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar. Peder Erasmus Kristian Kaalund, ed. Sturlunga saga efter Membranen Króksfjarðarbók udfyldt efter Reykjarfjarðarbók. Kongelige Nordiske oldskriftselskab. 2 vols. Copenhagen/Kristiania: Gyldendal, 1906, 1911.
OCLC 812627729 Jón Jóhannesson, Magnús Finnbogason and Kristján Eldjárn, eds. Sturlunga saga. 2 vols. Rejkjavík: Sturlunguútgáfan, 1946. OCLC 8056161 Sturlunga Saga. Tr. Julia H. McGrew. 2 vols. The Library of Scandinavian Literature, The American-Scandinavian Foundation. 9–10. New York: Twayne, 1970–74. ISBN 9780805733655. Stephen Norman Tranter. Sturlunga saga: The rôle of the Creative Compiler. Doctoral dissertation, University of Freiburg, 1985. Europäische Hochschulschriften Reihe I, Deutsche Sprache und Literatur, 941. Frankfurt/New York: Lang, 1987. ISBN 9783820495027. Lois Bragg. "Generational tensions in'Sturlunga saga'". Arkiv för nordisk filologi NS 112 5–35. Guðrún Nordal. "To Dream or Not to Dream: A Question of Method". in: The Fantastic in Old Norse/Icelandic Literature: Sagas and the British Isles. Ed. John McKinnell, David Ashurst and Donata Kick. Durham: Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Durham University, 2006. ISBN 9780955333507. Pp. 304–13. Sturlunga Saga, including the Islendinga Saga of Lawman Sturla Thordson and Other Works Edited with prolegomena, tables and maps by Dr. Gudbrand Vigfusson.
Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1878. Sturlúnga-Saga edr Íslendinga-Saga hin mikla: Volume 1. Volume 2, Part 1. Volume 2, Part 2 Edited with a preface in Icelandic and Danish by Bjarni Þorsteinsson. Published in Copenhagen by Þorsteinn Einarsson Rangel: 1817, 1818 and 1820 respectively. Digitised edition in modernised Icelandic spelling at Rafbókavefurinn Geirmundar þáttr heljarskinns translated into English as The Tale of Geirmund Deathskin Dead link
In Germanic mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, storms, oak trees, the protection of mankind and hallowing and fertility. Besides Old Norse Þórr, extensions of the god occur in Old English as Þunor and in Old High German as Donar. All forms of the deity stem from a Common Germanic *Þunraz. Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the tribal expansions of the Migration Period, to his high popularity during the Viking Age, when, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, emblems of his hammer, Mjölnir, were worn and Norse pagan personal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his popularity. Due to the nature of the Germanic corpus, narratives featuring Thor are only attested in Old Norse, where Thor appears throughout Norse mythology. Norse mythology recorded in Iceland from traditional material stemming from Scandinavia, provides numerous tales featuring the god.
In these sources, Thor bears at least fifteen names, is the husband of the golden-haired goddess Sif, is the lover of the jötunn Járnsaxa, is described as fierce eyed, red haired and red bearded. With Sif, Thor fathered the goddess Þrúðr. By way of Odin, Thor has numerous brothers, including Baldr. Thor has two servants, Þjálfi and Röskva, rides in a cart or chariot pulled by two goats and Tanngnjóstr, is ascribed three dwellings. Thor wields the mountain-crushing hammer, Mjölnir, wears the belt Megingjörð and the iron gloves Járngreipr, owns the staff Gríðarvölr. Thor's exploits, including his relentless slaughter of his foes and fierce battles with the monstrous serpent Jörmungandr—and their foretold mutual deaths during the events of Ragnarök—are recorded throughout sources for Norse mythology. Into the modern period, Thor continued to be acknowledged in rural folklore throughout Germanic-speaking Europe. Thor is referred to in place names, the day of the week Thursday bears his name, names stemming from the pagan period containing his own continue to be used today in Scandinavia.
Thor has inspired numerous works of art and references to Thor appear in modern popular culture. Like other Germanic deities, veneration of Thor is revived in the modern period in Heathenry. Old Norse Þórr, Old English ðunor, Old High German Donar, Old Saxon thunar, Old Frisian thuner are cognates within the Germanic language branch, descending from the Proto-Germanic masculine noun *þunraz'thunder'; the name of the god is the origin of the weekday name Thursday. By employing a practice known as interpretatio germanica during the Roman Empire period, the Germanic peoples adopted the Roman weekly calendar, replaced the names of Roman gods with their own. Latin dies Iovis was converted into Proto-Germanic *Þonares dagaz, from which stems modern English "Thursday" and all other Germanic weekday cognates. Beginning in the Viking Age, personal names containing the theonym Thórr are recorded with great frequency. Prior to the Viking Age, no examples are recorded. Thórr-based names may have flourished during the Viking Age as a defiant response to attempts at Christianization, similar to the wide scale Viking Age practice of wearing Thor's hammer pendants.
The earliest records of the Germanic peoples were recorded by the Romans, in these works Thor is referred to—via a process known as interpretatio romana —as either the Roman god Jupiter or the Greco-Roman god Hercules. The first clear example of this occurs in the Roman historian Tacitus's late first-century work Germania, writing about the religion of the Suebi, he comments that "among the gods Mercury is the one they principally worship, they regard it as a religious duty to offer to him, on fixed days, human as well as other sacrificial victims. Hercules and Mars they appease by animal offerings of the permitted kind" and adds that a portion of the Suebi venerate "Isis". In this instance, Tacitus refers to the god Odin as "Mercury", Thor as "Hercules", the god Týr as "Mars", the identity of the Isis of the Suebi has been debated. In Thor's case, the identification with the god Hercules is at least in part due to similarities between Thor's hammer and Hercules' club. In his Annals, Tacitus again refers to the veneration of "Hercules" by the Germanic peoples.
In Germanic areas occupied by the Roman Empire and votive objects dating from the 2nd and 3rd century AD have been found with Latin inscriptions referring to "Hercules", so in reality, with varying levels of likelihood, refer to Thor by way of interpretatio romana. The first recorded instance of the name of the god appears in the Migration Period, where a piece of jewelry, the Nordendorf fibula, dating from the 7th century AD and found in Bavaria, bears an Elder Futhark inscription that contains the name Þonar, i.e. Donar, the southern Germanic form of the god's name. According to a near-contemporary account, the Christian missionary Saint Boniface felled an oak tree dedicated to "Jove" in the 8th century, the Donar's Oak in the region of Hes
Hestavíg was an entertainment activity during the Viking Age in the Icelandic Commonwealth a sport consisting of a brutal and bloody confrontation between two stallions, egged on by their masters, which served to choose the best specimens for breeding. It was a cultural event of great importance and sometimes behaved verbal and physical confrontations among the spectators; the triumph of a champion or the other, could impact and politically in the pacts and alliances between goði and bóndi, as testified in the Norse sagas. The site where these battles held was a neutral place used to strengthen friendship or treat issues among rivals, it was an opportunity for courtship between young couples. Sometimes rivalries ended in bloody conflicts; some examples appear in the Njáls saga and Víga-Glúms saga. The origin of the activity came from Norway. Sometimes Icelanders exported stallions specially trained for competitions in the continent. Skeið was another activity related to horses, it was a popular race competition from mainland Scandinavia.
Hestavíg is featured in the Icelandic viking film In the Shadow of the Raven
Monarchy of Norway
The Norwegian monarch is the monarchical head of state of Norway, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system. The Norwegian monarchy can trace its line back to the reign of Harald Fairhair and the previous petty kingdoms which were united to form Norway; the present monarch is King Harald V, who has reigned since 17 January 1991, succeeding his father, Olav V. The heir apparent is Crown Prince Haakon; the crown prince undertakes various public ceremonial functions, as does the king's wife, Queen Sonja. The crown prince acts as regent in the king's absence. There are several other members of the Royal Family, including the king's daughter and sister. Since the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden and the subsequent election of a Danish prince as King Haakon VII in 1905, the reigning royal house of Norway has been a branch of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg branch of the House of Oldenburg. Whilst the Constitution of Norway grants important executive powers to the King, these are always exercised by the Council of State in the name of the King.
Formally the King appoints the government according to his own judgement, but parliamentary practice has been in place since 1884. Constitutional practice has replaced the meaning of the word King in most articles of the constitution from the king to the elected government; the powers vested in the monarch are significant, but are treated only as reserve powers and as an important security part of the role of the monarchy. The King does, he ratifies laws and royal resolutions and sends envoys from and to foreign countries and hosts state visits. He has a more tangible influence as the symbol of national unity; the annual New Year's Eve speech is one occasion. The King is Supreme Commander of the Norwegian Armed Forces and Grand Master of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav and of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit; the King has no official role in the Church of Norway, but is required by the Constitution to be a member. The position of King of Norway has been in continuous existence since the unification of Norway in 872.
Although Norway has been a hereditary kingdom throughout that time, there have been several instances of elective succession: most in 1905 Haakon VII was elected by the people of Norway to the position of king through a plebiscite. In recent years members of the Socialist Left party have proposed the abolition of the monarchy during each new session of parliament, though without any likelihood of success; this gives the Norwegian monarchy the unique status of being a popularly elected royal family and receiving regular formal confirmations of support from the Storting. Prior to and in the early phase of the Viking Age Norway was divided into several smaller kingdoms; these are thought to have followed the same tradition as other Germanic monarchies of the time: the king was elected by the high-ranking farmers of the area and served as judge at popular assemblies, as a priest on the occasion of sacrifices and as a military leader in time of war. Harald Fairhair was the first king of Norway; the date of the first formation of a unified Norwegian kingdom is set as 872, when he defeated the last petty kings who resisted him at the Battle of Hafrsfjord.
The boundaries of Fairhair's kingdom were not identical to those of present-day Norway, upon his death the kingship was shared among his sons. Some historians emphasise the actual monarchial control over the country and assert that Olaf II, alias Saint Olaf, who reigned from 1015 to 1028, was the first king to control the entire country. Olaf is held to have been the driving force behind Norway's final conversion to Christianity. Furthermore, he was in 1031 revered as Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae, subsequently the 1163 Succession Law stated that all kings after Olaf II's son, Magnus I, were not independent monarchs, but vassals holding Norway as a fief from Saint Olaf. In the 12th and 13th centuries the Norwegian kingdom was at its cultural peak; the kingdom included Norway, the Faroe Islands, Shetland and other smaller areas in the British Isles. The king had diplomatic relations with most of the European kingdoms and formed alliances with Scotland and Castile, among others. Large castles such as Haakon's Hall and cathedrals, the foremost being Nidaros Cathedral, were built.
In the tradition of Germanic monarchy the king had to be elected by a representative assembly of noblemen. Men eligible for election had to be of royal blood. During the civil war era the unclear succession laws and the practice of power-sharing between several kings gave personal conflicts the potential to become full-blown wars. Over the centuries kings consolidated their power, a strict succession law made Norway a principally hereditary kingdom. In practice the king was elected by the Riksråd in a similar way to Denmark, he adhered to a håndfæstning and governed in the council of Norwegian noblemen according to existing laws. After the death of Haakon VI of Norway in 1380, his son Olav IV of Norway succeeded to the thrones of both Norway and Denmark and was elected King of Sweden. After his death at th
Johan Ludwig Lund
Johan Ludwig Gebhard Lund, Danish painter, was born in Kiel, Duchy of Holstein, to master painter Hans Giewert Lund and his wife Maria Magdalena Christina Bremer. An adherent of romanticism, he is known for his history paintings, he came to Copenhagen to train as an artist, in 1797, at the age of 22, he started his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art with the support of Johan Frederik Clemens, acclaimed royal engraver and influential member of the Academy. He came into contact with the rich and powerful of that time, which had a decided influence on his artistic development, he studied under neoclassicist Nikolaj Abraham Abildgaard at the Academy from 1797–1799, taught drawing during his student years. He received the Academy’s small silver medallion in 1798 and the large silver medallion in 1799, but never competed for the gold medallion, he was friends with Caspar David Friedrich, another student at the Academy and likeminded fellow-romanticist, traveled with him to Dresden, Germany in 1799 to continue his studies at the Dresden Academy.
From there he went on to Paris, where he studied under Jacques-Louis David from 16 September 1800 to April 1802. During this time, he took excursions to Switzerland and Lake Maggiore, he went on to Italy in 1802, first to Florence and to Rome, where he lived from 1802 to 1810. In Florence he was affected by the religious art prior to Raphael’s time, he was part of the expatriate colony of Danish and German artists and scientists in Italy, which included Friederike Brun, Charlotte Humboldt, Georg Zoëga and Bertel Thorvaldsen. Cultured and sociable, he secured himself many important contacts during this time, including those within the Danish royal house. From 1804 to 1807, he received stipends from the Academy, inclusive a travel allowance to support his stay in Italy, between 1804 and 1806. During that time and years during a subsequent stay in Rome, he associated himself with the German painters known as the Nazarenes, a group of romantic painters headed by Johann Friedrich Overbeck and Peter Cornelius.
He studied with them the early Italian style of painting, considered primitive. In 1803 and 1804 he painted a large picture, "Andromache i Afmagt ved Synet af Hectors mishandlede Lig", seized by English pirates in 1807 on its voyage to Denmark, it was during the Napoleonic Wars when Denmark were enemies. This painting is now in the Danish Ambassador’s residence in Rome. A companion piece painted between 1807 and 1811, "Pyrrhus og Andromache ved Hectors Grav", was contributed to the Danish Royal Painting Collection, now the Danish National Gallery, by Baron Schubart, General Consul in Livorno; these paintings helped establish himself as an idealistic and romantic painter, in contrast to rival neoclassicist Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg’s realistic approach to the visual arts. The two artists represented, for many years,opposing viewpoints and cultural ideals in the Danish art scene. In 1809 he began attempts to secure the Academy professorship vacated by his former teacher Abildgaard upon his death in 1806.
He returned to Denmark in 1810 along with Frederikke Brun in order to more pursue the teaching position. He began exhibiting at Charlottenborg in 1812 and exhibited there until 1861; the Academy invited him to apply for membership in 1812. He submitted the painting "Habor og Signe" for consideration, he was accepted into the Academy in 1814. While his Nordic-themed painting received praise, it was not displayed in the large painting gallery. While he received the Academy's endorsement to become member, he did not receive their recommendation to become either royal history painter or professor; the Academy, considering not only Lund’s bid for the position, but that of his rival Eckersberg as well as that of Christian Gotlieb Kratzenstein-Stub, wished to postpone a decision until Eckersberg returned home from his student travels. Lund lost his patience with these delays and traveled back to Rome where he lived from 1816 to 1819, he had now decided to establish himself as an altar painter, as a member of the Nazarenes.
In 1818 with support from Prince Christian Frederik, he was named professor at the Academy along with Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. Kratzenstein-Stub ceased being under consideration upon his death in 1816, he returned to Copenhagen accompanied by Bertel Thorvaldsen in 1819, married Augusta Lorentzen, daughter of the organist, Johan Henrich Lorentzen, his wife, Frederikke Vilhelmine Lintrup, on 24 December 1820. The hiring of the two counterparts to the School of Model Painting brought new vitality to the Academy, but while Eckersberg’s star and realism were on the ascent, he would come to be remembered as the father of the Golden Age of Danish Painting, Lund’s star and romanticism were on the descent. But during his 42 years at the Academy Lund had a strong influence on his many students, he encouraged them to study 17th century Dutch landscape art, which could be seen in Copenhagen. His Romantic approach to art was appreciated by a group of young landscape painters who were younger than Eckersberg’s pupils.
This trend culminated in the large-scale landscapes of the Nationalist Romantic style, His closest students include historical painter Ditlev Blunck, landscape painters Johan Thomas Lundbye, Dankvart Dreyer, P. C. Skovgaard, Vilhelm Ky