In Norse mythology, Heimdallr is a god who possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn, owns the golden-maned horse Gulltoppr, is called the shining god and the whitest of the gods, has gold teeth, is the son of Nine Mothers. Heimdallr is attested as possessing foreknowledge, keen eyesight and hearing, keeps watch for invaders and the onset of Ragnarök while drinking fine mead in his dwelling Himinbjörg, located where the burning rainbow bridge Bifröst meets the sky. Heimdallr is said to be the originator of social classes among humanity and once regained Freyja's treasured possession Brísingamen while doing battle in the shape of a seal with Loki. Heimdallr and Loki are foretold to kill one another during the events of Ragnarök. Heimdallr is additionally referred to as Rig, Hallinskiði, Vindlér or Vindhlér. Heimdallr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional material. Two lines of an otherwise lost poem about the god, survive. Due to the problematic and enigmatic nature of these attestations, scholars have produced various theories about the nature of the god, including his apparent relation to rams, that he may be a personification of or connected to the world tree Yggdrasil, potential Indo-European cognates.
The etymology of the name is obscure. Heimdallr may be connected to one of Freyja's names. Heimdallr and its variants are sometimes modernly anglicized as Heimdall. Heimdallr is attested as having three other names; the name Hallinskiði has resulted in a series of attempts at deciphering it. Gullintanni means'the one with the golden teeth'. Vindlér translates as either'the one protecting against the wind' or'wind-sea'. All three have resulted in numerous theories about the god. A lead spindle whorl bearing an Old Norse Younger Futhark inscription that mentions Heimdallr was discovered in Saltfleetby, England on September 1, 2010; the spindle whorl itself is dated from the year 1000 to 1100 AD. On the inscription, the god Heimdallr is mentioned alongside the god Odin and Þjálfi, a name of one of the god Thor's servants. Regarding the inscription reading, John Hines of Cardiff University comments that there is "quite an essay to be written over the uncertainties of translation and identification here.
In the Poetic Edda, Heimdallr is attested in six poems. Heimdallr is mentioned thrice in Völuspá. In the first stanza of the poem, the undead völva reciting the poem calls out for listeners to be silent and refers to Heimdallr: This stanza has led to various scholarly interpretations; the "holy races" have been considered variously as the gods. The notion of humanity as "Heimdallr's sons" is otherwise unattested and has resulted in various interpretations; some scholars have pointed to the prose introduction to the poem Rígsþula, where Heimdallr is said to have once gone about people, slept between couples, so doled out classes among them. In Völuspá, the völva foresees the events of Ragnarök and the role in which Heimdallr and Gjallarhorn will play at its onset. Due to manuscript differences, translations of the stanza vary: Regarding this stanza, scholar Andy Orchard comments that the name Gjallarhorn may here mean "horn of the river Gjöll" as "Gjöll is the name of one of the rivers of the Underworld, whence much wisdom is held to derive", but notes that in the poem Grímnismál Heimdallr is said to drink fine mead in his heavenly home Himinbjörg.
Earlier in the same poem, the völva mentions a scenario involving the hearing or horn of the god Heimdallr: Scholar Paul Schach comments that the stanzas in this section of Völuspá are "all mysterious and obscure, as it was meant to be". Schach details that "Heimdallar hljóð has aroused much speculation. Snorri seems to have confused this word with gjallarhorn, but there is otherwise no attestation of the use of hljóð in the sense of'horn' in Icelandic. Various scholars have read this as "hearing" rather than "horn". Scholar Carolyne Larrington comments that if "hearing" rather than "horn" is understood to appear in this stanza, the stanza indicates that Heimdallr, like Odin, has left a body part in the well. Larrington says that "Odin exchanged one of his eyes for wisdom from Mimir, guardian of the well, while Heimdall seems to have forfeited his ear."In the poem Grímnismál, tortured and thirsty, tells the young Agnar of a number of mythological locations. The eighth location he mentions is Himinbjörg, where he says that Heimdallr drinks fine mead: Regarding the above stanza, Henry Adams Bellows comments that "in this stanza the two functions of Heimdall—as father of humanity and as warder of the gods—seem both to be mentioned, but the second line in the manuscripts is in bad shape, in the editions it is more or less conjecture".
In the poem Lokasenna, Loki flyts with various gods. At one point during the exchanges, the god
Bragi is the skaldic god of poetry in Norse mythology. Bragi is associated with bragr, the Norse word for poetry; the name of the god may have been derived from bragr, or the term bragr may have been formed to describe'what Bragi does'. A connection between the name Bragi and Old English brego'chieftain' has been suggested but is now discounted. A connection between Bragi and the bragarfull'promise cup' is sometimes suggested, as bragafull, an alternate form of the word, might be translated as'Bragi's cup'. See Bragarfull. Snorri Sturluson writes in the Gylfaginning after describing Odin and Baldr: One is called Bragi: he is renowned for wisdom, most of all for fluency of speech and skill with words, he knows most of skaldship, after him skaldship is called bragr, from his name that one is called bragr-man or -woman, who possesses eloquence surpassing others, of women or of men. His wife is Iðunn. In Skáldskaparmál Snorri writes: How should one periphrase Bragi? By calling him husband of Iðunn, first maker of poetry, the long-bearded god, son of Odin.
That Bragi is Odin's son is mentioned only here and in some versions of a list of the sons of Odin. But "wish-son" in stanza 16 of the Lokasenna could mean "Odin's son" and is translated by Hollander as Odin's kin. Bragi's mother is the giantess Gunnlod. If Bragi's mother is Frigg Frigg is somewhat dismissive of Bragi in the Lokasenna in stanza 27 when Frigg complains that if she had a son in Ægir's hall as brave as Baldr Loki would have to fight for his life. In that poem Bragi at first is overruled by Odin. Loki gives a greeting to all gods and goddesses who are in the hall save to Bragi. Bragi generously offers his sword, an arm ring as peace gift but Loki only responds by accusing Bragi of cowardice, of being the most afraid to fight of any of the Æsir and Elves within the hall. Bragi responds that if they were outside the hall, he would have Loki's head, but Loki only repeats the accusation; when Bragi's wife Iðunn attempts to calm Bragi, Loki accuses her of embracing her brother's slayer, a reference to matters that have not survived.
It may be. A passage in the Poetic Edda poem Sigrdrífumál describes runes being graven on the sun, on the ear of one of the sun-horses and on the hoofs of the other, on Sleipnir's teeth, on bear's paw, on eagle's beak, on wolf's claw, on several other things including on Bragi's tongue; the runes are shaved off and the shavings are mixed with mead and sent abroad so that Æsir have some, Elves have some, Vanir have some, Men have some, these being speech runes and birth runes, ale runes, magic runes. The meaning of this is obscure; the first part of Snorri Sturluson's Skáldskaparmál is a dialogue between Ægir and Bragi about the nature of poetry skaldic poetry. Bragi tells the origin of the mead of poetry from the blood of Kvasir and how Odin obtained this mead, he goes on to discuss various poetic metaphors known as kennings. Snorri Sturluson distinguishes the god Bragi from the mortal skald Bragi Boddason, whom he mentions separately; the appearance of Bragi in the Lokasenna indicates that if these two Bragis were the same, they have become separated for that author or that chronology has become muddled and Bragi Boddason has been relocated to mythological time.
Compare the appearance of the Welsh Taliesin in the second branch of the Mabinogi. Legendary chronology sometimes does become muddled. Whether Bragi the god arose as a deified version of Bragi Boddason was much debated in the 19th century by the scholars Eugen Mogk and Sophus Bugge; the debate remains undecided. In the poem Eiríksmál Odin, in Valhalla, hears the coming of the dead Norwegian king Eric Bloodaxe and his host, bids the heroes Sigmund and Sinfjötli rise to greet him. Bragi is mentioned, questioning how Odin knows that it is Eric and why Odin has let such a king die. In the poem Hákonarmál, Hákon the Good is taken to Valhalla by the valkyrie Göndul and Odin sends Hermóðr and Bragi to greet him. In these poems Bragi could be either a dead hero in Valhalla. Attempting to decide is further confused because Hermóðr seems to be sometimes the name of a god and sometimes the name of a hero; that Bragi was the first to speak to Loki in the Lokasenna as Loki attempted to enter the hall might be a parallel.
It might have been useful and customary that a man of great eloquence and versed in poetry should greet those entering a hall. He is depicted in tenth-century court poetry of helping to prepare Valhalla for new arrivals and welcoming the kings who have been slain in battle to the hall of Odin. In the Prose Edda Snorri Sturluson quotes many stanzas attributed to Bragi Boddason the old, a Norwegian court poet who served several Swedish kings, Ragnar Lodbrok, Östen Beli and Björn at Hauge who reigned in the first half of the 9th century; this Bragi was reckoned as the first skaldic poet, was the earliest skaldic poet remembered by name whose verse survived in memory. Snorri quotes passages from Bragi's Ragnarsdrápa, a poem composed in honor of the famous legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrók describing the images on a decorated shield which Ragnar had given to Bragi; the images included Thor's fishing for Jörmungandr, Gefjun's ploughing of Zealand from the soil of Sweden, the attack of Hamdir and Sorli against King Jörmunrekk, the never-ending battle between Hedin and Högni.
Bragi son of Hálfdan the Old is mentioned only in the Skjáldskaparmál. This Bragi is the sixth of the second of
In Norse mythology, Víðarr is a god among the Æsir associated with vengeance. Víðarr is described as the son of Odin and the jötunn Gríðr, is foretold to avenge his father's death by killing the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarök, a conflict which he is described as surviving. Víðarr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, is interpreted as depicted with Fenrir on the Gosforth Cross. A number of theories surround the figure, including theories around potential ritual silence and a Proto-Indo-European basis. In the Poetic Edda, Víðarr is mentioned in the poems Völuspá, Vafthrúdnismál, Grímnismál, Lokasenna. In stanzas 54 and 55 of the poem Völuspá, a völva tells Odin that his son Víðarr will avenge Odin's death at Ragnarök by stabbing Fenrir in the heart. In stanzas 51 and 53 of Vafthrúdnismál, Vafþrúðnir states that Víðarr and his brother Váli will both live in the "temples of the gods" after Surtr's fire has ceded and that Víðarr will avenge the death of his father Odin by sundering the cold jaws of Fenrir in battle.
In stanza 17 of Grímnismál, during Odin's visions of various dwelling places of the gods, he describes Víðarr's residence: Brushwood grows and high grass in Vidar's land and there the son proclaims on his horse's back that he's keen to avenge his father. According to Lokasenna, Loki rebukes the gods at the start of the poem for not properly welcoming him to the feast at Ægir's hall. In stanza 10, Odin relents to the rules of hospitality, urging Víðarr to stand and pour a drink for the quarrelsome guest. Víðarr does so, Loki toasts the Æsir before beginning his flyting. Víðarr is referenced in the Prose Edda books Gylfaginning and Skáldskaparmál: Víðarr is referenced in the book Gylfaginning in chapters 29, 51, 53. In chapter 29, Víðarr is introduced by the enthroned figure of High as "the silent god" with a thick shoe, that he is nearly as strong as the god Thor, that the gods rely on him in times of immense difficulties. In chapter 51, High foretells that, during Ragnarök, the wolf Fenrir will devour Odin, Víðarr will avenge him by stepping down with one foot on the lower jaw of the monster, grabbing his upper jaw in one hand and tearing his mouth apart, killing him.
Víðarr's "thick shoe" is described as consisting of all the extra leather pieces that people have cut from their own shoes at the toe and heel, collected by the god throughout all time. Therefore, anyone, concerned enough to give assistance to the gods should throw these pieces away. In chapter 54, following Ragnarök and the rebirth of the world, Víðarr along with his brother Váli will have survived both the swelling of the sea and the fiery conflagration unleashed by Surtr unharmed, shall thereafter dwell on the field Iðavöllr, "where the city of Asgard had been". According to Skáldskaparmál, Víðarr was one of the twelve presiding male gods seated in their thrones at a banquet for the visiting Ægir. At a point in dialogue between the skaldic god Bragi and Ægir, Snorri himself begins speaking of the myths in euhemeristic terms and states that the historical equivalent of Víðarr was the Trojan hero Aeneas who survived the Trojan War and went on to achieve "great deeds". In the book, various kennings are given for Víðarr, including again the "silent As", "possessor of the iron shoe", "enemy and slayer of Fenrisulf", "the gods' avenging As", "father's homestead-inhabiting As", "son of Odin", "brother of the Æsir".
In the tale of the god Thor's visit to the hall of the jötunn Geirröd, Gríðr is stated as the mother of "Víðarr the Silent" who assists Thor in his journey. In chapter 33, after returning from Asgard and feasting with the gods, Ægir invites the gods to come to his hall in three months. Fourteen gods make the trip to attend the feast, including Víðarr. In chapter 75, Víðarr's name appears twice in a list of Æsir; the mid-11th century Gosforth Cross, located in Cumbria, has been described as depicting a combination of scenes from the Christian Judgement Day and the pagan Ragnarök. The cross features various figures depicted in Borre style, including a man with a spear facing a monstrous head, one of whose feet is thrust into the beast's forked tongue and on its lower jaw, while a hand is placed against its upper jaw, a scene interpreted as Víðarr fighting Fenrir; the depiction has been theorized as a metaphor for Jesus's defeat of Satan. Theories have been proposed that Víðarr's silence may derive from a ritual silence or other abstentions which accompany acts of vengeance, as for example in Völuspá and Baldrs draumar when Váli, conceived for the sole purpose of avenging Baldr's death, abstains from washing his hands and combing his hair "until he brought Baldr's adversary to the funeral pyre".
Parallels have been drawn between chapter 31 of Tacitus' 1st century CE work Germania where Tacitus describes that members of the Chatti, a Germanic tribe, may not shave or groom before having first slain an enemy. Georges Dumézil theorized that Víðarr represents a cosmic figure from an archetype derived from the Proto-Indo-Europeans. Dumézil stated that he was aligned with both vertical space, due to his placement of his foot on the wolf's lower jaw and his hand on the wolf's upper jaw, horizontal space, due to his wide step and strong shoe, that, by killing the wolf, Víðarr keeps the wolf from destroying the cosmos, the cosmos can thereafter be restored after the destruction resulting from Ragnarök, thus Dumézil conceives of Víðarr as a spatial god Dumézil substantiates this claim with the text of the Lokasenna, in which Víðarr, trying to mediate the dispute with Loki, ur
Skjöldr was among the first legendary Danish kings. He is mentioned in the Prose Edda, in Ynglinga saga, in Chronicon Lethrense, in Sven Aggesen's history, in Arngrímur Jónsson's Latin abstract of the lost Skjöldunga saga and in Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum. Under the name Scyld he appears in the Old English poem Beowulf; the various accounts have little in common. In the Skjöldunga saga and the Ynglinga saga, Odin conquered Northern Europe, he gave Sweden to his son Denmark to his son Skjöldr. Since the kings of Sweden were called Ynglings and those of Denmark Skjöldungs. Scyld Scefing is the legendary ancestor of the Danish royal lineage known as the Scyldings, he is the counterpart of the Skjöldr of Danish and Icelandic sources. He appears in the opening lines of Beowulf, where he is referred to as Scyld Scefing, indicating he is a descendant of Sceafa, Scyld son of Scef, or Scyld of the Sheaf; the Beowulf poet places him in a boat, seen in other stories about Scef as a child in a boat. After relating in general terms the glories of Scyld's reign, the poet describes Scyld's funeral, his body was laid in a ship surrounded by treasures: They decked his body no less bountifullywith offerings than those first ones did who cast him away when he was a child and launched him alone out over the waves.
In Beowulf 33, Scyld's ship is called is īsig "icy." The meaning of this epithet has been discussed many times. Anatoly Liberman gives a full survey of the literature and suggests that the word meant "shining."William of Malmesbury's 12th century Chronicle tells the story of Sceafa as a sleeping child in a boat without oars with a sheaf of corn at his head. Axel Olrik in 1910 suggested a parallel "barley-figure" in Finnish Peko, in turn connected by Fulk with Eddaic Bergelmir. Davidson, Hilda Ellis and Peter Fisher. Saxo Grammaticus: The History of the Danes: Books I-IX. Bury St Edmunds: St Edmundsbury Press. ISBN 0-85991-502-6. First published 1979-1980. Elton, Oliver; the Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus. New York: Norroena Society. Available online Liberman, Anatoly. In Prayer and Laughter. Essays on Medieval Scandinavian and Germanic Mythology and Culture. Paleograph Press. ISBN 9785895260272. Olrik, J. and H. Ræder. Saxo Grammaticus: Gesta Danorum. Available online Salvia, Big Money.
Nightmare Fuel. Available online
In Norse mythology, Gróa is a völva and practitioner of seiðr, the wife of Aurvandil the Bold. Gróa appears in the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, in the context of Thor's battle with the jötunn Hrungnir. After Thor has dispatched Hrungnir with the hammer Mjollnir, Gróa is asked to help magically remove shards of Hrungnir's whetstone which became embedded in Thor's head. While Gróa was about her work, Thor distracted her by telling her of how he had earlier helped Aurvandil cross the river Élivágar, had saved her husband's life by snapping off his frost-bitten toe. Gróa's spell miscarried and the pieces of whetstone remained permanently embedded in Thor's head. Gróa is a völva, summoned from beyond the grave, in the Old Norse poem Grógaldr, by her son Svipdagr. In death she has lost none of her prophetic powers, is able to assist him in a successful conclusion of the task which he has been set by his cruel stepmother, it is possible that this second Gróa is the same as the first one, but the poem is a late 17th-century imitation of the Edda.
In Gesta Danorum, Gro is a woman saved from marrying a giant by King Gram. In Viktor Rydberg's elaborate theories on Norse mythology this Gro, too, is the same. Orchard, Andy. Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-34520-2
In Norse mythology, Hœnir is one of the Æsir. He is mentioned as the one. In Ynglinga saga, along with Mímir, he went to the Vanir as a hostage to seal a truce after the Æsir-Vanir War. There, Hœnir was indecisive and relied on Mímir for all of his decisions, grunting noncommital answers when Mímir was absent. In Völuspá, at the creation of the first human beings and Embla, Hœnir and Lóðurr help Odin. According to the Prose Edda, Hœnir is said to have given reason to man.'In Gylfaginning, Vili and Vé are mentioned instead. As Snorri Sturluson knew Völuspá, it is possible. According to Völuspá, Hœnir was one of the few gods that would survive Ragnarök. Hœnir has a minor role in Haustlöng and Reginsmál. Hoenir crater on Callisto is named after him. MyNDIR Illustrations of Hœnir from manuscripts and early print books. Clicking on the thumbnail will give you the full image and information concerning it
Höðr is a blind god and a son of Odin and Frigg in Norse mythology. Tricked and guided by Loki, he shot the mistletoe arrow, to slay the otherwise invulnerable Baldr. According to the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, the goddess Frigg, Baldr's mother, made everything in existence swear never to harm Baldr, except for the mistletoe, which she found too unimportant to ask; the gods amused themselves by seeing them fail to do any harm. Loki, the mischief-maker, upon finding out about Baldr's one weakness, made a spear from mistletoe, helped Höðr shoot it at Baldr. In reaction to this and the giantess Rindr gave birth to Váli, who grew to adulthood within a day and slew Höðr; the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus recorded an alternative version of this myth in his Gesta Danorum. In this version, the mortal hero Høtherus and the demi-god Balderus compete for the hand of Nanna. Høtherus slays Balderus. In the Gylfaginning part of Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda Höðr is introduced in an ominous way. Höðr is not mentioned again.
All things except the mistletoe have sworn an oath not to harm Baldr, so the Æsir throw missiles at him for sport. The Gylfaginning does not say. In fact it states that Baldr cannot be avenged, at least not immediately, it does seem, that Höðr ends up in Hel one way or another for the last mention of him in Gylfaginning is in the description of the post-Ragnarök world. Snorri's source of this knowledge is Völuspá as quoted below. In the Skáldskaparmál section of the Prose Edda several kennings for Höðr are related. None of those kennings, are found in surviving skaldic poetry. Neither are Snorri's kennings for Váli, which are of interest in this context, it is clear from this that Snorri was familiar with the role of Váli as Höðr's slayer though he does not relate that myth in the Gylfaginning prose. Some scholars have speculated that he found it distasteful since Höðr is innocent in his version of the story. Höðr is referred to several times always in the context of Baldr's death; the following strophes are from Völuspá.
This account seems to fit well with the information in the Prose Edda, but here the role of Baldr's avenging brother is emphasized. Baldr and Höðr are mentioned in Völuspá's description of the world after Ragnarök; the poem Vafþrúðnismál informs us that the gods who survive Ragnarök are Viðarr, Váli, Móði and Magni with no mention of Höðr and Baldr. The myth of Baldr's death is referred to in another Eddic poem, Baldrs draumar. Höðr is not mentioned again by name in the Eddas, he is, referred to in Völuspá in skamma. The name of Höðr occurs several times in skaldic poetry as a part of warrior-kennings, thus Höðr brynju, "Höðr of byrnie", is a warrior and so is Höðr víga, "Höðr of battle". Some scholars have found the fact that the poets should want to compare warriors with Höðr to be incongruous with Snorri's description of him as a blind god, unable to harm anyone without assistance, it is possible that this indicates that some of the poets were familiar with other myths about Höðr than the one related in Gylfaginning - some where Höðr has a more active role.
On the other hand, the names of many gods occur in kennings and the poets might not have been particular in using any god name as a part of a kenning. In Gesta Danorum Hotherus is a human hero of the Swedish royal lines, he is gifted in swimming, archery and music and Nanna, daughter of King Gevarus falls in love with him. But at the same time Balderus, son of Othinus, has caught sight of Nanna bathing and fallen violently in love with her, he resolves to his rival. Out hunting, Hotherus is led astray by a mist and meets wood-maidens who control the fortunes of war, they warn him that Balderus has designs on Nanna but tell him that he shouldn't attack him in battle since he is a demigod. Hotherus asks him for his daughter; the king replies that he would gladly favour him but that Balderus has made a like request and he does not want to incur his wrath. Gevarus tells Hotherus that Balderus is invincible but that he knows of one weapon which can defeat him, a sword kept by Mimingus, the satyr of the woods.
Mimingus has another magical artifact, a bracelet that increases the wealth of its owner. Riding through a region of extraordinary cold in a carriage drawn by reindeer, Hotherus captures the satyr with a clever ruse and forces him to yield his artifacts. Hearing about Hotherus's artifacts, king of Saxony, equips a fleet to attack him. Gevarus tells him where to meet Gelderus in battle; when the battle is joined and his men save their missiles while defending themselves against those of the enemy with a testudo formation. With his missiles exhausted, Gelderus is forced to sue for peace, he becomes his ally. Hotherus gains another ally with his eloquent oratory by helping King Helgo of Hålogaland win a bride. Meanwhile, Balderus enters the country of king Gevarus sues for Nanna. Gevarus tells him to learn Nanna's own mind. Balderus is refused. Nanna tells him that because of the great difference in their nature and stature, since he is a demigod, they are not suitable for marriage; as news of Balderus's efforts reaches Hotherus, he and his allies resolve to attack Balderus.
A great naval battle ensues. Thoro in par