The cosmos in Norse mythology consists of Nine Worlds that flank a central cosmological tree, Yggdrasil. Units of time and elements of the cosmology are personified as deities or beings, various forms of a creation myth are recounted, where the world is created from the flesh of the primordial being Ymir, and the first two humans are Ask and Embla. These worlds are foretold to be reborn after the events of Ragnarök, there the surviving gods will meet, and the land will be fertile and green, and two humans will repopulate the world. Norse mythology has been the subject of scholarly discourse since the 17th century, by way of comparative mythology and historical linguistics, scholars have identified elements of Germanic mythology reaching as far back as Proto-Indo-European mythology. In the modern period, the Romanticist Viking revival re-awoke an interest in the subject matter, the myths have further been revived in a religious context among adherents of Germanic Neopaganism. The majority of these Old Norse texts were created in Iceland and this occurred primarily in the 13th century.
The Prose Edda was composed as a manual for producing skaldic poetry—traditional Old Norse poetry composed by skalds. Originally composed and transmitted orally, skaldic poetry utilizes alliterative verse, 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 almost entirely of poems, with some prose narrative added, in comparison to skaldic poetry, Eddic poetry is relatively unadorned. 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. By way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, comparisons to other attested branches of Germanic mythology may lend insight, wider comparisons to the mythology of other Indo-European peoples by scholars has resulted in the potential reconstruction of far earlier myths.
Of the mythical tales and poems that are presumed to have existed during the Middle Ages, Viking Age, Migration Period, numerous gods are mentioned in the source texts. In the mythology, Thor lays waste to numerous jötnar who are foes to the gods or humanity, the god Odin is frequently mentioned in surviving texts. One-eyed and raven-flanked, and spear in hand, Odin pursues knowledge throughout the worlds, Odin has a strong association with death, Odin is portrayed as the ruler of Valhalla, where valkyries carry half of those slain in battle. Odins wife is the powerful goddess Frigg who can see the future but tells no one, and together they have a beloved son, Baldr. After a series of dreams had by Baldr of his death, his death is engineered by Loki, and Baldr thereafter resides in Hel. Odin must share half of his share of the dead with a powerful goddess and she is beautiful, wears a feathered cloak, and practices seiðr. She rides to battle to choose among the slain, and brings her chosen to her afterlife field Fólkvangr, Freyja weeps for her missing husband Óðr, and seeks after him in far away lands
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker at the Icelandic parliament, the Althing and he was the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is often taken to be the author of Egils saga, as a historian and mythographer, Snorri is remarkable for proposing the hypothesis that mythological gods begin as human war leaders and kings whose funeral sites develop cults. As people call upon the war leader as they go to battle, or the dead king as they face tribal hardship. Eventually, the king or warrior is remembered only as a god and he proposed that as tribes defeat others, they explain their victory by proposing that their own gods were in battle with the gods of the others. Snorri Sturluson was born in Hvammur into the wealthy and powerful Sturlungar family of the Icelandic Commonwealth and his parents were Sturla Þórðarson the elder of Hvammur and his second wife, Guðný Böðvarsdóttir.
He had two brothers, Þórðr Sturluson and Sighvatr Sturluson, two sisters and nine half-siblings. By a quirk of circumstance Snorri was raised from the age of three by Jón Loftsson, a relative of the Norwegian royal family, in Oddi, Iceland. The resulting settlement would have beggared Páll, but Jón Loftsson intervened in the Althing to mitigate the judgment and, to compensate Sturla, offered to raise, Snorri therefore received an excellent education and made connections that he might not otherwise have made. He attended the school of Sæmundr fróði, grandfather of Jón Loftsson, at Oddi and his father died in 1183 and his mother as guardian soon wasted Snorris share of the inheritance. The two families arranged an marriage in 1199 between Snorri and Herdís, the daughter of Bersi Vermundarson. From her father, Snorri inherited an estate at Borg and a chieftainship and he soon acquired more property and chieftainships. Snorri and Herdís were together for four years at Borg and they had at least two children, Hallbera and Jón.
The marriage succumbed to Snorris philandering, and in 1206, he settled in Reykholt as manager of an estate there and he made significant improvements to the estate, including a hot outdoor bath. The bath and the buildings have preserved to some extent. During the initial years at Reykholt he fathered five children by three different women, Guðrún Hreinsdóttir, Oddný, and Þuríður Hallsdóttir, Snorri quickly became known as a poet, but was a successful lawyer. In 1215, he became lawspeaker of the Althing, the public office of the Icelandic commonwealth. In the summer of 1218, he left the position and sailed to Norway
Zealand is the largest and most populated island in Denmark with a population of 2,267,659. It is the 96th-largest island in the world by area and the 35th most populous and it is connected to Funen by the Great Belt Fixed Link, to Lolland, Falster by the Storstrøm Bridge and the Farø Bridges. Zealand is linked to Amager by five bridges, Zealand is linked indirectly, through intervening islands by a series of bridges and tunnels, to southern Sweden. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is located partly on the shore of Zealand. Other cities on Zealand include Roskilde, Hillerød, Næstved and Helsingør, the island is not connected historically to the Pacific nation of New Zealand, which is named after the Dutch province of Zeeland. In Norse mythology as told in the story of Gylfaginning, the island was created by the goddess Gefjun after she tricked Gylfi and she removed a piece of land and transported it to Denmark, which became Zealand. The vacant area was filled with water and became Mälaren, since modern maps show a similarity between Zealand and the Swedish lake Vänern, it is sometimes identified as the hole left by Gefjun.
Zealand is the most populous Danish island and it is irregularly shaped, and is north of the islands of Lolland, and Møn. The small island of Amager lies immediately east, Copenhagen is mostly on Zealand but extends across northern Amager. A number of bridges and the Copenhagen Metro connect Zealand to Amager, Zealand is joined in the west to Funen, by the Great Belt Fixed Link, and Funen is connected by bridges to the countrys mainland, Jutland. Gyldenløveshøj, south of the city Roskilde, has a height of 126 metres, Zealand gives its name to the Selandian era of the Paleocene. Urban areas with 10, 000+ inhabitants, North Zealand Media related to Zealand at Wikimedia Commons Zealand travel guide from Wikivoyage
The Prose Edda, known as the Younger Edda, Snorris Edda or, simply as Edda, is an Old Norse work of literature written in Iceland in the early 13th century. The work is assumed to have been written, or at least compiled, by the Icelandic scholar. It begins with a euhemerized Prologue, a section on the Norse cosmogony and this is followed by three distinct books, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál and Háttatal. Seven manuscripts, dating from around 1300 to around 1600, have independent textual value, Sturluson planned the collection as a textbook. It was to enable Icelandic poets and readers to understand the subtleties of alliterative verse, at that time, versions of the Edda were well known in Iceland, but scholars speculated that there once was an Elder Edda which contained the poems which Snorri quotes in his Edda. The etymology of Edda remains uncertain, there are many hypotheses, and little agreement. Some argue that the word derives from the name of Oddi, Edda could therefore mean book of Oddi.
However, this assumption is generally rejected, Faulkes in his English translation of the Prose Edda commented that this is unlikely, both in terms of linguistics and history since Snorri was no longer living at Oddi when he composed his work. Another connection was made with the word óðr, which means poetry or inspiration in Old Norse, Edda means great-parent, a word used by Snorri himself in the Skáldskaparmál. That is, with the meaning, the name of a character in the Rigsthula. A final hypothesis is derived from the Latin edo, meaning I write and it relies on the fact that the word kredda is certified and comes from the Latin credo, I believe. It seems likely Snorri would have been able to invent the word, Edda in this case could be translated as Poetic Art. This is the meaning that the word was given in the Middle Ages. The name Sæmundar Edda was given by the Bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson to the collection of poems contained in the Codex Regius, many of which are quoted by Snorri. Brynjólfur, along many others of his time incorrectly believed that they were collected by Sæmundr fróði.
Seven manuscripts of the Edda have survived, six compositions of the Middle Ages, no one manuscript is complete, and each has variations. In addition to three fragments, the four manuscripts are Codex Regius, Codex Wormianus, Codex Trajectinus. Codex Upsaliensis, was composed in the first quarter of the century and is the oldest manuscript preserved of the Edda of Snorri
Tyrfing, Tirfing or Tyrving was a magic sword in Norse mythology, which figures in the Tyrfing Cycle, which includes a poem from the Poetic Edda called Hervararkviða, and the Hervarar saga. The name is used in the saga to denote the Goths. The form Tervingi was actually recorded by Roman sources in the 4th century, Svafrlami was the king of Gardariki, and Odins grandson. He managed to trap the dwarves Dvalinn and Durin when they had left the rock where they dwelt. Then he forced them to forge a sword with a golden hilt that would never miss a stroke, would never rust and would cut through stone, the dwarves made the sword, and it shone and gleamed like fire. However, in revenge they cursed it so that it would kill a man every time it was drawn and they finally cursed it so that it would kill Svafrlami himself. When Svafrlami heard the curses he tried to slay Dvalin, but the dwarf disappeared into the rock, Svafrlami was killed by the berserker Arngrim who took the sword in his turn. After Arngrim, it was worn by Angantyr and his eleven brothers, angantyrs daughter, Hervor is brought up as a bond-maid, in ignorance of her parentage.
When at last she learns it, she arms herself as a shieldmaiden and she finds it and marries King Gudmunds son Höfund. They have two sons and Angantyr, Hervor secretly gave her son the sword Tyrfing. While Angantyr and Heidrek walked, Heidrek wanted to have a look at the sword, since he had unsheathed it, the curse the dwarves had put on the sword made Heidrek kill his brother Angantyr. This was the second of Tyrfings three evil deeds, Heidrek became king of the Goths. During a voyage, Heidrek camped at the Carpathians and he was accompanied by eight mounted thralls, and when Heidrek slept at night, the thralls broke into his tent and took Tyrfing and slew Heidrek. This was the last one of Tyrfings three evil deeds, heidreks son, named Angantyr and killed the thralls, and reclaimed the magic sword, and the curse had ceased. Angantyr was the king of the Goths, but his illegitimate half-Hun brother Hlod wanted half of the kingdom. Angantýr refused, and Gizur called Hlod a bastard and his mother a slave-girl, Hlod and 343,200 mounted Huns invade the Goths.
The Huns greatly outnumber the Goths, the Goths won because Angantyr used Tyrfing. He killed his brother Hlod on the battleground, the bodies of the numerous warriors choke the rivers, causing a flood which filled the valleys with dead men and horses
Ynglinga saga is a legendary saga, originally written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson about 1225. It is the first section of his Heimskringla and it was first translated into English and published in 1844 by Samuel Laing. Snorri Sturluson based his work on an earlier Ynglingatal which is attributed to the Norwegian 9th century skald Þjóðólfr of Hvinir, and it tells the most ancient part of the story of the House of Ynglings. Snorri described the descent of the kings of Norway from this house of Sweden. Ynglinga saga is the first part of Snorris history of the ancient Norse kings, Snorris work covers the history of the Norwegian kings from the mythical prehistoric age until the year 1177, with the death of the pretender Eystein Meyla. Interwoven in this narrative are a number of references to important historical events, the saga deals with the arrival of the Norse gods to Scandinavia and how Freyr founded the Swedish Yngling dynasty at Uppsala. Then the saga follows the line of Swedish kings until Ingjald, after which the descendants settled in Norway, the river divides Sweden the Great, a concession to the Viking point of view.
It is never called that prior to the Vikings, the river lands are occupied by the Vanir and are called Vanaland or Vanaheim. It is unclear what people Snorri thinks the Vanes are, whether the proto-Slavic Venedi or the east Germanic Vandals and he does not say, the Germanic names of the characters, such as Njord and Vanlandi, indicate he had the Vandals in mind. Odin is the chief of Ásgarðr, from there he conducts and dispatches military expeditions to all parts of the world. He has the virtue of never losing a battle, when he is away, his two brothers, Vili and Vé, rule Ásaland from Ásgarðr. On the border of Sweden is a range running from northeast to southwest. South of it are the lands of the Turks, where Odin had possessions, thus, on the north are the uninhabitable fells, which must be the tundra/taiga country. Apparently the Vikings did not encounter the Urals or the Uralics of the region, Snorri evidences no knowledge of them. There is no mention of Troy, which was not far from Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine empire and militarily beyond the reach of the Vikings.
Troy cannot have been Asagarth, Snorri realizes, the reason being that the Æsir in Ásaland were unsettled by the activities of the Romans. As a result, Odin led a section of the Æsir to the looking for new lands in which to settle. They used the Viking route up the Don and the Volga through Garðaríki, from there they went to Saxland and to the lands of Gylfi in Scandinavia
The term Danish Realm refers to the relationship between Denmark proper, the Faroe Islands and Greenland—three countries constituting the Kingdom of Denmark. The legal nature of the Kingdom of Denmark is fundamentally one of a sovereign state. The Faroe Islands and Greenland have been part of the Crown of Denmark since 1397 when the Kalmar Union was ratified, legal matters in The Danish Realm are subject to the Danish Constitution. Beginning in 1953, state law issues within The Danish Realm has been governed by The Unity of the Realm, a less formal name for The Unity of the Realm is the Commonwealth of the Realm. In 1978, The Unity of The Realm was for the first time referred to as rigsfællesskabet. The name caught on and since the 1990s, both The Unity of The Realm and The Danish Realm itself has increasingly been referred to as simply rigsfællesskabet in daily parlance. The Danish Constitution stipulates that the foreign and security interests for all parts of the Danish Realm are the responsibility of the Danish government, the Faroes received home rule in 1948 and Greenland did so in 1979.
In 2005, the Faroes received a self-government arrangement, and in 2009 Greenland received self rule, the Danish Realms unique state of internal affairs is acted out in the principle of The Unity of the Realm. This principle is derived from Article 1 of the Danish Constitution which specifies that constitutional law applies equally to all areas of the Danish Realm, the Constitutional Act specifies that sovereignty is to continue to be exclusively with the authorities of the Realm. The language of Denmark is Danish, and the Danish state authorities are based in Denmark, the Kingdom of Denmarks parliament, with its 179 members, is located in the capital, Copenhagen. Two of the members are elected in each of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Government ministries are located in Copenhagen, as is the highest court, in principle, the Danish Realm constitutes a unified sovereign state, with equal status between its constituent parts. Devolution differs from federalism in that the powers of the subnational authority ultimately reside in central government.
The Self-Government Arrangements devolves political competence and responsibility from the Danish political authorities to the Faroese, the Faroese and Greenlandic authorities administer the tasks taken over from the state, enact legislation in these specific fields and have the economic responsibility for solving these tasks. The Danish government provides a grant to the Faroese and the Greenlandic authorities to cover the costs of these devolved areas. The 1948 Home Rule Act of the Faroe Islands sets out the terms of Faroese home rule, the Act states. the Faroe Islands shall constitute a self-governing community within the State of Denmark. It establishes the government of the Faroe Islands and the Faroese parliament. The Faroe Islands were previously administered as a Danish county, the Home Rule Act abolished the post of Amtmand and these powers were expanded in a 2005 Act, which named the Faroese home government as an equal partner with the Danish government
In Norse mythology, the Vanir are a group of gods associated with fertility, nature and the ability to see the future. The Vanir are one of two groups of gods and are the namesake of the location Vanaheimr, after the Æsir–Vanir War, the Vanir became a subgroup of the Æsir. Subsequently, members of the Vanir are sometimes referred to as members of the Æsir. The Vanir are only attested in these Old Norse sources, Vanir is sometimes anglicized to Wanes. All sources describe the deities Njörðr, Freyr and Freyja as members of the Vanir, a euhemerized prose account in Heimskringla adds that Njörðrs sister—whose name is not provided—and Kvasir were Vanir. In addition, Heimskringla reports a tale involving king Sveigðirs visit to Vanaheimr, where he meets a woman by the name of Vana, while not attested as Vanir, the gods Heimdallr and Ullr have been theorized as potential members of the group. In the Prose Edda, a name listed for boars is Van-child and they have speculated whether the Vanir originally represented pre-Indo-European deities or Indo-European fertility gods, and have theorized a form of the gods as venerated by the pagan Anglo-Saxons.
Numerous theories have proposed for the etymology of Vanir. Page says that, while there are no shortages of etymologies for the word, it is tempting to link the word with Old Norse vinr and Latin Venus, goddess of physical love. In the Poetic Edda, the Vanir, as a group, are referenced in the poems Völuspá, Vafþrúðnismál, Skírnismál, Þrymskviða. In Vafþrúðnismál, Gagnráðr engages in a game of wits with the jötunn Vafþrúðnir, Gagnráðr asks Vafþrúðnir where the Van god Njörðr came from, for though he rules over many hofs and hörgrs, Njörðr was not raised among the Æsir. Vafþrúðnir responds that Njörðr was created in Vanaheimr by wise powers and details that during the Æsir–Vanir War, in addition, when the world ends, Njörðr will return to the wise Vanir. Alvíssmál consists of question and answer exchanges between the dwarf Alvíss and the god Thor, in the poem, Alvíss supplies terms that various groups, including the Vanir, use to refer to various subjects. Alvíss attributes nine terms to the Vanir, one for Earth, clouds, the sea, wood, the poem Þrymskviða states that the god Heimdallr possesses foreknowledge, as the Vanir can.
Sigrdrífumál records that the Vanir are in possession of a sacred mead, in the poem, the valkyrie Sigrdrífa provides mystical lore about runes to the hero Sigurd. Sigrdrífa notes that runes were carved on to various creatures and other figures. This mead is possessed by the Æsir, the elves, mankind, in Skírnismál, the beautiful jötunn Gerðr first encounters the god Freyrs messenger Skírnir, and asks him if he is of the elves, of the Æsir, or of the wise Vanir. Skírnir responds that he is not of any of the three groups, in the poem, Skírnir is successful in his threats against Gerðr, and Gerðr offers Skírnir a crystal cup full of mead, noting that she never thought that she would love one of the Vanir
Heimskringla is the best known of the Old Norse kings sagas. It was written in Old Norse in Iceland by the poet, the name Heimskringla was first used in the 17th century, derived from the first two words of one of the manuscripts. Snorri had himself visited Norway and Sweden, for events of the mid-12th century, Snorri explicitly names the now lost work Hryggjarstykki as his source. The composition of the sagas is Snorris, the earliest parchment copy of the work is referred to as Kringla. It voyaged from Iceland to Bergen and was moved to Copenhagen, at that time it had lost the first page, but the second starts Kringla heimsins, the Earths circle of the Laing translation. In the 17th century copies were made by Icelanders Jon Eggertson, eggertsons copy went to the Royal Library at Stockholm. The Copenhagen manuscript was among the many destroyed in the Copenhagen Fire of 1728. Only one leaf of the manuscript survived and it is now kept in the National, by the mid-16th century, the Old Norse language was unintelligible to Norwegian, Swedish or Danish readers.
At that time several translations of extracts were made in Norway into the Danish language, the first complete translation was made around 1600 by Peder Claussøn Friis, and printed in 1633. This was based on a known as Jofraskinna. This edition included the first printing of the text in Old Norse, a new Danish translation with the text in Old Norse and a Latin translation came out in 1777-1783. An English translation by Samuel Laing was finally published in 1844, in the 19th century, as Norway was achieving independence after centuries of union with Denmark and Sweden, the stories of the independent Norwegian medieval kingdom won great popularity in Norway. Heimskringla, although written by an Icelander, became an important national symbol for Norway during the period of romantic nationalism, Heimskringla consists of several chapters, each one individually called a saga, which can be literally translated as tale. The subsequent sagas are devoted to individual rulers, starting with Halfdan the Black, the stories are told with a life and freshness, giving a picture of human life in all its reality.
A version of the Óláfs saga helga, which is about the saint Olaf II of Norway, is the main part and his 15-year-long reign takes up about one third of the entire work. This saga is an epic in prose, and is of particular relevance to the history of England. The first part of the Heimskringla is rooted in Norse mythology, as it advances and fact all curiously intermingle, the value of Heimskringla as a historical source has been estimated in different ways during recent times. The historians of mid-19th century put great trust in the truth of Snorris narrative