Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world, the second oldest after Cambridge University Press. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the vice-chancellor known as the delegates of the press, they are headed by the secretary to the delegates, who serves as OUP's chief executive and as its major representative on other university bodies. Oxford University has used a similar system to oversee OUP since the 17th century; the Press is located on opposite Somerville College, in the suburb Jericho. The Oxford University Press Museum is located on Oxford. Visits are led by a member of the archive staff. Displays include a 19th-century printing press, the OUP buildings, the printing and history of the Oxford Almanack, Alice in Wonderland and the Oxford English Dictionary; the university became involved in the print trade around 1480, grew into a major printer of Bibles, prayer books, scholarly works. OUP took on the project that became the Oxford English Dictionary in the late 19th century, expanded to meet the ever-rising costs of the work.
As a result, the last hundred years has seen Oxford publish children's books, school text books, journals, the World's Classics series, a range of English language teaching texts. Moves into international markets led to OUP opening its own offices outside the United Kingdom, beginning with New York City in 1896. With the advent of computer technology and harsh trading conditions, the Press's printing house at Oxford was closed in 1989, its former paper mill at Wolvercote was demolished in 2004. By contracting out its printing and binding operations, the modern OUP publishes some 6,000 new titles around the world each year; the first printer associated with Oxford University was Theoderic Rood. A business associate of William Caxton, Rood seems to have brought his own wooden printing press to Oxford from Cologne as a speculative venture, to have worked in the city between around 1480 and 1483; the first book printed in Oxford, in 1478, an edition of Rufinus's Expositio in symbolum apostolorum, was printed by another, printer.
Famously, this was mis-dated in Roman numerals as "1468", thus pre-dating Caxton. Rood's printing included John Ankywyll's Compendium totius grammaticae, which set new standards for teaching of Latin grammar. After Rood, printing connected with the university remained sporadic for over half a century. Records or surviving work are few, Oxford did not put its printing on a firm footing until the 1580s. In response to constraints on printing outside London imposed by the Crown and the Stationers' Company, Oxford petitioned Elizabeth I of England for the formal right to operate a press at the university; the chancellor, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, pleaded Oxford's case. Some royal assent was obtained, since the printer Joseph Barnes began work, a decree of Star Chamber noted the legal existence of a press at "the universitie of Oxforde" in 1586. Oxford's chancellor, Archbishop William Laud, consolidated the legal status of the university's printing in the 1630s. Laud envisaged a unified press of world repute.
Oxford would establish it on university property, govern its operations, employ its staff, determine its printed work, benefit from its proceeds. To that end, he petitioned Charles I for rights that would enable Oxford to compete with the Stationers' Company and the King's Printer, obtained a succession of royal grants to aid it; these were brought together in Oxford's "Great Charter" in 1636, which gave the university the right to print "all manner of books". Laud obtained the "privilege" from the Crown of printing the King James or Authorized Version of Scripture at Oxford; this "privilege" created substantial returns in the next 250 years, although it was held in abeyance. The Stationers' Company was alarmed by the threat to its trade and lost little time in establishing a "Covenant of Forbearance" with Oxford. Under this, the Stationers paid an annual rent for the university not to exercise its full printing rights – money Oxford used to purchase new printing equipment for smaller purposes.
Laud made progress with internal organization of the Press. Besides establishing the system of Delegates, he created the wide-ranging supervisory post of "Architypographus": an academic who would have responsibility for every function of the business, from print shop management to proofreading; the post was more an ideal than a workable reality, but it survived in the loosely structured Press until the 18th century. In practice, Oxford's Warehouse-Keeper dealt with sales and the hiring and firing of print shop staff. Laud's plans, hit terrible obstacles, both personal and political. Falling foul of political intrigue, he was executed in 1645, by which time the English Civil War had broken out. Oxford became a Royalist stronghold during the conflict, many printers in the city concentrated on producing political pamphlets or sermons; some outstanding mathematical and Orientalist works emerged at this time—notably, texts edited by Edward Pococke, the Regius Professor of Hebrew—but no university press on Laud's model was possible before the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.
It was established by the vice-chancellor, John Fell, Dean of Christ Church, Bishop of Oxford, Secretary to the Delegates. Fell regarded Laud as a martyr, was determined to honour his vision of the Press. Using the provisions of the Great Charter, Fell persuaded Oxford to refuse any further payments from the Stationers and drew
Norse cosmology is the study of the cosmos as perceived by the North Germanic peoples. The topic encompasses concepts from Norse mythology, such as notions of time and space, personifications and eschatology. Like other aspects of Norse mythology, these concepts are recorded in the Poetic Edda, a collection of poems compiled in the 13th century, the Prose Edda, authored by Icelander Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, who drew from earlier traditional sources. Together these sources depict an image of Nine Worlds around Yggdrasil. Concepts of time and space play a major role in the Old Norse corpus's presentation of Norse cosmology. While events in Norse mythology describe a somewhat linear progression, various scholars in ancient Germanic studies note that Old Norse texts may imply or directly describe a fundamental belief in cyclic time. According to scholar John Lindow, "the cosmos might be formed and reformed on multiple occasions by the rising sea." Drawing in part from various eddic poems, the Gylfaginning section of the Prose Edda contains an account of the development and creation of the cosmos: Long before the earth came to be, there existed the bright and flaming place called Muspell—a location so hot that foreigners may not enter it—and the foggy land of Niflheim.
In Niflheim was a spring and from it flows numerous rivers. Together these rivers, known as Élivágar, flowed further from their source; the poisonous substance within the flow came to harden and turn to ice. When the flow became solid, a poisonous vapor rose from the ice and solidified into rime atop the solid river; these thick ice layers grew, in time spreading across the void of Ginnungagap. The northern region of Ginnungagap continued to fill with weight from the growing substance and its accompanying blowing vapor, yet the southern portion of Ginunngagap remained clear due to its proximity to the sparks and flames of Muspell. Between Niflheim and Muspell and fire, was a placid location, "as mild as a windless sky"; when the rime and the blowing heat met, the liquid melted and dropped, this mixture formed the primordial being Ymir, the ancestor of all jötnar. Ymir sweated while sleeping. From his left arm grew a male and female jötunn, "and one of his legs begot a son with another", these limbs too produced children.
Ymir fed from rivers of milk that flowed from the teats of Auðumbla. Auðumbla fed from salt she licked from rime stones. Over the course of three days, she licked Búri. Búri's son Borr married a jötunn named Bestla, the two had three sons: the gods Odin, Vili and Vé; the sons killed Ymir, Ymir's blood poured across the land, producing great floods that killed all of the jötnar but two. Odin, Vé took Ymir's corpse to the center of Ginunngagap and carved it, they made the earth from Ymir's flesh. They surrounded the earth's lands with sea. From Ymir's skull they made the sky, which they placed above the earth in four points, each held by a dwarf. After forming the dome of the earth, the brothers Odin, Vé took sparks of light from Muspell and placed them around the earth, both above and below; some remained others moved through the sky in predetermined courses. The trio provided land for the jötnar to leave by the sea. Using Ymir's eyelashes, the trio built a fortification around the center of the landmass to contain the hostility of the jötnar.
They called this fortification Miðgarðr. From Ymir's brains, they formed the clouds. Personifications, such as those of astronomical objects and water bodies occur in Norse mythology; the Sun is personified as Sól. Night appears personified as the female jötunn Nótt. Bodies of water receive personification, such as the goddess Rán, her jötunn husband Ægir, their wave-maiden children, the Nine Daughters of Ægir and Rán. Yggdrasil is a tree central to the Norse concept of the cosmos; the tree's branches extend into various realms, various creatures dwell on and around it. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to assemble at traditional governing assemblies; the branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the dragon Níðhöggr, an unnamed eagle, the stags Dáinn, Dvalinn and Duraþrór. Old Norse texts mention the existence of Níu Heimar, translated by scholars as "Nine Worlds". According to the second stanza of the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, the Nine Worlds surround the tree Yggdrasil.
As recalled by a dead völva in the poem: The Nine Worlds receive a second and final mention in the Poetic Edda in stanza 43 of the Prose Edda poem Vafþrúðnismál, where the wise jötunn Vafþrúðnir engages in a deadly battle of wits with the disguised god Odin: The Nine Worlds receive a single mention in the Prose Edda, occurring section 34 of the Gylfaginning portion of the book. The section describes how Odin threw Loki's daugh
Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies
The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies is an institute of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Iceland which conducts research in Icelandic and related academic studies, in particular the Icelandic language and Icelandic literature, to disseminate knowledge in those areas, to protect and develop the collections that it possesses or those placed in its care. It is named after a 17th-18th century collector of medieval Icelandic manuscripts; the Árni Magnússon Institute was an academic institute located in Iceland. The institute had the task of preserving and studying medieval Icelandic manuscripts containing Landnáma, Heimskringla and the Icelandic sagas. On September 1, 2006, this institute was merged with the Icelandic Language Institute, the University of Iceland Institute of Lexicography, the Sigurður Nordal Institute, the Place-Name Institute of Iceland to create the current Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, it is a university institution with its own financing.
The Minister of Education and Culture appoints a five-member board for four-year terms. Three members are appointed according to nomination by the University Senate and two without nomination, with one of those two acting as chairman; the Minister appoints a director for five-year terms on the recommendation of the board. Dr. Vésteinn Ólason was appointed director of the Institute of Icelandic Studies on September 12, 2006. Vésteinn had been the director of the Árni Magnússon Institute from May 1, 1999 until September 1, 2006, after which it was merged with four other institutes to create the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. Professor Guðrún Nordal took over as director of the institute on March 1, 2009, appointed for a period of five years. After Iceland received home rule from the Danish government in 1904, the Icelandic parliament began to petition for the return to Iceland of at least a significant portion of the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection, the manuscripts and other documents collected in the late 17th and early 18th centuries by the Icelandic antiquarian and scholar Árni Magnússon.
In 1927-28 four manuscripts and some 700 charters and other legal documents were returned to the Icelandic National Archives. In 1962 a special institute was set up under the name Handritastofnun Íslands. Ten years after the transfer of manuscripts from Copenhagen had begun in earnest, the laws concerning the institute were changed and it was renamed Stofnun Árna Magnússonar á Íslandi, it was administratively associated with the University of Iceland until 1 September 2006, when it merged with four other institutes in Iceland to create a larger independent institute of Icelandic studies, the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. The institute is located in the Árnagarður building on the campus of the University of Iceland by Suðurgata in Reykjavík; the institute houses a number of and culturally important manuscripts, the bulk of them from the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection. Among these are: AM 113 fol AM 371 4to AM 738 4to GKS 1005 fol GKS 2365 4to GKS 2367 4to Icelandic Manuscript, SÁM 66 Arnamagnæan Institute, the institution in Copenhagen housing the remainder of the Árni Magnússon collection Árni Magnússon Institute’s Official Website Online manuscript facsimiles Árni Magnússon Institute
Poetic Edda is the modern attribution for an unnamed collection of Old Norse anonymous poems, different from the Edda written by Snorri Sturluson. Several versions exist, all of text from the Icelandic medieval manuscript known as the Codex Regius; the Codex Regius is arguably the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends. From the early 19th century onwards, it has had a powerful influence on Scandinavian literatures. Not only by its stories, but by the visionary force and the dramatic quality of many of the poems, it has become an inspiring model for many innovations in poetic meter in Nordic languages, offering many varied examples of terse, stress-based metrical schemes that lack any final rhyme by instead using alliterative devices and strongly-concentrated imagery. Poets who have acknowledged their debt to the Codex Regius include Vilhelm Ekelund, August Strindberg, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ezra Pound, Jorge Luis Borges, Karin Boye. Codex Regius was written in the 13th century, but nothing is known of its whereabouts until 1643, when it came into the possession of Brynjólfur Sveinsson Bishop of Skálholt.
At the time, versions of the Edda were known in Iceland, but scholars speculated that there once was another Edda, an Elder Edda, which contained the pagan poems that Snorri quotes in his Edda. When Codex Regius was discovered, it seemed that the speculation had proved, but modern scholarly research has shown that Edda was written first and the two were, at most, connected by a common source. Brynjólfur attributed the manuscript to Sæmundr the Learned, a larger-than-life 12th century Icelandic priest; that attribution is rejected by modern scholars, but the name Sæmundar Edda is still sometimes associated with both the "Codex Regius" and versions of "Poetic Edda" using it as a source. Bishop Brynjólfur sent Codex Regius as a present to the Danish king. For centuries, it was stored in the Royal Library in Copenhagen but in 1971, it was returned to Iceland; the Eddic poems are composed in alliterative verse. Most are in fornyrðislag; the rest, about a quarter, are composed in ljóðaháttr. The language of the poems is clear and unadorned.
Kennings are employed, though they do not arise as nor are they as complex, as those found in skaldic poetry. Like most early poetry, the Eddic poems were minstrel poems, passing orally from singer to singer and from poet to poet for centuries. None of the poems are attributed to a particular author, though many of them show strong individual characteristics and are to have been the work of individual poets. Scholars sometimes speculate on hypothetical authors, but firm and accepted conclusions have never been reached; the dating of the poems has been a source of lively scholarly argument for a long time, firm conclusions are hard to reach. Lines from the Eddic poems sometimes appear in poems by known poets, but such evidence is difficult to evaluate. For example, Eyvindr skáldaspillir composed in the latter half of the 10th century, he uses a couple of lines in his Hákonarmál which are found in Hávamál, it is possible that he was quoting a known poem, but it is possible that Hávamál, or at least the strophe in question, is the younger derivative work.
The few demonstrably historical characters mentioned in the poems, such as Attila, provide a terminus post quem of sorts. The dating of the manuscripts themselves provides a more useful terminus ante quem. Individual poems have individual clues to their age. For example, Atlamál hin groenlenzku is claimed by its title to have been composed in Greenland, seems so by some internal evidence. If so, it can be no earlier than about 985, since there were no Scandinavians in Greenland until that time. In some cases, old poems may have been merged with other poems. For example, stanzas 9-16 of Völuspá, the "Dvergatal" or "Roster of Dwarfs", is considered by some scholars to be an interpolation; the problem of dating the poems is linked with the problem of finding out. Iceland was not settled until about 870, so anything composed before that time would have been elsewhere, most in Scandinavia. Any young poems, on the other hand, are Icelandic in origin. Scholars have attempted to localize individual poems by studying the geography and fauna to which they refer.
This approach does not yield firm results. For example, there are no wolves in Iceland, but we can be sure that Icelandic poets were familiar with the species; the apocalyptic descriptions of Völuspá have been taken as evidence that the poet who composed it had seen a volcanic eruption in Iceland - but this is hardly certain. Some poems similar to those found in Codex Regius are included in some editions of the Poetic Edda. Important manuscripts include AM 748 I Hauksbók and Flateyjarbók. Many of the poems are quoted in Snorri's Edda, but only in bits and pieces. What poems are included in an edition of the Poetic Edda depends on the editor; those not in Codex Regius are sometimes called Eddica minora, from their appearance in an edition with that title edited by Andreas Heusler and Wilhelm Ranisch in 1903. English translators are not consistent on the translations of the names of the Eddic poems or on how the Old Norse forms should be rendered in English. Up to three translated titles are given below, taken from the translations of Bellows and Larrington with proper names in the normalized English forms found in John Lindow's Norse Mythology and in Andy Orchard's Cassell's Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend.
In Germanic mythology, Frija and Frige is a goddess. In nearly all sources, she is described as the wife of the god Odin. In Old High German and Old Norse sources, she is connected with the goddess Fulla; the English weekday name Friday bears her name. Frigg is described as a goddess associated with foresight and wisdom in Norse mythology, the northernmost branch of Germanic mythology and most extensively attested. Frigg is the wife of the major god Odin and dwells in the wetland halls of Fensalir, is famous for her foreknowledge, is associated with the goddesses Fulla, Lofn, Hlín, Gná, is ambiguously associated with the Earth, otherwise personified as an separate entity Jörð; the children of Frigg and Odin include the gleaming god Baldr. Due to the significant thematic overlap, scholars have proposed a particular connection to the goddess Freyja. After Christianization, the mention of Frigg continued to occur in Scandinavian folklore. During modern times, Frigg has appeared in popular culture, has been the subject of art and receives veneration in Germanic Neopaganism.
The theonyms Frigg and Frija are cognate forms—linguistic siblings of the same origin—that descend from a substantivized feminine of Proto-Germanic *frijaz. *frijaz descends from the same source as the feminine Sanskrit noun priyā and the feminine Avestan noun fryā. In the modern period, an -a suffix is sometimes applied to denote femininity, resulting in the form Frigga; this spelling serves the purpose of distancing the goddess from the English word frig. The connection with and possible earlier identification of the goddess Freyja with Frigg in the Proto-Germanic period is a matter of scholarly debate. Like the name of the group of gods to which Freyja belongs, the Vanir, the name Freyja is not attested outside of Scandinavia; this is in contrast to the name of the goddess Frigg, attested as a goddess common among the Germanic peoples, whose name is reconstructed as Proto-Germanic *Frijjō. Evidence does not exist for the existence of a common Germanic goddess from which Old Norse Freyja descends, but scholars have commented that this may be due to the scarcity of surviving sources.
Regarding a Freyja–Frigg common origin hypothesis, scholar Stephan Grundy comments that "the problem of whether Frigg or Freyja may have been a single goddess is a difficult one, made more so by the scantiness of pre-Viking Age references to Germanic goddesses, the diverse quality of the sources. The best that can be done is to survey the arguments for and against their identity, to see how well each can be supported."The English weekday name Friday comes from Old English Frīġedæġ, meaning'day of Frig'. It is cognate with Old High German frîatac. Several place names refer to Frigg in what are now Norway and Sweden, although her name is altogether absent in recorded place names in Denmark; the 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum, Paul the Deacon's 8th-century Historia Langobardorum derived from it, recount a founding myth of the Langobards, a Germanic people who ruled a region of what is now Italy. According to this legend, a "small people" known as the Winnili were ruled by a woman named Gambara who had two sons and Agio.
The Vandals, ruled by Ambri and Assi, came to the Winnili with their army and demanded that they pay them tribute or prepare for war. Ybor and their mother Gambara rejected their demands for tribute. Ambra and Assi asked the god Godan for victory over the Winnili, to which Godan responded: "Whom I shall first see when at sunrise, to them will I give the victory."Meanwhile and Agio called upon Frea, Godan's wife. Frea counseled them that "at sunrise the Winnil should come, that their women, with their hair let down around the face in the likeness of a beard should come with their husbands". At sunrise, Frea woke him. Godan saw the Winnili, including their whiskered women, asked "who are those Long-beards?" Frea responded to Godan, "As you have given them a name, give them the victory". Godan did so, "so that they should defend themselves according to his counsel and obtain the victory". Thenceforth the Winnili were known as the Langobards. A 10th-century manuscript found in what is now Merseburg, features an invocation known as the Second Merseburg Incantation.
The incantation calls upon various continental Germanic gods, including Old High German Frija and a goddess associated with her—Volla, to assist in healing a horse: In the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional material, Frigg is mentioned in the poems Völuspá, Vafþrúðnismál, the prose of Grímnismál, Oddrúnargrátr. Frigg receives three mentions in the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá. In the first mention, the poem recounts. In the poem, when the future death of Odin is foretold, Odin himself is referred to as the "beloved of Frigg" and his future death is referred to as the "second grief of Frigg". Like the reference to Frigg weeping in Fensalir earlier in the poem, the implied "first grief" is a reference to the grief she felt upon the death of her son, Baldr. In the prose introduction to the poem Grímnismál, Frigg plays a prominent role; the prose introduction recounts that two sons of king Hrauðungr and Geirröðr, once sailed out with a trailing line to catch small fish.
However, wind drove them out into the ocean and, d
In Germanic mythology, Odin is a revered Germanic god. In Norse mythology, from which stems most surviving information about the god, Odin is associated with wisdom, death, the gallows, war, victory, poetry and the runic alphabet, is the husband of the goddess Frigg. In wider Germanic mythology and paganism, the god was known in Old English as Wōden, in Old Saxon as Wōdan, in Old High German as Wuotan or Wōtan, all stemming from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz. Odin is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania through the tribal expansions of the Migration Period and the Viking Age. In the modern period, Odin continued to be acknowledged in the rural folklore of Germanic Europe. References to Odin appear in place names throughout regions inhabited by the ancient Germanic peoples, the day of the week Wednesday bears his name in many Germanic languages, including English. In Old English texts, Odin holds a particular place as a euhemerized ancestral figure among royalty, he is referred to as a founding figure among various other Germanic peoples, such as the Langobards.
Forms of his name appear throughout the Germanic record, though narratives regarding Odin are found in Old Norse works recorded in Iceland around the 13th century. These texts make up the bulk of modern understanding of Norse mythology. In Old Norse texts, Odin is depicted as one-eyed and long-bearded wielding a spear named Gungnir, wearing a cloak and a broad hat, he is accompanied by his animal companions and familiars—the wolves Geri and Freki and the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from all over Midgard—and rides the flying, eight-legged steed Sleipnir across the sky and into the underworld. Odin is the son of Bestla and Borr and has two brothers, Vili and Vé. Odin is attested as having many sons, most famously the gods Thor and Baldr, is known by hundreds of names. In these texts, he seeks greater knowledge, at times in disguise, makes wagers with his wife Frigg over the outcome of exploits, takes part in both the creation of the world by way of slaying the primordial being Ymir and giving the gift of life to the first two humans Ask and Embla.
Odin has a particular association with Yule, mankind's knowledge of both the runes and poetry is attributed to him, giving Odin aspects of the culture hero. In Old Norse texts, female beings associated with the battlefield—the valkyries—are associated with the god and Odin oversees Valhalla, where he receives half of those who die in battle, the einherjar; the other half are chosen by the goddess Freyja for Fólkvangr. Odin consults the disembodied, herb-embalmed head of the wise being Mímir for advice, during the foretold events of Ragnarök, Odin is told to lead the einherjar into battle before being consumed by the monstrous wolf Fenrir. In folklore, Odin appears as a leader of the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession of the dead through the winter sky, he is associated with charms and other forms of magic in Old English and Old Norse texts. Odin is a frequent subject of study in Germanic studies, numerous theories have been put forward regarding his development; some of these focus on Odin's particular relation to other figures.
Other approaches focus on Odin's place in the historical record, a frequent question being whether the figure of Odin derives from Proto-Indo-European religion, or whether he developed in Germanic society. In the modern period, Odin has inspired numerous works of poetry and other forms of media, he is venerated in most forms of the new religious movement Heathenry, together with other gods venerated by the ancient Germanic peoples. The Old Norse theonym Óðinn and its cognates, including Old English Wōden, Old Saxon Wōden, Old High German Wuotan, derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz; the masculine noun *wōđanaz developed from the Proto-Germanic adjective *wōđaz, related to Latin vātēs and Old Irish fáith, both meaning'seer, prophet'. Adjectives stemming from *wōđaz include Gothic woþs'possessed', Old Norse óðr,'mad, furious', Old English wōd'mad'; the adjective *wōđaz was further substantivised, leading to Old Norse óðr'mind, soul, sense', Old English ellen-wōd'zeal', Middle Dutch woet'madness', Old High German wuot'thrill, violent agitation'.
Additionally the Old Norse noun æði'rage, fury' and Old High German wuotī'madness' derive from the feminine noun *wōđīn, from *wōđaz. The weak verb *wōđjanan derived from *wōđaz, gave rise to Old Norse æða'to rage', Old English wēdan'to be mad, furious', Old Saxon wōdian'to rage', Old High German wuoten'to be insane, to rage'. Over 170 names are recorded for Odin; these names are variously descriptive of attributes of the god, refer to myths involving him, or refer to religious practices associated with the god. This multitude of names makes Odin the god with the most names known among the Germanic peoples; the modern English weekday name Wednesday derives from Old English wōdnesdæg. Cognate terms are found in other Germanic languages, such as Middle Low German wōdensdach, Old Norse Óðinsdagr (Danish, Nor
Hjúki and Bil
In Norse mythology, Hjúki and Bil are a brother and sister pair of children who follow the personified moon, Máni, across the heavens. Both Hjúki and Bil are attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Scholarly theories that surround the two concern their nature, their role as potential personifications of the craters on the moon or its phases, their relation to folklore in Germanic Europe. Bil has been identified with the Bilwis, an agriculture-associated figure, attested in the folklore of German-speaking areas of Europe. In chapter 11 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, the enthroned figure of High states that two children by the names of Hjúki and Bil were fathered by Viðfinnr. Once while the two were walking from the well Byrgir — both of them carrying on their shoulders the pole Simul that held the pail Sæg between them — Máni took them from the earth, they now follow Máni in the heavens, "as can be seen from the earth". Hjúki is otherwise unmentioned.
In chapter 35 of Gylfaginning, at the end of a listing of numerous other goddesses in Norse mythology, both Sól and Bil are listed together as goddesses "whose nature has been described". Bil appears twice more in the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál. In chapter 75, Bil appears within another list of goddesses, her name appears in chapter 47 in a kenning for "woman"; as the two are otherwise unattested outside of Snorri's Prose Edda, suggestions have been made that Hjúki and Bil may have been of minor mythic significance, or that they were made up outright by Snorri, while Anne Holtsmark posits that Snorri may have known or had access to a now lost verse source wherein Hjúki and Bil personified the waxing and waning moon. Holtsmark further theorizes. Scholars have theorized that Hjúki and Bil may represent lunar activity, including that they may represent the phases of the moon or may represent the craters of the moon. 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm rejects the suggestion that Hjúki and Bil represent the phases of the moon, states that Hjúki and Bil rather represent the craters on the moon seen from the earth.
Grimm says. No change of the moon could suggest the image of two children with a pail slung over their shoulders. Moreover, to this day the Swedish people see in the spots of the moon two persons carrying a big bucket on a pole." Grimm adds that: What is most important for us, out of the heathen fancy of a kidnapping man of the moon, apart from Scandinavia, was doubtless in vogue all over Teutondom, if not farther, there has evolved itself since a Christian adaptation. They say the man in the moon is a wood-stealer, who during church time on the holy sabbath committed a trespass in the wood, was transported to the moon as a punishment. Plainly enough the water-pole of the heathen story has been transformed into the axe's shaft, the carried pail into the thornbrush. Grimm gives further examples from Germanic folklore until the time of his writing and notes a potential connection between the German word wadel and the dialectal employment of the word for "brushwood, twigs tied up in a bundle, esp fir-twigs, wadeln to tie up brushwood", the practice of cutting wood out in the full moon.
Benjamin Thorpe agrees with the theory of Bil as the personified shapes of moon craters. Rudolf Simek states that the obscurity of the names of the objects in the tale of Hjúki and Bil may indicate that Snorri derived them from a folktale, that the form of the tale of the Man in the Moon is found in modern folklore in Scandinavia and Northern Germany. In both the story Hjúki and Bil found in the Icelandic Prose Edda and the English nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill", two children, one male and one female, fetch a pail of water, the pairs have names that have been perceived as phonetically similar; these elements have resulted in theories connecting the two, the notion has had some influence, appearing in school books for children from the 19th century and into the 20th century. A traditional form of the rhyme reads: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Up Jack got and home did trot as fast, he went to bed to mind his head with brown paper.
A figure by the name of Bilwis is attested in various parts of German-speaking Europe starting in the 13th century. Scholar Leander Petzoldt writes that the figure seems to stem from the goddess and over time saw many changes developing "an elfin, dwarfish aspect and the ability to cripple people or cattle with the shot of an arrow". Petzoldt further surveys the development of the figure: During the course of the thirteenth century, the Bilwis is less and less treated as the personification of a supernatural power but becomes identified as a malevolent human being, a witch. Still with the rise of the witch persecution at the end of the Middle Ages, the Bilwis was demonized.