Jan de Vries (linguist)
Jan Pieter Marie Laurens de Vries was a Dutch scholar of Germanic linguistics and Germanic mythology, from 1926 to 1945 ordinarius at Leiden University and author of reference works still in use today. During the German occupation of the Netherlands in the Second World War, de Vries was part of the Nederlandsche Kultuurkamer, a National Socialist censorship body corresponding to the Kulturkammer, prominent in the Ahnenerbe. In a 1940 pamphlet and in radio speeches, he demonstrated sympathy for Nazi ideology. After the war, he was stripped of his academic position. De Vries demonstrated anti-democratic views before the war. However, he rejected the doctrine of the "Nordic race", was criticized by influential Nazis for insisting on differentiating Dutch culture from German, for specific actions, such as seeking to found a new journal that would be open to anti-Nazi contributions, planning to make Ethnography a full subject of study at a Catholic university, he refused to join the Nazi Party, in the preface to De Germanen in 1941 warned against "an all too uncritical mode of thought."
At his trial for collaboration the verdict was that in spite of "personal moral integrity" he had committed "very serious political errors." He was sentenced to time served in internment and was able to resume his research and publishing while teaching Dutch from 1948 to 1955 in Oostburg, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. He died, aged 74, in Utrecht, his scholarly work was not tainted by Nazi ideology, continues to be respected and cited in Germanic studies the two two-volume comprehensive studies, Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte, still the fullest overview of Germanic religion, Altnordische Literaturgeschichte, a basic reference work on Old Norse literature. In the Netherlands his translations and his etymological and place-name work were important. De Vries became member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1938, his membership was suspended in May 1945. Selected publications: Studiën over Færösche Balladen, diss. Amsterdam, 1915. De Wikingen in de lage landen bij de zee, Haarlem, 1923.
Translation: Henrik Ibsen, Zes Voordrachten, Maastricht, 1924. De Germaansche Oudheid, Haarlem, 1930. Contributions to the Study of Othin: Especially in his Relation to Agricultural Practices in Modern Popular Lore, FFC 94, Helsinki, 1931; the Problem of Loki, FFC 110, Helsinki, 1932. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte, 2 vols. Vol. 1, Berlin-Leipzig: de Gruyter, 1935, 2nd rev. ed. 1956, Vol. 2, Berlin-Leipzig: de Gruyter, 1937, 2nd rev. ed. 1957. Wulfilae Codices Ambrosiani Rescripti, Epistularum Evangelicarum Textum Goticum Exhibentes, Phototypice editi et prooemio instructi a Jano de Vries, Bibliothecae Ambrosianae Codices quam simillime expressi, 3 vols. Turin, 1936. Edda, vertaald en van inleidingen voorzien, Amsterdam, 1938, 2nd rev. ed. Amsterdam, 1942. De Germaansche Oudheid, 1930. De Wetenschap der Volkskunde, Amsterdam, 1941. Altnordische Literaturgeschichte, 2 vols. Vol. 1, Berlin-Leipzig: de Gruyter, 1941, 2nd rev. ed. 1964 repr. 1970, Vol. 2, Berlin: de Gruyter, 1942, rev. ed. 1967 repr.
1970. Die Geistige Welt der Germanen, Halle a.d. Saale: Niemeyer, 1943. De Goden der Germanen, Amsterdam, 1944. Het Nibelungenlied, 2 vols. Vol 1 Sigfried, de Held van Nederland, Vol. 2 Kriemhilds Wraak, Antwerp, 1954. Etymologisch Woordenboek: Waar komen onze woorden en plaatsnamen vandaan?, Utrecht-Antwerp, 1958, 2nd rev. ed. 1959. Heldenlied en Heldensage, Utrecht-Antwerp, 1959. Kelten und Germanen, Bern, 1960. Altnordisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, Leiden, 1961. Keltische Religion, Stuttgart, 1961. Godsdienstgeschiedenis in Vogelvlucht, Utrecht-Antwerp, 1961. Forschungsgeschichte der Mythologie, Freiburg, 1961. Woordenboek der Noord- en Zuidnederlandse Plaatsnamen, Utrecht-Antwerp, 1962. Mythography
Völuspá is the first and best known poem of the Poetic Edda. It tells the story of the creation of the world and its coming end, related to the audience by a völva addressing Odin, it is one of the most important primary sources for the study of Norse mythology. Henry Adam Bellows proposed a 10th-century dating and authorship by a pagan Icelander with knowledge of Christianity, he assumes the early hearers would have been familiar with the "story" of the poem and not in need of an explanation. The poem is preserved whole in the Codex Regius and Hauksbók manuscripts while parts of it are quoted in the Prose Edda, it consists of 60 fornyrðislag stanzas. Völuspá is found in the Codex Regius manuscript and in Haukr Erlendsson's Hauksbók Codex, many of its stanzas are quoted or paraphrased in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda; the order and number of the stanzas varies in these sources. Some editors and translators have further rearranged the material; the Codex Regius version is taken as a base for editions.
The poem starts with the völva requesting silence from "the sons of Heimdallr" and asking Odin whether he wants her to recite ancient lore. She says, she goes on to relate a creation myth and mentions Ymir. The Æsir established order in the cosmos by finding places for the sun, the moon and the stars, thereby starting the cycle of day and night. A golden age ensued where the Æsir had plenty of gold and constructed temples and made tools, but three mighty giant maidens came from Jötunheimr and the golden age came to an end. The Æsir created the dwarves, of whom Mótsognir and Durinn are the mightiest. At this point ten of the poem's stanzas are over and six stanzas ensue which contain names of dwarves; this section, sometimes called "Dvergatal", is considered an interpolation and sometimes omitted by editors and translators. After the "Dvergatal", the creation of the first man and woman are recounted and Yggdrasil, the world-tree, is described; the seer recalls the burning of Gullveig that led to the first "folk" war, what occurred in the struggle between the Æsir and Vanir.
She recalls the time Freyja was given to the giants, interpreted as a reference to the myth of the giant builder, as told in Gylfaginning 42. The seeress reveals to Odin that she knows some of his own secrets, that he sacrificed an eye in pursuit of knowledge, she tells him how he gave it up in exchange for knowledge. She asks him in several refrains if he would like to hear more. In the Codex Regius version, the seeress goes on to describe the slaying of Baldr and fairest of the gods and the enmity of Loki, of others, she prophesies the destruction of the gods where fire and flood overwhelm heaven and earth as the gods fight their final battles with their enemies. This is the "fate of the gods" - Ragnarök, she describes the summons to battle, the deaths of many of the gods and how Odin, himself, is slain by Fenrir, the great wolf. Thor, the god of thunder and sworn protector of the earth, faces Jörmungandr, the world serpent, wins but Thor is only able to take nine steps afterward before collapsing due to the serpent's venom.
Víðarr kicks his jaw open before stabbing the wolf in the heart with his spear. The god Freyr fights the giant Surtr, who wields a fiery sword that shines brighter than the sun, Freyr falls. A beautiful reborn world will rise from the ashes of death and destruction where Baldr and Höðr will live again in a new world where the earth sprouts abundance without sowing seed; the surviving Æsir reunite with Hœnir and meet together at the field of Iðavöllr, discussing Jörmungandr, great events of the past, the runic alphabet. A final stanza describes the sudden appearance of Nidhogg the dragon, bearing corpses in his wings, before the seeress emerges from her trance. Völuspá is still one of the most discussed poems of the "Poetic Edda" and dates to the 10th century, the century before the Christianization of Iceland. Most scholars agree that there are Christian influences on the text, some pointing out parallels with the Sibylline Prophecies. Bellows stated in 1936 that the author of Völuspá would have had knowledge of Christianity and infused it in his poem.
Bellows dates the poem to the 10th century, a transitional period between paganism and Christianity and both religions would have co-existed before Christianity was declared the official religion on Iceland and the old paganism was tolerated if practiced in private. This allowed the traditions to survive to an extent in Iceland unlike in mainland Scandinavia; some authors have pointed out. Some have suggested that the Dvergatal section and the part where the "Almighty who rules over all" are insertions to the poem. Although some have identified "the Almighty" with Jesus, Bellows thought this was not the case. J. R. R. Tolkien, a philologist familiar with the Völuspá, utilized names from the Dvergatal for the Dwarves in his 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit; the Norwegian band Burzum released a Skaldic metal album titled Umskiptar in 2012, where an old Norse translation of Völuspa provided the lyrics for the entire album. Stanzas from Völuspa are used as battle chants. Bugg
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker to the Althing, he was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning, a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language, the Háttatal, a list of verse forms. 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 taken to be the author of Egil's saga. Snorri Sturluson was born in Hvammur í Dölum into the wealthy and powerful Sturlungar family of the Icelandic Commonwealth in 1179, his parents were his second wife, Guðný Böðvarsdóttir. He had two older brothers, Þórðr Sturluson and Sighvatr Sturluson, two sisters and nine half-siblings. Snorri was raised from the age of three by Jón Loftsson, a relative of the Norwegian royal family, in Oddi, Iceland; as Sturla was trying to settle a lawsuit with the priest and chieftain Páll Sölvason, Páll's wife lunged at him with a knife — intending, she said, to make him like his one-eyed hero Odin — but bystanders deflected the blow to his cheek instead.
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 and educate Snorri. 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, never returned to his parents' home. His father died in his mother as guardian soon wasted Snorri's share of the inheritance. Jón Loftsson died in 1197; the two families arranged a marriage in 1199 between Snorri and Herdís, the daughter of Bersi Vermundarson. From her father, Snorri inherited an estate at a chieftainship, he soon chieftainships. Snorri and Herdís were together for four years at Borg, they had Hallbera and Jón. The marriage succumbed to Snorri's philandering, in 1206, he settled in Reykholt as manager of an estate there, but without Herdís, he made significant improvements including a hot outdoor bath. The bath and the buildings have been preserved to some extent.
During the initial years at Reykholt he fathered five children by three different women: Guðrún Hreinsdóttir, Oddný, Þuríður Hallsdóttir. Snorri became known as a poet, but was a lawyer. In 1215, he became lawspeaker of the Althing, the only public office of the Icelandic commonwealth and a position of high respect. In the summer of 1218, he sailed to Norway, by royal invitation. There he became well acquainted with the teen-aged King Hákon Hákonarson and his co-regent, Jarl Skúli, he spent the winter as house-guest of the jarl. They showered gifts upon him, including the ship in which he sailed, he in return wrote poetry about them. In the summer of 1219 he met his Swedish colleague, the lawspeaker Eskil Magnusson, his wife, Kristina Nilsdotter Blake, in Skara, they were both related to royalty and gave Snorri an insight into the history of Sweden. Snorri was interested in history and culture; the Norwegian regents, cultivated Snorri, made him a skutilsvein, a senior title equivalent to knight, received an oath of loyalty.
The king hoped to extend his realm to Iceland, which he could do by a resolution of the Althing, of which Snorri had been a key member. In 1220, Snorri returned to Iceland and by 1222 was back as lawspeaker of the Althing, which he held this time until 1232; the basis of his election was his fame as a poet. Politically he was the king's spokesman, supporting union with Norway, a platform that acquired him enemies among the chiefs. In 1224, Snorri married Hallveig Ormsdottir, a granddaughter of Jón Loftsson, now a widow of great means with two young sons, made a contract of joint property ownership with her, their children did not survive to adulthood, but Hallveig's sons and seven of Snorri's children did live to adulthood. Snorri was the most powerful chieftain in Iceland during the years 1224–1230. Many of the other chiefs found his position as royal office-holder contrary to their interests the other Sturlungar. Snorri's strategy was to consolidate power over them, at which point he could offer Iceland to the king.
His first moves were civic. On the death in 1222 of Sæmundur, son of Jón Loftsson, he became a suitor for the hand of his daughter, Sólveig. Herdís' silent vote did nothing for his suit, his nephew, Sturla Sighvatsson, Snorri's political opponent, stepped in to marry her in 1223, the year before Snorri met Hallveig. A period of clan feuding followed. Snorri perceived that only resolute, saga-like actions could achieve his objective, but he proved unwilling or incapable of carrying them out, he raised an armed party under another nephew, Böðvar Þórðarson, another under his son, Órækja, with the intent of executing a first strike against his brother Sighvatur and Sturla Sighvatsson. On the eve of battle he dismissed those offered terms to his brother. Sighvatur and Sturla with a force of 1000 men drove Snorri into the countryside, where he sought refuge among the other chiefs. Órækja undertook guerrilla operations in the fjords of western Iceland and the war was on. Haakon IV made an effort to intervene from afar, inviting al
Faroese people or Faroe Islanders are a North Germanic ethnic group and nation native to the Faroe Islands. The Faroese are of mixed Gaelic origins. About 21,000 Faroese live in neighbouring countries in Denmark and Norway. Most Faroese are citizens of the Kingdom of Denmark, in which the Faroe Islands are a constituent nation; the Faroese language is one of the North Germanic languages and is related to Icelandic and to western Norwegian varieties. The first known colonists were Gaelic Monks who arrived in the 6th century. From the ninth century onwards the Norse-Gaels came and brought Norse culture and language to the islands. Little is known about this period. A single source mentions the Icelandic Færeyinga saga, it was written sometime around 1200 and explains events taking place 300 years prior. According to the saga, many Norsemen objected to the Norwegian king's unification politics and thus fled to other countries, including the newfound places in the west. Historians have understood since the time of the Færeyinga saga that the Viking Grímur Kamban was the first settler in the Faroes.
The Norwegians must have known about the isles before leaving Norway. If Grímur Kamban had settled sometime earlier, this could explain the Norwegians knowing about them. Another, more logical explanation might be that the Norwegians came to know about the islands by the Gaels of Scotland and Ireland. While Grímur is an Old Norse first name, Kamban indicates a Celtic origin, thus he could have been a man from Ireland, Scotland or Isle of Man, where the Vikings had settlements. Some place names from the oldest settlements on the Faroes suggest that some of the settlers came from the Scottish islands and the British coast. Recent DNA analyses have revealed; the studies show. List of Faroese people Demographics of the Faroe Islands Culture of the Faroe Islands Flag of the Faroe Islands Faroese Dane
University of Iceland
The University of Iceland is a public research university in Reykjavík, Iceland and the country's oldest and largest institution of higher education. Founded in 1911, it has grown from a small civil servants' school to a modern comprehensive university, providing instruction for about 14,000 students in twenty-five faculties. Teaching and research is conducted in social sciences, law, natural sciences and teacher education, it has a campus concentrated around Suðurgata street in central Reykjavík, with additional facilities located in nearby areas as well as in the countryside. The University of Iceland was founded by the Alþingi on June 17, 1911, uniting three former post-secondary institutions: Prestaskólinn, Læknaskólinn and Lagaskólinn, which taught theology and law, respectively; the university had only faculties for these three fields, in addition to a faculty of humanities. During its first year of operation 45 students were enrolled; the first rector of the university was a professor in the faculty of humanities.
The university played an important role in the construction of the Icelandic nation-state and was perceived by Icelanders as an important stepping stone towards full independence. Demands for a national Icelandic university stretch as far back as to the first session of the elected assembly of Althingi in 1845. Icelandic nationalist leaders petitioned Denmark at the time to create a "national school" to achieve cultural and material progress, but to make sure that the education that Icelanders obtained was sufficiently national in character. For its first 29 years the university was housed in the Icelandic Parliament building, Alþingishúsið, in central Reykjavík. In 1933, the university received a special licence from Alþingi to operate a cash-prize lottery called Happdrætti Háskólans; the university lottery, which started in 1934, remains a major source of funding for the construction of new university buildings. In 1940, the university moved into the main building, designed by Icelandic state architect Guðjón Samúelsson.
The main building forms the core of the university campus on Suðurgata, where most of the principal buildings of the university are located today. In recent years there has been some major restructuring. In 2008 the university was divided into five different schools; the Iceland University of Education was merged with the University of Iceland to become its School of Education. Increased competition from local colleges has encouraged the university to improve its marketing strategies, deemed unnecessary; the university's main campus lies south-west of Tjörnin lake in the centre of Reykjavík. It covers about 10 hectares in total. There are around 30 buildings in total, the oldest of which, Gamli Garður, was built in 1934; the Main Building overlooks a semi-circular lawn. In 2007, a new service centre was opened next to the main building and many of the most vital service desks were relocated there; some lectures take place in Háskólabíó cinema at the northern end of the campus. There are a gym, several dormitories, smaller research institute buildings on the grounds.
Most buildings are located on nearby neighbourhoods. The Faculty of Sport, Leisure Studies and Social Education, on the other hand, is located in the village of Laugarvatn. In 1994 the university library merged with the national library of Iceland, Landsbókasafn Íslands to form one large academic library, the National and University Library of Iceland; the library main building, Þjóðarbókhlaðan, is situated next to the main campus. Education and research at the University of Iceland are tied with the National University Hospital in Reykjavík; the facilities of the School of Health Sciences are therefore located on the hospital grounds. The University Council is the highest administrative authority within the institution and consists of the Rector and ten other members, including two students and two members endorsed by the University Forum; the University Forum consists of faculty heads and various domestic representatives. It does not have any executive powers but works with the Council on the overall strategy of the university.
The five academic schools and their faculties are headed by deans and have much control over curricula and day-to-day administration. Jón Atli Benediktsson is the current Rector of the University of Iceland, he took over from Kristín Ingólfsdóttir in 2015. The University of Iceland is divided into five schools which are further divided into a total of twenty-five faculties. Prior to 2008, it was divided into eleven faculties which were divided into departments; the largest current school is the School of Social Sciences with over 4,700 students, while each of the other four have around half that number. The university operates a continuing education centre; the university consists of the following schools and faculties: School of Social SciencesFaculty of Business Administration Faculty of Economics Faculty of Law Faculty of Social Sciences Faculty of Social Work Faculty of Political ScienceSchool of Health SciencesFaculty of Medicine Faculty of Nursing Faculty of Odontology Faculty of Pharmacology Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition Faculty of PsychologySchool of HumanitiesFaculty of Theology and Religious Studies Faculty of Language and Linguistics Faculty of Icelandic and Comparative Cultural Studies Faculty of History and PhilosophySchool of EducationFaculty of Sport, Leisure Studies and Social Education Faculty of Teacher Education Faculty of Education
The American-Scandinavian Foundation
The American-Scandinavian Foundation, is an American non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting international understanding through educational and cultural exchange between the United States and Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. The Foundation's headquarters, Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, is located at 58 Park Avenue, New York City. ASF was founded in 1910 by the Danish-American industrialist Niels Poulson, it is a publicly supported 501 non-profit organization that carries out an extensive program of fellowships, grants and trainee J-1 visa sponsorship, membership offerings, cultural events. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees of individuals from the United States and Scandinavia, representing diverse interests, yet linked by personal or professional ties to the Scandinavian countries; the five Nordic Heads of State serve as the organization's patrons. More than 26,000 young Americans and Scandinavians have participated in ASF's exchange programs of study, research or practical training.
Many of its alumni have gone on to leading positions in business and the arts. The Foundation cultivates enduring academic and personal ties between the U. S. and the Nordic countries. Each year the ASF awards more than $800,000 in fellowships and grants to individual students, scholars and artists - either Scandinavians studying or conducting research in the United States or Americans studying or conducting research in Scandinavia; the Foundation's internships and training program enables young Americans and Scandinavians living abroad to receive practical working experience in fields such as engineering, law, finance and technology. Language classes at Scandinavia House are offered and accredited through New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies; the ASF presents a wide range of cultural programs at Scandinavia House, including art and design exhibitions, concerts lectures, children's programs representing all facets of Nordic culture. Through its public project grants, the ASF funds a wide variety of programs that bring American and Scandinavian culture and thought to public audiences.
Grants are awarded to arts and educational institutions adding a Nordic focus to their programming, as well as to smaller organizations with a more regional focus. In 2005–2006, 65 projects throughout the U. S. and Scandinavia received $250,000 in total funding. In 2006–2007, an additional $221,000 was awarded to 62 projects; the American-Scandinavian Foundation's quarterly journal, Scandinavian Review, is the oldest publication of its kind in the United States. It covers all aspects of life in contemporary Scandinavia with an emphasis on areas in which Scandinavian achievement is renowned: art and design. Leading journalists and writers on both sides of the Atlantic write for it; the Foundation publishes books, including the occasional series Scandinavian Classics and Scandinavian Monographs, both of which began in 1914. The American-Scandinavian Foundation's cultural center, Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, is located at 58 Park Avenue, between 37th and 38th Streets in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan.
It offers a variety of art exhibitions, concerts and children's programs, plus a shop and cafe. Designed by architect James Stewart Polshek, it opened to the public in 2000. In October 2011, the Foundation celebrated its first 100 years with a series of events attended by Scandinavian heads of state; the centenary exhibition, Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, 1912, was opened by Queen Sonja of Norway on October 20, 2011, in the presence of King Harald, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Finnish President Tarja Halonen. Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Harald V of Norway Margrethe II of Denmark Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson Sauli Ninistö Princess Benedikte of Denmark Princess Märtha Louise of Norway Martti Ahtisaari Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Official website Polshek Partnership building information and photos Scandinavia House - The Nordic Center in America
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