In Norse mythology, Skaði is a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing and mountains. Skaði is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources. In all sources, Skaði is the daughter of the deceased Þjazi, Skaði married the god Njörðr as part of the compensation provided by the gods for killing her father Þjazi. In Heimskringla, Skaði is described as having split up with Njörðr and as having married the god Odin, that the two produced many children together. In both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, Skaði is responsible for placing the serpent that drips venom onto the bound Loki. Skaði Öndurdís; the etymology of the name Skaði is uncertain, but may be connected with the original form of Scandinavia. Some place names in Scandinavia refer to Skaði. Scholars have theorized a potential connection between Skaði and the god Ullr, a particular relationship with the jötunn Loki, that Scandinavia may be related to the name Skaði or the name may be connected to an Old Norse noun meaning'harm'.
Skaði has inspired various works of art. The Old Norse name Skaði, along with Scadinavia and Skáney, may be related to Gothic skadus, Old English sceadu, Old Saxon scado, Old High German scato. Scholar John McKinnell comments that this etymology suggests Skaði may have once been a personification of the geographical region of Scandinavia or associated with the underworld. Georges Dumézil disagrees with the notion of Scadin-avia as etymologically'the island of the goddess Skaði.' Dumézil comments that the first element Scadin must have had—or once had—a connection to "darkness" "or something else we cannot be sure of". Dumézil says that, the name Skaði derives from the name of the geographical region, at the time no longer understood. In connection, Dumézil points to a parallel in Ériu, a goddess personifying Ireland that appears in some Irish texts, whose name he says comes from Ireland rather than the other way around. Alternatively, Skaði may be connected with the Old Norse noun skaði, source of the Icelandic and Faroese skaði and cognate with obsolete English scathe, which survives in unscathed and scathing.
Skaði is attested in poems found in the Poetic Edda, in two books of the Prose Edda and in one Heimskringla book. In the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál, the god Odin reveals to the young Agnarr the existence of twelve locations. Odin mentions the location Þrymheimr sixth in a single stanza. In the stanza, Odin details that the jötunn Þjazi once lived there, that now his daughter Skaði does. Odin describes Þrymheimr as consisting of "ancient courts" and refers to Skaði as "the shining bride of the gods". In the prose introduction to the poem Skírnismál, the god Freyr has become heartsick for a fair girl he has spotted in Jötunheimr; the god Njörðr asks Freyr's servant Skírnir to talk to Freyr, in the first stanza of the poem, Skaði tells Skírnir to ask Freyr why he is so upset. Skírnir responds. In the prose introduction to the poem Lokasenna, Skaði is referred to as the wife of Njörðr and is cited as one of the goddesses attending Ægir's feast. After Loki has an exchange with the god Heimdallr, Skaði interjects.
Skaði tells Loki that he is "light-hearted" and that Loki will not be "playing with tail wagging free" for much longer, for soon the gods will bind Loki to a sharp rock with the ice-cold entrails of his son. Loki responds that if this is so, he was "first and foremost" at the killing of Þjazi. Skaði responds that, if this is so, "baneful advice" will always flow from her "sanctuaries and plains". Loki responds that Skaði was more friendly in speech when Skaði was in his bed—an accusation he makes to most of the goddesses in the poem and is not attested elsewhere. Loki's flyting turns to the goddess Sif. In the prose section at the end of Lokasenna, the gods catch Loki and bind him with the innards of his son Nari, while they turn his son Váli into a wolf. Skaði places a venomous snake above Loki's face. Venom drips from the snake and Loki's wife Sigyn sits and holds a basin beneath the serpent, catching the venom; when the basin is full, Sigyn must empty it, during that time the snake venom falls onto Loki's face, causing him to writhe in a tremendous fury, so much so that all earthquakes stem from Loki's writhings.
In the poem Hyndluljóð, the female jötunn Hyndla tells the goddess Freyja various mythological genealogies. In one stanza, Hyndla notes that Skaði was his daughter. In the Prose Edda, Skaði is attested in two books: Skáldskaparmál. In chapter 23 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, the enthroned figure of High details that Njörðr's wife is Skaði, that she is the daughter of the jötunn Þjazi, recounts a tale involving the two. High recalls. However, Njörðr wanted to live nearer to the sea. Subsequently, the two made an agreement that they would spend nine nights in Þrymheimr and the next three nights in Njörðr's sea-side home Nóatún. However, when Njörðr returned from the mountains to Nóatún, he said: "Hateful for me are the mountains, I was not long there, only nine nights; the howling of the wolves sounded ugly to me after the song of the swans." Ska
Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm known as Ludwig Karl, was a German philologist and mythologist. He is known as the discoverer of Grimm's law, the co-author of the monumental Deutsches Wörterbuch, the author of Deutsche Mythologie, the editor of Grimm's Fairy Tales, he is the elder of the Brothers Grimm. Jacob Grimm was born in Hanau in Hesse-Kassel, his father Philipp Grimm was a lawyer who died while Jacob was a child, his mother was left with small means. His mother's sister was lady of the chamber to the Landgravine of Hesse, she helped to support and educate her family. Jacob was sent to the public school at Kassel in 1798 with his younger brother Wilhelm. In 1802, he went to the University of Marburg where he studied law, a profession for which he had been destined by his father, his brother joined him at Marburg a year having just recovered from a severe illness, began the study of law. Up to this time, Jacob Grimm had been driven only by a general thirst for knowledge, his energies had not found any aim beyond the practical one of making himself a position in life.
The first definite impulse came from the lectures of Friedrich Karl von Savigny, the celebrated investigator of Roman law, who first taught him to realize what it meant to study any science, as Wilhelm Grimm himself says in the preface to the Deutsche Grammatik. Savigny's lectures awakened in him a love for historical and antiquarian investigation, which forms the structure of all his work; the two men became acquainted, it was in Savigny's well-stocked library that Grimm first turned over the leaves of Bodmer's edition of the Middle High German minnesingers and other early texts, felt an eager desire to penetrate further into the obscurities and half-revealed mysteries of their language. In the beginning of 1805, he received an invitation from Savigny, who had moved to Paris, to help him in his literary work. Grimm passed a happy time in Paris, strengthening his taste for the literatures of the Middle Ages by his studies in the Paris libraries. Towards the close of the year, he returned to Kassel, where his mother and Wilhelm had settled, the latter having finished his studies.
The next year, he obtained a position in the war office with the small salary of 100 thalers. One of his grievances was that he had to exchange his stylish Paris suit for a stiff uniform and pigtail, but he had full leisure for the pursuit of his studies. In 1808, soon after the death of his mother, he was appointed superintendent of the private library of Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, into which Hesse-Kassel had been incorporated by Napoleon. Bonaparte appointed him an auditor to the state council, while Grimm retained his superintendent post, his salary was increased in a short period of time from 2000 to 4000 francs and his official duties were hardly more than nominal. After the expulsion of Bonaparte and the reinstatement of an elector, Grimm was appointed Secretary of Legation in 1813, accompanying the Hessian minister to the headquarters of the allied army. In 1814, he was sent to Paris to demand restitution of books carried off by the French, he attended the Congress of Vienna as Secretary of Legation, 1814–1815.
Upon his return from Vienna, he was sent to Paris a second time to secure book restitutions. Meanwhile, Wilhelm had received an appointment to the Kassel library, Jacob was made second librarian under Volkel in 1816. Upon the death of Volkel in 1828, the brothers expected to be advanced to the first and second librarianships and were dissatisfied when the first place was given to Rommel, the keeper of the archives, they moved the following year to Göttingen, where Jacob received the appointment of professor and librarian, Wilhelm that of under-librarian. Jacob Grimm lectured on legal antiquities, historical grammar, literary history, diplomatics, explained Old German poems, commented on the Germania of Tacitus. Grimm joined other academics known as the Göttingen Seven who signed a protest against the King of Hanover's abrogation of the constitution, established some years before; as a result, he was dismissed from his professorship and banished from the Kingdom of Hanover in 1837. He returned to Kassel with his brother, who had signed the protest.
They remained there until 1840, when they accepted King Frederick William IV's invitation to move to Berlin, where they both received professorships and were elected members of the Academy of Sciences. Grimm was not under any obligation to lecture and he did so, but spent his time working with his brother on their great dictionary. During their time in Kassel, he attended the meetings of the academy and read papers on varied subjects; the best-known of those subjects are Karl Konrad Friedrich Wilhelm Lachmann, Friedrich Schiller, old age, the origin of language. He described his impressions of Italian and Scandinavian travel, interspersing his more general observations with linguistic details, as is the case in all his works, he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1857. Grimm died in Berlin at age 78, working until the end of his life, he describes his own work at the end of his autobiography: Nearly all my labors have been devoted, either directly or indirectly, to the investigation of our earlier language and laws.
These studies may have appeared to many, may still appear, useless. My principle has always been in these investigations to under-value nothing, but to utilize the small for the illustration of the g
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
Baldr is a god in Norse mythology, a son of the god Odin and the goddess Frigg. He has numerous brothers, such as Váli. In the 12th century, Danish accounts by Saxo Grammaticus and other Danish Latin chroniclers recorded a euhemerized account of his story. Compiled in Iceland in the 13th century, but based on much older Old Norse poetry, the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda contain numerous references to the death of Baldr as both a great tragedy to the Æsir and a harbinger of Ragnarök. According to Gylfaginning, a book of Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, Baldr's wife is Nanna and their son is Forseti. In Gylfaginning, Snorri relates that Baldr had the greatest ship built and that there is no place more beautiful than his hall, Breidablik. Jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology identifies Old Norse Baldr with the Old High German Baldere, Palter and with Old English bealdor, baldor "lord, king". Old Norse shows this usage of the word as an honorific in a few cases, as in baldur î brynju and herbaldr, both epithets of heroes in general.
Grimm traces the etymology of the name to *balþaz, whence Gothic balþs, Old English bald, Old High German pald, all meaning "bold, brave". But the interpretation of Baldr as "the brave god" may be secondary. Baltic has a word meaning "the white, the good", Grimm speculates that the name may originate as a Baltic loan into Proto-Germanic. In continental Saxon and Anglo-Saxon tradition, the son of Woden is called not Bealdor but Baldag and Bældæg, which shows association with "day" with Day personified as a deity. This, as Grimm points out, would agree with the meaning "shining one, white one, a god" derived from the meaning of Baltic baltas, further adducing Slavic Belobog and German Berhta. Grimm's etymology is endorsed by modern research. According to Rudolf Simek, the original name for Baldr must be understood as'shining day'. One of the two Merseburg Incantations names Baldere, but mentions a figure named Phol, considered to be a byname for Baldr. In the Poetic Edda the tale of Baldr's death is referred to rather than recounted at length.
Among the visions which the Völva sees and describes in the prophecy known as the Völuspá is one of the fatal mistletoe, the birth of Váli and the weeping of Frigg. Yet looking far into the future the Völva sees a brighter vision of a new world, when both Höðr and Baldr will come back; the Eddic poem Baldr's Dreams mentions that Baldr has bad dreams which the gods discuss. Odin rides to Hel and awakens a seeress, who tells him Höðr will kill Baldr but Vali will avenge him. In Gylfaginning, Baldur is described as follows: Apart from this description, Baldr is known for the story of his death, his death is seen as the first in the chain of events which will lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarök. Baldr will be reborn in the new world, according to Völuspá, he had a dream of his own death and his mother had the same dreams. Since dreams were prophetic, this depressed him, so his mother Frigg made every object on earth vow never to hurt Baldr. All objects made this vow except mistletoe—a detail which has traditionally been explained with the idea that it was too unimportant and nonthreatening to bother asking it to make the vow, but which Merrill Kaplan has instead argued echoes the fact that young people were not eligible to swear legal oaths, which could make them a threat in life.
When Loki, the mischief-maker, heard of this, he made a magical spear from this plant. He hurried to the place where the gods were indulging in their new pastime of hurling objects at Baldr, which would bounce off without harming him. Loki gave the spear to Baldr's brother, the blind god Höðr, who inadvertently killed his brother with it. For this act and the giantess Rindr gave birth to Váli who grew to adulthood within a day and slew Höðr. Baldr was ceremonially burnt upon his ship, the largest of all ships; as he was carried to the ship, Odin whispered in his ear. This was to be a key riddle asked by Odin of the giant Vafthrudnir in the poem Vafthrudnismal; the riddle appears in the riddles of Gestumblindi in Hervarar saga. The dwarf Litr was burnt alive. Nanna, Baldr's wife threw herself on the funeral fire to await Ragnarök when she would be reunited with her husband. Baldr's horse with all its trappings was burned on the pyre; the ship was set to sea by Hyrrokin, a giantess, who came riding on a wolf and gave the ship such a push that fire flashed from the rollers and all the earth shook.
Upon Frigg's entreaties, delivered through the messenger Hermod, Hel promised to release Baldr from the underworld if all objects alive and dead would weep for him. All did, except Þökk, who refused to mourn the slain god, thus Baldr had to remain in the underworld, not to emerge until after Ragnarök, when he and his brother Höðr would be reconciled and rule the new earth together with Thor's sons. Writing during the end of the 12th century, the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus tells the story of Baldr in a form that professes to be historical. According to him, Balderus and Høtherus were rival suitors fo
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 Norse mythology, the Æsir–Vanir War was a conflict between two groups of deities that resulted in the unification of the Æsir and the Vanir into a single pantheon. The war is an important event in Norse mythology, the implications for the potential historicity surrounding accounts of the war are a matter of scholarly debate and discourse. Fragmented information about the war appears in surviving sources, including Völuspá, a poem collected in the Poetic Edda in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the following attestations provide information about the war: In two stanzas of Völuspá, the war is recounted by a völva while the god Óðinn questions her. In the first of the two stanzas, the völva says that she remembers the first war in the world, when Gullveig was stabbed with spears and burnt three times in one of Óðinn's halls, yet that Gullveig was reborn three times. In the stanza, the völva says that they called Gullveig Heiðr whenever she came to houses, that she was a wise völva, that she cast spells.
Heiðr performed seiðr where she could, did so in a trance, was "always the favorite of wicked women."In a stanza, the völva tells Óðinn that all the powers went to the judgment seats and discussed whether the Æsir should pay a fine or if all of the gods should instead have tribute. Further in the poem, a stanza provides the last of the völva's account of the events surrounding the war, she says: Odin shot a spear, hurled it over the host. These stanzas are unclear the second half of stanza 23, but the battle appears to have been precipitated by the entry of Gullveig/Heiðr among the Æsir. Stanza 23 relates a difficulty in reaching a truce which led to the all-out war described in stanza 24. However, the reference to "all the gods" could, in Lindow's view, indicate a movement towards a community involving both the Æsir and the Vanir. Ursula Dronke points to extensive wordplay on all the meanings of the gildi and the adjective gildr to signal the core issue of whether the Æsir will surrender their monopoly on human tribute and join with the "all-too-popular" Vanir.
In the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, the god Bragi explains the origin of poetry. Bragi says that it originated in the Æsir–Vanir War, when during the peace conference the Æsir and the Vanir formed a truce by all spitting into a vat; when they left, the gods decided that it should not be poured out, but rather kept as a symbol of their peace, so from the contents made a man, Kvasir. Kvasir is murdered, from his blood is made the Mead of Poetry. In chapter 4 of Heimskringla, Snorri presents a euhemerized account of the war; the account says that Óðinn led a great army from Asia to attack the people of "Vanaheim." However, according to Snorri, the people of Vanahiem were well prepared for the invasion. The two sides tired of the war and both agreed to meet to establish a truce. After doing so, they exchanged hostages. Vanahiem is described as having sent to Asgard its best men: Njörðr—described as wealthy—and his son Freyr in exchange for Asgard Hœnir—described here as large and thought of by the people of Vanahiem well suited to be a chieftain.
Additionally, Asgard sends Mímir—a man of great understanding—in exchange for Kvasir, who Snorri describes as the wisest man of Vanahiem. Upon arrival in Vanahiem, Hœnir was made chief, Mímir gave him good counsel. However, when Hœnir was at meetings and at the Thing without Mímir by his side, he would always answer the same way: "Let others decide." Subsequently, the Vanahiem folk suspected they had been cheated in the exchange by the Asgard folk, so they seized Mímir and beheaded him and sent the head to Asgard. Óðinn took the head of Mímir, embalmed it with herbs so that it would not rot, spoke charms over it, which gave it the power to speak to him and reveal to him secrets.Óðinn appointed Njörðr and Freyr to be priests of sacrificial customs and they became Diar of the people of Asgard. Freyja, described as daughter of Njörðr, was the priestess of these sacrifices, here she is described as introducing seiðr to Asgard. A number of theories surround the Æsir–Vanir War: As the Vanir are considered fertility gods, the Æsir–Vanir War has been proposed as a reflection of the invasion of local fertility cults somewhere in regions inhabited by the Germanic peoples by a more aggressive, warlike cult.
This has been proposed as an analogy of the invasion of the Indo-Europeans. Georges Dumézil stated that the war need not be understood in terms of historicity more than any other myth however. Scholars have cited parallels between the Æsir–Vanir War, The Rape of the Sabine Women from Roman mythology, the battle between Devas and Asuras from Hindu mythology, providing support for a Proto-Indo-European "war of the functions." Explaining these parallels, J. P. Mallory states: Basically, the parallels concern the presence of first- and second- function representatives on the victorious side of a war that subdues and incorporates third function characters, for example, the Sabine women or the Norse Vanir. In
In Old Norse, ǫ́ss is a member of the principal pantheon in Norse religion. This pantheon includes Odin, Thor, Baldr and Týr; the second pantheon is known as the Vanir. In Norse mythology, the two pantheons wage war against each other, which results in a unified pantheon; the cognate term in Old English is ōs denoting a deity in Anglo-Saxon paganism. The Old High German is ans, plural ensî; the Gothic language had ans-. The reconstructed Proto-Germanic form is *ansuz; the ansuz rune, ᚫ, was named after the Æsir. Unlike the Old English word god, the term ōs was never adopted into Christian use. Æsir is the plural of áss, óss "god", attested in other Germanic languages, e.g. Old English ōs, Old Dutch ans and Gothic anses "half-gods"; these all stem from Proto-Germanic *ansuz, which itself comes from Proto-Indo-European *h₂énsus "life force" (cf. Avestan aŋhū "lord, it is accepted that this word is further related to *h₂ens- "to engender". Old Norse áss has the accusative æsi and ásu. In genitival compounds, it takes the form ása-, e.g. in Ása-Þórr, besides ás- found in ás-brú "gods' bridge", ás-garðr, ás-kunnigr "gods' kin", ás-liðar "gods' leader", ás-mogin "gods' might", ás-móðr "divine wrath" etc.
Landâs "national god" is a title of Thor, as is allmáttki ás "almighty god", while it is Odin, "the" ás. The feminine suffix -ynja is known from a few other nouns denoting female animals, such as apynja "female monkey", vargynja "she-wolf"; the word for "goddess" is not attested outside Old Norse. The latinization of Danish Aslak as Ansleicus, the name of a Danish Viking converted to Christianity in 864 according to the Miracles de St. Riquier, indicates that the nasalization in the first syllable persisted into the 9th century; the cognate Old English form to áss is ōs, preserved only as a prefix Ōs- in personal names and some place-names, as the genitive plural ēsa. In Old High German, Old Dutch and Old Saxon, the word is only attested in personal and place names, e.g. Ansebert, Ansfrid, Vihans. Jordanes has anses for the gods of the Goths; the interaction between the Æsir and the Vanir has provoked an amount of scholarly theory and speculation. While other cultures have had "elder" and "younger" families of gods, as with the Titans versus the Olympians of ancient Greece, the Æsir and Vanir were portrayed as contemporaries.
The two clans of gods fought battles, concluded treaties, exchanged hostages. An áss like Ullr is unknown in the myths, but his name is seen in a lot of geographical names in Sweden, may appear on the 3rd century Thorsberg chape, suggesting that his cult was widespread in prehistoric times; the names of the first three Æsir in Norse mythology, Vili, Vé and Odin all refer to spiritual or mental state, vili to conscious will or desire, vé to the sacred or numinous and óðr to the manic or ecstatic. A second clan of gods, the Vanir, is mentioned in Norse mythology: the god Njörðr and his children and Freyja, are the most prominent Vanir gods who join the Æsir as hostages after a war between Æsir and Vanir; the Vanir appear to have been connected with cultivation and fertility and the Æsir were connected with power and war. In the Eddas, the word Æsir is used for gods in general, while Asynjur is used for the goddesses in general. For example, in the poem Skírnismál, Freyr was called "Prince of the Æsir".
In the Prose Edda, Njörðr was introduced as "the third among the Æsir", among the Asynjur, Freyja is always listed second only to Frigg. In surviving tales, the origins of many of the Æsir are unexplained. There are just three: Odin and his brothers Vili and Vé. Odin's sons by giantesses are counted as Æsir. Heimdallr and Ullr's connection with the Æsir is not mentioned. Loki is a jötunn, Njörðr is a Vanir hostage, but they are ranked among the Æsir. Given the difference between their roles and emphases, some scholars have speculated that the interactions between the Æsir and the Vanir reflect the types of interaction that were occurring between social classes within Norse society at the time. According to another theory, the Vanir may be more archaic than that of the more warlike Æsir, such that the mythical war may mirror a half-remembered religious conflict; this argument was first suggested by Wilhelm Mannhardt in 1877. On a similar note, Marija Gimbutas argues that the Æsir and the Vanir represent the displacement of an indigenous Indo-European group by a tribe of warlike invaders as part of her Kurgan hypothesis.
See her case in The Living Goddess for more details. Another historical theory is that the inter-pantheon interaction may be an apotheosisation of the conflict between the Roman Kingdom and the Sabines; the noted comparative religion scholar Mircea Eliade speculated that this conflict is a version of an Indo-European myth concerning the conflict between and eventual integration of a pantheon