Lóðurr is a god in Norse mythology. In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá he is assigned a role in animating the first humans, but apart from that he is hardly mentioned, remains obscure. Scholars have variously identified him with Loki, Vé, Vili and Freyr, but consensus has not been reached on any one theory; the name's meaning is unknown. It has been speculatively linked to various Old Norse words, such as lóð, "fruit, land", ljóðar, "people" and laða, "to attract"; the Gothic words liudan, "to grow" and laudi, "shape", as well as the German word lodern, "to blaze", have been mentioned in this context. The metrical position of Lóðurr's name in the skaldic poem Íslendingadrápa, composed in the strict dróttkvætt metre, indicates that it contains the sound value /ó/ rather than /o/; this evidence, while strong, is not incontrovertible and some scholars have held out for a Loðurr reading. Danish and Norwegian lørdag, Swedish lördag, as well as Finnish lauantai may derive from Lóður Dag, meaning "Saturday", although more the etymology is proposed to originate from "washing day".
In the Poetic Edda the name Lóðurr occurs only once. The precise meaning of these strophes and their context in Völuspá is debated. Most relevant for the present discussion are Lóðurr's gifts of litu góða; the word lá is obscure and the translations "film of flesh" and "blood" are just two of the many possibilities that have been suggested. The phrase "litu góða" is somewhat less difficult and traditionally interpreted as "good colours", "good shape" or "good looks"; the 19th-century Swedish scholar Viktor Rydberg proposed a reading of litu goða, meaning "shape of gods", saw the line as indication that the gods created human beings in their own image. While the manuscripts do not distinguish between the phonemes /o/ and /ó/, most other scholars have preferred the /ó/ reading for metrical reasons; the metrical structure of Völuspá's fornyrðislag is, not rigid and in 1983 Rydberg's theory was championed again by Gro Steinsland. It remains debated. Apart from the strophe in Völuspá, Lóðurr's name occurs only twice in the original sources.
The name is found in the skaldic poems Háleygjatal and Íslendingadrápa where "Lóðurr's friend" is used as a kenning for Odin. This seems consistent with Lóðurr's role in Völuspá. In Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, Lóðurr is conspicuously absent. Here the creation of humans is attributed to the sons of Borr, whom Snorri names elsewhere as Odin, Vili and Vé. Snorri quotes Völuspá in his work, but in this case he does not. We cannot know whether he knew the strophes above or whether he was working from other sources. Another source sometimes brought into the discussion is the Nordendorf fibula; this artifact, dating from about 600 CE, contains the runic inscription logaþorewodanwigiþonar. This is interpreted as Logaþore Wodan Wigiþonar, where Wodan is Odin and Wigiþonar is Thor, it would be natural for logaþore to be the name of a third god, but there is no obvious identification in Norse mythology as we know it. Both Lóðurr and Loki have been proposed, but the etymological reasoning is tenuous, firm conclusions cannot be reached.
Since the Prose Edda mentions the sons of Borr in the same context as Völuspá does Hœnir and Lóðurr, some scholars have reasoned that Lóðurr might be another name for either Vili or Vé. Viktor Rydberg was an early proponent of this theory, but it has received little attention. A more popular theory proposed by the scholar Ursula Dronke is that Lóðurr is "a third name of Loki/Loptr"; the main argument for this is that the gods Odin, Hœnir and Loki occur as a trio in Haustlöng, in the prose prologue to Reginsmál and in the Loka Táttur a Faroese ballad, a rare example of the occurrence of Norse gods in folklore. The Odin-kenning "Lóðurr's friend" furthermore appears to parallel the kenning "Loptr's friend" and Loki is referred to as "Hœnir's friend" in Haustlöng, strengthening the trio connection. While many scholars agree with this identification, it is not universally accepted. One argument against it is that Loki appears as a malevolent being in Völuspá conflicting with the image of Lóðurr as a "mighty and loving" figure.
Many scholars, including Jan de Vries and Georges Dumézil, have identified Lóðurr as being the same deity as Loki. Haukur Þorgeirsson of the University of Iceland suggested that Loki and Lóðurr were different names of the same deity based on that Loki is referred to as Lóður in the rimur Lokrur. Haukur argues that whatever if the rimur is based on Snorri's Gylfaginning or a folksource the writer must have had the information about the identification from either a tradition or drawing the conclusion based on Edda poems, since Snorri does not mention Lóðurr in his Edda. Since the contents of the Poetic Edda are assumed to have been forgotten around 1400 when the rimur was written Haukur argues for a traditional identification. Haukur points to Þrymlur where the same identification is made with Loki and Lóðurr. Haukur Þorgeirsson says that unless the possible but unlikely idea that the 14th and 15th century poets possessed lost written sources unknown to us, the idea must have come from either an unlikely amount of sources from where the poets could have drawn a similar conclusion that Loki and Lóðurr are identical like some recent scholars or that there still were remnants of an oral tradition.
Haukur concludes that if Lóðurr was considered an independent deity from Loki a discussion of when and why he became identified with Lo
Forseti is the god of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology. He is identified with Fosite, a god of the Frisians. Jacob Grimm noted that if, as Adam of Bremen states, Fosite's sacred island was Heligoland, that would make him an ideal candidate for a deity known to both Frisians and Scandinavians, but that it is surprising he is never mentioned by Saxo Grammaticus. Grimm took Forseti, "praeses", to be the older form of the name, first postulating an unattested Old High German equivalent *forasizo, but preferring a derivation from fors, a "whirling stream" or "cataract", connected to the spring and the god's veneration by seagoing peoples. It is plausible that Fosite is Forseti a folk etymology. According to the German philologist Hans Kuhn the Germanic form Fosite is linguistically identical to Greek Poseidon, hence the original name must have been introduced before the Proto-Germanic sound change via Greek sailors purchasing amber; the Greek traveller Pytheas of Massalia, who describes the amber trade, is known to have visited the region around 325 BC.
According to Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, Forseti is the son of Nanna. His home is Glitnir, its name, meaning "shining," refers to its silver ceiling and golden pillars, which radiated light that could be seen from a great distance, his is the best of courts. This suggests skill in mediation and is in contrast to his fellow god Týr, who "is not called a reconciler of men." However, as de Vries points out, the only basis for associating Forseti with justice seems to have been his name. The first element in the name Forsetlund, a farm in the parish of Onsøy, in eastern Norway, seems to be the genitive case of Forseti, offering evidence he was worshipped there. According to Alcuin's Life of St. Willebrord, the saint visited an island between Frisia and Denmark, sacred to Fosite and was called Fositesland after the god worshipped there. There was a sacred spring from which water had to be drawn in silence, it was so holy. Willebrord defiled the spring by killing a cow there. Altfrid tells the same story of St. Liudger.
Adam of Bremen adds that the island was Heiligland, i.e. Heligoland. There is a late-medieval legend of the origins of written Frisian laws. Wishing to assemble written lawcodes for all his subject peoples, Charlemagne summoned twelve representatives of the Frisian people, the Āsegas, demanded they recite their people's laws; when they could not do so after several days, he let them choose between death, slavery, or being set adrift in a rudderless boat. They chose the last and prayed for help, whereupon a thirteenth man appeared, with a golden axe on his shoulder, he steered the boat to land with the axe threw it ashore. He taught them laws and disappeared; the stranger and the spring have traditionally been identified with Fosite and the sacred spring of Fositesland. Modern scholarship, however, is critical about this hypotheses, as the attribute of the axe is associated with Thor, not with Forseti; the German neofolk band Forseti named itself after the god. Poetic Edda The dictionary definition of forseti at Wiktionary Media related to Forseti at Wikimedia Commons
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
In Norse mythology, Iðunn is a goddess associated with apples and youth. Iðunn is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, she is described as the wife of the skaldic god Bragi, in the Prose Edda as a keeper of apples and granter of eternal youthfulness; the Prose Edda relates that Loki was once forced by the jötunn Þjazi to lure Iðunn out of Asgard and into a wood, promising her interesting apples. Þjazi, in the form of an eagle, takes her to his home. Iðunn's absence causes the gods to grow old and grey, they realize that Loki is responsible for her disappearance. Loki promises to return her and, in the form of a falcon, finds her alone at Þjazi's home, he takes her back to Asgard. After Þjazi finds that Iðunn is gone, he furiously chases after Loki; the gods build a pyre in Asgard and, after a sudden stop by Loki, Þjazi's feathers catch fire, he falls, the gods kill him.
A number of theories surround Iðunn, including potential links to fertility, her potential origin in Proto-Indo-European religion. Long the subject of artworks, Iðunn is sometimes referenced in modern popular culture; the name Iðunn has been variously explained as meaning "ever young", "rejuvenator", or "the rejuvenating one". As the modern English alphabet lacks the eth character, Iðunn is sometimes anglicized as Idun, Idunn or Ithun. An -a suffix is sometimes applied to denote femininity, resulting in forms such as Iduna and Idunna; the name Iðunn appears as a personal name in several historical sources and the Landnámabók records that it has been in use in Iceland as a personal name since the pagan period. Landnámabók records two incidents of women by the name of Iðunn; the name Iðunn has been theorized as the origin of the Old English name Idonea. 19th century author Charlotte Mary Yonge writes that the derivation of Idonea from Idunn is "almost certain," noting that although Idonea may be "the feminine of the Latin idoneus, its absence in the Romance countries may be taken as an indication that it was a mere classicalizing of the northern goddess of the apples of youth."19th-century scholar Jacob Grimm proposed a potential etymological connection to the idisi.
Grimm states that "with the original form idis the goddess Idunn may be connected." Grimm further states that Iðunn may have been known with another name, that "Iðunn would seem by Saem. 89a to be an Elvish word, but we do not hear of any other name for the goddess." Iðunn appears in the Poetic Edda poem Lokasenna and, included in some modern editions of the Poetic Edda, in the late poem Hrafnagaldr Óðins. Iðunn is introduced as Bragi's wife in the prose introduction to the poem Lokasenna, where the two attend a feast held by Ægir. In stanzas 16, 17, 18, dialog occurs between Loki and Iðunn after Loki has insulted Bragi. In stanza 16, Iðunn says: Idunn said: I ask you, Bragi, to do a service to your blood-kin and all the adoptive relations, that you shouldn't say words of blame to Loki, in Ægir's hall. Loki said: Be silent, Idunn, I declare that of all women you're the most man-crazed, since you placed your arms, washed bright, about your brother's slayer. Idunn said: I'm not saying words of blame to Loki, in Ægir's hall I quietened Bragi, made talkative with beer.
In this exchange, Loki has accused Iðunn of having slept with the killer of her brother. However, neither this brother nor killer are accounted for in any other surviving source. Afterward, the goddess Gefjon speaks up and the poem continues in turn. In the poem Hrafnagaldr Óðins, additional information is given about Iðunn, though this information is otherwise unattested. Here, Iðunn is identified as descending from elves, as one of "Ivaldi's elder children" and as a dís who dwells in dales. Stanza 6 reads: In the dales dwells, the prescient Dís, from Yggdrasil's ash sunk down, of alfen race, Idun by name, the youngest of Ivaldi's elder children. Iðunn is introduced in the Prose Edda in section 26 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning. Here, Iðunn is described as Bragi's keeper of an eski within which she keeps apples; the apples are bitten into by the gods when they begin to grow old and they become young again, described as occurring up until Ragnarök. Gangleri states that it seems to him that the gods depend upon Iðunn's good faith and care.
With a laugh, High responds that misfortune once came close, that he could tell Gangleri about it, but first he must hear the names of more of the Æsir, he continues providing information about gods. In the book Skáldskaparmál, Idunn is mentioned in its first chapter as one of eight ásynjur sitting in their thrones at a banquet in Asgard for Ægir. In chapter 56, Bragi tells Ægir about Iðunn's abduction by the jötunn Þjazi. Bragi says. Loki is pulled further and further into the sky, his feet banging against stones and trees. Loki feels. Loki shouts and begs the eagle for a truce, the eagle responds that Loki would not be free unless he made a solemn vow to have Iðunn come outside of Asgard with her apples. Loki accepts Þjazi's conditions and returns to his friends Hœnir. At the time Þjazi and Loki agreed on, Loki lures Iðunn o
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.
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
Höðr is a blind god and a son of Odin and Frigg in Norse mythology. Tricked and guided by Loki, he shot the mistletoe arrow, to slay the otherwise invulnerable Baldr. According to the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, the goddess Frigg, Baldr's mother, made everything in existence swear never to harm Baldr, except for the mistletoe, which she found too unimportant to ask; the gods amused themselves by seeing them fail to do any harm. Loki, the mischief-maker, upon finding out about Baldr's one weakness, made a spear from mistletoe, helped Höðr shoot it at Baldr. In reaction to this and the giantess Rindr gave birth to Váli, who grew to adulthood within a day and slew Höðr; the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus recorded an alternative version of this myth in his Gesta Danorum. In this version, the mortal hero Høtherus and the demi-god Balderus compete for the hand of Nanna. Høtherus slays Balderus. In the Gylfaginning part of Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda Höðr is introduced in an ominous way. Höðr is not mentioned again.
All things except the mistletoe have sworn an oath not to harm Baldr, so the Æsir throw missiles at him for sport. The Gylfaginning does not say. In fact it states that Baldr cannot be avenged, at least not immediately, it does seem, that Höðr ends up in Hel one way or another for the last mention of him in Gylfaginning is in the description of the post-Ragnarök world. Snorri's source of this knowledge is Völuspá as quoted below. In the Skáldskaparmál section of the Prose Edda several kennings for Höðr are related. None of those kennings, are found in surviving skaldic poetry. Neither are Snorri's kennings for Váli, which are of interest in this context, it is clear from this that Snorri was familiar with the role of Váli as Höðr's slayer though he does not relate that myth in the Gylfaginning prose. Some scholars have speculated that he found it distasteful since Höðr is innocent in his version of the story. Höðr is referred to several times always in the context of Baldr's death; the following strophes are from Völuspá.
This account seems to fit well with the information in the Prose Edda, but here the role of Baldr's avenging brother is emphasized. Baldr and Höðr are mentioned in Völuspá's description of the world after Ragnarök; the poem Vafþrúðnismál informs us that the gods who survive Ragnarök are Viðarr, Váli, Móði and Magni with no mention of Höðr and Baldr. The myth of Baldr's death is referred to in another Eddic poem, Baldrs draumar. Höðr is not mentioned again by name in the Eddas, he is, referred to in Völuspá in skamma. The name of Höðr occurs several times in skaldic poetry as a part of warrior-kennings, thus Höðr brynju, "Höðr of byrnie", is a warrior and so is Höðr víga, "Höðr of battle". Some scholars have found the fact that the poets should want to compare warriors with Höðr to be incongruous with Snorri's description of him as a blind god, unable to harm anyone without assistance, it is possible that this indicates that some of the poets were familiar with other myths about Höðr than the one related in Gylfaginning - some where Höðr has a more active role.
On the other hand, the names of many gods occur in kennings and the poets might not have been particular in using any god name as a part of a kenning. In Gesta Danorum Hotherus is a human hero of the Swedish royal lines, he is gifted in swimming, archery and music and Nanna, daughter of King Gevarus falls in love with him. But at the same time Balderus, son of Othinus, has caught sight of Nanna bathing and fallen violently in love with her, he resolves to his rival. Out hunting, Hotherus is led astray by a mist and meets wood-maidens who control the fortunes of war, they warn him that Balderus has designs on Nanna but tell him that he shouldn't attack him in battle since he is a demigod. Hotherus asks him for his daughter; the king replies that he would gladly favour him but that Balderus has made a like request and he does not want to incur his wrath. Gevarus tells Hotherus that Balderus is invincible but that he knows of one weapon which can defeat him, a sword kept by Mimingus, the satyr of the woods.
Mimingus has another magical artifact, a bracelet that increases the wealth of its owner. Riding through a region of extraordinary cold in a carriage drawn by reindeer, Hotherus captures the satyr with a clever ruse and forces him to yield his artifacts. Hearing about Hotherus's artifacts, king of Saxony, equips a fleet to attack him. Gevarus tells him where to meet Gelderus in battle; when the battle is joined and his men save their missiles while defending themselves against those of the enemy with a testudo formation. With his missiles exhausted, Gelderus is forced to sue for peace, he becomes his ally. Hotherus gains another ally with his eloquent oratory by helping King Helgo of Hålogaland win a bride. Meanwhile, Balderus enters the country of king Gevarus sues for Nanna. Gevarus tells him to learn Nanna's own mind. Balderus is refused. Nanna tells him that because of the great difference in their nature and stature, since he is a demigod, they are not suitable for marriage; as news of Balderus's efforts reaches Hotherus, he and his allies resolve to attack Balderus.
A great naval battle ensues. Thoro in par