NAVIGATION

 

 

 

Heimðallr

                  Heimðallr


By Rig Svenson 2005

 It is known as Heaven's Edgel
Where Heimðallr, they say,
is master of all men;
There the guardian of the gods
sups in his hall
With gladness the good honey mead. 

 Grímnismál


Introduction

Heimðallr artwork © created for RS “Little Bones”  by Christopher Bell

This article is presented to provoke insight and give clarity about this enigmatic and little understood courageous heroic figure of the Northern folk. Heimðallr, the god who was born of nine mothers (the waves of the sea), is said to have been the father of all the castes of humankind. There is a Rig lay, telling a tale in which he fathers the three castes of men. He does not create human beings; rather he fathers sons from the three primal couples. It is through Heimðallr that all human beings can claim to have the genes of the gods running through them. Until this occurred human beings were just like the other animals of this planet. We are equal now because the lower caste and the highest caste have been abolished; we are all children of Heimðallr, our family the Aesir and Vanir collectively called the Tivar[1].

The Sources for Heimðallr

There are three main sources which tells us about the god Heimðallr, namely Gylfaginning (The Deluding of Gylfi) taken from the Younger or Prose Edda, Skáldskaparmál  (The Poesy of the Skalds) and the Poetic Edda. Heimðallr’s possible relegation to sentinel status may have possibly been due to a result of betrayal of trust or accrued cognitive power in compensation for the loss of some bodily faculty?

27. I know of the horn of Heimðallr, hidden
Under the high-reaching holy tree;
On it there pours from Valfather's pledge
A mighty stream: would you know yet more?

46. Fast move the sons of Mim, and fate
Is heard in the note of the Gjallarhorn;
Loud blows Heimdall, the horn is aloft,
In fear quake all who on Hel-roads are.

47. Yggdrasil shakes, and shiver on high
The ancient limbs, and the giant is loose;
To the head of Mim does Othin give heed,
But the kinsman of Surt shall slay him soon.

Poetc Edda’s Voluspa Bellows HA

I suggest that as horns are usually found in pairs, Heimðallr’s Gilliarhorn might have been one of the drinking vessels containing the Holy Mead. This horn was probably none other than Hoddrofnir, stored at Skuld's well. Heithdraupnir’ is ‘Light-Dropper’ and ‘Hoddrofnir’ is ‘Treasure-Opener’, both names associated with Mimir, the warder of the well of knowledge.

Heimdallr gives the necklace to Freyja. Painting by Nils Blommér (1816-1853).

Of previous things

A basic principle of Nordic cosmology is that all things are made out of previous things. One day three of the Aesir, Othinin, Hoenir and Lodur were walking along the seashore until they came across two feeble trees. Odin gave them the spiritual force soul, Hoenir gave them mind and senses, and Lodur gave them the external features to differentiate them from other creatures. The male they named Ask (ash) and the female the named Embla (elm). Ask and Embla became the progenitors of the human race and Midgardr (middle enclosure) was given to them as their residence. Thus according to Norse mythology, human beings descended from the trees through the intervention of the Gods. Later, as mentioned earlier, accordingly Heimðallr’s blood entered into the human race making all of us, the direct children of the gods, instead of just created creatures.

It can be argued however that "Embla" is is not necessarily related to "elm". It is possible, but the word could just as well be related to the Greek 'ampelos' (vine). It was Hans Sperber, back in 1911 who made the connection. You'll find the article in PBB 36, p. 219-222ff. The original "elm" derivation was Bugge's, but it has always been problematic, because the presence of the "b" in Embla is difficult to explain in West Old Norse. Sperber pointed out the OHG woman's name "Embila", and backtracked it to *ambilon, which could obviously be related to the Greek "ampelos". The ash is hard wood, while the vine is soft (and clinging). It was common to make fire by drilling a piece of hard wood into a softer one, and apparently vines and other related climbers were commonly used for that purpose. The symbolism is self explanatory. Sigurður Nordal embraced Sperber's idea (in Völuspá 1952), and the two possibilities are mentioned side by side in the current Icelandic Etymological Dictionary (ÁBM 1989).

Heimðallr the shining God

Denmark’s tribal populations included Anglians and Cimbrians who became two of the most powerful tribes, the later tribe of the Danes was the result of a fusion of several older tribes. According to the Rigsþula[2] the Danes were the followers of Konr[3], the youngest son of the legendary Jarl from the Rigsþula saga. In order to do justice to this article, it would take the better part of a huge dissertation just to cover just the Eddaic Poem Rigsþula found in a manuscript known as The Poetic Edda[4]. The etymology of the name "Edda" is great-grandmother suggesting its antiquity and can be extended to imply also matrix or source. It is undoubtedly a storehouse of ancient wisdom which should be ranked with the world's greatest scriptures, having remained in a purer form than many other traditions.

The spiritually enlightened bards or skalds of long ago -- descendants of the story tellers -- recited the epic sagas of the history and destiny of worlds and men with captivating imagery, alliteration, and rhythm ages before they were written down. Yes I am referring to the oral tradition!  Rigsþula gives account of how the god Heimðallr related to the heathen folk then and in my opinion, is just as applicaple today. So in order to make a viable effort within the short space allowed for this article, I have, of necessity condensed the more interesting elements without losing the topic’s main theme whilst in keeping with the lore pertaining to Heimðallr and his namesake as good starting point! Heimðallr's name can be broken down into heimr (world) and dallr (brightness). Another alternate form "Heimdalr" also survives but in this case, the second element could be dalr ("bow"), so that the name would mean "World-Bow" - that is, the Rainbow Bridge. Heimðallr’s head” is a kenning[5] for sword whilst “Heimðallr’s sword” is likewise a kenning for head (Háttatal 7, Faulkes 1991, 7; Skáldskaparmál chap. 87, Jónsson 1931, 190).

Heimðallr's name:

Commentary on Voluspa 1/3-4: Heimðallar: the nom. Heimðallr is confirmed by the rhyme with fallinn in Husdrapa 10/4 (Snorra Edda 90). There would be no reason for simplifying -ll- in the gen. Dallr, however, is a rare, probably archaic, word for 'tree', recorded as such ('arbor prolifera') only in Biorn Haldorsen's Lexicon.  Both Haldorsen and Blöndal gloss dall/r/dal/ur signifying a bowl of wood (with lid and handIe) for liquid food (in northern Iceland).  Elsewhere, such a bowl was called askr/askur, presumably because it was made of wood (not necessarily ash-wood). By analogy, a wooden bowl might be called dallr because it was made from the wood of a tree/ dallr (again, not necessarily of a specific tree). The nom. form Heimðallr occurs once (Snorra Edda 99), the gen. form Heimðallar eleven times (Pipping I. 7). Dalr is a poetic term for 'bow' (gen. dals and dalar; LP s.v.), listed in Þulur IV (Skjald B 1.665), Snorra Edda 203, beside almr, 'elm- wood bow', and yr, 'yew-wood bow'; dalr may have become a bow-heiti because dalr also was a tree name, a variant, presumably, of dallr.

The ram-heiti Heimðallr (gen. -dala) in Þulur IV aa (Skjald B 1.670), Snorra Edda 210, may have arisen from popular interchangeability of -dall- and -dal- in Heimðallr’s name. The ram may have been named after the god both because it was the proper sacrifice to the god, sharing his identity (see Tolley (a), 344-6), and because, like the god, he was the father of flocks (kindir). No doubt it was in this shepherding capacity that he listened to the growing of the grass and of his sheep's wool. On the mythologems associated with Heimðallr see Pipping, Eddastudier, and esp. I; Tolley (a), 326-61, 'The god Heimðallr as a hypostasis of the world axis';UD (i), 666-76, 'Arbor parens: god as world tree and world pillar'.  It seems that Ursula Dronke sees Heimðallr here as a representative of the world-tree. When we see that he was given a drink of the very fountains, which feed the tree, we can see why he would be represented this way.  Many scholars fail to see the three world-fountains in the drink that was given to Heimðallr as a baby.

Heimðallr’s Head

Another possible conjectural reading of the "head" being called Heimðallr's sword", might have something to do with the epithet "gull-tanne” or "gold toothed". Following Meissner's "Die Kenningar der Skalden" [(1921), pp.150-164.] there are no less than seventeen kennings for "swords" involving the mouth. If these golden 'teeth' are seen as his weaponry, thus the head of an animal or man would do the biting with the metaphorical 'swords' of Heimðallr , in the sense of "biting" and there are many kennings involving the 'biting of swords'.

Much of this information is corroborated in Gylfaginning[6] or complemented in Volospá[7], e.g., Heimðallr as the warder of the gods, residing in Himinbjorg[8] near the rainbow bridge Bifrost, ready to blow his far-sounding horn, Gjallarhorn at Ragnarok[9].  The Norse god of light, Heimðallr has generated a great deal of interest today amongst both scholars and Northern Traditionalist. Ellis Davidson (1969, 105–7) cites that Heimðallr is the most impressive after the great gods and Loki. He has been variously interpreted as the god of the heavens, of light, the father of the gods, an emanation of an older god, an equivalent of Varuna, Mithra and Janus, and an embodiment of the world tree Yggdrasil, most recently the god of fire (Schröder 1967).

RigsÞula

Svá segja menn í fornum sögum, at einnhverr af ásum, sá er Heimdallr hét, fór ferðar sinnar ok fram með sjóvarströndu nökkurri, kom at einum húsabœ ok nefndiz Rígr; eftir þeiri sögu er kvæði þetta:

In ancient Sagas it is related that one of the Æsir named Heimðallr, being on a journey to a certain sea-shore, came to a village, where he called himself Rig. In accordance with this Saga is the following:

Hama Heimðallr is one of the most mentioned gods in the Poetic Edda. The Eddic poem Rígsþula begins with the tale of how Heimðallr fared on his way and forth to a certain sea-strand, came to a house-dwelling and named himself Rígr". The title "Rígr" is probably derived from the Irish Celtic word for "king". The poem itself tells of how he fathered the founders of the three classes of humankind: Thrall, the father of slaves, Carl, the father of free farmers, and Earl, the father of rulers. The process is not simply one of separation, though: it is a process of growth on the part of the human race. Thrall's parents are called "Great-Grandfather" and "Great-Grandmother"; Carl's are "Grandfather" and "Grandmother"; Earl's are "Father" and "Mother" - Heimdallr is clearly sowing a seed and tending it through the generations.

A form of this tale goes back at least to the time of Tacitus, who reports the Germanic belief of the god Mannus[10] who had fathered the three great tribes, Ingvaeones, Hermiones, and Istavaeones. In this aspect, Heimðallr appears not only as the watcher of the Rainbow Bridge, but as its embodiment: he is the first of the living links between the god/esses and all humankind. The beginning of Völuspá bears this out: the seeress begins with the words, "Hearing I bid of all holy ones, both high and low of Heimdallr's kin". "Heimdallr's kin" must at least include the god/esses and humans; perhaps the etins (Norse Giants) as well, if one thinks on his mothers.

Heimðallr the teacher

Heimðallr is also a teacher, wise in all crafts and willing to give them to those humans who are able to learn them. Rígsþula shows him coming to Earl to teach his son runes and spur him on to win his inheritance; when Earl's son Konr has learned the runes well enough, Heimðallr gives up the title of "Rígr" to him. Both this reference and the title of the lost poem Heimdallargaldr suggest that Heimðallr is a master of magic. Sci Fi authors Harry Harrison and John Holm present "Rígr" as the god of human invention and technological progress, which fits well with the picture given by this poem. Heimðallr’s nickname Hallinskíði or 'bent stick' also appears as a kenning for "ram", possibly suggesting to the bent horns on a ram's head.

Accordingly by this rationale, it seems that Heimdallr is a good god to call on for academic help - perhaps even better than Woden[11] in subjects where wild verbal inspiration is not particularly needed. Rig was identified with Heimðallr around the late 13th century although the evidence is scant to warrant this, and it seems likely that the poet who composed the Rigsþula must have had Othinn rather then Heimðallr, in mind. The purpose of this was to trace the origin of the royal estate to the chief of the gods. The evidence bearing on this identification is briefly summed up in the note on the introductory prose passage, but the question involves complex and baffling problems in mythology, and from very early times the status of Heimðallr was unquestionably confusing to the Norse mind, in part because of varying scholastic interpretations today but also because of the fragmentary nature of the surviving texts.

In the Poetc Edda’s Voluspa Bellows translation strophe ! & 2 we see:

1. Hearing I ask from the holy races[12],
From
Heimðallr 's sons,  both high and low;
Thou wilt, Valfather[13],  that well I relate
Old tales I remember  of men long ago.

2. I remember yet the giants of yore,
Who gave me bread in the days gone by;
Nine worlds I knew, the nine in the tree
With mighty roots beneath the mold.

Heimðallr and Othinn are separate deities

Despite the views of a contingent of Germanic Dutch scholars who suggested that the áss, Rígr, is really Odin and not Heim dallr (Meißner 1933; von See 1981a, 84; von See 1981c, 514; de Vries 1967, 125), then the epithet for Heim dallr of Úlfr Uggason in Húsdrápa 2.1, ráð gegninn ‘the helpful’ or ‘shrewd with advice’ (Jóns son 1912–15, B1:128), will have no bearing on Rígsþula; Now to clear up a little misconception about Heimðallr and Othinn being considered one and the same god, we need to take a look at Lokesenna.

Loki said:

48. Hush thee, Heimðallr, to a hateful life
wast doomed in days of yore:
with a stiff back thou must stand always
and wake as the watch of the gods.

(Hollander 1962, 100) Lokesenna

Othinn and Heimðallr are clearly two separate deities as this stanza directly identifies strife between Othinn and Heimdallr with the result being Heimðallr´s ‘punishment’ (as it is implied by Loki) to stand watch over the Bifröst Bridge.  Each of the referenced poetic translations identify a ‘punishment’ imposed upon Heimdallr, some with Loki´s tone in a more malevolent fashion, but only the Hollander translation specifically identifies Heimðallr´s ‘position’ as a charge lain upon Him.  Considering the only written record of the repercussions of the Vanic War is the chronology of the creation of the holy mead as a bond between the , such a direct reference to Heimdallr’s ‘punishment’ (the only legitimate reference to any God or Goddess being punished) is acceptable as evidence of a charge, or duty, levied upon an oppositional leader to a conflict; this is very clear and re-enforces the probability that this duty was imposed as referred in the sentence: “wast doomed in the days of yore”.

Loki said:

22. Hush thee, Othin; not ever fairly
didst alot men luck in battle
oft thou gavest, as give thou should’st not,
mastery to worser men

(Hollander 1962, 95) Lokesenna

I further argue that in above stanza 22 of the Hollander Lokesenna translation, Loki clearly identifies and was addressing another god, namely Othinn and this is different from that of Heimdallr whom he also addresses in stanza 48?  This too, re-enforces the probability of Heimðallr´s role as the pre-Vanic War leader of the Vanir and as the God of Virtues, as in Othinn´s infinite wisdom, He placed a former adversary in such a trusted position as the sole sentinel of the bridge leading into Asgarð.  Another interesting fact is that in Rigsþula, Heimdallr, calling Himself Rig, teaches the runes to His son—Jarl (which in Old Norse means: earl, freeborn man, or gentleman).  Hollander’s “stiff back” [aurgo baki] has been rendered by others as “wet, clammy” (Klingenberg 1983, 144; Polomé 1987, 251). The term, in fact, meant “clayey, muddy” and is otherwise used of Hœnir, who is called aurkonungr[14].

33. Thither from the forest came
Rig walking,
Rig walking:
runes he taught him,
and his own son declared him,
whom he bade possess
his alodial fields,
his alodial fields,
his ancient dwellings.

Thorpe Benjamin translation of Rigsþula, The Poetic Edda

A possibility may be that this is due to the sentinel’s proximity to the rainbow bridge Bifrost. Rather more tentatively, I note an allusion in Skírnismál 28 that suggests Heimðallr may have had some kind of highly visible facial disfigurement, since he is cited as a reference point in a context of ugliness. Could this have resulted from the fight with Loki or the loss of the ear?

28. As a prodigy thou shalt be,
when thou goest forth;
Hrinmir shall at thee gaze,
all being at thee stare;
more wide-known thou shalt become
than the watch among the gods,
if thou from thy gratings gape.

Skírnismál

The White As

In the first line of Þrymskviða 15, Heimðallr is refered to as the "whitest of the Ases"; in the second, it is said that "he knew well the future, like other Wans".

Hilda R. Ellis Davidson in Gods and Myths of Northern Europe suggested a connection between Heimðallr and the Vanir, possibly based on stanza 15 of the Eddic poem Thrymskviða:

Then Heimðallr spoke, whitest of the Aesir,
Like the other Vanir he knew the future well.

Thrymskviða

Many translations of the Elder lore suggest that Heimðallr is regarded as the White God  or the White Ás[15]. The characterisations of Heimðallr as the White Ás are reflective associations as to the nature of this noble God as a God of Virtue.  Another associative description in that He has teeth of gold; suggesting that the words that he speaks are as honourable and as true as his actions. Another argument is that Gullintanni 'golden-toothed' would refer to the yellow colouring found in the teeth of old rams. (Georges Dumézil 1959) These titles have nothing, whatsoever, with the ills of modern advocations of those whom adhere to the viral philosophy of prejudice against others of non-northern European ancestry, nor of white supremacy.  To those who do attempt to rationalise this into a historical perversion to justify their calls of prejudice are as ignorant and cowardly as those who use such wording to justify their own actions.

Those who desecrate the sanctity of our northern ancestors or the God of Virtue are nothing but niðlings[16] whom, either by laziness or more likely deliberate choice, pervert these literary associations for their own political ends.  Sadly, one of the Gods that have been manipulated for racist political agendas is Heimðallr who is used as an example of racial purity and white separatism/supremecy in certain political organisations within the United States?  It beggers belief when such an honourable house as Heimðallr’s is becomes a part of shameful legacy. This further has the impact of creating misinformation in the popular world that the genuine heithinn followers of Heimðallr are racist or part of some World Order hatred based society? I assure the reader that this is not the case!

Heimðallr's Birth

In the Old Norse poem Hyndluljod (Benjamin Thorpe Translation, 1865), we find the following verses regarding the mysterious birth of Heimðallr:

35. There was one born,
in times of old,
with wondrous might endowed,
of origin divine:
nine Jötun maids
gave birth
to the gracious god,
at the world's margin (i.e. the edge of the world).

36. Gialp gave him birth,
Greip gave him birth,
Eistla gave him birth,
and Angeia;
Ulfrun gave him birth,
and Eyrgiafa,
Imd and Atla,
and Jarnsaxa.

37. The boy was nourished
with the strength of earth,
with the ice-cold sea,
and with Son's blood.

Heimdallargaldr

Snorri Strrlusson’s references the lost Heimdallargaldr[17] which says Hama Heimðallr was born of nine mothers.  The lost Heimðallargaldr may have contained the following adventure which was also referenced in Úlf Uggason's skaldic poem Húsdrápa of which only fragments are preserved:

His mothers have their abodes við jarðar þröm or near the edge of the earth, on the outer rim of the earth, and that is where they gave him life (báru þann mann). His mothers are giantesses (jötna meyjar), and nine in number. We find giantesses, nine in number, mentioned as having their activity on the outer edge of the earth - namely, those who with the möndull, the handle, turn the vast friction-mechanism, the world-mill of Mundilfori. They are the níu brúðir of Eylúður, "the Isle-grinder," mentioned by the poet in a strophe by the skald Snæbjörn (Skáldskaparmál 33).

The Heimðallr story has come to us through Christian hands but enough of the original material remains to show that its main purpose was to tell us how the great gifts of culture came to the human race. The saga names the land where this took place.  The country was the most southern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula bordering on the western sea. Other sources for this myth include the Beowulf poem, Ethelwerdus (Ethelwerd), Willielmus Malmesburiensis (William of Malmsbury), Simeon Dunelmensis (Simeon of Durham), and Matthæus Monasteriensis (Matthew of Westminister).

One day it came to pass that a ship was seen sailing near the coast of Scedeland or Scani, [The Beowulf poem has the name Scedeland (Scandia): compare the name Skådan in De origine Longobardorum.  Ethelwerd writes: "Ipse Skef cum uno dromone advectus est in insulam Oceani, quæ dicitur Scani, armis circumdatus," &c.] And it approached the land without being propelled either by oars or sails. The ship came to the sea-beach, and there was seen laying in it a little boy, who was sleeping with his head on a sheaf of grain, surrounded by treasures and tools, by glaives and coats of mail. The boat itself was stately and beautifully decorated. Who he was and whence he came from nobody had any idea, but the little boy was received as if he had been a kinsman, and he received the most constant and tender care. Snorri’s part in the equation of man’s doom = sword. As he makes clear elsewhere:

Ragnarokkr

Many Neo pagans today regard this event as a fairy tale myth or a bogey man story told to frighten heathens in ancient times or perhaps based on a perceived belief that this is Snorri’s slant of Christian Armageddon? Others say this is does not fit in or is not applicable in today’s New Age of understanding and technological marvels! For the record, I believe that the “Judgment of the Powers” or Ragnarokkr is indeed a very real forthcoming event and that we should always be on our guard for the signs.  Ragnarokkr is also known as Gotterdammerung, which means the end of the cosmos in Norse mythology. We all know that one day our star the sun will die and that this day is the end of all organic life on our planet.

45. Hard is it on earth, with mighty whoredom;
Axe-time, sword-time, shields are sundered,
Wind-time, wolf-time, ere the world falls;
Nor ever shall men  each other spare.

The Poetic Edda, Voluspo Bellows HA

Heimðallr as warder of the Bifrost Bridge will certainly be the very first of the gods to see the threat and I argue that he will also be amongst the very first of the combatants to oppose the forces of fiery Surtr or die in the attempt! This makes him among the most heroic and courageous of the Tivar who knows and will do his duty.

In Conclusion

The “Lay of Ríg" as preserved fills exactly the last sheet of the Codex Wormianus of Snorri's Edda. However, not withstanding its fragmentary condition, it may have been a glorification of the existing aristocratic order in the Scandinavian homeland and possibly a vindication of the divine origin of kingship. But this is as far as agreement among scholars goes: about few Eddic poems has there been such a diversity of opinion in almost every other respect. Thus, one famous scholar is convinced that the author had Norwegian condition in mind, that the lay is therefore Norwegian, and that it dates from the tenth century, that the young Konr may represent Harald Fairhair himself. In my personal opinion however, the best that is to be found in humanity can be seen demonstrated by the virtues of Heimðallr. This is the reason why he is so admired by many heathen truefolk today and rightly so. Heill Heimðallr! Heill the Tivar! Heill the holy races of Heimðallr!

Úlfr Uggason sings in stanza 115:

The famed rain-bow's defender,
Ready in wisdom, striveth
At Singasteinn with Loki,
Fárbauti's sin-sly offspring;
The son of mothers eight and one,
Mighty in wrath, possesses
The Stone ere Loki cometh:
I make known songs of praise.

Skáldskaparmál

Endnotes

1.   Tivar refers to the collective of both the Aesir and the Vanir gods, sometimes referred to as the Regin.

2.   Rigsþula refers to the Song of Rig, a cultural poem found in the Poetic Edda explaining, on a mythological basis, the origin of the different castes of early society: the thralls, the peasants, and the warriors.

3.   Konr refers to the youngest of three sons of RigHeimðallr and he inherited the name 'Rig', Konr the Young or Kon ung (konung meaning 'king' in Old Norse) also inherited the name or title Ríg. This third Ríg was the first true king and the ultimate founder of the state of royalty as appears in the Rígsthula and in two other works in connection. In all three sources he is connected with two primordial Danish rulers named Dan and Danp.

4.   The Poetic Edda is the older of the two Eddas and therefore sometimes called the Elder Edda. It is also sometimes referred to as Saemund's Edda after a famous Icelander.

5.   Kenning refers to a conventional metaphoric name for something, used especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry

6.   Gylfaginning, or The tricking of Gylfi, is the first part of the Christian poet and historian Snorri Sturluson's Edda. The Gylfaginning deals with the creation and destruction of the world of the Norse gods, and many other aspects of Norse mythology

7.   Volospá is a long poem contained within the collection of Old Icelandic poetry known as the Poetic Edda. Written somewhere about 1000 BCE it marks the end of the heathen era and the start of the Christian age.

8.   Himinbjorg means "Heaven's Cliffs" and refers to the home of Heimðallr, dwelling at the end of the bridge Bifrost (the rainbow), where he (cf. Voluspo, 27) keeps watch against the coming of the giants.

9.  Ragnarok \Rag"na*rok"\, Ragnarok \Rag"na*r["o]k"\, n. [Icel.,    fr. regin, r["o]gn, gods + r["o]k reason, origin, history;    confused with ragna-r["o]kr the twilight of the gods.] (Norse Myth.)  The so-called ``Twilight of the Gods'' (called in German  G["o]tterd["a]mmerung), the final destruction of the world    in the great conflict between the [AE]sir (gods) on the one    hand, and on the other, the gaints and the powers of Surtr under the leadership of Loki (who is escaped from bondage).

10. Mannus was a mythological character from whom a number of Germanic tribes were descended. Tacitus in his book Germania explicitly mentions the names of these Germanic tribes, claiming descent from Mannus: *Ingvaeones (living at the coastal line of the North Sea)*Irminones (living in the interior part around the Elbe)*Istvaeones (living at the borders of the river Rhine)

11. Woden aka Wuotan, Wodhanaz, Óðinn, Oden, Wodan, Odin from ancient sources, such as the Niebelung traditions, the Icelandic Eddas, Sagas, and Skaldic poetry.

12. Holy races probably means little more than mankind in general.

13. Valfather means "Father of the Slain" and is one of the many names of Othinn, chief of the Aesir gods, so called because the slain warriors were brought to him at Valhall ("Hall of the Slain") by the Valkyries ("Choosers of the Slain").

14. Langifótur and aurkonungr, "Long-leg" and "Mire-king" applied to Hoenir, is applicable to the stork, and that this cannot be an accident, as the very name Hænir suggests a bird, and is related to the Greek kuknos and the Sanscrit sakunas (Corpus Poet. Bor., i. p. cii.)

15. White Ás Heimðallr is the name of one: he is called the White God. He is great and holy; nine maids, all sisters, bore him for a son. The term Ás refers to the Aesir. Gylfaginning.

16. Niðlings refer to a coward; a dastard; -- a term of utmost opprobrium

17. Heimdallargaldr refers to "Heimdallr's Magical Song” which Snorri quotes a scrap fragment of a lost poem in which the god declares of himself: "I am son of nine maids, I am son of nine sisters".

Bibliography

Anthony Faulkes, ed. and trans. 1987. Snorri Sturluson, Edda. London: Dent.

ed. 1991. Snorri Sturluson, Edda: Háttatal. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, 1965

John Lindow, Norse Mythology, A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals & Beliefs, 2001

Lee M Hollander, The Poetic Edda, 1962

Ursula Dronke, The Poetic Edda Volume II, The Mythological Poems, 1997.

Ursula Dronke, “Sem jarlar forðum: The Influence of Rígsþula on Two Saga-Episodes.” 1981.

In Speculum Norroenum: Norse Studies in Memory of Gabriel Turville-Petre, ed. Ursula

Dronke et al., 56–72. Odense: Odense Univ. Press

Edgar C Polomé, 1987. “Heimðallr.” In The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade,

6:250–51. New York: Macmillan. Polomé,

Edward Oswald Gabriel Turville-Petre, 1964. “Heimðallr.” Chap. 6 in his Myth and Religion

of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Jean Young, Does Rigsþula Betray Irish Influence? 1933 Arkiv för nordisk filologi 49:97–107.

                                                          


   

               


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