A report on Old Norse religion

Mjölnir pendants were the Old Norse Religion's equivalent to the Christian cross during the later Viking Age.
Three figures on the 12th-century Skog tapestry; they have been interpreted as the Norse gods Odin (one eye), Thor (hammer in hand) and Freyr.
Map reflecting the extent of Old Norse settlement and activity in Europe
A 19th-century depiction of Snorri Sturluson
A bracteate from Funen interpreted as depicting Odin riding his 8 legged horse Sleipnir
Roseberry Topping in Yorkshire, Northern England. After Scandinavian settlement in the area, the site became known by the Old Norse name Óðinsberg, meaning 'Hill of Óðinn'
The Viking Age image stone Sövestad 1 from Skåne depicts a man carrying a cross.
Odin riding on his horse Sleipnir
Description of the Valkyrie in the Rök runestone
Reconstruction of a food offering after a Viking Age blót
The Oseberg ship contained the bodies of two women and was buried beneath an earthen mound.
Helgafell, a mountain in western Iceland, is presented in the Icelandic sagas as being sacred to Thor.
Royal burial mounds and church at Gamla Uppsala, where Adam of Bremen described a large temple
Mjölnir pendants were worn by Norse pagans during the 9th to 10th centuries. This drawing of a 4.6 cm gold-plated silver Mjolnir pendant was found at Bredsätra in Öland, Sweden.

Most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples.

- Old Norse religion
Mjölnir pendants were the Old Norse Religion's equivalent to the Christian cross during the later Viking Age.

40 related topics with Alpha

Overall

The Tjängvide image stone with illustrations from Norse mythology.

Norse mythology

8 links

The Tjängvide image stone with illustrations from Norse mythology.
The Rök runestone (Ög 136), located in Rök, Sweden, features a Younger Futhark runic inscription that makes various references to Norse mythology.
Title page of a late manuscript of the Prose Edda written by Snorri Sturluson (13th century), showing the Ancient Norse Gods Odin, Heimdallr, Sleipnir, and other figures from Norse mythology.
The god Thor wades through a river, while the Æsir ride across the bridge, Bifröst, in an illustration by Lorenz Frølich (1895).
The cosmological, central tree Yggdrasil is depicted in The Ash Yggdrasil by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine (1886)
Sól, the Sun, and Máni, the Moon, are chased by the wolves Sköll and Háti in The Wolves Pursuing Sol and Mani by J. C. Dollman (1909)

Norse or Scandinavian mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period.

Freja (1905) by John Bauer (1882–1918)

Freyja

8 links

Freja (1905) by John Bauer (1882–1918)
Freyja and Loki flyte in an illustration (1895) by Lorenz Frølich
While Freyja's cats look on, the god Thor is unhappily dressed as Freyja in Ah, what a lovely maid it is! (1902) by Elmer Boyd Smith.
Reclining atop her boar Hildisvíni, Freyja visits Hyndla in an illustration (1895) by Lorenz Frølich
Nuzzled by her boar Hildisvíni, Freyja gestures to a jötunn in an illustration (1895) by Lorenz Frølich
Heimdallr returns the necklace Brísingamen to Freyja (1846) by Nils Blommér
Freja (1901) by Anders Zorn
Freyja in the Dwarf's Cave (1891) by
Ripe rye in Northern Europe
Freyja's hair—Polygala vulgaris—a species of the genus Polygala.
The pendant, in the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm.
Freia—a combination of Freyja and the goddess Iðunn—from Richard Wagner's opera Der Ring des Nibelungen as illustrated (1910) by Arthur Rackham
The pendant, in the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm.

In Norse paganism, Freyja (Old Norse:, "(the) Lady") is a goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, sex, war, gold, and seiðr (magic for seeing and influencing the future).

Thor's Fight with the Giants (Tors strid med jättarna) by Mårten Eskil Winge (1872).

Thor

7 links

Prominent god in Germanic paganism.

Prominent god in Germanic paganism.

Thor's Fight with the Giants (Tors strid med jättarna) by Mårten Eskil Winge (1872).
Altar stone for Hercules Magusanus from Bonn, dated 226 AD.
Boniface bears his crucifix after felling Thor's Oak in Bonifacius (1905) by Emil Doepler
16th-century depiction of Norse gods from Olaus Magnus's A Description of the Northern Peoples; from left to right, Frigg, Thor and Odin
The foretold death of Thor as depicted by Lorenz Frølich (1895)
Thor and the Midgard Serpent (by Emil Doepler, 1905)
Thor wades through a river while the Æsir ride across the bridge Bifröst, by Frølich (1895)
Týr looks on as Thor discovers that one of his goats is lame, by Frølich (1895)
Thor raises his hammer as Loki leaves Ægir's hall, by Frølich (1895)
Ah, what a lovely maid it is! (1902) by Elmer Boyd Smith: Thor is unhappily dressed by the goddess Freyja and her attendants as herself
Sun Shines in the Hall (1908) by W.G. Collingwood: Thor clasps his daughter's hand and chuckles at the "all-wise" dwarf, whom he has outwitted
Medieval depictions of Saint Olaf adopted features from Thor. This wooden statue is from Sankt Olofs kyrka in Scania.
Detail of swastika on the 9th century Snoldelev Stone
Thor Battering the Midgard Serpent (1790) by Henry Fuseli
An early 20th century Danish bicycle head badge depicting Thor
The {{lang|da|Sønder Kirkeby|nocat=yes|italic=no}} Runestone (DR 220), a runestone from Denmark bearing the "May Thor hallow these runes!" inscription
A runestone from {{lang|sv|Södermanland|italic=no}}, Sweden bearing a depiction of Thor's hammer
The Altuna stone from Sweden, one of four stones depicting Thor's fishing trip
Closeup of Thor with {{lang|non|Mjölnir|italic=no}} depicted on the Altuna stone.
The Gosforth depiction, one of four stones depicting Thor's fishing trip
Runes ({{script|Runr|{{lang|non| ᛭ᚦᚢᚱ᛬ᚢᛁᚴᛁ᛭|italic=no}}}}) {{lang|non|× þur : uiki ×}} on the Velanda Runestone, Sweden, meaning "may {{lang|non|Þórr|italic=no}} hallow".
Drawing of a silver-gilted Thor's hammer found in Scania, Sweden
Drawing of a 4.6 cm gold-plated silver {{lang|non|Mjölnir|italic=no}} pendant found at {{lang|sv|Bredsätra|italic=no}} on {{lang|sv|Öland|italic=no}}, Sweden
Drawing of a silver Thor's hammer amulet found in {{lang|no|Fitjar|italic=no}}, {{lang|no|Hordaland|italic=no}}, Norway
Drawing of Thor's hammer amulet from {{lang|da|Mandemark|italic=no}}, {{lang|da|Møn|italic=no}}, Denmark
A bronze statue of a seated figure from about AD 1000 that was recovered at the Eyrarland farm in the area of Akureyri, Iceland.

Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the Germanic expansions of the Migration Period, to his high popularity during the Viking Age, when, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, emblems of his hammer, Mjölnir, were worn and Norse pagan personal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his popularity.

Æsir gathered around the body of Baldr. Painting by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg 1817

Æsir

5 links

Æsir gathered around the body of Baldr. Painting by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg 1817
The modern Swedish word for atmospheric thunder - åska - "the god's ride" - retains the name. That Thor caused lightning and thunder was still a living tradition in the countryside when compulsory education started teaching what was known from the Eddas.

The Æsir (Old Norse: ) are the gods of the principal pantheon in Norse religion.

Emil Doepler's depiction of the Second Merseburg Charm, 1905. In the charm, gods from continental Germanic mythology heal a horse.

Germanic paganism

5 links

Germanic paganism included various religious practices of the Germanic peoples from the Iron Age until Christianisation during the Middle Ages.

Germanic paganism included various religious practices of the Germanic peoples from the Iron Age until Christianisation during the Middle Ages.

Emil Doepler's depiction of the Second Merseburg Charm, 1905. In the charm, gods from continental Germanic mythology heal a horse.
Map of the Roman Empire and Magna Germania, c. 120CE
The works of the 13th century Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson are invaluable sources on Germanic paganism
The gilded side of the Trundholm Sun Chariot, Nordic Bronze Age
The 5th-century Golden Horns of Gallehus
Roman bronze figurine, which depicts a praying Germanic man with a characteristic Suebian knot.
The Royal Mounds at Gamla Uppsala contains hundreds (originally thousands) of tumuli
A depiction of Saint Boniface destroying Donar's Oak from The Little Lives of the Saints (1904), illustrated by Charles Robinson.
The Fraubillen cross, a menhir resculptured into a cross.
This Thor's hammer in silver with filigree ornamentation was found in Scania. It was donated to the Swedish History Museum in 1895.
The Gundestrup cauldron, today in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.
Stone slab from The King's Grave in southern Sweden, Nordic Bronze Age, 1400 BC
A drinking scene on an image stone from Gotland, in the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm.
The Franks Casket, as displayed in the British Museum; the front and lid

Rooted in Proto-Indo-European religion, Proto-Germanic religion expanded during the Migration Period, yielding extensions such as Old Norse religion among the North Germanic peoples, the paganism practiced amid the continental Germanic peoples, and Anglo-Saxon paganism among the Old English-speaking peoples.

Njörd's desire of the Sea (1908) by W. G. Collingwood

Njörðr

6 links

God among the Vanir.

God among the Vanir.

Njörd's desire of the Sea (1908) by W. G. Collingwood
Njörðr, Skaði, and Freyr as depicted in The Lovesickness of Frey (1908) by W. G. Collingwood
Lokasenna (1895) by Lorenz Frølich.
Njörðr and Skaði on the way to Nóatún (1882) by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine
"Skadi's longing for the Mountains" (1908) by W. G. Collingwood.
Njörðr from the philological book Die Helden und Götter des Nordens, oder Das Buch der Sagen (1832)
A depiction of Njörðr from a 17th-century Icelandic manuscript
Odda, Norway, in the winter of 2004
Nerthus (1905) by Emil Doepler.
Hadingus meets the one-eyed old man, illustration by Louis Moe

Njörðr has been the subject of an amount of scholarly discourse and theory, often connecting him with the figure of the much earlier attested Germanic goddess Nerthus, the hero Hadingus, and theorizing on his formerly more prominent place in Norse paganism due to the appearance of his name in numerous place names.

A depiction of Freyja. Within Norse paganism, Freyja was the deity primarily associated with seiðr

Seiðr

4 links

Type of magic which was practised in Norse society during the Late Scandinavian Iron Age.

Type of magic which was practised in Norse society during the Late Scandinavian Iron Age.

A depiction of Freyja. Within Norse paganism, Freyja was the deity primarily associated with seiðr
The Skern Runestone has a curse regarding a 'siþi' or 'seiðr worker'.
The 7th century Tängelgårda stone shows Óðinn leading a troop of warriors all bearing rings. Valknut symbols are drawn beneath his horse, which is depicted with four legs.

Connected to the Old Norse religion, its origins are largely unknown, and the practice of it gradually declined after the Christianization of Scandinavia.

Roman bronze statuette representing a Germanic man with his hair in a Suebian knot

Germanic peoples

6 links

The Germanic peoples were historical groups of people that once occupied Central Europe and Scandinavia during antiquity and into the early Middle Ages.

The Germanic peoples were historical groups of people that once occupied Central Europe and Scandinavia during antiquity and into the early Middle Ages.

Roman bronze statuette representing a Germanic man with his hair in a Suebian knot
The inscription on the Negau helmet B, carved in the Etruscan alphabet during the 3rd–2nd c. BCE, is generally regarded as Proto-Germanic.
Replica of an altar for the Matrons of Vacallina (Matronae Vacallinehae) from Mechernich-Weyer, Germany
The Roman province of Germania, in existence from 7 BCE to 9 CE. The dotted line represents the Limes Germanicus, the fortified border constructed following the final withdrawal of Roman forces from Germania.
A bog body, the Osterby Man, displaying the Suebian knot, a hairstyle which, according to Tacitus, was common among Germanic warriors.
Depiction of Romans fighting Goths on the Ludovisi Battle sarcophagus (c. 250–260 CE).
2nd century to 6th century simplified migrations
A replica of an ivory diptych probably depicting Stilicho (on the right), the son of a Vandal father and a Roman mother, who became the most powerful man in the Western Roman Empire from 395 to 408 CE.
Germanic kingdoms and peoples after the end of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE
Frankish expansion from the early kingdom of Clovis I (481) to the divisions of Charlemagne's Empire (843/870)
The Sutton Hoo helmet from c. 625 in the British Museum.
Roughly carved wooden idols from Oberdorla moor, modern Thuringia. The idols were found in context with animal bones and other evidence of sacrificial rites.
Page from the Codex Argenteus containing the Gothic Bible translated by Wulfila.
Germanic bracteate from Funen, Denmark
The Istaby Stone (DR359) is a runestone that features a Proto-Norse Elder Futhark inscription describing three generations of men. Their names share the common element of 'wolf' (wulfaz) and alliterate.
Image of Romans fighting the Marcomanni on the Column of Marcus Aurelius (193 CE).
The Vimose Comb, housed at the National Museum of Denmark contains the oldest extant runic inscription from c. 160 CE. The inscription is harja, a name from hari ("army").
A 5th-century CE gold collar from Ålleberg, Sweden. It displays Germanic filigree work.
A pair of trousers with attached stockings found in the Thorsberg moor (3rd century CE).
The Minerva Bowl, part of the Hildesheim Treasure, likely a Roman diplomatic gift. The treasure may date from the reign of Nero (37–68 CE) or the early Flavian dynasty (69–96 CE).
The approximate positions of the three groups and their sub-peoples reported by Tacitus.
Ingvaeones
Istvaeones
Hermiones and Suebi
Expansion of early Germanic tribes into Central Europe:
Settlements before 750
New settlements by 500
New settlements by 250
New settlements by 1

Scholars are divided as to the degree of continuity between the religious practices of the earlier Germanic peoples and those attested in later Norse paganism and elsewhere: while some scholars argue that Tacitus, early medieval sources, and the Norse sources indicate religious continuity, other scholars are highly skeptical of such arguments.

Hörgr

4 links

A hörgr (Old Norse, plural hörgar) or hearg (Old English) was a type of altar or cult site, possibly consisting of a heap of stones, used in Norse religion, as opposed to a roofed hall used as a hof (temple).

Bersi Skáldtorfuson, in chains, composing poetry after he was captured by King Óláfr Haraldsson (illustration by Christian Krohg for an 1899 edition of Heimskringla)

Skald

4 links

One of the often named poets who composed skaldic poetry, one of the two kinds of Old Norse poetry, the other being Eddic poetry, which is anonymous.

One of the often named poets who composed skaldic poetry, one of the two kinds of Old Norse poetry, the other being Eddic poetry, which is anonymous.

Bersi Skáldtorfuson, in chains, composing poetry after he was captured by King Óláfr Haraldsson (illustration by Christian Krohg for an 1899 edition of Heimskringla)
A minstrel sings of famous deeds by J. R. Skelton, c. 1910
Illustration from the 18th-century Icelandic manuscript NKS 1867 of Thor's fight with the World Serpent, the subject of early skaldic verses by Bragi Boddason and Úlfr Uggason
Snorri Sturluson, illustration by Christian Krohg (1899)

Eddic poems are also largely mythological or heroic in content, while skaldic verse has a wider range of subject matter, including mythological narratives by heathen skalds, accounts of battles and the deeds of courtly patrons, and personal statements.