Notes for exam 3-Mythology
Notes for exam 3-Mythology
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Notes for Final Exam 111314 Video Norse mythology For inspiration people looked to Thor Belt doubles Thor39s strength hammer shoots lightning and returns like boomerang Thor39s domain Asguard Flood or storm was the work of a giant Iceland and Sweden have tombstones of Gods including Thorthunder God A giant takes the form of a snake can envelope the world in chaos Thor battles the midguard serpent order verus chaos mudguard keeps getting away before Thor can kill it Idea of shape shifting Fear of sea creatures threatened voyages they prayed to Thor for help oak trees was most popular place to worship Thor known as Thor39s oak hammer provides power that tools can39t give Thor dresses up as Freya to fool the troll in order to get his hammer back Christian and Norse army Wrath of nature could betray Thor or defeat him Video Clash ofThor norse myth AsguardDMidguard Hell Thors domain Asguard his job is to defeat the bad people in midguard to keep order the people in Midgaurd represent chaos and disorder there are room stones with the writing on it all over Sweden and Iceland They mention Thor on them these are the only artifacts left behind of people that didn39t write down their story The serpent guards Midguard and it represents the doom of the gods one day idea of shape shifting is important there are numerous encounters where Thor can kill the serpent but the serpent is saved in some way there are other stories across different societies that are similar Thor39s Oak tree best way to worship Thor people would leave sacri ces around the tree for Thor Loki is Thor39s servant Ogre takes his hammer and says he will give it back if he can have Thor39s sister as a bride Thor dresses up as here and then gets it back Ragnor Rock myth looking at the end of the Pageon world He nally gets to ght the serpent they go back and forth he gets a good hit in and the venom drips on him he won but then died from the venom 11 18 14 INTRO TO NORSE MYTHOLOGY Fatalism Mystery amp The Prose Edda MYTHMAKERS why does the sun set in the west how do we account for a lunar eclipse why do r trees keep their leaves in winter how do we account for glaciers why do we see the moon differently each night ON THE BRINK OF CHRISTIANITY Northern heathenism preChristian beliefs of the Germanic peoples ended by the 11th century during the heathen period Icelanders were polytheistic and treasured ne art craftsmanship amp the oral tradition speci cally poetry a thriving love of paganism and the old tales around 1220 Snorri Sturluson wrote the Prose Edda as means to guard against the loss of pagan tradition 13th century blending of Christian and Heathen literary artistry RAGNOROK destruction of the gods or doom of the gods aso known as twilight of the gods great wars throughout the wars strife and hatred between men men will commit murder and incest a time of bitter cold the occurrence of various natural disasters and the subsequent submersion of the world in water after world resurfaces anew and fertile populated by two human survivors WORLD TREE YGGDRASILL 3 roots support the trunk one passes through Asgard reals of the gods the frost giants the realm of the dead Asgard includes 2 group of gods formerly at war Aesir and Vanir Beow the Well of Urd Sacred Spring of Fate where the gods assembled for their court of law beneath the root in giantland the spring of Mimir waters contained wisdom and understanding topmost bough sits an eagle with a hawk perched on its forehead near the spring of fate 3 maidens named fate being and necessity beneath the tree serpent who gnaws continuously at the tree and is at war with the eagle formed a link between worlds WORLD PARALLELS the Egyptians39 Holy Sycamore the threshold of life and death connecting the two worlds The Assyrian Tree of Life represented by a series of nodes and criss crossing lines Chinese mythology the tree of life depicts a phoenix and dragon Jewish mysticism depicts the Tree of Life in the form of ten interconnected nodes India Two varieties of the g the banyan tree and peepal tree are both considered the trees of life LOKI Loki is a giant in Norse mythology He is also a trickster the god of thieves possibly responsible for Balder39s death Adopted brother of Odin Loki is bound to a rock until Ragnarok BRAGI Bragi is god of poetry and his is married to ldunn who guards the apples which the gods eat when they grow old Afterwards they grow young again and so it will continue until Ragnarok THOR Thor is the Norse god of thunder He is generally depicted as redheaded and bearded FREYA Freya is considered to be the goddess of Love and Beauty but is also a warrior goddess and one of great wisdom and magic She is the twin of brother Frey FRIGG Odin s wife was considered to be the Mother of all and protector of children ODIN the father of all the Gods and men and he can travel to any realm within the 9 Nordic worlds TYR the ancient god of War and the Lawgiver of the gods He sacri ces his hand so that the evil Fenris wolf may be bound VIDAR Vidar is the brother of Vali and the son of Odin and Grid Vidar is known as the Silent God and will avenge Odin39s death by slaying the Fenris wolf at Ragnarok FREY Frey Freya39s brother the lord of the Sun rain and harvests He was a shining god bringing fertility and prosperity to all 11120114 The Structure 1 The prologue which consists of anthropological observations justify Snorri39s retelling of the mythological tales Snorri has used an orthodox Christian stance identifying the pagan gods as ancient heroes dei ed by their ignorant followers 2 Gylfaginning quotThe Deluding of Gylfiquot It consists of a story in which King Gyl asks three kings quotHigh Onequot quotJustashighquot and quotThirdquot about Norse mythology Snorri was thus able to tell the myriad myths in a witty style without speculation of their veracity 3 Skaldskaparmal quotPoetic Dictionquot gives various kennings ex Computer mouse machine Sword sharp gold and elllipticasl references to the stories behind them The poets of Sturuson s era were Christian but were expected to still be able to write of the pagan mythology of two hundred years earlier Snorri again uses the vehicle of a visitor to the Aesir who is told stories This section39s primary purpose is a discussion of the language and imagery of poetry and how its metaphors can be understood in terms of Norse mythology 4 Hattatal List of Meters Aesir and Vanir The Norse deities are divided into two major groups the Aesir and the Vanir The Vanir the quotEarth Godsquot symbolize riches fertility and fecundity They are gods of fertility the sea and prosperity While the AEsir were war gods the Vanir were understood to be rich the givers of riches the patrons of fecundity pleasure and peace and with AEsir the bringers of unity They have a deep knowledge of magical arts so that they also know the future They are associated with the earth and the sea The most important Gods of the Vanir are Njord Freyr Aegir and Freya The Aesir the quotSlq Godsquot symbolize power wisdom and war They are long loved but not immortal Odin is the leader of the Gods with magical skills Thor with his magic hammer is the God of Thunder who presides over working men Loki is a Giant who is an Aesir by adoption He and Odin made a vow of friendship and became bloodbrothers Loki is a trickster a shapeshifter and a troublemaker Prologue Harmony of Norse and Christian beliefs If you worshipped the gods he describes what would your view of the world be 0 More violent be more fearful proceeding doom knowing the gods are going to die How does Snorri Sturluson rationalize myth in the prologue of the Prose Edda o Talks about Trojan war equal history and journey trying to elevate Icelandic myth with other myths Comparisons to Greek mythology These rulers were superior in all human attributes to the other people who had preceded them in the world Why does the prologue mention Odin39s travels What does Snorri gain from doing this Gylfaginning and his travels Oldest King recorded in Scandinavia Tricked by Gefjun to give her as much land as she could plow in 24 hrs Transformed her sons into oxen Ploughed enough land to form Sjaelland the oldest island in Denmark 0 How was the lake formed Made up stories to explain things Three Cheiftains of Aesir On his trip to Asgard he changes into an old man nto disguise himself Conjured up visual illusions Names himself Gangleri Doors close behind him as he enters the hall See 3 thrones 0 High Justashigh and Third Why these questions Gyl is told that he will not escape unharmed unless he grows wiser quotStand forward while you inquire The one who recounts shall sitquot Who is the oldest of all gods Allfather made man with a quotliving spiritquot that never dies How does this impact the fatalistic nature of Icelandic society at this time In the beginning Gangleri is told that before the world was created There was quotMUSPELLquot the bright and hot aming region that is impassable for foreigners Surt waits at the land s edge to defend it and when Ragnarok event like apocalypse comes he will burn the whole world with re and defeat all the gods Compare Contrast with contemporary notions of Hell Before there were families The northern part of Ginnungagap was thick with ice and the southern grew light with sparks from Muspellsheim In the mild and windless part sprang forth Ymir the quotlikenessquot of man he evil and the frost giants are his descendents Ymir was nourished by the icy rime which formed a cow and from which 4 rivers of milk owed Day 1 man39s hair appears Day 2 man39s head appears Day 3 Buri the whole man appeared 12102114 Why is the world made from Ymir quotfrom his blood they made the sea and the lakes The earth was fashioned from his esh and the mountain cliffs from his bonesquot Questions why does Snorri use the Sybil s prophecy in the Prose Edda increasing credibility To what extend is Gly satis ed with the answers he is given What is the signi cant of this each question should lead to an even more complicated question and he is not that satis ed because he continues to keep asking questions Why do you want to know more Because it makes you feel like you have a little more of control of your world Similar to a break up when you keep asking why to get closure The Role of Odin One of Odin39s roles is an AllFather or leader of the race of gods known as Aesir He ruled from his home in the realm of the gods known as Asgard He presides over the Aesir as an organizer not as a judge like gods from other mythologies such as Zeus besides his fearsome aspects Odin the WishFather is a granter of wishes and prosperity He does tend to play favorites and enjoys granting the desires of those he favors High just as high and third are all different aspects of Odin But all him He39s noted for bringing the runes an ancient writing divination and magic system to mankind for nine days and nine nights he hung upside down on the world tree and received the wisdom of runes in return Ec question do research he gave himself up for sacri ce to gain wisdom Monsters bodies Scholar Wanner it is usually imagined that Norse mythical beings have bodies and things happen to these bodies these may seem symbolic but they may also represent the idea of consequences in the world When things happen to Norse creatures they often have violent lasting impacts when the victims of violence are giants their consequences are fatal when the victims of violence are Aesir the consequences are usually an injury or defect such as when Tyr loses a hand quotThe idea of Markednessquot positive not handicap to be a great mythological being means to be marked in some way for example when Odin loses an eye in the Seeress s Prophecy from the poetic Edda that sacri ce allows him to see further into time and space according to Gylfaginning The Deluding of Gyl the rst major section of Snorri Sturluson s Edda ca 122025 when Odin sat upon his throne quothe saw over all worlds and each man39s doings and he understood all those things which he sawquot Seeing Odin also gathers info about the past and future In each of these cases Odin employs some speci c infogathering device or consults some knowledgesupplying agent the point is that his lack of an eye impeding his literal or metaphoric vision can be taken as a sign and understood as a tradeoff for his farsightedness and perception seeing is the main theme for Odin Patterns of the Mythic there is then a pattern in Norse myths of senior gods displaying signature injuries or in rmities that from an extramythic perspective contribute to a heightened and corresponding ability or capacity this makes them less godlike and more human or they have to work and earn their abilities also adds complexity and makes it more 3 dimensional allows things to work on more than one level PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL Cosmology Ross and Gade medieva Norwegians and Icelanders had an interest in the movement of heavenly bodies stars moon sun etc as shown in the Prose Edda someone who ventures on a voyage would need to be knowledgeable about the courses of the sun moon and stars seas etc highights the ubiquity and continuous shining of the moon for everywhere for all eternity The Wolves 2 wolves chase the moon and the sun wolves are related to troll women and old ogres who bore many sons in the likeness of wolves the moon dog will gorge himself on the life of all who die he will swallow the moon the sun will lose brightness and violent winds will come expain fatalism in term of the wolves on exam in the book it says quotthis will happenquot The two most permanent things we can think of is the sun and moon without it our world is gone Kathleen dec 2 The Role of Odin One of Odin s roles is as an Allfather or leader of the race of gods known as the Aesir He ruled from his home in the realm of the gods known as Asgard He presides over the Aesir as an organizer not as a judge like gods from other mythologies such as Zeus Besides his fearsome aspects Odin the wishfather is a granter of wishes and prosperity He does tend to play favorites and enjoys granting the desires of those he favors He is not a judge like Zeus but rather an organizer High justashigh and third are all different aspects of Odin He s noted for bringing the runes as ancient writing divination and magic system to mankind For nine days and nine nights he hung upside down on the World Tree and received the wisdom of the runes in return He gave himself up for sacri ce to gain wisdom Sacri ced himself or his time for mankind Extra credit What is it about nine days and nine nights Monster Bodies Wanner it is usually imagined that Norse mythical beings have bodies and things happen to these bodies These may be symbolic but they also may represent the idea of consequences in the world When things happen to Norse creatures they often have violent lasting impacts When the victims of violence are giants they consequences are usually fatal When the victims of violence are Aesir the consequences are usually an injury or defect such as when Tyr loses a hand Consequences continued quotThe idea of markednessquot not handicap to be a great mythological being means to be marked in some way For example when Odin loses an eye in the Seeress s Prophecy from the poetic Edda that sacri ce allows him to see further into time and space According to Gylfaginning The Deluding of Gyl the rst major section of Snorri sturluson s Edda ca 112035 When Ooinn sat upon his throne quothe saw over all worlds and each man s doing and he understood all those things which he sawquot Seeing Odin also gathers information about the past and future In each of these Odin employs some speci c informationgathering device or consults some knowledgesupplying agent the point is that his lack of an eye OOOO impeding his literal or metaphoric vision can be taken as a sign and understood as a tradeoff for his farsightedness and perception Seeing is the main theme for Odin believing what you see not believing what you see perceptions Patterns of Mythic There is then a pattern in Norse myths of senior gods displaying signature injuries or in rmities that from an extramythic perspective contribute to a heightened andcorresponding ability or capacity Why do they have an injury and not just an ability Shows Gods have gone through trial Makes them less Godlike and more humanlike Adds complexity Physical and spiritual level Cosmology Ross and Gade Medieval Norwegians and Icelanders had an interest in the movement of heavenly bodies stars moon sun etc as shown in the prose edda Someone who ventures on a voyage would need to be knowledgeable about the courses of the sun moon and stars seas etc Highlights the ubiquity and continuous shining of the moon for everywhere for all eternity The wolves page 20 2 wolves chase the sun and moon The wolves are related to troll women and old ogress who bore many sons in the likeness of wolves The moon dog will gorge himself on the life of all who die he will swallow the moon the sun will lose brightness and violent winds will come Explain fatalism in term of the wolves On exam o Norse mvthologv is fatalistic 0 There is no escape from the wolves THIS WILL HAPPEN the brightness will happen 0 It s inevitable 0 Without sun and moon our universe wouldn t exist Bifrost the rainbow bridge of the Gods from Asgard to Earth Why is Gangleri s question stupid At Ragnarok the bridge will break when the songs of Muspell ride over it o Bifrost is a sound bridge but even they will be doomed Norms Urdfate Verdandi becoming Skuld obligation There are more norns who come to each person at the time of their birth and decide the length of one s life Related to the gods Good norns and bad norns Places in Heaven lf Snorri s Edda is fatalistic how do we account for the Gimleprotected from re the great hall that will remain standing when heaven and earth are gone What will happen to the good and righteous Stephen mcclatchie It has long been commonplace for historians and biographers to invoke the notion ofGoterdammerung the twilight of the gods vs the domm of the gods when writing about the nal days of Adolf Hitler and his monstrous Third Reich Wagner s music The world Gotterdammerung is a German translation of the same term ragnarok which appears in the thirteenthcentury Icelandic Prose Edda one of Wagner s sources for the ring His Gotterdammerung is quite different from the one that appears in the Edda however Sense of the present is important in norse mythology 12104112 THAT TRICKSTER LOKI THEORIES ON LOKI an incarnation of quotimpulsive intelligencequot a psychological phenomenon an exponent of increasing moral disintegration of the world brings misfortune upon himself and other Aesir with his clumsiness haplessness or malevolence indispensable to the gods but also leads to their demise the quintessential symbol of the unnatural THOR AND LOKI JOURNEY TOGETHER pg 53 Thor39s strength in called into question Loki s presence shows optical illusions and the presence of magic and decdption Ex pg 53 Thor and the farmer39s children Skrymir in the forest showing the weakness of the gods Why do they continue telling them Because they challenge him Later on that page Things are as they seem Ex why are people scared when they are in the dark Cant trust vision IMPORTANT contest of challenging WHY PLAY THESE PRANKS Skrymir tells Thor to go to UtgardaLoki Loki of the outer regions Do no act arrogantly Utgarda quotsurely there is more to you than meets the eyequot Chalenges him to many competitions pg 57 OUT OF THE FORTRESS Skrymir tells Thor that he has been deceived because of his incredible strength says that Thor has the power to alter tides the importance of being humble and believing one s own eyes OUT OF THE FORTRESS AND THE DEATH OF BALDR page 65 Loki s tricks encourage Thor to seek new wisdom The Aesir39s accomplishments all the gods take oaths to prevent his ominous dreams from coming true Thor questions his own sight THE DEATH OF BALDR page 69 Loki starts trouble and shapeshifts into a woman kis Baldr with mistletoe deal with Hel to prove that Baldr is as loved as they say CAROLE CUSACK concept of gods providence 39proved to be the undoing of the pagan concept of fate39 Yggdrasi is tended by the Norns separates it from other cosmic trees of mythology she concludes that it is as a results of Christianity that fate coms to be a temporal concept the playing out of God39s will in Medieval Germanic literature POETIC DICTION translates to l SKALDSKAPARMAL section in book AEGIR AND MORE SHAPESHIFTING The Aesir welcome Aegir god of the ocean and sea creatures by using spells and plays on light Bragi tells the story of Loki Odin and Hoenir tricked by the eagle Loki is dragged away with the eagle and made to swear an oath that he would lure ldunn with her apples of youth out of Asgard AH THE INTERMEDIARY Loki as the intermediary between the god and mortals the giant Thjazi kidnaps ldunn and the gods grow old and gray Loki changes into a falcon and changes ldunn into a nut and ies away with her gods just miss a slaughtering by the giant LAUGH SKADI WILL YOU Skadi come to Asgard to avenge her father Aesir offer to reconcile she must choose a husband by only the feet The Aesir must make her laugh Loki ties a cord to the beard of a goat and the other end around his own testicles each squealed so loudly that she laughed WHERE DOES POETRY COME FROM Pg 83 the mead of poetry made from Kvasir s blood Bragi explain that the beginning of poetry comes from the time when the aesir and Vanir were at war Created from the spit of both sides in their truce meeting known for his wisdom kied by 2 dwarves and his blood was blended with honey whoever drinks becomes a poet ODIN SEEKS THE MEAD causes 9 slaves to slit each other s throats with their scythes calls himself Bolverk offers to do the work of the slaves for a sip of the mead Auger name Rati drills a hole through the mountain and changes into a snake after laying with Gunnlod 3 nights she allowed him to drink gives the mean to the Aesir page 85 12109114 PAGAN AND CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS scholarship by Joseph Welendorf medieva Icelanders took pride in their cultural inheritance and descent they cultivated a remarkable literary tradition about their past they preserved tales of the distant heroic Scandinavian past as well as of more recent Icelandic events the settlement period of Iceland traditionally dated between 870 and 930 not recorded in writing until the 12th century at the very earliest ike Greek and Roman mythology a traditional myth of origin will tell us how a particular group wishes to conceptualize its own genesis medieva Icelanders of the 13th century told stories of how their forefathers chose the location of their settlements by means of a ritual that was most often described in pagan terms as a ritual related to the Old Norse preChristian gods Pagan old Norse The pagan past was a topic that fascinated the authors of our preserved literature this is most evident in the eddic and skaldic poetry and in the legendary sagas telling of the exploits of the heroes of old living long before the colonization of Iceland but when dealing with the less distant past the history of the settlement and the rst centuries of Icelandic history one senses a certain uneasiness of discomfort with paganism in the literature many saga protagonists were described as noble heathens however which means that they were like the Gentiles and the Apostle Paul mentions in his epistle to the Romans the great saga heroes living before the advent of Christianity believed in him quotwho created the sunquot meaning They believed in their own might and strength ICELANDIC SAGAS AND FAMILY by Kari Gislason The Icelandic sagas re ect a deep social interest in the nature of family obligations both the family and contemporary sagas appear to integrate family matters in all aspects of the stories they tell family is the central and unifying cultural concern of saga authors and their contemporaries IMPORTANT clearly the sagas emerged out of a society that needed and valued strong family bonds and one would expect the sagas to re ect and even justify the general view of family life as being central but the sagas do more than simply express a social norm they examine it with a degree of historical awareness that makes it possible for the representation of family life to function thematically MPORTANT those living before Christianity believed in him creating the sun Zeus god Jesus or rise of Christianity name of the tree Drasil Yamir how does Ioki kill Balder Mistletoe prominent motifs and symbols fatalism trust and deception proving ones honor when challenged peace and love okis mistress REMEMBER avery 389
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