SG CLT Final
SG CLT Final CLT3378
Popular in Mythology: East and West
Popular in Classical Studies
This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Michaela Maynard on Saturday December 5, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to CLT3378 at Florida State University taught by Mark Buzbee in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 253 views. For similar materials see Mythology: East and West in Classical Studies at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 12/05/15
CLT3378 12/1/15 Norse Mythology Norsemen o Medieval Scandinavians (ca. 800-1000 BCE) o Vikings (Germanic peoples) Raiders/pirates—lived by plundering other cities Less of a focus on staying in one location and developing Traders Norse Mythology o Two families of Norse gods Æsir Vanir o War between the two groups As a result, Vanir live together with Æsir in Asgard o Vanir Primarily fertility gods Njord: sea god; father of twins Frey and Freyja Frey: god; fertility of the earth Freyja: goddess; sexual desire o Æsir Contemporaries on Vanir—live in the same time period Odin: god; associated with war, victory, death, wisdom o Jötnar Giants (but not always gigantic) Family of related beings Usually enemies of Æsir and Vanir Norse Mythic Geography o Disagreemnt among sources o Yggdrasil Giant ash tree Center of Norse Cosmology World tree; supports universe No chaos as a beginning/center The universe is centered around the tree Different levels of Yggdrasil Asgard (where gods live: Æsir and Vanir) Midgard (where humans live) Utgard (where giants live) Hel (Underworld) Odin o King of Æsir o Odin’s horse= Sleipnir; has 8 legs o God of knowledge and cleverness Has the idea that if you are the king of the universe you must rule fairly using knowledge o Two ravens Huginn (“Thought”) Muninn (“Mind/Memory”) Fly around the world; report news to Odin This is how he gains knowledge o Also a god of prophecy—has a foresight like Prometheus— (2 stories about origin): Story #1 Odin symbolically sacrifices himself; hangs by feet on Yggdrasil for 9 days Granted the gift of prophecy from the universe and ability to read runes(cuneiform of Norse culture—their symbols of writing) Story #2 Plucks out right eye as a sacrifice to drink from Mimir’s Well (at roots of Yggdrasil) Odin sees past, present, future after drinking; eye left behind in well o Interesting—loses mortal vision, gains immortal vision Thor o Storm god Power stems from unknowing fear of the ancient peoples o Usually the son of Odin in Norse mythology o Warrior/strongman o 3 prized possessions Hammer (Mjolnir= “lightning”) Iron gloves Belt (doubles Thor’s strength) o Protects gods from giants Loki o Trickster god and shape shifter o Purely mythic character (no worship towards him—similar to serpent in Adam and Eve) o Son of giant and goddess o Outsider figure (barely one of the Æsir; actually a giant) o When transformed into a mare, becomes father of Sleipnir (Odin’s steed) Loki’s other children o By a giantess, Loki becomes father of Fenrir (wolf) Jormungand (Midgard Serpent) Hel (often personified as a goddess/giantess) o All three are trouble for Æsir; Æsir neutralizes them— similar to how Zeus is threatened by Typhon Fenrir bound Jormungand put in sea that wraps around Midgard Hel put in Hel (underworld) Prose Edda(myth) o Work by Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241CE) Christian Icelandic author o Four sections in work; Snorri definitely wrote one—debate on the others o Gylfaginning (section that Snorri definitely wrote) “The Deluding of Gylfi”/ “The Confusion of Gylfi” Section of Prose Edda with fullest accounts of Norse Mythology o Gylfi (Swedish king) Æsir are magical newcomers to the land Gylfi is intimidated by newcomers—doesn’t know what to make of them Gylfi disguises himself as old man named Gangleri (“strider”) o Æsir live in a great hall in Sweden where Gylfi is from o Frame story Dialogue between Gangleri and three Æsir gods living in great hall Q + A format; invented to introduce stories of mythology Norse people created a handbook of sorts Like an interview with the gods o End of Gylfaginning Æsir can answer no more questions after rapture They can be asked anything about their origins, the gods, their ability, etc. Christian Gangleri “wins” Q+A contest Succeeds in getting information from gods Great Hall vanishes o Christian message of Gylfaginning Norse mythology is an illusion—maybe Gangleri woke up from a dream about this Creation of the Universe (in Prose Edda) o In the beginning: the void (Ginnungagap) o Next two realms formed from void—emphasis on temperature rather than light/dark, pure water/salt water Niflheim: cold (in north) Muspell: firery (in south) o Interaction (sexual?) of two realms creates Ymir, the first frost giant o Other frost giants formed from Ymir’s sweat Almost as if he is his own realm o Audhumla= cow; emerges from frost Milk feeds giant Ymir Audhumla licks ice: Buri emerges, first Æsir o Buri has son: Bor Bor+ Bestla (daughter of a giant) = Odin o Odin and brothers (Vili, Ve) kill Ymir Blood of Ymir causes flood All frost giants drown except Bergelmir and his wife o Odin and brother create universe from Ymir’s body (Cf. Marduk and Tiamat) Skull= sky Flesh= earth Bones= mountains Blood= sea Eyelashes= fortress around Midgard o Realms formed Midgard: “middle enclosure”; where humans live Asgard: “Æsir enclosure” Utgard: “outer enclosure”; where giants live o Odin and brothers create humans from trees Ask (“ash”): first man Embla (“elm”): first woman o Odin helps to create Asgard for Æsir
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