Thursday, 9 June 2016

War Of The Gods, Chapter I

Two races of gods, the Aesir and the Vanir, fought the first war.

There are nine worlds in the Tree:

the loftiest world is Asgard of Odin and the Aesir;
west of Asgard is Vanaheim of the Vanir;
below the gods are -
sea-encircled Midgard of men,
worlds of elves and dwarves,
north of Midgard, Jotunheim of the jotuns or thursir.

That seems to be only six worlds? I have found lists here and here. I have also seen a list that differentiated between light elves and dark elves but I think that the latter were identified with dwarves? The Wiki article differentiates three abodes of the dead:

Niflheimr for the dishonorable;
Valhalla in Asgard for dead warriors;
Hel for everyone else -

- but also says that Hel could be regarded as part of Niflheim. And there is yet another hereafter: Aegir's Hall for drowned sailors.

The Aesir are lords over -

sky
wind
weather
sun
moon
stars
the Winterway
the Northern Lights

They hunt, breed horses and kine and marry.

The Vanir are gods of -

earth
sea
harvest
fishery
plow
ship
love
birth
the dark and lawless

They do not marry and their women are often witches.

Jotuns, the oldest race, sprung from Ymir, include:

giants
trolls
monsters
some human-like, even comely

They remember that Odin and his brothers killed Ymir.

3 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And the Eddaic legends also say Aesir created the dwarves from the flesh and blood of Ymir.

    Sean

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    Replies
    1. Sean,
      Or simply that the dwarves emerged from Ymir's flesh in the way that it was believed that maggots emerged from dead bodies?
      Paul.

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I looked up my copy of Lee Hollander's translation of THE POETIC EDDA to see what "Voluspa," Stanza 9 says. And this is what I found: "Then gathered together the gods for counsel,/the holy hosts, and held converse:/who the deep dwelling dwarfs was to make/of Brimir's blood and Blain's bones."

      Nothing there about the dwarves being created like maggots in dead bodies. Obviously, a different story is meant. One I'm not familiar with.

      Sean

      Delete