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I



TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY



VIKTOR RYDBERG, Ph.D.

MEMBER OF THE SWEDISH A-CADEMY ; AUTHOR OF " THE LAST ATHENIAN,
" ROMAN DAYS," AND OTHER WORKS



AUTHORISED TRANSLATION FROM THE SWEDISH BY

RASMUS B. ANDERSON, LL.D.

UNITED STATES MINISTER TO DENMARK; AUTHOR OF "NORSE MYTHOLOGY,
" VIKING TALES OF THE NORTH," ETC., ETC.




LONDON
SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO.

PATERNOSTER SQUARE
1889



THE ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY PRESS.



TO

HIS MAJESTY KING OSCAR II.,

THE RULER OF THE ARYAN PEOPLE OF THE SCANDINAVIAN

PENINSULA,

THE PROMOTER OF THE SCIENCES.

THE CROWNED POET,

THIS WORK IS MOST RESPECTFULLY

DEDICATED

BY
THE AUTHOR, AND TRANSLATOR,

Viktor Rydberg. Rasmus B. Anderson.



Stockholm, November 20, 1887.

Hon. Kasmus B. Anderson,
United States Minister,

Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dear Sir,

It gives me pleasure to authorise you to translate
into English my work entitled "Researches in Teutonic
Mythology," being convinced that no one could be found
better qualified for this task than yourself. Certainly no
one has taken a deeper interest than you in spreading
among our Anglo-Saxon kinsmen, not only a knowledge of
our common antiquity, but also of what modern Scandinavia
is contributing to the advancement of culture — a work in
which England and the United States of America are taking
so large a share.

Yours faithfully,

VIKTOR RYDBERG.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



i.

INTRODUCTION.

1.

-THE ANCIENT ARYANS.



PAGE

1

3

4
10
14



1. The Words German and Germanic, ....

2. The Aryan Family of Languages, ....

3. The Hypothesis concerning the Asiatic Origin of the Aryans,

4. The Hypothesis concerning the European Origin of the Aryans,

5. The Aryan Land of Europe, . ....

B. -ANCIENT TEUTONDOM (GERMANIEN).

6. The Geographical Position of Ancient Teutondoni. The Stone Age

.if Prehistoric Tentondom, . . . . .18



A.— MEDLEVAL MIGRATION SAGAS.
The Learned Saga in Regard to the Emigration from Troy-Asgarp.

7. The Saga in Eeimskringla and the Prose Edda, . . .22

8. The Troy Saga in Heiinskringla anil the Prose Edda (continued), . 30
'». Sazo'a Relation of the Story of Troy, . . . .32

10. The Older Periods of the Troy Saga, .... 33

11. Tin- Origin of the Story in regard to the Trojan Descent of the

Flunks, . . . . . . . .40

12. Why Odin was given Antenor's Place as Leader of the Trojan

Emigration, . . . . . . .45

13.'The Materials of the Icelandic Troy Saga, .... 66

14. The Result of the Foregoing Investigations, . . . .64



viii TABLE OF CONTENTS.

B REMINISCENCES IN" THE POPULAR TRADITIONS OF THE
M |.i; A.QES OF THE HEATHEN MIGRATION SAGA.

PAGE

16. The Longobardian Migration Saga, . . . . .66

16. The Saxon and Swabian Migration Saga, . . . .71

17. The Frankish Migration Saga, . • • • .74
l& Jordanee on the Emigration of the Goths, Gepidse, and Herulians.

The Migration Saga of the Burgundians. Traces of an
Alamannic Migration Saga, . . . . .76

LD. The Teutonic Emigration Saga found in Tacitus, . . .80



3.

THE MYTH CONCERNING THE EARLIEST PERIOD AND THE
EMIGRATIONS FROM THE NORTH.

30. The Creation of Man. The Primeval Country. Scef the Bringer

of Culture, 84

21. Scef the Author of Culture identical with Heimdal-Rig, the

Origina] Patriarch, ...... 90

22. Eeimdal's Son Borgar-Skjold, the Second Patriarch, . . 95
2a Borgar-Skjold'a Son Halfdan, the Third Patriarch, . . .98
24 Balfdan's Enmity with Orvandel and Svipdag . . . lul

25. Halfdan's Identity with Mannus in " Germania," . . . 103

26. The Sacred Runes learned from Heimdal, .... 107

27. Sorcerj the Reverse of the Sacred Rimes. Gulveig-HeiSr the

Source of Sorcery. The Moral Deterioration of the Original

Man, Ill

28a. Heimdal and the Sun-dis (Die = goddess), . . . 112

28b. Loke causes Enmity between the Gods and the Original Artists (the
Creators of all things growing). The Consequence is the
Fimbul-winter and Emigrations, .... 115
29. Evidence thai Halfdan is identical with Helge Hundingsbane, . 121
8a Halfdan's Birth and the End of the Age of Peace. The Family

Names Fifing, Hilding, Budlung, .... 125

81. Halfdan's Character. The Weapon-myth, .... 129

82. Ha l f da n 's < Jonflicts int.-i ]>]ttrd as Myths of Nature. The War with

the Heroes limn Svarin's Mound. Halfdan's Marriage with

I t Vegetation, ...... 132

33. Review of the Svipdag-myth and its Points of Connection with the

Myth aboul Hal Man, ...... 136

84 The World War. Its Cause. The Murder of Gullveig-HeiSr. The

Voice of Counsel between the Asas and the Vans, . . 139

: '""'- Gullveig-Hefi r. Her [dentity with Aurbooa, AngerboSa, Hyrrokin.

The Myth concerning the Sword Guardian and Fjalar, . 145



TABLE OF CONTENTS. IX

PAGE

36. The World War (continued). The Breach of Peace between Asas

and Vans. Prigg, Skade, and Oil in the Conflict. The Siege
of Asgard. The Vaferllames. The Defence and Surroundings
ofAsgard. The Victory of the Vans, . . . .160

37. The World War (continued). The Significance of the Conflict

from a Religious-Ritual Standpoint, . . .171

38. The World War (continued). The War in Midgard between Half-

dan's Sons. Groa's Sons against Alveig's. Loke's Appearance

on the Stage. Hadding's Youthful Adventures, . . 173

39. The World War (continued). The Position of the Divine Clans to

the Warriors, . . . • • • .178

40. The World War (continued). Hadding's Defeat. Loke in the

Council and on the Battlefield. Heimdal the Protector of

his Descendant Hadding, ..... 183

41. The World War (continued). Hadding's Journey to the East. Re-

conciliation between the Asas and the Vans. "The Hun
War." Hadding Returns and Conquers. Reconciliation
between Groa's Descendants and Alveig's. Loke's Punish-
ment, . . . • • • • .186

42. Halfdan and Hamal Foster-brothers. The Amalians Fight in Be-

half of Halfdan's Son Hadding. Hamal and the Wedge-
formed Battle-array. The Original Model of the Bravalla
Battle, 191

43. Evidence that Dieterich "of Bern" is Hadding. The Dieterich

Saga thus has its Origin in the Myth concerning the War
between Mannus-Halfdan's Sons, .... 194



II.

THE MYTH IN REGARD TO THE LOWER WORLD.



44. Middle Age Sagas with Roots in the Myth concerning the Lower

World. Erik Vidforle's Saga, .

45. Middle Age Sagas (continued). Icelandic Sources in regard to

Gudmund, King of the Glittering Plains,

46. Middle Age Sagas (continued). Saxo concerning this same Gudmund

Ruler of the Lower World, ....

47. Middle Age Sagas (continued). Fjallerus and Hadingus (Hadding

in the Lower World, ....

48. Middle Age Sagas (continued). A Frisian Saga in Adam of Bremen

49. Analysis of the Sagas mentioned in Nos. 44-48,

50. Analysis .it the Sagas mentioned in Nos. 44-48. The Question in

regard to the Identification of Odainsaker,

51. Gudmund's Identity with Mimer, ....

b



208
210
212

215

217
218

228
230



x TABLE OF CONTENTS.

PAGE

58. Homer's Grove. Lit" and Leifthraser, . . • .231
53. At what Time did Lif and Leifthraser get their Place of Refuge in

Mimer'e Grove? The Asmegir. Mimer's Position in My-
thology. The Numina of the Lower World, . . . 238
64 The Iranian Myth concerning Mimer's Grove, . • .256

56. The Purpose of Mimer's I hrave in the Regeneration of the World, . 264

66. The Cosmography. Criticism on Gylfaginning's Cosmography, . 268

57. The Word Hel in Linguistic Usage, . . . • .275
5a The WordHdinVegtainskvidaandinVafthrudnersmal, . . 278

59. The Word He] in GrimnersmaL Hvergelmer's Fountain and its

1 defenders. The Border Mountain between Hel and Nifelhel.
The Word Helblotinn in Thorsdrapa, . . . -281

60. The Word Hel in Skirnersmal. Description of Nifelhel. The

Mythic Meaning of Ndr, Nair. The Hades Division of the
Frost-giants and Spirits of Disease, .... 289

61. The Word Hel in Voluspa. Who the Inhabitants of Hel are, . 298

62. The Word Hel in AllvismaL The Classes of Beings in Hel, . . 302
68. The Word Hel in other Passages. The Result of the Investigation

for the Cosmography and for the Meaning of the Word Hel.
Hel in a Local Sense the Kingdom of Death, particularly its
Realms of Bliss. Hel in a Personal Sense Identical with the
Goddess of Fate and Death, that is, Urd, . . . 304

64. Urd's Maid-servants: (1) Maid-servants of Life — Norns,Dises of Birth,

Hamingjes, Giptes, Fylgjes ; (2) Maid-servants of Death —
Valkyries, the Psycho-messengers of Diseases and Accidents,

65. On the Cosmography. The Way of those Fallen by the Sword to

Valhal is through the Lower World, ....
66 The Choosing. The Middl i-age Fable about Risting with the Spear-
Point, ........ 321

67. The Psycho-messengers of those not Fallen by the Sword. Loke's

Daughter! Pseudo-Hel in Gylfaginning) Identical with Leikin, 323

68. The Way to Hades Common to the Dead, .... 32«

'he Two Thingsteada of the Asas. The Extent of the Authority of

the Asaa and of the Dis of Fate. The Doom of the Dead, . 330

70. The Doom of the Dead (continued). Speech-runes. Or'5sTirr,Ndinadi, 333

71. Tin- Doom of the Dead (continued). The Looks of the Thingstead.

The Duty of taking Care of the Ashes of the Dead. The
Hamingje at the Judgment. Sins of Weakness. Sins unto
Death, ........ 344

72. The Hades-drink, ....... 350

7:1. The Hades-drink (continued). The Hades-horn embellished with

Serpents, . . . . . . .354

74. After the Judgment The Lot of the Blessed, . . . 360

7.".. After the Judgment (continued). The Fate of the Damned. Their

Path. Arrival at the Na-gates, .... 361

7':. The Places of Punishment ..... 363



III.
THE IVALDE EACE.



TABLE OF CONTENTS. xi

PAGE

77 The Places of Punishment (continued). The Hall in Nastrands, . 367
78* The Places of Punishment (continued). Loke's Cave of Punishment.

Gvlia-inuin-s Confounding of Muspel's Sons with the Sons

376
ofSuttung,

79. The Great World-mill. Its Mistaken Identity with the Frode-null, 385

80. The World-mill (continued), . • • • ■

81. The World-mill {continued). The World-mill makes the Constella-

tions Revolve. Mundilfori, . . • • "

82 The World-mill (continued). The Origin of the Sacred Fire through
Mundilfore. Heimdal the Personification of the Sacred I ire.
His Identity with Rigveda's Agni. His Antithesis, Loke, also
a Fire-being, .

83. Mundilfore's Identity with Lodur, .

84. Nat, the Mother of the Gods, . . • • • ■

85. Narfi, Nat's Father, identical with Mimer. A Pseudo-Narfi in the

Younger Edda, .

86. The Two Giant Clans descended from Ymer,

87. The Identity of Mimer and Nidhad of the Volund Saga, . . 428

88. A General Review of Mimer's Names and Epithets, .

89. The Mead-myth, . • • • ■ • "

90 The Mead-myth (continued). The Moon and the Mead. Proofs

that Nanna's Father is the Ward of the Atmosphere and God
of the Moon, . • • • •

91 The Myth Concerning the Moon-god (continued),

92. The Moon-dis Nanna. The Merseburg Formula. Raider's Name

Fair, ..•••••

93. Cosmographic Review, .

94. The Seven Sleepers, ...••■

95. On the Anthropology of the Mythology, .



399
409
414

416

424



436

438



455
462

463

470
479
494



507



96. Svipdag and Groa, . . • • • •

97. Svipda^ Outside of the Gates of Asgard. Menglad's Identity with

rrevja, ...••••

98. Svipdag brings to Asgard the Sword of Revenge Forged by Volund, 515

99. Svipdag's Father Orvandel, the Star-hero. Explanation of his

Epithet S6lDJartr, . • 521

100. Svipdag Rescued Freyja from the Hands of the Giants. Saxo on

Otharus and Syritha. Svipdag Identical with Otharus, . 523

101. Svipdag in Saxo's Account of Hotherus, . 53 °

102. Svipdag's Synonym Eirekr. Ericus Disertus in Saxo, . • 538

103. The Svipdag Synonym Eirekr (continued), . . • .545



xii TABLE OF CONTENTS.

PAGE

104. The Later Fortunes of the Volund Sword, . . . .548

105. The Svipdag Epithet Skirner. The Volund Sword's Name. Gani-

bantein, ........ 553

106. Svipdag's Later Fortunes. His Transformation and Death. Freyja

goes in Search of him. Freyja's Epithet Mardoll. The Sea-
kiilney Brisingamen. Svipdag's Epithet HermoSr, . . 555

107. Reminiscences of the Svipdag-myth, ..... 563

108. Svipdag's Father Orvandel. Evidence that he is identical with

Volund's brother Egil. The Orvandel Synonym Ebbo (Ebur,
Ibor), ........ 575

109. Frey Fostered in the Home of Orvandel-Egil and Volund. Orvandel's

Epithet Isolfr. Volund's Epithet Aggo, . . .587

110. Svipdag's Grandfather is Ivalde. Orvandel, Volund, and Slagfln

therefore Identical with Ivalde's Sons, . . . 590

111. The Results of the Judgment passed on the Works of Art produced

by the Ivalde Sons. Parallel Myths in Rigveda, . . 593

112. The Consequences of the Judgment Passed on the Ivalde Sons (con-

tin a id). Njord's Efforts to bring about a Reconciliation, . 600

113. Proofs that Ivalde's Sons are identical with Olvalde's, . . 604

114. Proofs that Ivalde's Sons are Olvalde's (continued). A Review of

Thorsdrapa, ....... 632

115. Review of the Proofs of Volund's Identity with Thjasse, . . 646

116. A Look at the Myth concerning Thjasse- Volund. His Epithet

HlebarSr. His Worst Deed of Revenge, . . . 649

117. The Guard at Hvergelmer and the Elivagar, . . . 656

118. Slagfin. His Identity with Gjuke. Slagfin, Egil, and Volund are

Niflungs, . . . . . . .659

119. The Nifiung Hoard is the Treasure left by Volund and his Brothers, 661

120. Slagfin-Gjuke's Synonyms : Dankrat (Pakkra'Sr), Irung, Aldrian.

Slagfiii a Star-hero like his Brothers. Aldrian's Identity with
Cheldricus-Gelderus, ...... 665

121. Slagfin's [dentity with Hjuke. His Appearance in the Moon-myth

and in the Balder-myth. Bil's Identity with Idun, . . 668

122. Review of the Synonyms of the Sons of Ivalde, . . . 672

123. Ivalde, •••..... 673



I.
INTRODUCTION.



A. THE ANCIENT AKYANS.

1.

The Words German and Germanic.

Already at the beginning of the Christian era the name Ger-
mans was applied by the Eomans and Gauls to the many clans
of people whose main habitation was the extensive territory east
of the Ehine, and north of the forest-clad Hercynian Mountains.
That these clans constituted one race was evident to the Eomans,
for they all had a striking similarity in type of body ; moreover,
a closer acquaintance revealed that their numerous dialects were
all variations of the same parent language, and finally, they re-
sembled each other in customs, traditions, and religion. The
characteristic features of the physical type of the Germans were
light hair, blue eyes, light complexion, and tallness of stature as
compared with the Eomans.

Even the saga-men, from whom the Eoman historian Tacitus
gathered the facts for his Gcrmania — an invaluable work for the
history of civilisation — knew that in the so-called Svevian Sea,
north of the German continent, lay another important part of
Germany, inhabited by Sviones, a people divided into several
clans. Their kinsmen on the continent described them as rich in
weapons and fleets, and in warriors on land and sea (Tac, Germ.,
44). This northern sea-girt portion of Germany is called Scan-
dinavia — Scandeia by other writers of the Eoman Empire ; and
there can be no doubt that this name referred to the peninsula

1



2 TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY.

which, as far back as historical monuments can be found, has
been inhabited by the ancestors of the Swedes and the Norwegians.
I therefore include in the term Germans the ancestors of both the
Scandinavian and Gothic and German (tyske) peoples. Science
needs a sharply - denned collective noun for all these kindred
branches sprung from one and the same root, and the name by
which they make their first appearance in history would doubtless
long since have been selected for this purpose had not some of
the German writers applied the terms German and Deutsch as
synonymous. This is doubtless the reason why Danish authors
have adopted the word "Goths" to describe the Germanic nations.
But there is an important objection to this in the fact that the
name Goths historically is claimed by a particular branch of the
family—that branch, namely, to which the East and West Goths
belonged, and in order to avoid ambiguity, the term should be
applied solely to them. It is therefore necessary to re-adopt
the old collective name, even though it is not of Germanic
origin, the more so as there is a prospect that a more correct
use of the words German and Germanic is about to prevail in
( rermany itself, for the German scholars also feel the weight of
the demand which science makes on a precise and rational
terminology.*

* Yiktur Rydberg styles his work Researches in Germanic Mythology,
but after consultation with the Publishers, the Translator decided to use the
word Ti iitnnir instead of Germanic both in the title and in the body of the work.
In English, the words German, Germany, and Germanic are ambiguous.. The
Scandivaniane and Germans have the words Tysldand, tysk, Deutschland, deutsch,
when they wish to refer to the present Germany, and thus it is easy for them
to adopl tin- words German and Germanisk to describe the Germanic orTeutonic
I'f'ijiles collectively. The English language applies the above word Dutch not
rmany, but to Holland, and it is necessary to use the words German and
Germany in translating deutsch, Deutschland, tysk, and Tysldand. Teutonic
has already been adopted by Max Midler and other scholars in England and
America as a designation of all the kindred branches sprung from one and the
same root, and speaking dialects of the same original tongue. The words
Teuton, Teutonic, and Teutondom also have the advantage over German and
Germanic thai they are of native growth and not borrowed from a foreign
language. In the following pages, therefore, the word Teutonic will be
used to describe Scandivanians, Germans, Anglo-Saxons, &c, collectively,
while German will be used exclusively in regard to Germany proper. —
Translator.



TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY.



2.

The Akyan Family of Languages.

It is universally known that the Teutonic dialects are related
to the Latin, the Greek, the Slavic, and Celtic languages, and that
the kinship extends even beyond Europe to the tongues of Armenia,
Irania, and India. The holy books ascribed to Zoroaster, which
to the priests of Cyrus and Darius were what the Bible is to us ;
Rigveda's hymns, which to the people dwelling on the banks of
the Ganges are God's revealed word, are written in a language
which points to a common origin with our own. However unlike
all these kindred tongues may have grown with the lapse of thou-
sands of years, still they remain as a sharply-defined group of older
and younger sisters as compared with all other language groups of
the world. Even the Semitic languages are separated therefrom
by a chasm so broad and deep that it is hardly possible to bridge it.

This language-group of ours has been named in various ways.
It has been called the Indo-Germanic, the Indo-European, and the
Aryan family of tongues. I have adopted the last designation.
The Armenians, Iranians, and Hindoos I call the Asiatic Aryans ;
all the rest I call the European Aryans.

Certain it is that these sister-languages have had a common
mother, the ancient Aryan speech, and that this has had a geographi-
cal centre from which it has radiated. (By such an ancient Aryan
language cannot, of course, be meant a tongue stereotyped in all its
inflections, like the literary languages of later times, but simply the
unity of those dialects which were spoken by the clans dwelling
around this centre of radiation.) By comparing the grammatical
structure of all the daughters of this ancient mother, and by the
aid of the laws hitherto discovered in regard to the transition of
sounds from one language to another, attempts have been made to
restore this original tongue which many thousand years ago ceased
to vibrate. These attempts cannot, of course, in any sense claim
to reproduce an image corresponding to the lost original as regards
syntax and inflections. Such a task would be as impossible as to
reconstruct, on the basis of all the now spoken languages derived
from the Latin, the dialect used in Latium. The purpose is simply
to present as faithful an idea of the ancient tongue as the existing
means permit.



4 TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY.

In the most ancient historical times Aryan-speaking people
were found only in Asia and Europe. In seeking for the centre
and the earliest conquests of the ancient Aryan language, the
scholar may therefore keep within the limits of these two con-
tinents, and in Asia he may leave all the eastern and the most of
the southern portion out of consideration, since these extensive
regions have from prehistoric times been inhabited by Mongolian
and allied tribes, and may for the present be regarded as the
cradle of these races. It may not be necessary to remind the
reader that the question of the original home of the ancient Aryan
tongue is not the same as the question in regard to the cradle of
the Caucasian race. The white race may have existed, and may
have been spread over a considerable portion of the old world,
before a language possessing the peculiarities belonging to the
Aryan had appeared; and it is a known fact that southern
portions of Europe, such as the Greek and Italian peninsulas,
were inhabited by white people before they were conquered by
Aryans.

3.
The Hypothesis concerning the Asiatic Origin of the Aryans.

When the question of the original home of the Aryan language
and race was first presented, there were no conflicting opinions on
the main subject* All who took any interest in the problem
referred to Asia as the cradle of the Aryans. Asia had always
been regarded as the cradle of the human race. In primeval time,
the yellow Mongolian, the black African, the American redskin,
and the fair European had there tented side by side. From some
common centre in Asia they had spread over the whole surface of
the inhabited earth. Traditions found in the literatures of various
Kmopean peoples in regard to an immigration from the East sup-
ported this view. The progenitors of the Romans were said to
have come from Troy. The fathers of the Teutons were reported
to have immigrated from Asia, led by Odin. There was also the
original home of the domestic animals and of the cultivated plants.
Ami when the startling discovery was made that the sacred books
of lli*- Iranians and Hindoos were written in languages related to

• Compare 0. Schroder, Sprachvergleichung wnd Urgcschichte (1883).



TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY. 5

the culture languages of Europe, when these; linguistic monuments
betrayed a wealth of inflections in comparison with which those of
the classical languages turned pale, and when they seemed to have
the stamp of an antiquity by the side of which the European
dialects seemed like children, then what could be more natural
than the following conclusion : The original form has been pre-
served in the original home ; the farther the streams of emigra-
tion got away from this home, the more they lost on the way
of their language and of their inherited view of the world ;
that is, of their mythology, which among the Hindoos seemed
so original and simple as if it had been watered by the dews
of life's dawn.

To begin with, there was no doubt that the original tongue
itself, the mother of all the other Aryan languages, had already
been found when Zend or Sanscrit was discovered. Fr. v. Schlegel,
in his work published in 1808, on the Language and Wisdom of the
Hindoos, regarded Sanscrit as the mother of the Aryan family of
languages, and India as the original home of the Aryan family of
peoples. Thence, it was claimed, colonies were sent out in pre-
historic ages to other parts of Asia and to Europe ; nay, even mis-
sionaries went forth to spread the language and religion of the
mother-country among other peoples. Schlegel's compatriot Link
looked upon Zend as the oldest language and mother of Sanscrit,
and the latter he regarded as the mother of the rest ; and as the
Zend, in his opinion, was spoken in Media and surrounding countries,
it followed that the highlands of Media, Armenia, and Georgia were
the original home of the Aryans, a view which prevailed among
the leading scholars of the age, such as Anquetil-Uuperron, Herder,
and Heeren, and found a place in the historical text-books used in
the schools from 1820 to 1840.

Since Bopp published his epoch-making Comparative Grammar
the illusion that the Aryan mother-tongue had been discovered
had, of course, gradually to give place to the conviction that all



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