Keywords: Norse

Myth and Ritual in Pre-Christian Scandinavian Landscape

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I grew up in the forest region of northern Sweden. As a young boy, an old female relative of mine, an aunt to my father, told me now and then of her encounters with the ‘small people’ when she was herding cattle as a herdess at the seter in the forests, especially of the beautiful […]

How Uniform Was the Old Norse religion?

 
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One often gets the impression from handbooks on Old Norse culture and religion that the pagan religion that was supposed to have been in existence all over pre-Christian Scandinavia and Iceland was rather homogeneous. Due to the lack of written sources, it becomes difficult to say whether the ‘religion’ — or rather mythology, eschatology, and […]

Heroic Legend and Onomastics: Hálfs saga, the Hildebrandslied and the Listerby Stones

 
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Several years ago, Gregory Nagy, referring to epic heroes from Greek, Indian, Hittite and other traditions, commented, “These constructs – let us call them simply ‘characters’ for the moment – are in some ways radically dissimilar from each other. Even within a single tradition like Homeric poetry, heroes like Achilles and Odysseus seem worlds apart. […]

A Snake Story

 
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It was a nice warm early fall day and I was basking on top of Rattlesnake Mountain. It’s one of the easier climbs in the state, something you could do in a few hours and then still make it to the party you had to go to later that day. Or something like that anyway. […]