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Myths The Myth Concerning The Earliest Period And The Emigrations From The North.

The War In Midgard Between Halfdan's Sons

Gulveig-heidr Her Identity With Aurboda Angrboda Hyrrokin The Myth Concerning The Sword Guardian And Fjalar

The Position Of The Divine Clans To The Warriors

The Significance Of The Conflict From A Religious-ritual Standpoint

Halfdan's Conflicts Interpreted As Myths Of Nature

The Teutonic Emigration Saga Found In Tacitus

The Creation Of Man The Primeval Country Scef The Bringer Of Culture

Halfdan's Identity With Mannus In Germania

Halfdan And Hamal Foster-brothers The Amalians Fight In Behalf Of Halfdan's Son Hadding

The Breach Of Peace Between Asas And Vans Frigg Skade And Ull In The Conflict

Heimdal And The Sun-dis Dis-goddess

The World War Its Cause The Murder Of Gullveig-heidr

Sorcery The Reverse Of The Sacred Runes Gullveig-heidr The Source Of Sorcery The Moral Deterioration Of The Original Man

Hadding's Journey To The East Reconciliation Between The Asas And Vans

Halfdan's Character The Weapon-myth

The Sacred Runes Learned From Heimdal

Halfdan's Enmity With Orvandel And Svipdag

Scef The Author Of Culture Identical With Heimdal-rig The Original Patriarch

Hadding's Defeat Loke In The Council And On The Battle-field

Borgar-skjold's Son Halfdan The Third Patriarch

Halfdan's Birth And The End Of The Age Of Peace The Family Names Ylfing Hilding Budlung

Loke Causes Enmity Between The Gods And The Original Artists

Evidence That Halfdan Is Identical With Helge Hundingsbane

Review Of The Svipdag Myth And Its Points Of Connection With The Myth About Halfdan

Borgar-skjold's Son Halfdan The Third Patriarch


Source: Teutonic Mythology

In the time of Borgar and his son, the third patriarch, many of the
most important events of the myth take place. Before I present these,
the chain of evidence requires that I establish clearly the names
applied to Borgar in our literary sources. Danish scholars have already
discovered what I pointed out above, that the kings Gram Skjoldson,
Halfdan Berggram, and Halfdan Borgarson mentioned by Saxo, and referred
to different generations, are identical with each other and with Halfdan
the Skjoldung and Halfdan the Old of the Icelandic documents.

The correctness of this view will appear from the following

{Saxo: Gram slays king Sictrugus, and marries Signe,
{ daughter of Sumblus, king of the Finns.
{Hyndluljod: Halfdan Skjoldung slays king Sigtrygg, and
1. { marries Almveig with the consent of Eymund.
{Prose Edda: Halfdan the Old slays king Sigtrygg, and
{ marries Alveig, daughter of Eyvind.
{Fornald. S.: Halfdan the Old slays king Sigtrygg, and
{ marries Alfny, daughter of Eymund.

{Saxo: Gram, son of Skjold, is the progenitor of the Skjoldungs.
{Hyndluljod: Halfdan Skjoldung, son or descendant of
{ Skjold, is the progenitor of the Skjoldungs, Ynglings,
2. { Odlungs, &c.
{Prose Edda: Halfdan the Old is the progenitor of the
{ Hildings, Ynglings, Odlungs, &c.
{Saxo: Halfdan Bogarson is the progenitor of a royal
{ family of Denmark.

{Saxo: Gram uses a club as a weapon. He kills seven
{ brothers and nine of their half-brothers.
{Saxo: Halfdan Berggram uses an oak as a weapon. He
3. { kills seven brothers.
{Saxo: Halfdan Borgarson uses an oak as a weapon. He
{ kills twelve brothers.

{Saxo: Gram secures Groa and slays Henricus on his wedding-day.
{Saxo: Halfdan Berggram marries Sigrutha, after having
4. { slain Ebbo on his wedding-day.
{Saxo: Halfdan Borgarson marries Guritha, after having
{ killed Sivarus on his wedding-day.

{Saxo: Gram, who slew a Swedish king, is attacked in war
{ by Svipdag.
{Saxo: Halfdan Berggram, who slew a Swedish king, is
5. { attacked by Ericus.
{Combined sources: Svipdag is the slain Swedish king's
{ grandson (daughter's son).
{Saxo: Ericus is the son of the daughter of the slain Swedish
{ king.

These parallels are sufficient to show the identity of Gram Skjoldson,
Halfdan Berggram, and Halfdan Borgarson. A closer analysis of these
sagas, the synthesis possible on the basis of such an analysis, and the
position the saga (restored in this manner) concerning the third
patriarch, the son of Skjold-Borgar, and the grandson of Heimdal,
assumes in the chain of mythic events, gives complete proof of this

[Footnote 11: The first nine books of Saxo form a labyrinth constructed
out of myths related as history, but the thread of Ariadne seems to be
wanting. On this account it might be supposed that Saxo had treated the
rich mythical materials at his command in an arbitrary and unmethodical
manner; and we must bear in mind that these mythic materials were far
more abundant in his time than they were in the following centuries,
when they were to be recorded by the Icelandic authors. This supposition
is, however, wrong. Saxo has examined his sources methodically and with
scrutiny, and has handled them with all due reverence, when he assumed
the desperate task of constructing, by the aid of the mythic traditions
and heroic poems at hand, a chronicle spanning several centuries--a
chronicle in which fifty to sixty successive rulers were to be brought
upon the stage and off again, while myths and heroic traditions embrace
but few generations, and most mythic persons continue to exist through
all ages. In the very nature of the case, Saxo was obliged, in order to
solve this problem, to put his material on the rack; but a thorough
study of the above-mentioned books of his history shows that he treated
the delinquent with consistency. The simplest of the rules he followed
was to avail himself of the polyonomy with which the myths and heroic
poems are overloaded, and to do so in the following manner:

Assume that a person in the mythic or heroic poems had three or four
names or epithets (he may have had a score). We will call this person A,
and the different forms of his name A', A'', A'''. Saxo's task of
producing a chain of events running through many centuries forced him to
consider the three names A', A'', and A''' as originally three persons,
who had performed certain similar exploits, and therefore had, in course
of time, been confounded with each other, and blended by the authors of
myths and stories into one person A. As best he can, Saxo tries to
resolve this mythical product, composed, in his opinion, of historical
elements, and to distribute the exploits attributed to A between A',
A'', and A'''. It may also be that one or more of the stories applied to
A were found more or less varied in different sources. In such cases he
would report the same stories with slight variations about A', A'',
and A'''. The similarities remaining form one important group of
indications which he has furnished to guide us, but which can assure us
that our investigation is in the right course only when corroborated by
indications belonging to other groups, or corroborated by statements
preserved in other sources.

But in the events which Saxo in this manner relates about A', A'', and
A''', other persons are also mentioned. We will assume that in the myths
and heroic poems these have been named B and C. These, too, have in the
songs of the skalds had several names and epithets. B has also been
called B', B'', B'''. C has also been styled C', C'', C'''. Out of this
one subordinate person B, Saxo, by the aid of the abundance of names,
makes as many subordinate persons--B', B'', and B'''--as he made out of
the original chief person A--that is, the chief persons A', A'', and
A'''. Thus also with C, and in this way we got the following analogies:

A' is to B' and C' as
A'' B'' C'' and as
A''' B''' C'''.

By comparing all that is related concerning these nine names, we are
enabled gradually to form a more or less correct idea of what the
original myth has contained in regard to A, B, and C. If it then
happens--as is often the case--that two or more of the names A', B', C',
&c., are found in Icelandic or other documents, and there belong to
persons whose adventures are in some respects the same, and in other
respects are made clearer and more complete, by what Saxo tells about
A', A'', and A''', &c., then it is proper to continue the investigation
in the direction thus started. If, then, every new step brings forth new
confirmations from various sources, and if a myth thus restored easily
dovetails itself into an epic cycle of myths, and there forms a
necessary link in the chain of events, then the investigation has
produced the desired result.

An aid in the investigation is not unfrequently the circumstance that
the names at Saxo's disposal were not sufficient for all points in the
above scheme. We then find analogies which open for us, so to speak,
short cuts--for instance, as follows:

A' is to B' and C' as
A'' B' C'' and as
A''' B'' C'.

The parallels given in the text above are a concrete example of the
above scheme. For we have seen--

A=Halfdan, trebled in A'=Gram, A''=Halfdan Berggram, A'''=Halfdan

B=Ebbo (Ebur, Ibor, Joefurr), trebled in B'=Henricus, B''=Ebbo,

C doubled in C'=Svipdag, and C''=Ericus.]

Next: Halfdan's Enmity With Orvandel And Svipdag

Previous: Scef The Author Of Culture Identical With Heimdal-rig The Original Patriarch

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