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

Borgar-skjold's Son Halfdan The Third Patriarch

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

The Sacred Runes Learned From Heimdal

The World War Its Cause The Murder Of Gullveig-heidr

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

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

The Teutonic Emigration Saga Found In Tacitus

The War In Midgard Between Halfdan's Sons

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

Halfdan's Conflicts Interpreted As Myths Of Nature

Halfdan's Character The Weapon-myth

Heimdal And The Sun-dis Dis-goddess

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

Evidence That Halfdan Is Identical With Helge Hundingsbane

The Position Of The Divine Clans To The Warriors

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

Halfdan's Enmity With Orvandel And Svipdag

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

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

Halfdan's Identity With Mannus In Germania

The Significance Of The Conflict From A Religious-ritual Standpoint

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


Source: Teutonic Mythology

The first strophes of the first song of Helge Hundingsbane distinguish
themselves in tone and character and broad treatment from the
continuation of the song, and have clearly belonged to a genuine old
mythic poem about Halfdan, and without much change the compiler of the
Helge Hundingsbane song has incorporated them into his poem. They
describe Halfdan's ("Helge Hundingsbane's") birth. The real mythic names
of his parents, Borgar and Drott, have been retained side by side with
the names given by the compiler, Sigmund and Borghild.

Ar var alda; It was time's morning,
that er arar gullo, eagles screeched,
hnigo heilog votn holy waters fell
af himinfjollum; from the heavenly mountains.
tha hafthi Helga Then was the mighty
inn hugom stora Helge born
Borghildr borit by Borghild
i Bralundi. in Bralund.

Nott varth i boe, It was night,
nornir qvomo, norns came,
ther er authlingi they who did shape
aldr urn scopo; the fate of the nobleman;
thann batho fylci they proclaimed him
fraegstan vertha best among Budlungs,
oc buthlunga and most famed
beztan ticcia. among princes.

Snero ther af afli With all their might the threads
aurlaugthatto, of fate they twisted,
tha er Borgarr braut when Borgar settled
i Bralundi; in Bralund;
ther um greiddo of gold they made
gullin simo the warp of the web,
oc und manasal and fastened it directly
mithian festo. 'neath the halls of the moon.

ther austr oc vestr In the east and west
enda falo: they hid the ends:
thar atti lofdungr there between
land a milli; the chief should rule;
bra nipt Nera Nere's[15] kinswoman
a nordrevega northward sent
einni festi one thread and bade it
ey bath hon halda. hold for ever.

Eitt var at angri One cause there was
Ylfinga nith of alarm to the Yngling (Borgar),
oc theirre meyio and also for her
er nunuth faeddi; who bore the loved one.
hrafn gvath at hrafni Hungry cawed
--sat a ham meithi raven to raven
andvanr ato:-- in the high tree:
"Ec veit noccoth! "Hear what I know!

"Stendr i brynio "In coat of mail
burr Sigmundar, stands Sigmund's son,
doegrs eins gamall, one day old,
nu er dagr kominn; now the day is come;
hversir augo sharp eyes of the Hildings
sem hildingar, has he, and the wolves'
sa er varga vinr, friend he becomes,
vith scolom teitir." We shall thrive."

Drott thotti sa Drott, it is said, saw
dauglingr vera In him a dayling,[16]
quado meth gumnom saying, "Now are good seasons
god-ar kominn; come among men;"
sialfr gecc visi to the young lord
or vig thrimo from thunder-strife
ungum faera came the chief himself
itrlauc grami. with a glorious flower.

Halfdan's ("Helge Hundingsbane's") birth occurs, according to the
contents of these strophes, when two epochs meet. His arrival announces
the close of the peaceful epoch and the beginning of an age of strife,
which ever since has reigned in the world. His significance in this
respect is distinctly manifest in the poem. The raven, to whom the
battle-field will soon be as a wellspread table, is yet suffering from
hunger (andvanr atu); but from the high tree in which it sits, it has
on the day after the birth of the child, presumably through the window,
seen the newcomer, and discovered that he possessed "the sharp eyes of
the Hildings," and with prophetic vision it has already seen him clad in
coat of mail. It proclaims its discovery to another raven in the same
tree, and foretells that theirs and the age of the wolves has come: "We
shall thrive."

The parents of the child heard and understood what the raven said.
Among the runes which Heimdal, Borgar's father, taught him, and which
the son of the latter in time learned, are the knowledge of bird-speech
(Konr ungr kloek nam fugla--Rigsthula, 43, 44). The raven's appearance
in the song of Helge Hundingsbane is to be compared with its relative
the crow in Rigsthula; the one foretells that the new-born one's path of
life lies over battle-fields, the other urges the grown man to turn away
from his peaceful amusements. Important in regard to a correct
understanding of the song, and characteristic of the original relation
of the strophes quoted to the myth concerning primeval time, is the
circumstance that Halfdan's ("Helge Hundingsbane's") parents are not
pleased with the prophecies of the raven; on the contrary they are
filled with alarm. Former interpreters have been surprised at this. It
has seemed to them that the prophecy of the lad's future heroic and
blood-stained career ought, in harmony with the general spirit pervading
the old Norse literature, to have awakened the parents' joy and pride.
But the matter is explained by the mythic connection which makes
Borgars' life constitute the transition period from a happy and peaceful
golden age to an age of warfare. With all their love of strife and
admiration for warlike deeds, the Teutons still were human, and shared
with all other people the opinion that peace and harmony is something
better and more desirable than war and bloodshed. Like their Aryan
kinsmen, they dreamed of primeval Saturnia regna, and looked forward
to a regeneration which is to restore the reign of peace. Borgar, in the
myth, established the community, was the legislator and judge. He was
the hero of peaceful deeds, who did not care to employ weapons except
against wild beasts and robbers. But the myth had also equipped him with
courage and strength, the necessary qualities for inspiring respect and
interest, and had given him abundant opportunity for exhibiting these
qualities in the promotion of culture and the maintenance of the
sacredness of the law. Borgar was the Hercules of the northern myth, who
fought with the gigantic beasts and robbers of the olden time. Saxo
(Hist., 23) has preserved the traditions which tell how he at one time
fought breast to breast with a giant bear, conquering him and bringing
him fettered into his own camp.

As is well known, the family names Ylfings, Hildings, Budlungs, &c.,
have in the poems of the Christian skalds lost their specific
application to certain families, and are applied to royal and princely
warriors in general. This is in perfect analogy with the Christian
Icelandic poetry, according to which it is proper to take the name of
any viking, giant, or dwarf, and apply it to any special viking, giant,
or dwarf, a poetic principle which scholars even of our time claim can
also be applied in the interpretation of the heathen poems. In regard to
the old Norse poets this method is, however, as impossible as it would
be in Greek poetry to call Odysseus a Peleid, or Achilleus a Laertiatid,
or Prometheus Hephaestos, or Hephaestos Daedalos. The poems concerning
Helge Hundingsbane are compiled in Christian times from old songs about
Borgar's son Halfdan, and we find that the patronymic appellations
Ylfing, Hilding, Budlung, and Lofdung are copiously strewn on "Helge
Hundingsbane." But, so far as the above-quoted strophes are concerned,
it can be shown that the appellations Ylfing, Hilding, and Budlung are
in fact old usage and have a mythic foundation. The German poem
"Wolfdieterich und Sabin" calls Berchtung (Borgar) Potelung--that is,
Budlung; the poem "Wolfdieterich" makes Berchtung the progenitor of the
Hildings, and adds: "From the same race the Ylfings have come to
us"--von dem selbe geslehte sint uns die wilfinge kumen (v. 223).

Saxo mentions the Hilding Hildeger as Halfdan's half-brother, and the
traditions on which the saga of Asmund Kaempebane is based has done the
same (compare No. 43). The agreement in this point between German,
Danish, and Icelandic statements points to an older source common to
them all, and furnishes an additional proof that the German Berchtung
occupied in the mythic genaelogies precisely the same place as the Norse

That Thor is one of Halfdan's fathers, just as Heimdal is one of
Borgar's, has already been pointed out above (see No. 25). To a divine
common fatherhood point the words: "Drott it is said, saw in him (the
lad just born) a dayling (son of a god of light), a son divine." Who the
divine partner-father is, is indicated by the fact that a storm has
broken out the night when Drott's son is born. There is a thunder-strife
vig thrimo, the eagles screech, and holy waters fall from the heavenly
mountains (from the clouds). The god of thunder is present, and casts
his shadow over the house where the child is born.

[Footnote 15: Urd, the chief goddess of fate. See the treatise "Mythen
om Under-jorden."]

[Footnote 16: Dayling = bright son of day or light.]

Next: Halfdan's Character The Weapon-myth

Previous: Evidence That Halfdan Is Identical With Helge Hundingsbane

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