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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

Halfdan's Character The Weapon-myth

The Significance Of The Conflict From A Religious-ritual Standpoint

The Position Of The Divine Clans To The Warriors

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

Halfdan's Conflicts Interpreted As Myths Of Nature

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

Loke Causes Enmity Between The Gods And The Original Artists

The World War Its Cause The Murder Of Gullveig-heidr

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

Halfdan's Enmity With Orvandel And Svipdag

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

The Sacred Runes Learned From Heimdal

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

Evidence That Halfdan Is Identical With Helge Hundingsbane

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

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

The Teutonic Emigration Saga Found In Tacitus

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

Heimdal And The Sun-dis Dis-goddess

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

Halfdan's Identity With Mannus In Germania

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

Halfdan's Identity With Mannus In Germania


Source: Teutonic Mythology

With Gram-Halfdan the Teutonic patriarch period ends. The human race had
its golden age under Heimdal, its copper age under Skjold-Borgar, and
the beginning of its iron age under Halfdan. The Skilfinga-Ynglinga race
has been named after Heimdal-Skelfir himself, and he has been regarded
as its progenitor. His son Skjold-Borgar has been considered the founder
of the Skjoldungs. With Halfdan the pedigree is divided into three
through his stepson Yngve-Svipdag, the latter's half-brother Gudhorm,
and Gudhorm's half-brother Hading or Hadding. The war between these
three--a continuation of the feud between Halfdan and Svipdag--was the
subject of a cycle of songs sung throughout Teutondom, songs which
continued to live though greatly changed with the lapse of time, on the
lips of Germans throughout the middle ages (see Nos. 36-43).

Like his father, Halfdan was the fruit of a double fatherhood, a divine
and a human. Saxo was aware of this double fatherhood, and relates of
his Halfdan Berggram that he, although the son of a human prince, was
respected as a son of Thor, and honoured as a god among that people who
longest remained heathen; that is to say, the Swedes (Igitur apud
Sveones tantus haberi caepit, ut magni Thor filius existimatus, divinis a
populo honoribus donaretur ac publico dignus libamine censeretur). In
his saga, as told by Saxo, Thor holds his protecting hand over Halfdan
like a father over his son.

It is possible that both the older patriarchs originally were regarded
rather as the founders and chiefs of the whole human race than of the
Teutons alone. Certain it is that the appellation Teutonic patriarch
belonged more particularly to the third of the series. We have a
reminiscence of this in Hyndluljod, 14-16. To the question, "Whence came
the Skjoldungs, Skilfings, Andlungs, and Ylfings, and all the free-born
and gentle-born?" the song answers by pointing to "the foremost among
the Skjoldungs"--Sigtrygg's slayer Halfdan--a statement which, after the
memory of the myths had faded and become confused, was magnified in the
Younger Edda into the report that he was the father of eighteen sons,
nine of which were the founders of the heroic families whose names were
at that time rediscovered in the heathen-heroic songs then extant.

According to what we have now stated in regard to Halfdan's genealogical
position there can no longer be any doubt that he is the same patriarch
as the Mannus mentioned by Tacitus in Germania, ch. 2, where it is
said of the Germans: "In old songs they celebrate Tuisco, a god born
of Earth (Terra; compare the goddess Terra Mater, ch. 40), and his
son Mannus as the source and founder of the race. Mannus is said to have
had three sons, after whose names those who dwell nearest the ocean are
called Ingaevonians (Ingaevones), those who dwell in the centre
Hermionians (Hermiones, Herminones), and the rest Istaevonians
(Istaevones)." Tacitus adds that there were other Teutonic tribes, such
as the Marsians, the Gambrivians, the Svevians, and the Vandals, whose
names were derived from other heroes of divine birth.

Thus Mannus, though human, and the source and founder of the Teutonic
race, is also the son of a god. The mother of his divine father is the
goddess Earth, mother Earth. In our native myths we rediscover this
goddess--polyonomous like nearly all mythic beings--in Odin's wife
Frigg, also called Fjorgyn and Hlodyn. As sons of her and Odin only
Thor (Voelusp.) and Balder (Lokasenna) are definitely mentioned.

In regard to the goddess Earth (Jord), Tacitus states (ch. 40), as a
characteristic trait that she is believed to take a lively interest and
active part in the affairs of men and nations (eam intervenire rebus
hominum, invehi populis arbitrantur), and he informs us that she is
especially worshipped by the Longobardians and some of their neighbours
near the sea. This statement, compared with the emigration saga of the
Longobardians (No. 15), confirms the theory that the goddess Jord, who,
in the days of Tacitus, was celebrated in song as the mother of Mannus'
divine father, is identical with Frigg. In their emigration saga the
Longobardians have great faith in Frigg, and trust in her desire and
ability to intervene when the fate of a nation is to be decided by arms.
Nor are they deceived in their trust in her; she is able to bring about
that Odin, without considering the consequences, gives the Longobardians
a new name; and as a christening present was in order, and as the
Longobardians stood arrayed against the Vandals at the moment when they
received their new name, the gift could be no other than victory over
their foes. Tacitus' statement, that the Longobardians were one of the
races who particularly paid worship to the goddess Jord, is found to be
intimately connected with, and to be explained by, this tradition, which
continued to be remembered among the Longobardians long after they
became converted to Christianity, down to the time when Origo
Longobardorum was written.

Tacitus calls the goddess Jord Nerthus. Vigfusson (and before him J.
Grimm) and others have seen in this name a feminine version of Njoerdr.
Nor does any other explanation seem possible. The existence of such a
form is not more surprising than that we have in Freyja a feminine form
of Frey, and in Fjorgyn-Frigg a feminine form of Fjoergynr. In our
mythic documents neither Frigg nor Njord are of Asa race. Njord is, as
we know, a Van. Frigg's father is Fjoergynr (perhaps the same as
Parganya in the Vedic songs), also called Annarr, Anarr, and
Onarr, and her mother is Narve's daughter Night. Frigg's high position
as Odin's real and lawful wife, as the queen of the Asa world, and as
mother of the chief gods Thor and Balder, presupposes her to be of the
noblest birth which the myth could bestow on a being born outside of the
Asa clan, and as the Vans come next after the Asas in the mythology, and
were united with them from the beginning of time, as hostages, by
treaty, by marriage, and by adoption, probability, if no other proof
could be found, would favour the theory that Frigg is a goddess of the
race of Vans, and that her father Fjoergyn is a clan-chief among the
Vans. This view is corroborated in two ways. The cosmogony makes Earth
and Sea sister and brother. The same divine mother Night (Nat), who
bears the goddess Jord, also bears a son Udr, Unnr, the ruler of the
sea, also called Audr (Rich), the personification of wealth. Both
these names are applied among the gods to Njord alone as the god of
navigation, commerce, and wealth. (In reference to wealth compare the
phrase audigr sem Njoerdr--rich as Njord.) Thus Frigg is Njord's
sister. This explains the attitude given to Frigg in the war between the
Asas and Vans by Voeluspa, Saxo, and the author of Ynglingasaga, where
the tradition is related as history. In the form given to this tradition
in Christian times and in Saxo's hands, it is disparaging to Frigg as
Odin's wife; but the pith of Saxo's narrative is, that Frigg in the
feud between the Asas and Vans did not side with Odin but with the Vans,
and contributed towards making the latter lords of Asgard. When the
purely heathen documents (Voelusp., Vafthr., Lokas.) describe her as a
tender wife and mother, Frigg's taking part with the Vans against her
own husband can scarcely be explained otherwise than by the Teutonic
principle, that the duties of the daughter and sister are above the
wife's, a view plainly presented in Saxo (p. 353), and illustrated by
Gudrun's conduct toward Atle.

Thus it is proved that the god who is the father of the Teutonic
patriarch Mannus is himself the son of Frigg, the goddess of earth, and
must, according to the mythic records at hand, be either Thor or Balder.
The name given him by Tacitus, Tuisco, does not determine which of the
two. Tuisco has the form of a patronymic adjective, and reappears in
the Norse Tivi, an old name of Odin, related to Dios divus, and
devas, from which all the sons of Odin and gods of Asgard received the
epithet tivar. But in the songs learned by Saxo in regard to the
northern race-patriarch and his divine father, his place is occupied by
Thor, not by Balder, and "Jord's son" is in Norse poetry an epithet
particularly applied to Thor.

Mannus has three sons. So has Halfdan. While Mannus has a son Ingaevo,
Halfdan has a stepson Yngve, Inge (Svipdag). The second son of Mannus is
named Hermio. Halfdan's son with Groa is called Gudhormr. The second
part of this name has, as Jessen has already pointed out, nothing to do
with ormr. It may be that the name should be divided Gudhormr, and
that hormr should be referred to Hermio. Mannus' third son is
Istaevo. The Celtic scholar Zeuss has connected this name with that of
the Gothic (more properly Vandal) heroic race Azdingi, and Grimm has
again connected Azdigni with Hazdiggo (Haddingr). Halfdan's third son
is in Saxo called Hadingus. Whether the comparisons made by Zeuss and
Grimm are to the point or not (see further, No. 43) makes but little
difference here. It nevertheless remains as a result of the
investigation that all is related by Tacitus about the Teutonic
patriarch Mannus has its counterpart in the question concerning Halfdan,
and that both in the myths occupy precisely the same place as sons of a
god and as founders of Teutonic tribes and royal families. The pedigrees

=Tacitus.= =Norse documents.=

Tivi and the goddess Jord. Tivi=Odin and the goddess

Tivi's son (Tiusco). Tivi's son Thor.

Mannus, progenitor of the Halfdan, progenitor of the
Teutonic tribes. royal families.
+--------+--------+ +---------+---------+

Ingaevo. Hermio. Istaevo. Yngve. Gudhormr. Hadding.

Next: The Sacred Runes Learned From Heimdal

Previous: Halfdan's Enmity With Orvandel And Svipdag

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