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

The World War Its Cause The Murder Of Gullveig-heidr

Evidence That Halfdan Is Identical With Helge Hundingsbane

Loke Causes Enmity Between The Gods And The Original Artists

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

Heimdal And The Sun-dis Dis-goddess

Halfdan's Character The Weapon-myth

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

The Position Of The Divine Clans To The Warriors

Halfdan's Enmity With Orvandel And Svipdag

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

The Teutonic Emigration Saga Found In Tacitus

Borgar-skjold's Son Halfdan The Third Patriarch

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

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

Halfdan's Identity With Mannus In Germania

Halfdan's Conflicts Interpreted As Myths Of Nature

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

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

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

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

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

The Significance Of The Conflict From A Religious-ritual Standpoint

The Sacred Runes Learned From Heimdal

The War In Midgard Between Halfdan's Sons

Loke Causes Enmity Between The Gods And The Original Artists


Source: Teutonic Mythology

The danger averted by Heimdal when he secured the sun-dis with bonds of
love begins in the time of Borgar. The corruption of nature and of man
go hand in hand. Borgar has to contend with robbers (pugiles and
piratae), and among them the prototype of pirates--that terrible
character, remembered also in Icelandic poetry, called Rodi (Saxo,
Hist., 23, 345). The moderate laws given by Heimdal had to be made
more severe by Borgar (Hist., 24, 25).

While the moral condition in Midgard grows worse, Loke carries out in
Asgard a cunningly-conceived plan, which seems to be to the advantage of
the gods, but is intended to bring about the ruin of both the gods and
man. His purpose is to cause enmity between the original artists
themselves and between them and the gods.

Among these artists the sons of Ivalde constitute a separate group.
Originally they enjoyed the best relations to the gods, and gave them
the best products of their wonderful art, for ornament and for use.
Odin's spear Gungnir, the golden locks on Sif's head, and Frey's
celebrated ship Skidbladner, which could hold all the warriors of Asgard
and always had favourable wind, but which also could be folded as a
napkin and be carried in one's pocket (Gylfaginning), had all come from
the workshop of these artists.

Ivalda synir The sons of Ivalde
gengu i ardaga went in ancient times
Scidbladni at skapa, to make Skidbladner,
scipa bezt, among ships the best,
scirom Frey, for the shining Frey,
nytom Njardar bur. Njord's useful son.


Another group of original artists were Sindre and his kinsmen, who dwelt
on Nida's plains in the happy domain of the lower world (Voelusp., Nos.
93, 94). According to the account given in Gylfaginning, ch. 37, Loke
meets Sindre's brother Brok, and wagers his head that Sindre cannot make
treasures as good as the above-named gifts from Ivalde's sons to the
Asas. Sindre then made in his smithy the golden boar for Frey, the ring
Draupner for Odin, from which eight gold rings of equal weight drop
every ninth night, and the incomparable hammer Mjolner for Thor. When
the treasures were finished, Loke cunningly gets the gods to assemble
for the purpose of deciding whether or not he has forfeited his head.
The gods cannot, of course, decide this without at the same time passing
judgment on the gifts of Sindre and those of Ivalde's sons, and showing
that one group of artists is inferior to the other. And this is done.
Sindre's treasures are preferred, and thus the sons of Ivalde are
declared to be inferior in comparison. But at the same time Sindre
fails, through the decision of the gods, to get the prize agreed on.
Both groups of artists are offended by the decision.

Gylfaginning does not inform us whether the sons of Ivalde accepted the
decision with satisfaction or anger, or whether any noteworthy
consequences followed or not. An entirely similar judgment is mentioned
in Rigveda (see No. 111). The judgment there has the most important
consequences: hatred toward the artists who were victorious, and toward
the gods who were the judges, takes possession of the ancient artist who
was defeated, and nature is afflicted with great suffering. That the
Teutonic mythology has described similar results of the decision shall
be demonstrated in this work.

Just as in the names Alveig and Almveig, Bil-roest and Bifroest,
Arinbjoern and Grjotbjorn, so also in the name Ivaldi or Ivaldr,
the latter part of the word forms the permanent part, corresponding to
the Old English Valdere, the German Walther, the Latinised

The former part of the word may change without any change as to the
person indicated: Ivaldi, Allvaldi, Oelvaldi, Audvaldi, may be
names of one and the same person. Of these variations Ivaldi and
Allvaldi are in their sense most closely related, for the prefix I
(Id) and All may interchange in the language without the least
change in the meaning. Compare all-likr, ilikr, and idglikr;
all-litill and ilitill; all-nog, ignog and idgnog. On the
other hand, the prefixes in Oelvaldi and Audvaldi produce different
meanings of the compound word. But the records give most satisfactory
evidence that Oelvaldi and Audvaldi nevertheless are the same person
as Allvaldi (Ivaldi). Thjasse's father is called in Harbardsljod (19)
Allvaldi; in the Younger Edda (i. 214) Oelvaldi and Audvaldi. He
has three sons, Ide, Gang, also called Urner (the Grotte-song), and the
just-named Thjasse, who are the famous ancient artists, "the sons of
Ivalde" (Ivalda synir). We here point this out in passing. Complete
statement and proof of this fact, so important from a mythological
standpoint, will be given in Nos. 113, 114, 115.

Nor is it long before it becomes apparent what the consequences are of
the decision pronounced by the Asas on Loke's advice upon the treasures
presented to the gods. The sons of Ivalde regarded it as a mortal
offence, born of the ingratitude of the gods. Loke, the originator of
the scheme, is caught in the snares laid by Thjasse in a manner fully
described in Thjodolf's poem "Haustlaung," and to regain his liberty he
is obliged to assist him (Thjasse) in carrying Idun away from Asgard.

Thjasse was known as the storm-giant who having been born in deformity
was ever seeking golden apples from Idun to cure his ugliness. Upon one
occasion assuming the form of an eagle he interrupted a feast of Odin,
Honer and Loke and when the latter attempted to strike the voracious
bird with a stake found himself fastened to both stake and eagle and was
borne away shrieking for mercy. Thjasse promised to release Loke if he
would bring to him Idun and her golden apples. Loke in fulfillment of
his promise beguiled Idun out of Asgard whereupon Thjasse in the form of
an eagle seized the goddess in his talons and bore her away to his
castle, Thrymheim. He was soon afterwards killed by the gods, and Idun
was released.]

Idun, who possesses "the Asas' remedy against old age," and keeps the
apples which symbolise the ever-renewing and rejuvenating force of
nature, is carried away by Thjasse to a part of the world inaccessible
to the gods. The gods grow old, and winter extends its power more and
more beyond the limits prescribed for it in creation. Thjasse, who
before was the friend of the gods, is now their irreconcilable foe. He
who was the promoter of growth and the benefactor of nature--for Sif's
golden locks, and Skidbladner, belonging to the god of fertility,
doubtless are symbols thereof--is changed into "the mightiest foe of
earth," dolg ballastan vallar (Haustl., 6), and has wholly assumed the
nature of a giant.

At the same time, with the approach of the great winter, a terrible
earthquake takes place, the effects of which are felt even in heaven.
The myth in regard to this is explained in No. 81. In this explanation
the reader will find that the great earthquake in primeval time is
caused by Thjasse's kinswomen on his mother's side (the
Grotte-song)--that is, by the giantesses Fenja and Menja, who turned the
enormous world-mill, built on the foundations of the lower world, and
working in the depths of the sea, the prototype of the mill of the
Grotte-song composed in Christian times; that the world-mill has a
moendull, the mill-handle, which sweeps the uttermost rim of the earth,
with which handle not only the mill-stone but also the starry heavens
are made to whirl round; and that when the mill was put in so violent a
motion by the angry giantesses that it got out of order, then the starry
constellations were also disturbed. The ancient terrible winter and the
inclination of the axis of heaven have in the myth been connected, and
these again with the close of the golden age. The mill had up to this
time ground gold, happiness, peace, and good-will among men; henceforth
it grinds salt and dust.

The winter must of course first of all affect those people who inhabited
the extensive Svithiod north of the original country and over which
another kinsman of Heimdal, the first of the race of Skilfings or
Ynglings, ruled. This kinsman of Heimdal has an important part in the
mythology, and thereof we shall give an account in Nos. 89, 91, 110,
113-115, and 123. It is there found that he is the same as Ivalde, who,
with a giantess, begot the illegitimate children Ide, Urner, and
Thjasse. Already before his sons he became the foe of the gods, and from
Svithiod now proceeds, in connection with the spreading of the
fimbul-winter, a migration southward, the work at the same time of the
Skilfings and the primeval artists. The list of dwarfs in Voeluspa has
preserved the record of this in the strophe about the artist migration
from the rocks of the hall (Salar steinar) and from Svarin's mound
situated in the north (the Voeluspa strophe quoted in the Younger Edda;
cp. Saxo., Hist., 32, 33, and Helg. Hund., i. 31, ii. to str. 14). The
attack is directed against aurvanga sjoet, the land of the clayey
plains, and the assailants do not stop before they reach Joeruvalla the
Jara plains, which name is still applied to the south coast of
Scandinavia (see No. 32). In the pedigree of these emigrants--

their er sottu
fra Salar steina (or Svarins haugi)
aurvanga sjot
til Joeruvalla--

occur the names Alfr and Yngvi, who have Skilfing names; Fjalarr,
who is Ivalde's ally and Odin's enemy (see No. 89); Finnr, which is
one of the several names of Ivalde himself (see No. 123); Frosti, who
symbolises cold; Skirfir, a name which points to the Skilfings; and
Virfir, whom Saxo (Hist. Dan., 178, 179) speaks of as Huyrvillus,
and the Icelandic records as Virvill and Vifill (Fornalders. ii. 8;
Younger Edda, i. 548). In Fornalders. Vifill is an emigration leader who
married to Loge's daughter Eymyrja (a metaphor for fire--Younger Edda,
ii. 570), betakes himself from the far North and takes possession of an
island on the Swedish coast. That this island is Oland is clear from
Saxo, 178, where Huyrvillus is called Holandiae princeps. At the same
time a brother-in-law of Virfir takes possession of Bornholm, and
Gotland is colonised by Thjelvar (Thjalfi of the myth), who is the son
of Thjasse's brother (see Nos. 113, 114, 115). Virfir is allied with
the sons of Finnr (Fyn--Saxo, Hist., 178). The saga concerning the
emigration of the Longobardians is also connected with the myth about
Thjasse and his kinsmen (see Nos. 112-115).

From all this it appears that a series of emigration and colonisation
tales have their origin in the myth concerning the fimbul-winter caused
by Thjasse and concerning the therewith connected attack by the
Skilfings and Thjasse's kinsmen on South Scandinavia, that is, on the
clayey plains near Jaravall, where the second son of Heimdal,
Skjold-Borgar, rules. It is the remembrance of this migration from north
to south which forms the basis of all the Teutonic middle-age migration
sagas. The migration saga of the Goths, as Jordanes heard it, makes them
emigrate from Scandinavia under the leadership of Berig. (Ex hac igitur
Scandza insula quasi officina gentium aut certe velut vagina nationum
cum rege suo Berig Gothi quondam memorantur egressi--De Goth. Orig., c.
4. Meminisse debes, me de Scandzae insulae gremio Gothos dixisse egressos
cum Berich suo rege--c. 17.) The name Berig, also written Berich and
Berigo, is the same as the German Berker, Berchtung, and indicates the
same person as the Norse Borgarr. With Berig is connected the race of
the Amalians; with Borgar the memory of Hamal (Amala), who is the
foster-brother of Borgar's son (cp. No. 28 with Helge Hund., ii.). Thus
the emigration of the Goths is in the myth a result of the fate
experienced by Borgar and his people in their original country. And as
the Swedes constituted the northernmost Teutonic branch, they were the
ones who, on the approach of the fimbul-winter, were the first that were
compelled to surrender their abodes and secure more southern
habitations. This also appears from saga fragments which have been
preserved; and here, but not in the circumstances themselves, lies the
explanation of the statements, according to which the Swedes forced
Scandinavian tribes dwelling farther south to emigrate. Jordanes (c. 3)
claims that the Herulians were driven from their abode in Scandza by the
Svithidians, and that the Danes are of Svithidian origin--in other
words, that an older Teutonic population in Denmark was driven south,
and that Denmark was repeopled by emigrants from Sweden. And in the
Norse sagas themselves, the centre of gravity, as we have seen, is
continually being moved farther to the south. Heimdal, under the name
Scef-Skelfir, comes to the original inhabitants in Scania. Borgar, his
son, becomes a ruler there, but founds, under the name Skjold, the royal
dynasty of the Skjoldungs in Denmark. With Scef and Skjold the Wessex
royal family of Saxon origin is in turn connected, and thus the royal
dynasty of the Goths is again connected with the Skjold who emigrated
from Scandza, and who is identical with Borgar. And finally there
existed in Saxo's time mythic traditions or songs which related that all
the present Germany came under the power of the Teutons who emigrated
with Borgar; that, in other words, the emigration from the North carried
with it the hegemony of Teutonic tribes over other tribes which before
them inhabited Germany. Saxo says of Skjold-Borgar that omnem
Alamannorum gentem tributaria ditione perdomuit; that is, "he made the
whole race of Alamanni tributary." The name Alamanni is in this case not
to be taken in an ethnographical but in a geographical sense. It means
the people who were rulers in Germany before the immigration of Teutons
from the North.

From this we see that migration traditions remembered by Teutons beneath
Italian and Icelandic skies, on the islands of Great Britain and on the
German continent, in spite of their wide diffusion and their separation
in time, point to a single root: to the myth concerning the primeval
artists and their conflict with the gods; to the robbing of Idun and the
fimbul-winter which was the result.

The myth makes the gods themselves to be seized by terror at the fate of
the world, and Mimer makes arrangements to save all that is best and
purest on earth for an expected regeneration of the world. At the very
beginning of the fimbul-winter Mimer opens in his subterranean grove of
immortality an asylum, closed against all physical and spiritual evil,
for the two children of men, Lif and Lifthrasir (Vafthr., 45), who are
to be the parents of a new race of men (see Nos. 52, 53).

The war begun in Borgar's time for the possession of the ancient country
continues under his son Halfdan, who reconquers it for a time, invades
Svithiod, and repels Thjasse and his kinsmen (see Nos. 32, 33).

[Footnote 14: Elsewhere it shall be shown that the heroes mentioned in
the middle age poetry under the names Valdere, Walther, Waltharius
manufortis, and Valthere of Vaskasten are all variations of the name of
the same mythic type changed into a human hero, and the same, too, as
Ivalde of the Norse documents (see No. 123).]

Next: Evidence That Halfdan Is Identical With Helge Hundingsbane

Previous: Heimdal And The Sun-dis Dis-goddess

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