[Epub] ➚ Gods and Myths of Northern Europe ➟ Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson – Larringtonlifecoaching.co

10 thoughts on “Gods and Myths of Northern Europe

  1. says:

    This provides an okay overview of Norse mythology It jumps around a bit, though this is a product of the author trying to pull together fragmented sources Not a completely satisfying read, but not a bad first look at the names habits symbols in the Norse myths Also, there is a pretty gruesome description of the Valkyries weaving with intestines, which is always a good time.

  2. says:

    I originally read this book as one of the required reading texts for a Germanic Folklore seminar class as a grad student, twenty years ago Especially for neophytes, it provides an excellent overview of the mythologies of northern Europe, from the Anglo Saxon versions to that of their familiar Norse cousins.

  3. says:

    The gods of Asgard, and their mythic stories of battles with frost giants and monsters, hold a strong place in the popular imagination throughout the West, and particularly in Scandinavia but those stories did not come out of a vacuum Rather, they were part of a powerful and long lasting pre Christian religious tradition that extended beyond Scandinavia to Germany, England, and Ireland, as H.R Ellis Davidson points out in Gods and Myths of Northern Europe.Ellis Davidson, who taught at the universities of Cambridge and London, is not providing in this book a straightforward retelling of the stories of Europe s pre Christian northern mythology readers who want that sort of thing would be better advised to look to books such as Kevin Crossley Holland s The Norse Myths, or perhaps the Norse myth sections of Edith Hamilton s Mythology Rather, Ellis Davidson s interest is in reconstructing, as well as can be done, a sense of how this mythological tradition played a role in the lives of ordinary people across northern Europe.Some of what unfolds in this book will already be familiar to readers who know their Norse mythology, particularly if one has read the Poetic Edda and Snorri Sturluson s Prose Edda, two of the most important sources for the mythology Odin, for example, traditionally presents a grim and forbidding character in his role as king of the gods, and therefore it is no surprise that various sources express a sense that Odin cannot be trusted , and even that there was widespread indignation against the treachery of the god p 50.The peoples of the North feared and distrusted Odin, but they loved and respected Thor Of all the gods, it is Thor who seems the characteristic hero of the stormy world of the Vikings Bearded, outspoken, indomitable, filled with vigour and gusto, he puts his reliance on his strong right arm and simple weapons He strides through the northern realm of the gods, a fitting symbol for the man of action p 73 The thunder god, wielder of the hammer Mjollnir, was also preserver of the community where men pitted their strength and wits against the hardship of the weather and the attacks of their enemies p 211 Thor s ongoing presence in our culture as the protagonist of the Mighty Thor comic books and graphic novels, and as a cinematic hero in the Thor and Avengers films, shows the durable popularity of this archetypal figure.As Freyr is a relatively muted presence in the Eddas, some readers may be surprised at the degree of emphasis that Ellis Davidson places on Freyr as fertility god, the main deity who represents peace and plenty p 103 One hears about Freyr in this book than about figures familiar to the modern reader e.g., Loki and Baldur Indeed, in the passages on Freyr and his sister Freyja, the goddess of love and beauty, Ellis Davidson engages the northern myths in a mythographic manner reminiscent of the work of James Frazer in The Golden Bough In Ellis Davidson s reading, the war that the Eddas describe between the two races of gods the Aesir, like Odin and Thor, and the Vanir, like Freyr and Freyja replicates a familiar mythographic pattern of conflict between sky gods of unearthly power on the one hand, and fertility gods of earthly renewal on the other.That mythographic emphasis is also evident in the conscientious manner in which Ellis Davidson seeks out evidence, both textual and artifact based, of the influence of northern mythology in the culture and landscape of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England, and Ireland For example, when considering Odin s importance as a god of the dead who oversees the translation of warriors souls to Valhalla, Ellis Davidson looks to evidence like two birds on the lid of an early Anglo Saxon cremation urn found at Newark England or figures of the horse and the wolf on certain cremation urns from early heathen cemeteries in East Anglia p 147 Such evidence, by its very nature, is fragmentary, and therefore Ellis Davidson is appropriately tentative in the conclusions she draws Perhaps part of why this book means to me now than it did when I first encountered it as a college freshman in Virginia in 1980 may have something to do with the fact that I have now travelled in all of the Scandinavian countries seeing, in the process, how strong the hold of the old northern gods still is It is not just that at any gift shop in Reykjavik, one can buy a T shirt showing Odin riding his eight legged horse Sleipnir, or a little statue of the war god Tyr putting his hand into the jaws of the wolf monster Fenrir so that Fenrir will agree to be bound It is something substantial than that Our guide in Iceland, a young man named Lars who took us up onto a couple of the glaciers not far from Reykjavik, told us about his experiences during the massive eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallaj kull in 2010 He had been camping with friends near ingvellir Thingvellir , the historic meeting place of the first Icelandic parliament an area where the disruptive impact of the smoke and ash being belched forth by the volcano should have been severe Yet Lars told us that the smoke and ash stayed away from the area where he and his friends were camping the skies remained blue, and Lars believed that it was because he had prayed to Odin and Thor He was not kidding Gods and Myths of Northern Europe is composed in a spirit of respect and admiration for the ways of the Northmen Ellis Davidson sees the northern myths as a vigorous, heroic comment on life p 213 , based in a philosophy of life that celebrates courage and at the same time embraces a sense of proportion and a keen realization of the strength of fate p 217 Any serious student of the mythological traditions of Northern Europe will benefit from reading this book.

  4. says:

    Another academic work on the Norse gods not a storybook retelling at all , this concentrates on the Northern people than Dum zil s work, surveying the practical meaning and historical base for many of the stories and concepts Intriguing passages included the similarities between Freyja and Frigg the relation between the powers of the volva or Odin s acquisition of knowledge and shamanism and the reasons for Christianity s power over the heathens of the late period A great archeologically based examination of myth.

  5. says:

    It took me a while to get through this book, because it kept inspiring me to stop and look things up for information That s not a bad thing.This shouldn t be your first book on the Norse myths the author assumes some prior knowledge She does give moderate review, but it s rather offhand Read something like The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley Holland first.

  6. says:

    this book feels it s age well researched for a 1960 s publication, but so, so, so academic I almost quit.

  7. says:

    Better than I thought it would be Davidson is thoughtful and devotional than a mere academic and portrays the gods and their worship poetically Disappointed with the unsatisfying colonialist ending on the passing of the old gods.

  8. says:

    This is mainly a survey of what we know about the Norse German Old English gods and goddesses Not much Davidson looks at the archaeological remains as well as the old sagas and Eddas, concentrating mainly on Snorri s Prose Edda to see what has survived about Scandinavian mythology What emerges is fascinating, and ultimately frustratingly sad Fascinating because it s a glimpse at a mythology that isn t well known thanks to the Renaissance s obsession for Greco Roman mythology and frustrating because there s not much chance that the real religious beliefs will ever emerge from the thick veneer of Christianity and bowdlerization that the centuries have hidden them under.

  9. says:

    This book was excellent insight into the world of Norse Mythology which I find extremely interesting It talked about the myths and then went on to explain how they related to the people who wrote them Then, later she talked about how both Christianity influenced Norse mythology and how the Norse religion influenced Christianity It makes me want to dive deeper into the realm of pre Christian religions, specifically in Northern Europe Would recommend to anyone with an interest in mythology or older world religions.

  10. says:

    This book is a very brief very broad overview over several themes found in the Northern myths If you ve read the myths then there is no point reading this book, unless you have had some trouble with them This book might help clarify a few things or help come up with some essay topics There are a few comparative pieces between Snorri s work and Saxo s which I found quite interesting If you re just an interested reader, this book doesn t have much value If you re a researcher or scholar this book might be a good jumping off point, but has little usefulness for in depth study.

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Gods and Myths of Northern Europe download Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, read online Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, kindle ebook Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe 237a3a7e6b4f Tiw, Woden, Thunor, Frig These Ancient Northern Deities Gave Their Names To The Very Days Of Our Week Nevertheless, Most Of Us Know Far Of Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, And The Classical Deities Recent Researches In Archaeology And Mythology Have Added To What Was Already A Fairly Consistent Picture Largely Derived From A Twelfth Century Icelandic Account Of The Principal Scandinavian Gods And Goddesses This New Study The First Popular Treatment Of The Subject To Appear In English For Many Years Is The Work Of A Scholar Who Has Long Specialized In Norse And Germanic Mythology She Describes The Familiar Gods Of War, Of Fertility, Of The Sky And The Sea And The Dead, And Also Discusses Those Puzzling Figures Of Norse Mythology Heimdall, Balder, And Loki All These Deities Were Worshipped In The Viking Age, And The Author Has Endeavoured To Relate Their Cults To Daily Life And To See Why These Pagan Beliefs Gave Way In Time To The Christian Faith