[55] The Scandinavian Iron Age began around 500 to 400 BCE. [100], Old Norse mythological stories survived in oral culture for at least two centuries, to be recorded in the 13th century. [155] Grímnismál also claims that Yggdrasil has three roots; under one resides the goddess Hel, under another the frost-giants, and under the third humanity. [31], In contrast to the few runic fragments, a considerable body of literary and historical sources survive in Old Norse manuscripts using the Latin script, all of which were created after the conversion of Scandinavia, the majority in Iceland. Very few Vanir are named in the sources: Njǫrðr, his son Freyr, and his daughter Freyja; according to Snorri all of these could be called Vanaguð (Vanir-god), and Freyja also Vanadís (Vanir-dís). [179][259], Some Icelandic sagas mention sacred places. [133], There are also likely to have been local and family fertility cults; we have one reported example from pagan Norway in the family cult of Vǫlsi, where some deity called Mǫrnir is invoked. [72] The English church found itself in need of conducting a new conversion process to Christianise this incoming population. The earliest of these, Tacitus' Germania, dates to around 100 CE[40] and describes religious practices of several Germanic peoples, but has little coverage of Scandinavia. Norse mythology divided these deities into two groups, the Æsir and the Vanir, who engaged in an ancient war until realizing that they were equally powerful. [130] Ancestor veneration may have played a part in the private religious practices of Norse people in their farmsteads and villages;[131][132] in the 10th century, Norwegian pagans attempted to encourage the Christian king Haakon to take part in an offering to the gods by inviting him to drink a toast to the ancestors alongside a number of named deities. Before the water rite, a child could be rejected; De Vries, Volume 1, pp. [167] It is unclear how widespread a belief in Valhalla was in Norse society; it may have been a literary creation designed to meet the ruling class' aspirations, since the idea of deceased warriors owing military service to Oðinn parallels the social structure of which warriors and their lord. [29], A few runic inscriptions with religious content survive from pagan Scandinavia, particularly asking Thor to hallow or protect a memorial stone;[30] carving his hammer on the stone also served this function. O'Neil holds a Master of Arts in modern art history from the City College of New York, where she also studied French and minored in classical languages. Although Sune Lindqvist's interpretation of post holes which he found under the church at Gamla Uppsala as the remains of an almost square building with a high roof was wishful thinking,[272] excavations nearby in the 1990s uncovered both a settlement and a long building which may have been either a longhouse used seasonally as a cult house or a dedicated hof. [84] His reign (975–995) saw the emergence of a "state paganism", an official ideology which bound together Norwegian identity with pagan identity and rallied support behind Haakon's leadership. Each tribe has its own deities with an overlap of beliefs, just as there is an overlap of words between language groups. Throughout its history, varying levels of trans-cultural diffusion occurred among neighbouring peoples, such as the Sami and Finns. [301], Interest in Norse mythology was revived in the eighteenth century,[302] and scholars turned their attention to it in the early nineteenth century. [175], In mythological accounts, the deity most closely associated with death is Oðinn. [300], Research into Old Norse religion has been interdisciplinary, involving historians, archaeologists, philologists, place-name scholars, literary scholars, and historians of religion. [149] Some of the features of this myth, such as the cow Audumbla, are of unclear provenance; Snorri does not specify where he obtained these details as he did for other parts of the myths, and it may be that these were his own personal inventions. Andrén, "Behind 'Heathendom'", pp. [180][181] Sources mention some rituals addressed to particular deities, but understanding of the relationship between Old Norse ritual and myth remains speculative. [113][114] One god, Baldr, is said in the myths to have died. [154] Grímnismál claims that the deities meet beneath Yggdrasil daily to pass judgement. [230], Ship burial is also mentioned twice in the Old Norse literary-mythic corpus. [164] Unlike Christianity, Old Norse religion does not appear to have adhered to the belief that moral concerns impacted an individual's afterlife destination. [240] 9th- and 10th-century female graves containing iron staffs and grave goods have been identified on this basis as those of seiðr practitioners. [45], Since the literary evidence that represents Old Norse sources was recorded by Christians, archaeological evidence especially of cultic sites and burials is of great importance particularly as a source of information on Norse religion before the conversion. The indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest -- in British Columbia, Alaska, Washington and Oregon -- each have their own history, culture and religious traditions. Many skaldic verses are preserved in sagas. "Hrafnkel's Saga", tr. [81], The Norwegian king Hákon the Good had converted to Christianity while in England. As a result, artists featured Norse gods and goddesses in their paintings and sculptures, and their names were applied to streets, squares, journals, and companies throughout parts of northern Europe. 81 entries are listed here. [50][49], Some place-names contain elements indicating that they were sites of religious activity: those formed with -vé, -hörgr, and -hof, words for cult sites of various kinds,[51] and also likely those formed with -akr or -vin, words for "field", when coupled with the name of a deity. [60], During the Viking Age, Norse people left Scandinavia and settled elsewhere throughout Northwestern Europe. The Irish Constitution guarantees freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion. As far back as 1889 Sophus Bugge suggested this was the inspiration for the myth of Lucifer.[128]. [69] Several British place-names indicate possible cultic sites;[70] for instance, Roseberry Topping in North Yorkshire was known as Othensberg in the twelfth century, a name deriving from the Old Norse Óðinsberg ("Hill of Óðin"). Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. [152] A river produced by these realms coagulated to form Ymir, while a cow known as Audumbla then appeared to provide him with milk. [258] Place-name evidence suggests that cultic practices might also take place at many different kinds of sites, including fields and meadows (vangr, vin), rivers and lakes, bogs, groves (lundr) and individual trees, and rocks. Their religious beliefs became vocal in their spirituals—songs full of their pain, sorrow and resignation, their hope, joy and rebellion. [298] Scholarly interest in the subject then revived in the late 20th century. [176] In stanza 138 of Hávamál, Oðinn describes his "auto-sacrifice", in which he hangs himself on Yggdrasill, the world tree, for nine nights, in order to attain wisdom and magical powers. Hedeager, "Scandinavian 'Central Places'", p. 7. [279][275] A number of these central places have place-names with cultic associations, such as Gudme (home of gods), Vä (vé), and Helgö (holy island). [246], In Old Norse literature, practitioners of seiðr are sometimes described as foreigners, particularly Sami or Finns or in rarer cases from the British Isles. 108–09. [281] In medieval Iceland, the goði was a social role that combined religious, political, and judicial functions,[281] responsible for serving as a chieftain in the district, negotiating legal disputes, and maintaining order among his þingmenn. [168] There is no archaeological evidence clearly alluding to a belief in Valhalla. Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, mentions some of their deities through perceived Roman equivalents, "Fragments of the Past: How to Study Old Norse Religion", "Valhall and Helgafell: Syncretistic Traits of the Old Norse Religion", Sacred trees and groves in Germanic paganism and mythology, Mythological Norse people, items and places, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Old_Norse_religion&oldid=984630913, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from September 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 October 2020, at 05:12. Human beings are taught to give eagerly because in so doing they imitate the generosity … 184, 208, 294–95; De Vries suggests the. [233], The myth preserved in the Eddic poem "Hávamál" of Odin hanging for nine nights on Yggdrasill, sacrificed to himself and dying in order to secure knowledge of the runes and other wisdom in what resembles an initiatory rite,[234][235] is evidence of mysticism in Old Norse religion. [28], In Hilda Ellis Davidson's words, present-day knowledge of Old Norse religion contains "vast gaps", and we must be cautious and avoid "bas[ing] wild assumptions on isolated details". [282] Both the Norwegian kings' sagas and Adam of Bremen's account claim that kings and chieftains played a prominent role in cultic sacrifices. [287] This may have been a response to the growing popularity of Christian cross amulets. Something can be a philosophical belief if you strongly and genuinely believe in it and it concerns an important aspect of human life and behaviour. It was replaced by Christianity during the Christianization of Scandinavia. The Landnámabók refers to two women holding the position of gyðja, both of whom were members of local chiefly families. The raven also appears in Haida and Tsimshian belief systems. [155] [148] It is possible that they were developed during the encounter with Christianity, as pagans sought to establish a creation myth complex enough to rival that of Christianity. Andrén, "Old Norse and Germanic Religion", pp. In the Middle Ages, several Christian commentators also wrote about Scandinavian paganism, mostly from a hostile perspective. "At the Water's Edge", in Martin Carver, Alex Sanmark, and Sarah Semple, eds.. Andrén, "Old Norse and Germanic Religion", pp. Their traditional society was hierarchical and composed of clans. [19] This variation is partly due to its transmission through oral culture rather than codified texts. Julie Lund, (2010). [230] A boat burial at Kaupang in Norway contained a man, woman, and baby lying adjacent to each other alongside the remains of a horse and dismembered dog. [224] Most burials have been found in cemeteries, but solitary graves are not unknown. [240] Many scholars have pointed to this and other similarities between what is reported of seiðr and spæ ceremonies and shamanism. [267][268], These details appear exaggerated and probably indebted to Christian churches, and in the case of Uppsala to the Biblical description of Solomon's temple. [177], Textual accounts suggest a spectrum of rituals, from large public events to more frequent private and family rites, which would have been interwoven with daily life. According to the account in Völuspá, the universe was initially a void known as Ginnungagap. It is simply impossible to list all varieties of religion 1 as we as a species have created an almost infinite variety of religious and transcendental ideas. After many Tlingit succumbed to European infectious diseases that shamans could not cure, they began losing faith in shamanism and incorporated Russian Orthodox Christianity into their beliefs. [79] The Danish king Harald Klak converted (826), likely to secure his political alliance with Louis the Pious against his rivals for the throne. [197] In Gautreks saga, people sacrifice themselves during a famine by jumping off cliffs,[198] and both the Historia Norwegiæ and Heimskringla refer to the willing death of King Dómaldi as a sacrifice after bad harvests. [104] Snorri was also part of this revived interest, examining pagan myths from his perspective as a cultural historian and mythographer. The belief is that the lights were viewed as a celestial battle between good and evil dragons who breathed fire across the firmament. Norse society also contained practitioners of Seiðr, a form of sorcery which some scholars describe as shamanistic. [297], During the romanticist movement of the nineteenth century, various northern Europeans took an increasing interest in Old Norse religion, seeing in it an ancient pre-Christian mythology that provided an alternative to the dominant Classical mythology. motor vehicle accident) of illness, injury or death. [212] The precise purposes of such depositions are unclear. Old Norse gods continued to appear in Swedish folklore up until the early 20th century. [155] It also claims that a serpent gnaws at its roots while a deer grazes from its higher branches; a squirrel runs between the two animals, exchanging messages. For example, "theism" is any religion that contains god(s), and "polytheism" is a form of theism. [173] In these thirteenth century sources, ghosts (Draugr) are capable of haunting the living. 867). Archaeological evidence on worship of particular gods is sparse, although placenames may also indicate locations where they were venerated. Numerous Old Norse works dated to the 13th century record Norse mythology, a component of North Germanic religion. [260][261] Mountain worship is also mentioned in Landnámabók as an old Norwegian tradition to which Auðr the Deepminded's family reverted after she died; the scholar Hilda Ellis Davidson regarded it as associated particularly with the worship of Thor. Old Norse religion, also known as Norse paganism, is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. [37], One important written source is Snorri's Prose Edda, which incorporates a manual of Norse mythology for the use of poets in constructing kennings; it also includes numerous citations, some of them the only record of lost poems,[38] such as Þjóðólfr of Hvinir's Haustlǫng. The toponymic evidence shows considerable regional variation,[48][49] and some deities, such as Ullr and Hǫrn, occur more frequently than the surviving myths would lead us to expect,[48] whereas comparatively few Odin place-names occur. Before seeking professional help, Filipino older adults tend to manage their illnesses by self-… [257][277], In Norway, the word hof appears to have replaced older terms referring to outdoor cult sites during the Viking Age;[278] it has been suggested that the use of cult buildings was introduced into Scandinavia starting in the 3rd century based on the Christian churches then proliferating in the Roman Empire, as part of a range of political and religious changes that Nordic society was then experiencing. [106] There remained, however, remnants of Norse pagan rituals for centuries after Christianity became the dominant religion in Scandinavia (see Trollkyrka). 1. [304] Many regarded pre-Christian religion as singular and unchanging, directly equated religion with nation, and projected modern national borders onto the Viking Age past. Filipino older adults tend to cope with illness with the help of family and friends, and by faith in God. Many Icelanders were angered by Þangbrandr's proselytising, and he was outlawed after killing several poets who insulted him. [36] A large amount of mythological poetry has undoubtedly been lost. [298] Since this research appeared from the background of European romanticism, many of the scholars operating in the nineteenth and twentieth century framed their approach through nationalism, and were strongly influenced in their interpretations by romantic notions about nationhood, conquest, and religion. [290], The two religious symbols may have co-existed closely; one piece of archaeological evidence suggesting that this is the case is a soapstone mould for casting pendants discovered from Trengården in Denmark. [74] By the time Christianity arrived in Scandinavia it was already the accepted religion across most of Europe. Fylgjur, guardian spirits, generally female, were associated with individuals and families. They carved wooden dance rattles, batons, effigies and panels engraved with spiritual imagery, and also painted spirits on canoes and houses. Items in lower case italics are classes of religion and not actual religions. [33] In addition there is information about pagan beliefs and practices in the sagas, which include both historical sagas such as Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla and the Landnámabók, recounting the settlement and early history of Iceland, and the so-called sagas of Icelanders concerning Icelandic individuals and groups; there are also more or less fantastical legendary sagas. [205] Many of the details of Ibn Fadlan's account are born out by archaeology;[206][207][115] and it is possible that those elements which are not visible in the archaeological evidence—such as the sexual encounters—are also accurate. [25] During this period, the Norse interacted closely with other ethno-cultural and linguistic groups, such as the Sámi, Balto-Finns, Anglo-Saxons, Greenlandic Inuit, and various speakers of Celtic and Slavic languages. In "Hávamál" and elsewhere, Odin is particularly associated with the runes and with galdr. [251] Since the 19th century, some scholars have sought to interpret other aspects of Old Norse religion itself by comparison with shamanism;[252] for example, Odin's self-sacrifice on the World Tree has been compared to Finno-Ugric shamanic practices. They sang songs and told stories, which were passed on through successive generations. [281] In Old Norse society, religious authority was harnessed to secular authority; there was no separation between economic, political, and symbolic institutions. Among the most widespread deities were the gods Odin and Thor. [293], Another image that recurs in Norse artwork from this period is the valknut (the term is modern, not Old Norse). [241] Some of the cult houses which have been found are located within what archaeologists call "central places": settlements with various religious, political, judicial, and mercantile functions. The potlatch was a big part of social life in the Pacific Northwest. [289] Some pictorial evidence, most notably that of the picture stones, intersect with the mythologies recorded in later texts. Rúnar Leifsson, (2012). Some of the poetic sources in particular, the Poetic Edda and skaldic poetry, may have been originally composed by heathens, and Hávamál contains both information on heathen mysticism[32] and what Ursula Dronke referred to as "a round-up of ritual obligations". The Tsimshian are native to Alaska's Annette Island and the northwest coast of British Columbia near Prince Rupert. Scholars reconstruct aspects of North Germanic religion by historical linguistics, archaeology, toponymy, and records left by North Germanic peoples, such as runic inscriptions in the Younger Futhark, a distinctly North Germanic extension of the runic alphabet. [139] Texts also mention various kinds of elves and dwarfs. The United Kingdom, comprised of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, guarantees freedom of religion to its citizens and residents through 3 different regulations. Belief in fairy folk: These beliefs are almost died out now, but for many centuries the Irish were convinced of the existence of magical creatures such as leprechauns, pookas, selkies (seal-folk), merrows (mer-people) and the dreaded Banshee. [226] The dead are found buried in pits, wooden coffins or chambers, boats, or stone cists; cremated remains have been found next to the funeral pyre, buried in a pit, in a pot or keg, and scattered across the ground. Most New Englanders went to a Congregationalist meetinghouse for church services. [171] Snorri also mentions the possibility of the dead reaching the hall of Brimir in Gimlé, or the hall of Sindri in the Niðafjöll Mountains. Older folk will still tell tales of hearing a Banshee, or even of an encounter at night with a fairy sprite. Since the Haida believed that everything had a spiritual aspect, these gatherings often had a religious atmosphere. The archaeologist Anders Andrén noted that "Old Norse religion" is "the conventional name" applied to the pre-Christian religions of Scandinavia. [93] They had contact with Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist evangelists and were greatly influenced by these religions. [144] Gods marry giantesses but giants' attempts to couple with goddesses are repulsed. Brown, The Tlingit Indians in Russian America, 1741-1867; A. V. Grinev. By the twelfth century Old Norse religion had succumbed to Christianity, with elements continuing into Scandinavian folklore. [265], Several of the sagas refer to cult houses or temples, generally called in Old Norse by the term hof. [215] The child was frequently named after a dead relative, since there was a traditional belief in rebirth, particularly in the family. [287] This symbol first appears in the ninth century and may be a conscious response to the symbolism of the Christian cross. The religion of the peoples of Northern Europe ultimately derives from the same Indo-European source as those of the Celts and of early Rome, and like them, was influenced by the religions of the peoples wh… Along with masked performances, Haida people celebrated with communal feasts called potlatches. [163] The concept of Hel as an afterlife location never appears in pagan-era skaldic poetry, where "Hel" always references to the eponymous goddess. [208][209][210] In the early centuries of the Common Era, huge numbers of destroyed weapons were placed in wetlands: mostly spears and swords, but also shields, tools, and other equipment. The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. [57] Accounts from this time were produced by Tacitus; according to the scholar Gabriel Turville-Petre, Tacitus' observations "help to explain" later Old Norse religion. Temple wells in which people were sacrificially drowned are mentioned in Adam of Bremen's account of Uppsala[195] and in Icelandic sagas, where they are called blótkelda or blótgrǫf,[196] and Adam of Bremen also states that human victims were included among those hanging in the trees at Uppsala. (, Turville-Petre, pp. [54] The Germanic languages likely emerged in the first millennium BCE in present-day northern Germany or Denmark, after which they spread; several of the deities in Old Norse religion have parallels among other Germanic societies. The Tlingit compose a number of tribes in Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon.
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