Myths of the Pagan North

Myths of the Pagan North

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As the Vikings began to migrate overseas as raiders or settlers in the late eighth century, there is evidence that this new way of life, centred on warfare, commerce and exploration, brought with it a warrior ethos that gradually became codified in the Viking myths, notably in the cult of Odin, the god of war, magic and poetry, and chief god in the Norse pantheon. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when most of Scandinavia had long since been converted to Christianity, form perhaps the most important era in the history of Norse mythology: only at this point were the myths of Thor, Freyr and Odin first recorded in written form. Using archaeological sources to take us further back in time than any written document, the accounts of foreign writers like the Roman historian Tacitus, and the most important repository of stories of the gods, old Norse poetry and the Edda, Christopher Abram leads the reader into the lost world of the Norse gods.But it does provide us with an important insight into the way in which conversion affected Norse poets and the poetry they composed. ... The mythological kenning was no longer the foundation oftheir technique, and the use ofthis type of poetic device ... but the fact that Norse mythology sprang up in new and vibrant forms in thirteenth-century Iceland suggests that the ... People soon learned that it was best not to believe in Odin, Thor or Freyr, and they were certainly not free to worshipanbsp;...

Title:Myths of the Pagan North
Author:Christopher Abram
Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing - 2011-03-03


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