IV. The Norse . Viking Invasions – Beginning @783 A.D. 10 th Century defeated English in the Battle of Maldon Wanted British technology, raw goods. From The Anglo -Saxon Chronicles — Attack on Lindesfarne Monastary. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Old English Literature
IV. The Norse Viking Invasions Beginning @783 A.D.10th Century defeated English in the Battle of MaldonWanted British technology, raw goods1NoteBeowulf composed @700 a.d.Has a reference to the Norse Volsung SagaFrom The Anglo-Saxon ChroniclesAttack on Lindesfarne MonastaryA.D. 793 This year came dreadful forewarnings over the land of the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully; these were immense sheets of light rushing through the air. . . and fiery dragons flying across the firmament. These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a great famine, and . . . in the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine and slaughterLindesfarne
Lindesfarne CastleThe Castle, on the seashore, would have been hard to conquer, but Vikings attacked the coast almost annually.
The monastery lies in ruins as a result of Henry VIIIs dissolution of the monasteries
And now for something completely different. . . They were ruthlessimagine attacking monks and nuns!but they gave us the wild and wacky world of Norse Mythologywhich will help us understand the events in Beowulf.Norse MythologyThe CreationAdumla (cow)|Buri|BorBestla (frost giants daughter)|(w)odin----Vili----Ve (spirit of life) (wits & heart) (hearing & sight)
The Norse Flood StoryOdin and his brothers Vili and Ve killed all the frost giants but oneand all the blood flooded the worldWhen the floodwaters receded, they took two branches and made them into the first people, Ask (ash) and Embla (elm or vine)
Norse CosmologyMidgard Middle earth, enclosure away from stone giants
Asgard (Settled by Odin, Vili, Ve the Aesir, guardians of men)linked to midgard by the flaming rainbow bridge, BifrostCultural Connection:Dwarves held up the corners of Middle Earth:
Translated, their names mean North, South, East, and WestCultural Connection: The Days of the WeekSundayMondayTuesday (Tiuwarrior god, symbol=boar)Wednesday (Wodin)Thursday (Thorthunder god, very popular)Friday (Freyafertility god)Connecting the worlds--Yggdrasil The living tree, the suffering tree, the life-giver
Regenerates itself, eternal (was, and is, and will be)
RatatoskNibbles roots of YggdrasilCarries insults and gossip between the dragon Nidhogg and an eagle in the top branches
Original Runes- FUTHORK
I. AsgardWell of Urd. Three Norns have a hall beside the well (Wyrd/Urd), Verdandi, Skuld) (equivalent of the fates)Alfheim home of the elves, or bright elves.Valhalla hall of the slain warriors (Einheriar), half chosen by Odin, others to FrejaVigrid a vast plain, stretching 120 leagues in every direction, site of Ragnarok.
OdinThe All Father with his ravens Thought & Memory
Odin with his 8 legged horse Slepnirremind you of anyone?
An older image in stone
Significance of treesOdin hung on a tree for nine days to gain two boons for mankind
Runes (magical alphabet) and
Skaldic Mead (poetic inspiration)
21Why might this be significant?II. MidgardMidgard is the home of men (literally middle-earth)Bifrost the rainbow bridge (flaming bridge) connects Midgard to AsgardSpring of Mimir Odin sacrificed an eye to have a single draught from it, wisdom.Nidavellir land of the dwarves, underground, from maggots to magical goldsmiths
The Population of MidgardHeimdall was the guard at the gate of MidgardFathered 3generations for the 3classes of people;Jarl (fair, sharp, skilled, strong)Heimdall teaches him the runes of OdinClass of kings (koniger) and warriors Karl (ruddy, bright-eyed, well formed)farmers, skilled laborers, peasantsThrall (ugly, twisted, dull)race of unskilled laborersi.e. to hold in thrall
III. NiflheimNiflheim is the realm of the dead (literally home of fog) 9 days ride north and downHel goddess of the underworld; the offspring of Loki, half dead and half living, also her tower/realm Nidhogg giant dragon gnawing on the roots of Yggdrasil, with many snakes as wellMuspell land of fire, located to the southship Naglfari, largest ever built (of dead mens nails), is in Muspell, will appear at Ragnarok
Gotterdammerung & RagnarokUnlike Greek gods, gods were not invincibleLiving in the Gotterdamerung, or Twilight of the godsWould eventually be defeated at Ragnarok, the day of doomThe Wild HuntSouls of dead warriors who joined Odin in Valhalla waiting to join against the forces of destruction at Ragnarok
Brought to Valhalla by the ValkyrieThe Wild Hunt, 1892, Peter Nicolai Arbo
Flight of the Valkyrie, 1909, John Charles Dollman
How do I know if its time for Ragnarok?Winter will reign for three years with no summer.All the earth will be at war, father against son, brother against brother.Wolves Skoll and Hati Hrodvitnisson will swallow the sun & moon, plunging the earth into darkness.Monsters will break free, and the WILD HUNT will begin for real!Then. . . The horns of Heimdall will ring to warn other gods of the danger.
Gotterdammerung & RagnarokFenrir/ The Fenris wolfwill run loose, consuming the earth and heavens.
He will swallow Odin.
Eventually, he will be slain by Odins son, Thor, who will tear off his jaw.
Odin and the Fenris Wolf, 1909, Dorothy Hardy
Fenrir is killed by Thor
Thor fights the Midgard Serpent
The Midgard SerpentFloods Middle Earth with poisonGotterdammerung & RagnarokBy the end, Yggdrasill and all the worlds will become a blazing inferno.
The gods of the Aesir & Vanir will die as well as all the inhabitants of Middle Earth.
The sky will fall into a pit of flame and the earth will sink into the sea.
(Cheerful, no?)This world view colors the literature of the time, such asBEOWULF!Its also really easy to see where a certain author got inspiration for his material. . . J.R.R. Tolkien, who was a professor of Anglo-Saxon and Norse language and culture .