Norse gods, cult and tradition: key terms
aesir and jötnar (giants)--Asgard and Jotunheim
Edda (e.g. Voluspa)
kennings (give an example
Snorri Sturluson his theory on the origins of Aesir
other sources: Tacitus, Saxo Grammaticus (?)
Ask and Embla
Odin and Frig
Asgard, Valhöll = Valhalla,
Tyr and the Wolf Fenrir
Hel and Niflheim
Thor Midgard Serpent Mjollnir
Vanir: Njord, Frey, Freyja, Gerd
Be able to summarize key stories:
Creation out of Ginnungagap (Ymir, Audhumla, et al.)
Kvasir’s blood Journey to Utgard
Death of Baldr (and Loki's doom) Ragnarök(r)
Key characters from Volsunga Saga:
[Background: role of Odin; Volsung, father of Sigmund and Signy]
Sigmund (vs. Lyngi, son of Hunding)
Alf, son of Hjalprek
Regin, son of Hreidmar
Brynhild, Budli’s daughter
'the Giukings': Gudrun, Gunnar, Hogni, and Guttorm
B) Background: Burgundians and Goths vs. Romans and Huns (5th c.)
Short outline of Volsunga Saga (central episodes (11-32):
Sigmund weds Hjordis, but is slain by Lyngi
Hjordis pregnant with Sigurd, is taken in by Alf and wed to him
Regin is tutor to Sigurd,tells him of Fafnir's hoard
and refashions for him the sword Gram
Sigurd avenges his father by killing Lyngi
and slays Fafnir (with Odin's help)
then slays Regin, takes the hoard and 'Andvari's loom'
and goes to find Brynhild for heroic wisdom
Sigurd and Brynhild 'plight troth'
At the house of Giuki, Sigurd is given a drug by queen Grimhild
that makes him forget Brynhild
Sigurd marries Gudrun (daughter of Giuki and Grimhild)
Her brother Gunnar goes to win Brynhild,
but Sigurd wins her for him, disguised as Gunnar (they exchange rings)
Gudrun and Brynhild quarrel over which has the better man
Gudrun insults Brynhild with the tale of her love with Sigurd
Brynhild betrayed urges Gunnar to kill Sigurd;
Gunnar and Hogni call on their younger brother Guttorm
who murders Sigurd in his bed, and is slain himself.
Brynhild is heartbroken, stabs herself and demands common pyre with Sigurd.
Describe the funeral: what do they take with them?
Aftermath: (chh. 34-40)
Gudrun is forced to marry Atli, dreams of his death.
Atli invites her brothers to succeed him, to entrap them.
Gunnar and Hogni are caught --Atli is determined to find Fafnir's hoard so tortures them:
Hogni's heart is cut out; Gunnar is thrown into a snake-pit!.
Gudrun murders her children by Atli, feeds him their blood and then murders him.