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 (?)

the Norns

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

Sigurd (Siegfried)

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.