October 26, 2020
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The Place of Odin in Norse Pantheon and Mythology

Odin,_der_GöttervaterOdin (from Old Norse Óðinn, “The Furious One“) is a major god in most if not all branches of Germanic mythology especially in the Norse mythology branch of Germanic mythology, the Allfather of the gods, and the ruler of Asgard. The place we call Asgard (Old Norse: Ásgarðr”; “Enclosure of the Æsir”) [3] is one of the Nine Worlds [4] and home to the Æsir tribe of gods. [5] It is surrounded by an incomplete wall attributed to a Hrimthurs riding the stallion Svaðilfari, according to Gylfaginning (the first part of Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda). Odin and his wife, Frigg, are the rulers of Asgard.  One of Asgard’s well known locations is Valhalla, in which Odin rules. Homologous with the Old English “Wōden”, the Old Saxon “Wôdan” and the Old High German “Wôtan”, [6] the name is descended from Proto-Germanic “*Wōdanaz” or “*Wōđanaz”. “Odin” is generally accepted as the modern English form of the name, although, in some cases, older forms may be used or preferred. His name is related to ōðr, [7] meaning “fury, excitation”, besides “mind” or “poetry”. His role, like that of many of the Norse gods, is extremely complex. Odin is a principal member of the Æsir (the major group of the Norse pantheon) and is usually associated with war, battle, victory and death, but also wisdom, Shamanism, magic, poetry, prophecy, and the hunt. Odin has many sons, the most famous of whom is the thunder god Thor. Odin, along with the other Germanic gods and goddesses, is recognized by Germanic neopagans. His Norse form is particularly acknowledged in Ásatrú, the “faith in the Æsir”, an officially recognized religion in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Spain. [8] Odin was referred to by more than 200 names which hint at his various roles. Among others, he was known as Yggr (terror), Sigfodr (father of Victory) and Alfodr (All Father) in the skaldic and Eddic traditions of heiti and kennings, a poetic method of indirect reference, as in a riddle.  Some epithets establish Odin as a father god: Alföðr, “all-father”, “father of all”; Aldaföðr, “father of men (or of the age)”; Herjaföðr, “father of hosts”; Sigföðr, “father of victory”; and Valföðr, “father of the slain”.


The Cult of Odin: The blóts

A depiction of a Goði leading the people in sacrificing to an idol of Thor in this painting by J.L. Lund.

A depiction of a Goði leading the people in sacrificing to an idol of Thor in this painting by J.L. Lund.

It is attested in primary sources that sacrifices were made to Odin during blóts (Old Norse neuter) which were Norse pagan sacrifices to the Norse gods land spirits. The sacrifice often took the form of a sacramental meal or feast. Related religious practices were performed by other Germanic peoples, such as the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The blót element of horse sacrifice is found throughout Indo-European traditions, including the Indian, Celtic, and Latin traditions. The word blót (Icelandic and Faroese: blót) is the Old Norse and Old English representative of the Proto-Germanic noun *ƀlōtan “sacrifice, worship”. Connected to this is the Proto-Germanic strong verb *ƀlōtanan attested in Gothic blotan, Old Norse blóta, Old English blótan and Old High German bluozan, all of which mean “to sacrifice, offer, worship”. The word also appears in the compound *ƀlōta-hūsan (attested in Old Norse blót-hús “house of worship” and Old High German bluoz-hūz “temple”). With a different nominative affix, the same stem is found in the Proto-Germanic noun *ƀlōstran “sacrifice” (attested in Gothic *blostr in guþ-blostreis “worshipper of God” and Old High German bluostar “offering, sacrifice”). This stem is thought to be connected to the Proto-Germanic verb *ƀlōanan “to blow, bloom, blossom”, as are the words for “blood” (Proto-Germanic *ƀlōđan) and “bloom” (Proto-Germanic *ƀlōmōn). Norwegian philologist and linguist Sophus Bugge [8a] was the first to suggest a connection between blót and the Latin flamen (< *flădmen), and both words can be traced back to the Proto-Indo-European stem *bhlād- “to bubble forth; to mumble, murmur, blather”. [9] The sacrifice usually consisted of animals, in particular pigs and horses. The meat was boiled in large cooking pits with heated stones, either indoors or outdoors. The blood was considered to contain special powers and it was sprinkled on the statues of the gods, on the walls and on the participants themselves. It was a sacred moment when the people gathered around the steaming cauldrons to have a meal together with the gods or the Elves. The drink that was passed around was blessed and sacred as well and it was passed from participant to participant. The drink was usually beer or mead but among the nobility it could be imported wine. The old prayer was til árs ok friðar, “for a good year and frith (peace)” They asked for fertility, good health, a good life and peace and harmony between the people and the powers. German medieval chronicler Adam of Bremen [%%] relates that every ninth year, people assembled from all over Sweden to sacrifice at the Temple at Uppsala. [10]

The Winter Nights

The autumn blót was performed in the middle of October (about four weeks after the autumn equinox), the Winter Nights, indicating the beginning of winter. Winter Nights or Old Norse vetrnætr was a specific time of year in medieval Scandinavia. According to Zoega’s Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, vetr-nætr referred to “the three days which begin the winter season”. The term is attested in the narrative of some of the Fornaldarsögur (a Norse saga that takes place before the colonization of Iceland), [10a] mostly to express passage of time (“as autumn turned into winter”). The term is not mentioned in the Ynglinga saga [11] by Snorri Sturluson (Icelandic historian, poet, and politician) where (in chapter 8) the three great sacrifices of the year are proscribed:

Þá skyldi blóta í móti vetri til árs, en at miðjum vetri blóta til gróðrar, hit þriðja at sumri, þat var sigrblót.
There should be a sacrifice at the beginning of winter for a good year, and at in the middle of winter for a good crop, the third in summer day, that was the sacrifice for victory.

It can be argued that í móti vetri “at the onset of winter” marking the autumn sacrifice in the Ynglinga saga is corresponds to what came to be called vetrnætr “winter nights” at a somewhat later stage of the Old Norse period.  Specific sacrifices held at the beginning of winter during the Old Norse period were álfablót and dísablót.


Of these, dísablót came to be a public sacrifice, according to the Ynglinga saga performed by the king of Sweden; it may, however, at an earlier time have been a sacrifice reserved for women and performed by priestesses (c.f. mōdraniht). It was held in honour of the female spirits or deities called dísir [12] (and the Valkyries), from pre-historic times until the Christianization of Scandinavia. Its purpose was to enhance the coming harvest.  It is mentioned in Hervarar saga, Víga-Glúms saga, Egils saga and the Heimskringla. The celebration still lives on in the form of an annual fair called the Disting in Uppsala, Sweden. [13] In one version of Hervarar saga, there is a description of how the sacrifice was performed. Alfhildr, the daughter of king Alfr of Alfheim, was kidnapped by Starkad Aludreng while she was reddening a horgr with blood. [14]This suggests that the rite was performed by women, especially in light of what is generally believed to be their nearly exclusive role as priestesses of the pagan Germanic religion. [15] However, according to the Ynglinga saga part of the Heimskringla, the king of Sweden performed the rites, which was in accordance with his role as high priest of the Temple at Uppsala. The mention of the Dísablót concerns the death of king Eadgils (Aðils, Adils) who died from falling off his horse while riding around the shrine:

King Adils was at a Disa sacrifice; and as he rode around the Disa hall his horse’ Raven stumbled and fell, and the king was thrown forward upon his head, and his skull was split, and his brains dashed out against a stone. Adils died at Upsal, and was buried there in a mound. The Swedes called him a great king. [16]

In Sweden, the Dísablót was of central political and social importance. The festivities were held at the end of February or early March at Gamla Uppsala. [17] It was held in conjunction with the great fair Disting and the great popular assembly called the Thing of all Swedes. [18] The shrine where the Dísir were worshiped was called dísarsalr and this building is mentioned in the Ynglinga saga concerning king Aðils’ death. It also appears Hervarar saga, where a woman becomes so infuriated over the death of her father by the hands of Heiðrekr (one of the main characters in the cycle about the magic swordTyrfing), her husband, that she hangs herself in the shrine. The Scandinavian dísablót is associated with the Anglo-Saxon modranect (“mothers’ night”) by Gabriel Turville-Petre. [19] The Anglo-Saxon month roughly equivalent to November was called blot-monath. The number of references to the Disir ranging from the Merseburg Charms (magic spell texts) [20] to many instances in Norse mythology indicate that they were considered vital deities to worship and that they were a primary focus of prayers (e.g. the charms) for luck against enemies in war.

A depiction of a Goði leading the people in sacrificing to an idol of Thor in this painting by J.L. Lund.

A depiction of a Goði leading the people in sacrificing to an idol of Thor in this painting by J.L. Lund.


By contrast with the grandiose Dísablót, the álfablót or Elven blót was a small scale sacrifice held at each homestead separately for the local spirits, under the explicit exclusion of any strangers. Not much is known about these rites, since they were surrounded by great secrecy and because strangers were not welcome during the time of the rituals. However, since the elves were collective powers closely connected with the ancestors some assume that it had to do with the ancestor cult and the life force of the family. It also appears that Odin was implied and that the master of the household was called Ölvir when administering the rites.  The first element of Ölvir means “beer”, which was an important element in Norse pagan sacrifices generally.  There is a notable account of the ceremony in Austrfararvísur (skaldic poem dating from 1020)by the Norwegian skald Sigvatr Þórðarson, [21] where he tried to impose on the privacy of a series of homes during the sacred family holiday, a privacy that he was accordingly asked to respect.

The Great Midwinter Blót, or Yule


Hauling a Yule log, 1832

The great midwinter blót, or Yule, took place in the middle of January.  This pagan religious festival was commonly observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later being absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas. The earliest references to Yule are by way of indigenous Germanic month names Ærra Jéola (Before Yule) or Jiuli and Æftera Jéola (After Yule). Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht. [22] Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are used in the Nordic countries for Christmas with its religious rites, but also for the holidays of this season. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from Yule. A number of Neopagans have introduced their own rites. Freyr was the most important god at the Midwinter and autumn blót, and Christmas ham (the pig was for Freyr) is still a main Christmas course in parts of Scandinavia.

The Summer Blót

The Summer blót was undertaken in the middle of April (about four weeks after the spring equinox) and it was given to Odin.  Then, they drank for victory in war and this blót was the starting date for Viking expeditions and wars.   Sacrifices were probably also made to Odin at the beginning of summer (mid-April, actually – summer being reckoned essentially the same as did the Celt, at Beltene, Calan Mai [Welsh], which is Mayday – hence as summer’s “herald”), since the Ynglinga saga [23] states one of the great festivals of the calendar is at sumri, þat var sigrblót, “in summer, sacrifice for victory”. Odin is consistently referred to throughout the Norse mythos as the bringer of victory. The Ynglinga saga also details the sacrifices made by the Swedish king Aun, [24] to whom it was revealed that he would lengthen his life by sacrificing one of his sons every ten years; nine of his ten sons died this way. When he was about to sacrifice his last son Egil, the Swedes stopped him.

The Temples of Odin

Among nordic tribes, a building where the blót took place was called a hov (cf. German Hof). Heathen hofs or Germanic pagan temples were the temple buildings of Germanic paganism; there are also a few built for use in modern Germanic neopaganism. The term hof is taken from Old Norse.  There are many place names derived from this in e.g. Scania, West Götaland [25] and East Götaland. [26] Excavations at the medieval churches of Mære in Trøndelag (region in the central part of Norway) and at Old Uppsala (village outside Uppsala in Sweden) provide the few exceptions where church sites are associated with earlier churches. There were also other sacred places called Hörgr, , Lund and Haug. Horgr means altar possibly consisting of a heap of stones, Lund means “grove” and Ve simply “sacred place”. The Christian laws forbade worshipping at the haug or haugr meaning “mound” or “barrow”. [27]

The German historian Thietmar, Count of Merseburg [28] wrote that the Daner (a North Germanic tribe residing in what more or less comprises modern day Denmark) [29] had their main cult centre on Zealand (largest and most populated island in Denmark) at Lejre (old Norse: Hleiðra), where they gathered every nine years and sacrificed 99 people but also horses, dogs and hens. Archaeological excavations have indeed revealed Lejre to be of great importance and in fact the seat of the royal family dating to at least the Iron Age. There is not conclusive evidence that Lejre was the site of a main cult centre though, but excavations around lake Tissø (4th largest freshwater lake in Denmark) not far to the West, have revealed an ancient hof of great importance.

The Temple at Uppsala was a religious center in the ancient Norse religion once located at what is now Gamla Uppsala (Swedish “Old Uppsala”), Sweden attested in Adam of Bremen’s 11th-century work Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum [30]  and in Heimskringla, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century. [31]  Theories have been proposed about the implications of the descriptions of the temple and the findings (or lack thereof) of the archaeological excavations in the area, along with recent findings of extensive wooden structures and log lines that may have played a supporting role to activities at the site, including ritual sacrifice. Male slaves and males of each species were sacrificed and hung from the branches of the trees.  As the Swedes had the right not only to elect their king but also to depose him, the sagas relate that both King Domalde [32] and King Olof Trätälja [33] were sacrificed to Odin after years of famine. It has been argued that the killing of a combatant in battle was to give a sacrificial offering to Odin. The fickleness of Odin in war was well documented; in Lokasenna (one of the poems of the Poetic Edda), Loki taunts Odin for his inconsistency.  Sometimes sacrifices were made to Odin to bring about changes in circumstance. A notable example is the sacrifice of King Víkar (a legendary Norwegian king) that is detailed in Gautrek’s Saga [34] and in Saxo Grammaticus’ [35]  account of the same event.  Sailors in a fleet that have been blown off course have found themselves without winds for a long period. To raise a wind, a human blood sacrifice to Odin was needed, and the lots fell on King Víkar himself who was hanged.

In Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Adam of Bremen provides a description of the temple. Adam records that a “very famous temple called Ubsola” exists in a town close to Sigtuna ( locality situated in Sigtuna Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweeden).  [36] Adam details that the temple is “adorned with gold” and that the people there worship statues of three specific gods that sit on a triple throne.  Thor, whom Adam refers to as “the mightiest,” sits in the central throne, while Wodan (Odin) and Fricco (Freyr) are seated on the thrones to the sides of him. Adam provides information about the characteristics of the three gods, including that Fricco is depicted with an immense erect penis, Wodan in armor (“as our people depict Mars,” Adam notes) and that Thor has a mace, a detail which Adam compares to that of the Roman god Jupiter. Adam adds that, in addition, “they also worship gods who were once men, whom they reckon to be immortal because of their heroic acts […].” [37] Adam writes that a golden chain surrounds the temple that hangs from the gables of the building. The chain is very visible to those approaching the temple from a distance due to the landscape where the temple was built; it is surrounded by hills, “like an amphitheatre.” Adam describes that near the temple stands a massive tree with far-spreading branches, which is evergreen both in summer and winter. At the tree is also a spring where sacrifices are also held. According to Adam, a custom exists where a man, alive, is thrown into the spring, and if he fails to return to the surface, “the wish of the people will be fulfilled.” [38]


A woodcut depicting the Temple at Uppsala as described by Adam of Bremen, including the golden chain around the temple, the well and the tree, from Olaus Magnus’ Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (1555).

Adam says that the three gods have a priest appointed to them each who offer up sacrifices to the deities from the people. If famine or plague occurs, a sacrifice is made to Thor; if there is war, a sacrifice is made to Wodan; if a marriage is to be held, a sacrifice is made to Fricco. Adam continues that “every nine years there is a communal festival of every province in Sweden held in Ubsola; and those already converted to Christianity have to buy themselves off from the ceremonies.” [39] The feasts and sacrifices continue for a total of nine days, and during the course of each day a man is sacrificed along with two animals. Therefore, in a total of nine days twenty-seven sacrifices occur, and, Adam notes, these sacrifices occur “about the time of the spring equinox.” [40] Adam details sacrificial practices held at the temple; Adam describes that nine males of “every living creature” are offered up for sacrifice, and tradition dictates that their blood placates the gods. The corpses of the nine males are hung within the grove beside the temple. Adam says that the grove is considered extremely sacred to the heathens, so much so that each singular tree “is considered to be divine,” due to the death of those sacrificed or their rotting corpses hanging there, and that dogs and horses hang within the grove among the corpses of men. Adam reveals that “one Christian” informed him that he had seen seventy-two cadavers of differing species hanging within the grove. Adam expresses disgust at the songs they sing during these sacrificial rites, quipping that the songs are “so many and disgusting that it is best to pass over them in silence.” [41]


Midvinterblot (1915) by Carl Larsson: King Domalde offers himself for sacrifice before the hof at Gamla Uppsala.

The Tree of Life Attributions

The scandinavian deity correspondence for Chokmah is Odin [1]  Unfortunately no other precisions are provided in his qabalistic writting to explain this attribution. Curiously, Israel Regardie does not say a word about it either in his compendium A Garden of Pomegrenates. [2]


[1] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 8.
[2] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 42.
[3] Lindow, John (2002). Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
[4] The cosmology of Norse mythology has “nine homeworlds”, unified by the world tree Yggdrasill.
[5] In Old Norse, ǫ́ss (or áss, ás, plural æsir; feminine ásynja, plural ásynjur) is the term denoting a member of the principal pantheon in the indigenous Germanic religion known as Norse paganism. This pantheon includes Odin, Frigg, Thor, Baldr and Týr. The second pantheon comprises the Vanir. In Norse mythology, the two pantheons wage the Æsir-Vanir War, which results in a unified pantheon.
[6] Brian Murdoch (editor) (2004). German Literature of the Early Middle Ages. Camden House Publishing. p. 62.
[7] In Norse mythology, Óðr (Old Norse for the “Divine Madness, frantic, furious, vehement, eager”, as a noun “mind, feeling” and also “song, poetry”; Orchard (1997) gives “the frenzied one”) or Óð, sometimes angliziced as Odr or Od, is a figure associated with the major goddess Freyja.
[8] Confesiones Minoritarias – Ministerio de Justicia.
[8a] Sophus Bugge (5 January 1833 – 8 July 1907) was a noted Norwegian philologist and linguist. His scholarly work was directed to the study of runic inscriptions and Norse philology. Bugge is best known for his theories and his work on the runic alphabet and the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda.
[9] Orel, Vladimir (2003). A Handbook of Germanic Etymology. Leiden: Bril, p. 50–51; Bammesberger, Alfred (1990). Die Morphologie der urgermanischen Nomens. Heidelberg: Carl Winters Universitätsverlag., p. 87.
[10a] A legendary saga or fornaldarsaga (literally, “story/history of the ancient era”) is a Norse saga that, unlike the Icelanders’ sagas, takes place before the colonization of Iceland.  There are some exceptions, such as Yngvars saga víðförla, which takes place in the 11th century. The sagas were probably all written in Iceland, from about the middle of the 13th century to about 1400, although it is possible that some may be of a later date, such as Hrólfs saga kraka.
[11] Ynglinga saga is a legendary saga, originally written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson about 1225. It is the first section of his Heimskringla. It was first translated into English and published in 1844 by Samuel Laing.
[$$] Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum (Deeds of the Bishops of Hamburg) is a historical treatise written between 1073 and 1076 by Adam of Bremen . It covers the period from 788 to the time it was written.
[12] In Norse mythology, a dís (“lady”, plural dísir) is a ghost, spirit or deity associated with fate who can be both benevolent and antagonistic towards mortal people. Dísir may act as protective spirits of Norse clans. Their original function was possibly that of fertility goddesses who were the object of both private and official worship called dísablót, and their veneration may derive from the worship of the spirits of the dead.
[13] The Disting is an annual market which is held in Uppsala, Sweden, since pre-historic times. The name (Old Swedish: Disæþing or Disaþing) originally referred to the great assembly called the Thing of all Swedes, and it is derived from the fact that both the market and the thing were held in conjunction with the Dísablót.
[14] A hörgr (Old Norse, plural hörgar) or hearg (Old English) was a type of religious building or altar possibly consisting of a heap of stones, used in Norse paganism. Hörgar are attested in the Poetic Edda; compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda; written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, sagas, in the poetry of skalds, the Old English poem Beowulf, and in various place names, often in connection with Germanic deities.
[15] The Religious Practices of the Pre-Christian and Viking Age North at Northvegr.
[16] The Ynglinga saga at Northvegr.
[17] The article Landsting, at the official site of the Museum of National Antiquities, Sweden. As early as the 3rd century AD and the 4th century AD and onwards, it was an important religious, economic and political centre. Early written sources show that already during pre-history, Gamla Uppsala was well known in Northern Europe as the residence of the Swedish kings of the legendary Yngling dynasty.  In fact, the oldest Scandinavian sources, such as Ynglingatal, the Westrogothic law and the Gutasaga talk of the king of Sweden as the “King at Uppsala”.
[18] The Thing of all Swedes (allra Svía þing, Þing allra Svía,Disaþing, or Kyndilþing) was the governing assembly held from pre-historic times to the Middle Ages at Gamla Uppsala, Sweden, occurring at the end of February or early March in conjunction with a great fair and a religious celebration called Dísablót. See The article Disablot, in the encyclopedia Nordisk familjebok.
[19] Edward Oswald Gabriel Turville-Petre F.B.A. (known as Gabriel) (1908 –1978) was Professor of Ancient Icelandic Literature and Antiquities at the University of Oxford. He wrote numerous books and articles in English and Icelandic on literature and religious history. See Myth and Religion of the North (1964), p. 224-227.
[20] The Merseburg Incantations or Merseburg Charms (German: die Merseburger Zaubersprüche) are two medieval magic spells, charms or incantations, written in Old High German.
[21] Sigvatr Þórðarson (Sighvatr Þórðarson, Sigvat Tordarson) or Sigvat the Skald (995-1045) was an Icelandic skald. He was a court poet to King Olaf II of Norway, as well as Canute the Great, Magnus the Good and Anund Jacob, by whose reigns his floruit can be dated to the earlier eleventh century.
[22] Mōdraniht (Old English “Night of the Mothers” or “Mothers’-night”) was an event held at what is now Christmas Eve by the Anglo-Saxon Pagans where a sacrifice may have been made.
[23] Ynglinga saga is a legendary saga, originally written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson about 1225. It is the first section of his Heimskringla. It was first translated into English and published in 1844 by Samuel Laing.
[24] He was a mythical Swedish king of the House of Yngling, the ancestors of Norway’s first king, Harald Fairhair.
[25] Västergötland (English exonym: West Gothland), is one of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden (landskap in Swedish), situated in the southwest of Sweden. In older English literature one may also encounter the Latinized version Westrogothia. Västergötland borders the provinces Bohuslän, Dalsland, Värmland, Närke, Östergötland, Småland, and Halland. It is also bounded by the two largest Swedish lakes Vänern and Vättern, with a small strip to the Kattegat sea area. On this small strip the second largest city of Sweden, Gothenburg, is situated.
[26] Östergötland, English exonym: East Gothland, is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden (landskap in Swedish) in the south of Sweden. It borders Småland, Västergötland, Närke, Södermanland, and the Baltic Sea. In older English literature, one might also encounter the Latinized version, Ostrogothia.
[27] Old Norse Online Base Form Dictionary (Jonathan Slocum and Todd B. Krause. The College of Liberal Arts. University of Texas at Austin).
[28] Thietmar (I) (also Thiatmar, Dietmar, or Thiommar) (died 1 June 932), Count and Margrave, was the military tutor (vir disciplinae militaris peritissmus) of Henry the Fowler while he was the heir and then duke of the Duchy of Saxony.
[29] They are mentioned in the 6th century in Jordanes’ Getica, by Procopius, and by Gregory of Tours. In his description of Scandza, Jordanes says that the Dani were of the same stock as the Suetidi (Swedes, Suithiod?) and expelled the Heruli and took their lands. According to the 12th century author Sven Aggesen, the mythical King Dan gave name to the Danes. The Old English poems Widsith and Beowulf, as well as works by later Scandinavian writers—notably by Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1200)—provide some of the references to Danes.
[30] Adam of Bremen (also: Adamus Bremensis) was a German medieval chronicler. He lived and worked in the second half of the eleventh century. He is most famous for his chronicle Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum (Deeds of Bishops of the Hamburg Church).
[31] Heimskringla is the best known of the Old Norse kings’ sagas. It was written in Old Norse in Iceland by the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson (1178/79–1241) ca. 1230.
[33] Olaf Tree Feller (Old Norse: Óláfr trételgja, Swedish: Olof Trätälja, Norwegian: Olav Tretelgja, all meaning Olaf Woodwhittler) was the son of the Swedish king Ingjald ill-ruler of the House of Yngling according to Ynglingatal.
[34] Gautreks saga (Gautrek’s Saga) is a Scandinavian legendary saga put to text towards the end of the 13th century which survives only in much later manuscripts. It seems to have been intended as a compilation of traditional stories, often humorous, about a legendary King Gautrek of West Götaland, to serve as a kind of prequel to the already existing Hrólfs saga Gautrekssonar (Saga of Hrólf son of Gautrek).
[35] Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1150 – c. 1220) also known as Saxo cognomine Longus was a Danish historian and author, thought to have been a clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, foremost advisor to Valdemar I of Denmark. He is the author of the first full history of Denmark.
[36] Although less significant today, Sigtuna has an important place in Sweden’s early history. It is the oldest city in Sweden, having been founded in 980. The history of Sigtuna before the 11th century, as described in the Norse sagas and other early medieval sources, can be found in the article Old Sigtuna. It operated as a royal and commercial centre for some 250 years, and was one of the most important cities of Sweden.
[37] Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend, p. 169.
[38] Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend, p. 169.
[39] Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend, p. 169.
[40] Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend, p. 169.
[41] Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend, p. 169.


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