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Encyclopedia > Freyr
This 19th century representation of Freyr shows him with his boar Gullinbursti and his sword.
This 19th century representation of Freyr shows him with his boar Gullinbursti and his sword.

Freyr (sometimes anglicized Frey[1]) is one of the most important deities in Norse paganism and Norse mythology. Worshipped as a fertility god, Freyr bestows "peace and pleasure" upon mortals. He rules over the rain, the shining of the sun and thereby the produce of the fields. Image File history File links Artwork showing the Norse god Freyr. ... Image File history File links Artwork showing the Norse god Freyr. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Norse paganism or Nordic religion is a termed used to abbreviate the religion preferably amongst the Germanic tribes living in Nordic countries under pre-Christian period that are supported by archaeology findings and early written materials. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology refers to the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ...


He is one of the Vanir, the son of the sea god Njörðr and brother of the love goddess Freyja. The gods gave him Álfheimr, the realm of the Elves, as a teething present. He rides the shining dwarf-made boar Gullinbursti and possesses the ship Skíðblaðnir which always has a favorable breeze and can be folded together and carried in a pouch when it is not being used. He has the servants Skírnir, Byggvir and Beyla. Vanir is the name of one of the two groups of gods in Norse mythology, the other and more well known being the Æsir. ... Njord or Njordr (Old Norse Njörðr) is one of the Vanir and the god of the fertile land along the seacoast, as well as seamanship and sailing in Norse mythology. ... Freyja in Wagners operas See Freya radar for German World War II radar. ... Álfheim (Old Norse Álfheimr Elf-home) is the abode of the Álfar Elves in Norse mythology and appears also in northern English ballads under the forms Elfhame and Elphame, sometimes modernized as Elfland or Elfenland. ... In Norse mythology, the Álfar, or Elves, are usually considered to be the height of humans or just above. ... A dwarf (plural dwarfs or, more recently, dwarves --see under Tolkien below) is a short humanoid creature in Norse mythology, fairy tales, fantasy fiction and role-playing games. ... Gullinbursti (meaning Golden Mane) is a boar in Norse mythology. ... In Norse mythology, Skíðblaðnir (the name can be anglicized as Skídbladnir, Skídhbladhnir, Skíthblathnir, Skidbladnir, Skithblathnir or Skidhbladhnir) is the ship of Freyr. ... In Norse mythology, Skírnir is Freyrs messenger and vassal. ... In Norse mythology, the elf Byggvir was one of Freyrs servants and the husband of Beyla. ... In Norse mythology, Beyla was a female elf and the wife of Byggvir and like her husband one of Freyrs servant. ...


The most extensive Freyr myth relates Freyr's falling in love with the giantess Gerðr. Eventually she becomes his wife but first Freyr has to give Skírnir his magic sword which fights on its own "if wise be he who wields it". Deprived of this weapon Freyr still managed to defeat the giant Beli with an antler. But at Ragnarök, the end of the world, Freyr will will be defeated by the fire giant Surtr. Skírnir tries to woo Gerd for Freyr as related in Skírnismál. ... The term magic sword refers to any kind of mythological or fictional sword imbued with magical power to increase its strength or grant it other supernatural qualities. ... The giants seize Freyja. ... Beli Mawr (Beli the Great) was a Welsh ancestor deity. ... For the Poet Laureate of Milwaukee, see Antler (Poet). ... In Norse mythology, Ragnarok (fate of the gods1) is the battle at the end of the world. ... In the Icelandic Eddas Surtur (Old Norse Surtr) is the leader of the fire giants in the south, the ruler of Muspel, the realm of fire. ...


Freyr was especially associated with Sweden and seen as an ancestor of the Swedish royal house. In sources such as Heimskringla and Ynglinga saga there appear early Swedish kings who belong in the domain of mythology, but it is often suggested that they have a historical basis. ...

Contents


Adam of Bremen

One of the oldest written sources on preChristian Scandinavian religious practices is Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum. Writing around 1080 Adam had access to first-hand accounts on pagan practices in Sweden. In his description of the Temple at Uppsala he mentions Freyr by the Latinized name Fricco. As a noun, Christian is an appellation and moniker deriving from the appellation Christ, which many people associate exclusively with Jesus of Nazareth. ... The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed. ... Adam of Bremen (also: Adam Bremensis) was one of the most important German medieval chroniclers. ... Events William I of England, in a letter, reminds the Bishop of Rome that the King of England owes him no allegiance. ... Paganism (from Latin paganus) and Heathenry are catch-all terms which have come to connote a broad set of spiritual/religious beliefs and practices of a natural religion, as opposed to the Abrahamic religions. ... The Temple at Uppsala was a Temple in Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), near modern Uppsala, Sweden, created to worship the Norse gods of ancient times. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ...

Nunc de supersticione Sueonum pauca dicemus. Nobilissimum illa gens templum habet, quod Ubsola dicitur, non longe positum ab Sictona civitate. In hoc templo, quod totum ex auro paratum est, statuas trium deorum veneratur populus, ita ut potentissimus eorum Thor in medio solium habeat triclinio; hinc et inde locum possident Wodan et Fricco. Quorum significationes eiusmodi sunt: 'Thor', inquiunt, 'praesidet in aere, qui tonitrus et fulmina, ventos ymbresque, serena et fruges gubernat. Alter Wodan, id est furor, bella gerit, hominique ministrat virtutem contra inimicos. Tertius est Fricco, pacem voluptatemque largiens mortalibus'. Cuius etiam simulacrum fingunt cum ingenti priapo.[2]

"At this point I shall say a few words about the religious beliefs of the Swedes. That nation has a magnificent temple, which is called Uppsala, located not far from the city of Sigtuna. In this temple, built entirely of gold, the people worship the statues of three gods. These images are arranged so that Thor, the most powerful, has his throne in the middle of the group of three. On either side of him sit Othin and Freyr. Their provinces are as follows: “Thor,” they say, “rules the heavens; he is the god of thunder, wind and rain, fair weather and the produce of the fields. The second god, Othin, is the god of war, and he provides man with courage in the face of his enemies. The third god is Freyr, who bestows peace and pleasure upon mortals.” Indeed they depict him as having a large phallus." — [3] The word temple has different meanings in the fields of architecture, religion, geography, anatomy, and education. ... Gamla Uppsala is an area rich in archaeological remains seen from the grave field whose larger mounds (left part) are close to the royal mounds. ... Sigtuna is a city in central Sweden in the metropolitan area of Stockholm. ... Thor carries his hammer and wears his belt of strength in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Odin is considered to be the supreme god of late Germanic and Norse mythology. ... The Latin word phallus (from the Greek phallos) and its derived adjective phallic, adopted in English and in many modern languages, refers to the penis. ...

Later in the account Adam states that when a marriage is performed a libation is made to the image of Fricco. This association with marriages, peace and pleasure clearly identifies Fricco as a fertility god. Libation scene, Greek red figure cup, c. ...


The Prose Edda

When Snorri Sturluson composed the Prose Edda in 13th century Iceland the pagan gods were still remembered despite more than two centuries of Christianity. Snorri introduces Freyr as one of the major gods. Snorri Sturluson (1178 â€“ September 23, 1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet and politician. ... The Younger Edda, known also as the Prose Edda or Snorris Edda is an Icelandic manual of poetics which also contains many mythological stories. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion that recognizes Jesus Christ as its central figure, Lord and Messiah. ...

Njörðr í Nóatúnum gat síðan tvau börn, hét sonr Freyr en dóttir Freyja. Þau váru fögr álitum ok máttug. Freyr er hinn ágætasti af ásum. Hann ræðr fyrir regni ok skini sólar, ok þar með ávexti jarðar, ok á hann er gott at heita til árs ok friðar. Hann ræðr ok fésælu manna.Eysteinn Björnsson's edition

"Njördr in Nóatún begot afterward two children: the son was called Freyr, and the daughter Freyja; they were fair of face and mighty. Freyr is the most renowned of the Æsir; he rules over the rain and the shining of the sun, and therewithal the fruit of the earth; and it is good to call on him for fruitful seasons and peace. He governs also the prosperity of men." — Brodeur's translation Njord or Njordr (Old Norse Njörðr) is one of the Vanir and the god of the fertile land along the seacoast, as well as seamanship and sailing in Norse mythology. ... In Norse mythology, Noatun (enclosure of ships) was the sea-side abode of Niord. ... Freyja in Wagners operas See Freya radar for German World War II radar. ... In Old Norse, the Æsir (singular Áss, feminine Ásynja, feminine plural Ásynjur, Anglo-Saxon Ós, from Proto-Germanic Ansuz) are the principal gods of the pantheon of Norse mythology. ...

Several Scandinavian gold plates have been interpreted as showing a meeting between Freyr and Gerðr.
Several Scandinavian gold plates have been interpreted as showing a meeting between Freyr and Gerðr.

This description is similar to the older account by Adam of Bremen. The differences, however, are interesting. Adam assigns control of the weather and produce of the fields to Thor but Snorri emphasizes Freyr's rule over those areas. Snorri also omits any explicitly sexual references in Freyr's role. Those discrepancies can be explained in several ways. While it is possible that the gods did not have exactly the same roles in Icelandic and Swedish paganism it must also be remembered that Adam and Snorri were writing with different ends in mind. Adam was probably eager to shock his readers with tales of pagan lewdness while Snorri treats the mythology with much more sympathy and aims to entertain his audience. Either Snorri or Adam may also have had distorted information. Image File history File links Goldgubb. ...


The only extended myth related about Freyr in the Prose Edda is the story of his marriage.

Þat var einn dag er Freyr hafði gengit í Hliðskjálf ok sá of heima alla. En er hann leit í norðrætt, þá sá hann á einum bœ mikit hús ok fagrt, ok til þess húss gekk kona, ok er hon tók upp höndum ok lauk hurð fyrir sér þá lýsti af höndum hennar bæði í lopt ok á lög, ok allir <heimar> birtusk af henni.Eysteinn's Björnsson's edition

"It chanced one day that Freyr had gone to Hlidskjálf, and gazed over all the world; but when he looked over into the northern region, he saw on an estate a house great and fair. And toward this house went a woman; when she raised her hands and opened the door before her, brightness gleamed from her hands, both over sky and sea, and all the worlds were illumined of her." — Brodeur's translation In Norse mythology, Hlidskjalf (also spelt Hlidhskjalf) is Odins throne where none may sit save Odin himself and his wife Frigg. ...

The woman is Gerðr, a beautiful giantess. Freyr immediately falls in love with her and becomes depressed and taciturn. He finally consents to talk to Skírnir, his foot-page. He tells Skírnir that he has fallen in love with a beautiful woman and thinks he will die if he cannot have her. He asks Skírnir to go and woo her for him. Skírnir tries to woo Gerd for Freyr as related in Skírnismál. ... The giants seize Freyja. ... In Norse mythology, Skírnir is Freyrs messenger and vassal. ...

Þá svarar Skírnir, sagði svá at hann skal fara sendiferð en Freyr skal fá honum sverð sitt. Þat var svá gott sverð at sjálft vásk. En Freyr lét eigi þat til skorta ok gaf honum sverðit. Þá fór Skírnir ok bað honum konunnar ok fekk heitit hennar, ok níu nóttum síðar skyldi hon þar koma er Barey heitir ok ganga þá at brullaupinu með Frey.Eysteinn Björnsson's edition

"Then Skírnir answered thus: he would go on his errand, but Freyr should give him his own sword-which is so good that it fights of itself;- and Freyr did not refuse, but gave him the sword. Then Skírnir went forth and wooed the woman for him, and received her promise; and nine nights later she was to come to the place called Barrey, and then go to the bridal with Freyr." — Brodeur's translation

The loss of Freyr's sword has consequences. According to the Prose Edda Freyr had to fight Beli without his sword and slew him with the horn of a stag. But the consequences at Ragnarök, the end of the world, will be much more serious. Freyr is fated to fight the fire-giant Surtr and since he does not have his sword he will be defeated. Beli - (Moaning) Gymirs and Aurbodas son and brother to Freyrs wife, Gerd. ... Genera About 15 in 4 subfamilies. ... In Norse mythology, Ragnarok (fate of the gods1) is the battle at the end of the world. ... In the Icelandic Eddas Surtur (Old Norse Surtr) is the leader of the fire giants in the south, the ruler of Muspel, the realm of fire. ...


Even after the loss of his sword Freyr still has two magical artifacts, both of them dwarf-made. One is the ship Skíðblaðnir, which will have favoring breeze wherever its owner wants to go and can also be folded together like a napkin and carried in a pouch. The other is the boar Gullinbursti whose mane glows to illuminate the way for his owner. No myths involving Skíðblaðnir have come down to us but Snorri relates that Freyr rode to Baldr's funeral in a wagon pulled by Gullinbursti. In Norse mythology, Skíðblaðnir (the name can be anglicized as Skídbladnir, Skídhbladhnir, Skíthblathnir, Skidbladnir, Skithblathnir or Skidhbladhnir) is the ship of Freyr. ... Gullinbursti (meaning Golden Mane) is a boar in Norse mythology. ... Baldr. ...


The Poetic Edda

Freyr is mentioned in several of the poems in the Poetic Edda. The information there is largely consistent with that in the Prose Edda. Some details are confirmed, some are neglected while others are added. The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems from the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. ...


Völuspá, generally considered the most powerful of the Eddic poems, describes the final confrontation between Freyr and Surtr during Ragnarök. Völuspá (The Prophecy of the Seeress) is one of the Eddic poems. ...

Surtr fer sunnan
með sviga lævi,
skínn af sverði
sól valtíva.
Grjótbjörg gnata,
en gífr rata,
troða halir helveg,
en himinn klofnar.
Þá kømr Hlínar
harmr annarr fram,
er Óðinn ferr
við úlf vega,
en bani Belja
bjartr at Surti,
þá mun Friggjar
falla angan. — Eysteinn Björnsson's edition
"Surt from the south comes
with flickering flame;
shines from his sword
the Val-god’s sun.
The stony hills are dashed together,
the giantesses totter;
men tread the path of Hel,
and heaven is cloven.
Then arises
Hlin´s second grief,
when Odin goes
with the wolf to fight,
and the bright slayer
of Beli with Surt.
Then will Frigg´s
beloved fall." — Thorpe's translation

Some scholars have preferred a slightly different translation, in which the sun shines "from the sword of the gods". The idea is that the sword which Surtr slays Freyr with is the "sword of the gods" which Freyr had earlier bargained away for Gerðr. This would add a further layer of tragedy to the myth. Sigurður Nordal argued eloquently for this view but the possibility represented by Thorpe's translation above is equally possible. HEL can mean: Helsinki-Vantaa Airport High energy laser (weapon) This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... In Norse mythology, Hlin is one of the three handmaids of Frigg, together with Fulla and Gna. ... Sigurður Nordal (1886—1974) was an Icelandic scholar, writer, and poet. ...


Grímnismál, which is largely a collection of miscellaneous information about the gods, mentions Freyr's abode. The Grimnismál, also known as The Ballad of Grimnir, is an Old Norse poem in the Codex Regius, which is part of the Elder Edda. ...

Alfheim Frey
gáfu í árdaga
tívar at tannféi.Guðni Jónsson's edition
"Alfheim the gods to Frey
gave in days of yore
for a tooth-gift." — Thorpe's translation

A tooth-gift was a gift given to an infant on the cutting of the first tooth. Since Alfheimr or Álfheimr means "World of Álfar (Elves)" the fact that Freyr should own it is one of the indications of a connection between the Vanir and the obscure Álfar. Grímnismál also mentions that the sons of Ívaldi made Skíðblaðnir for Freyr and that it is the best of ships. lfheim (Old Norse lfheimr Elf-home) is the abode of the lfar Elves in Norse mythology and appears also in northern English ballads under the forms Elfhame and Elphame. ... In Norse mythology, the Álfar, or Elves, are usually considered to be the height of humans or just above. ... This article represents the theories of Viktor Rydberg which are not generally accepted. ...


In the poem Lokasenna Loki accuses the gods of various misdeeds. He criticizes the Vanir for incest, saying that Njörðr had Freyr with his sister. He also states that the gods discovered Freyr and Freyja having sex together. The god Týr speaks up in Freyr's defense. Lokasenna, known also as Lokis Flyting, is a poem in the Elder Edda. ... This picture, from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript, shows Loki with his invention - the fishing net. ... Incest is sexual activity or marriage between very close family members. ... Njord or Njordr (Old Norse Njörðr) is one of the Vanir and the god of the fertile land along the seacoast, as well as seamanship and sailing in Norse mythology. ... This article is about the musical group Týr, for the Norse god see Tyr. ...

Freyr er beztr
allra ballriða
ása görðum í;
mey hann né grætir
né manns konu
ok leysir ór höftum hvern. — Guðni Jónsson's edition
"Frey is best
of all the exalted gods
in the Æsir´s courts:
no maid he makes to weep,
no wife of man,
and from bonds looses all." — Thorpe's translation

Lokasenna also mentions that Freyr has servants called Byggvir and Beyla. They seem to have been associated with the making of bread. In Norse mythology, the elf Byggvir was one of Freyrs servants and the husband of Beyla. ... In Norse mythology, Beyla was a female elf and the wife of Byggvir and like her husband one of Freyrs servant. ...


Skírnismál

The courtship of Freyr and Gerðr is dealt with extensively in the Eddic poem Skírnismál. Skirnismal (The Lay of Skírnir), also known as Skírnirs Ride is a poem in the Elder Edda. ...

Enlarge
AM 748 I 4to, one of the two manuscripts to preserve Skírnismál, has notes on the margin indicating the speaker of each verse. Some scholars consider this a clue that the poem might have been performed as a theatrical work.

Freyr is depressed after seeing Gerðr. Njörðr and Skaði ask Skírnir to go and talk with him. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (599x803, 233 KB) This picture shows a page from the Old Icelandic manuscript 748 I 4to, containing a part of the Eddic poem Skírnismál. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (599x803, 233 KB) This picture shows a page from the Old Icelandic manuscript 748 I 4to, containing a part of the Eddic poem Skírnismál. ... In Norse mythology, Skaði ‡ is a mountain giantess, wife of the Van god Njord and thus a Van goddess herself. ...


Freyr reveals the cause of his grief and asks Skírnir to go to Jötunheimr to woo Gerðr for him. Freyr gives Skírnir a horse and his magical sword for the journey.

Mar ek þér þann gef,
er þik um myrkvan berr
vísan vafrloga,
ok þat sverð,
er sjalft mun vegask
ef sá er horskr, er hefr.Guðni Jónsson's edition
"My steed I lend thee
to lift thee o'er the weird
ring of flickering flame,
the sword also
which swings itself,
if wise be he who wields it." — Hollander's translation

Skaldic poetry

Freyr is referred to several times in skaldic poetry. In Húsdrápa he is said to ride a boar to Baldr's funeral. Skaldic poetry (Icelandic: dróttkvæði, court poetry) is Old Norse poetry composed by known skalds, as opposed to the anonymous Eddaic poetry. ... Thor goes fishing for Jörmungandr in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ...

Ríðr á börg til borgar
böðfróðr sonar Óðins
Freyr ok folkum stýrir
fyrstr inum gulli byrsta.[4]
The battle-bold Freyr rideth
First on the golden-bristled
Barrow-boar to the bale-fire
Of Baldr, and leads the people. — [5]

In a poem by Egill Skalla-Grímsson he is called upon along with Njörðr to drive Eric Bloodaxe from Norway. The same skald mentions that his friend has been blessed by the two gods. Picture of Egill in a 17th century manuscript of Egils Saga Egill Skallagrímsson (sometimes given as Egil Skallagrimsson) was a viking and a skald. ... Njord or Njordr (Old Norse Njörðr) is one of the Vanir and the god of the fertile land along the seacoast, as well as seamanship and sailing in Norse mythology. ... Eirik Bloodaxe (Old Norse:Eiríkr blóðöx, Icelandic:Eiríkur blóðöx, Norwegian:Eirik Blodøks) (circa 885 – 954), was the second king of Norway (930-934) and the eldest son of his father Harald Fairhair. ... The skald was a member of a group of courtly poets, whose poetry is associated with the courts of Scandinavian and Icelandic leaders during the Viking age, who composed and performed renditions of aspects of what we now characterise as Old Norse poetry. ...

Því at Grjótbjörn
of gæddan hefir
Freyr ok Njörðr
at féarafli.[6]
For that Grjótbjörn
In goods and gear
Freyr and Njördr
Have fairly blessed. — [7]

In Þulur Freyr he is said to ride the horse Blóðughófi. Nafnaþulur is a listing in poetry of various categories, such as gods, giants, people and objects, in Snorri Sturlussons Prose Edda. ... According to Þulur, Blóðughófi (Bloody Hoof, sometimes Anglicized Blodughofi) is the horse of Freyr. ...


Freyr's name is, as those of other gods, common in kennings for warriors. This article is about kenning as a poetic notion. ...


Heimskringla

Snorri Sturluson's starts his epic history of the kings of Norway with Ynglingasaga, a euhemerized account of the Norse gods. Here Odin and the Æsir are men from Asia who gain power through their prowess in war and Odin's skills. But when Odin attacks the Vanir he bites off more than he can chew and peace is negotiated after a destructive and undecisive war. Hostages are exchanged to seal the peace deal and the Vanir send Freyr and Njörðr to live with the Æsir. At this point the saga, like Lokasenna, mentions that incest was practised among the Vanir. Snorri Sturluson (1178 â€“ September 23, 1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet and politician. ... The Ynglinga saga or Ynglingesaga, was originally written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson about 1225 CE. He based it on an earlier Ynglingatal which is attributed to the Norwegian 10th century skald Tjodolf of Hvin, and which also appears in Historia Norwegiae. ... World map showing Asia. ...

Þá er Njörðr var með Vönum, þá hafði hann átta systur sína, því at þat váru þar lög; váru þeirra börn Freyr ok Freyja. En þat var bannat með Ásum at byggja svá náit at frændsemi.Schultz's edition

"While Njord was with the Vanaland people he had taken his own sister in marriage, for that was allowed by their law; and their children were Frey and Freya. But among the Asaland people it was forbidden to intermarry with such near relations." — Laing's translation

Odin makes Njörðr and Freyr priests of sacrifices and they become influential leaders. Odin goes on to conquer the North and settles in Sweden where he rules as king, collects taxes and maintains sacrifices. After Odin's death Njörðr takes the throne. During his rule there is peace and good harvest and the Swedes come to believe that Njörðr controls these things. Eventually Njörðr falls ill and dies.

Freyr tók þá ríki eptir Njörð; var hann kallaðr dróttinn yfir Svíum ok tók skattgjafir af þeim; hann var vinsæll ok ársæll sem faðir hans. Freyr reisti at Uppsölum hof mikit, ok setti þar höfuðstað sinn; lagði þar til allar skyldir sínar, lönd ok lausa aura; þá hófst Uppsala auðr, ok hefir haldizt æ síðan. Á hans dögum hófst Fróða friðr, þá var ok ár um öll lönd; kendu Svíar þat Frey. Var hann því meir dýrkaðr en önnur goðin, sem á hans dögum varð landsfólkit auðgara en fyrr af friðinum ok ári. Gerðr Gýmis dóttir hét kona hans; sonr þeirra hét Fjölnir. Freyr hét Yngvi öðru nafni; Yngva nafn var lengi síðan haft í hans ætt fyrir tignarnafn, ok Ynglingar váru síðan kallaðir hans ættmenn. Freyr tók sótt; en er at honum leið sóttin, leituðu menn sér ráðs, ok létu fá menn til hans koma, en bjoggu haug mikinn, ok létu dyrr á ok 3 glugga. En er Freyr var dauðr, báru þeir hann leyniliga í hauginn, ok sögðu Svíum at hann lifði, ok varðveittu hann þar 3 vetr. En skatt öllum heltu þeir í hauginn, í einn glugg gullinu, en í annan silfrinu, í hinn þriðja eirpenningum. Þá hélzt ár ok friðr.Schultz's edition

"Frey took the kingdom after Njord, and was called drot by the Swedes, and they paid taxes to him. He was, like his father, fortunate in friends and in good seasons. Frey built a great temple at Upsal, made it his chief seat, and gave it all his taxes, his land, and goods. Then began the Upsal domains, which have remained ever since. Then began in his days the Frode-peace; and then there were good seasons, in all the land, which the Swedes ascribed to Frey, so that he was more worshipped than the other gods, as the people became much richer in his days by reason of the peace and good seasons. His wife was called Gerd, daughter of Gymis, and their son was called Fjolne. Frey was called by another name, Yngve; and this name Yngve was considered long after in his race as a name of honour, so that his descendants have since been called Ynglinger. Frey fell into a sickness; and as his illness took the upper hand, his men took the plan of letting few approach him. In the meantime they raised a great mound, in which they placed a door with three holes in it. Now when Frey died they bore him secretly into the mound, but told the Swedes he was alive; and they kept watch over him for three years. They brought all the taxes into the mound, and through the one hole they put in the gold, through the other the silver, and through the third the copper money that was paid. Peace and good seasons continued." — Laing's translation Drott, Drótt or Dróttin was a Scandinavian kingly and priestly title corresponding to prince in a wide sense. ... Uppsala öd, Old Norse: Uppsala auðr or Uppsala øðr (Uppsala domains or wealth of Uppsala) referred to the network of royal estates that were the property of the Swedish crown. ... This article is about a mythological figure. ... humouristic image by Albert Engström (1869-1940): Fjölnir, Fjölner or Fjolner was a Swedish king of the House of Yngling, at Gamla Uppsala. ... Yngvi, Ingui or Ing appears to have been the older name for the god Freyr, which meant lord. In Scandinavian mythology, Yngvi, alternatively Yngve, was the progenitor of the Yngling lineage, a legendary dynasty of Swedish kings from whom the earliest historical Norwegian kings in turn claimed to be descended... For other uses, see Yngling (disambiguation). ... Burial of Oleg of Novgorod in a tumulus in 912. ...

Yngvi-Freyr constructs the Temple at Uppsala in this early 19th century artwork by Hugo Hamilton.
Enlarge
Yngvi-Freyr constructs the Temple at Uppsala in this early 19th century artwork by Hugo Hamilton.

Þá er allir Svíar vissu, at Freyr var dauðr, en hélzt ár ok friðr, þá trúðu þeir, at svá mundi vera, meðan Freyr væri á Svíþjóð, ok vildu eigi brenna hann, ok kölluðu hann veraldar goð ok blótuðu mest til árs ok friðar alla ævi síðan.Schultz's edition Image File history File links Yngvi-freyr. ... Image File history File links Yngvi-freyr. ... The Temple at Uppsala was a Temple in Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), near modern Uppsala, Sweden, created to worship the Norse gods of ancient times. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...

"When it became known to the Swedes that Frey was dead, and yet peace and good seasons continued, they believed that it must be so as long as Frey remained in Sweden; and therefore they would not burn his remains, but called him the god of this world, and afterwards offered continually blood-sacrifices to him, principally for peace and good seasons." — Laing's translation

Freyr had a son named Fjölnir, who succeeds him as king and rules during the continuing period of peace and good seasons. Fjölnir's descendants are enumerated in Ynglingatal which describes the mythological kings of Sweden. humouristic image by Albert Engström (1869-1940): Fjölnir, Fjölner or Fjolner was a Swedish king of the House of Yngling, at Gamla Uppsala. ... Ynglingatal is a poem listing the kings of the House of Ynglings. ... In sources such as Heimskringla and Ynglinga saga there appear early Swedish kings who belong in the domain of mythology, but it is often suggested that they have a historical basis. ...


Icelanders' sagas

Worship of Freyr is alluded to in several Icelanders' sagas. Those are Hrafnkels saga, Hallfreðar saga, Víga-Glúms saga, Gísla saga and Vatnsdœla saga. The first page of Hrafnkels saga from ÁM. 156, fol. ... Víga-Glúms saga is one of the Icelandic sagas. ... Gísla saga is a Norse saga, an epic of Icelandic literature. ...


Gesta Danorum

The Danish Gesta Danorum describes Freyr, under the name Frø, as the "viceroy of the gods". Bishop Asgar, etching by the Danish-Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe (1857—1945) Gesta Danorum (Deeds of the Danes) is a work of Danish history, by 12th century author Saxo Grammaticus (Saxo the Grammarian). It is the most ambitious literary undertaking of medieval Denmark. ...

Frø quoque deorum satrapa sedem haud procul Upsala cepit, ubi veterem litationis morem tot gentibus ac saeculis usurpatum tristi infandoque piaculo mutavit. Siquidem humani generis hostias mactare aggressus foeda superis libamenta persolvit.Book 3

"There was also a viceroy of the gods, Frø, who took up residence not far from Uppsala and altered the ancient system of sacrifice practised for centuries among many peoples to a morbid and unspeakable form of expiation. He delivered abominable offerings to the powers above by instituting the slaughter of human victims." — Fisher's translation

That Freyr had a cult at Uppsala is well confirmed from other sources. The reference to the change in sacrificial ritual may also reflect some historical memory. There is archaeological evidence for an increase in human sacrifices in the late Viking Age (Davidson 1980, p. 55) though among the Norse gods human sacrifice is most often linked to Odin. The Viking Age is the name of the period between 793 and 1066 AD in Scandinavia and Britain, following the Germanic Iron Age (and the Vendel Age in Sweden). ...


Another reference to Freyr is found earlier in the work, where the beginning of an annual "blót" to Freyr is related. The Blót was the pagan Germanic sacrifice to Norse gods and Elves. ...

Siquidem propitiandorum numinum gratia Frø deo rem divinam furvis hostiis fecit. Quem litationis morem annuo feriarum circuitu repetitum posteris imitandum reliquit. Frøblot Sueones vocant.Book 1

"[I]n order to mollify the divinities he did indeed make a holy sacrifice of dark-coloured victims to the god Frø. He repeated this mode of propitiation at an annual festival and left it to be imitated by his descendants. The Swedes call it Frøblot." — Fisher's translation

The sacrifice of dark-coloured victims to Freyr has a parallel in Ancient Greek religion where the Chthonic fertility deities preferred dark-coloured victims to white ones. For the predominent Christian denomination currently practiced in Greece, see Eastern Orthodoxy Greek religion is the polytheistic religion practiced in ancient Greece in form of cult practices, thus the practical counterpart of Greek mythology. ... In mythology chthonic (from Greek χθονιος-pertaining to the earth; earthy) designates, or pertains to, gods or spirits of the underworld, especially in Greek mythology. ...


Other traditions

In Iceland, Freyr was second only to Thor in popularity. Some last vestiges of the offerings to Freyr still survive on the Swedish Christmas table in the form of the Christmas Ham, so great was his importance. Thor carries his hammer and wears his belt of strength in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... The Christmas Ham is an ancient traditional ingredient in the Scandinavian Christmas celebration (Yule) and remains as important as the Christmas tree. ...


A strophe of the Anglo Saxon Rune Poem (circa 1100) records that:

Ing was first among the East Danes seen by men

and this may refer to the origins of the worship of Ingui in the tribal areas that Tacitus mentions in his Germania as being populated by the Inguieonnic tribes. A later Danish chronicler lists Ingui was one of three brothers that the Danish tribes descended from. The strophe also states that "then he (Ingui) went back over the waves, his wagon behind him" which could connect Ingui to earlier conceptions of the wagon processions of Nerthus, and the later Scandinavian conceptions of Freyr's wagon journeys. Ingui is mentioned also in some later Anglo-Saxon literature under varying forms of his name, such as "For what doth Ingeld have to do with Christ", and the variants used in Beowulf to designate the kings as 'leader of the friends of Ing'. The compound Ingui-Frea (OE) and Yngvi-Freyr (ON) likely refer to the connection between the God and the Germanic kings' role as priests during the sacrifices in the pagan period, as 'Frea' and 'Freyr' are titles meaning 'Lord'. East Dane is an Anglo-Saxon ethnonym which was used in the epic Beowulf as a kenning for the Geats, the people of Götaland in southern Sweden. ... Worship usually refers to specific acts of religious praise, honour, or devotion, typically directed to a supernatural being such as a god or goddess. ... Yngvi, Ingui or Ing appears to have been the older name for the god Freyr, which meant lord. In Scandinavian mythology, Yngvi, alternatively Yngve, was the progenitor of the Yngling lineage, a legendary dynasty of Swedish kings from whom the earliest historical Norwegian kings in turn claimed to be descended... Gaius Cornelius Tacitus Publius or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. ... The Germania (Latin title: De Origine et situ Germanorum), written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus around 98, is an ethnographic work on the diverse set of Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. ... Generally a chronicle (Latin chronica) is historical account of facts and events in chronological order. ... The goddess Nerthus was a Germanic fertility goddess described by Tacitus. ... The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed. ... The first page of Beowulf This article describes Beowulf, the epic poem. ... Yngvi, Ingui or Ing appears to have been the older name for the god Freyr, which meant lord. In Scandinavian mythology, Yngvi, alternatively Yngve, was the progenitor of the Yngling lineage, a legendary dynasty of Swedish kings from whom the earliest historical Norwegian kings in turn claimed to be descended... The Germanic king originally had three main functions. ...


The Swedish royal dynasty was known as the Ynglings from their descent from Yngvi-Freyr. This is supported by Tacitus, who wrote about the Germans: "In their ancient songs, their only way of remembering or recording the past they celebrate an earth-born god Tuisco, and his son Mannus, as the origin of their race, as their founders. To Mannus they assign three sons, from whose names, they say, the coast tribes are called Ingaevones; those of the interior, Herminones; all the rest, Istaevones. The Ynglings (Heimskringla), Scylfings (Beowulf) or Sons of Frey (Gesta Danorum and Ynglingatal) were the oldest known Scandinavian dynasty. ... Also referred to as Ingaevones, North Sea Germans (Ingwäonen, Nordsee-Germanen in German). ... Also referred to as Herminones, Hermiones, Elbe Germans (Irminonen, Elb-Germanen in German), a West Germanic proto-tribe or cultural group who dwelt in eastern Germany, roughly between the Elbe and Oder Rivers from perhaps 500 BCE or 1000 BCE until the differentiation of localized Teutonic tribes (Alamanni, Hermunduri, Marcomanni... The Istvaeones (also called Istaevones, Istriaones, Istriones, Sthraones, Thracones, Rhine Germans or Weser-Rhine Germans (Istwäonen, Weser-Rhein-Germanen in German)) were a West Germanic cultural group or proto-tribe. ...


Traditions related to Freyr may also appear connected with the legendary Danish king Fródi (which can mean "peaceful" and "free", both of which have application to Freyr). King Fródi is especially treated in Book Five of Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum and in the Ynglinga saga. Fródi (Old Norse Fróði corresponding to Old English Froda) is the name of a number of legendary Danish kings in various texts including Beowulf, Snorri Sturlusons Edda and his Ynglinga saga, Saxo Grammaticus Gesta Danorum, and the Grottisöng. ... Saxo, etching by the Danish-Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe (1857 – 1945) Saxo Grammaticus (estimated. ... Bishop Asgar, etching by the Danish-Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe (1857—1945) Gesta Danorum (Deeds of the Danes) is a work of Danish history, by 12th century author Saxo Grammaticus (Saxo the Grammarian). It is the most ambitious literary undertaking of medieval Denmark. ... The Ynglinga saga was originally written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson about 1225. ...


Ballad of Veraldur

Dumézil (1973, Appendix I) cites a Faroese ballad recorded in 1840 about Odin and his son Veraldur. It is believed that this Veraldur is also Freyr, as per Snorri's statement that Freyr was veraldar goð as mentioned above. Georges Dumézil (March 4, 1898 - October 11, 1986) was a French comparative philologist best known for his analysis of sovereignty and power in Indo-European religion and society. ... 1840 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


In this ballad Veraldur, Odin's son, sets off to Zealand to seek the king's daughter in marriage despite Odin's warnings. The king of Zealand mislikes Veraldur and tricks him into falling into a brewing vat in a "hall of stone" where Veraldur drowns. When Odin hears the news, he decides to die and go to Asgard where his followers will be also be welcomed after death. Zealand (Danish: Sjælland) is the largest island of Denmark. ... Asgard (Old Norse: Ásgarðr) is the realm of the gods, the Æsir, in Norse mythology, thought to be separate from the realm of the mortals, Midgard. ...


The tale is similar to that of the death of Fjölnir son of Freyr who accidentally fell into a vat of mead and drowned while paying a friendly visit to Fridfródi the ruler of Zealand. This is told in the Ynglinga saga. Saxo Grammaticus also relates (Gesta Danorum, Book 1) how King Hunding of Sweden believed a rumor that King Hadding of Denmark had died and held his obsequies with ceremony, including an enormous vat of ale. Hunding himself served the ale, but accidentally stumbled and fell into the vat, choked, and drowned. When word of this came to King Hadding of this unfortunate death, King Hadding publicly hanged himself. humouristic image by Albert Engström (1869-1940): Fjölnir, Fjölner or Fjolner was a Swedish king of the House of Yngling, at Gamla Uppsala. ... The Ynglinga saga was originally written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson about 1225. ... Saxo, etching by the Danish-Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe (1857 – 1945) Saxo Grammaticus (estimated. ... Bishop Asgar, etching by the Danish-Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe (1857—1945) Gesta Danorum (Deeds of the Danes) is a work of Danish history, by 12th century author Saxo Grammaticus (Saxo the Grammarian). It is the most ambitious literary undertaking of medieval Denmark. ...


Possible Later Survivals

This part of a 12th century Swedish tapestry has been interpreted to show the one-eyed Odin, the hammer-wielding Thor and Freyr holding up an ear of corn. Others hold that those are three Christian kings and still others that the artist intended the ambiguity.
This part of a 12th century Swedish tapestry has been interpreted to show the one-eyed Odin, the hammer-wielding Thor and Freyr holding up an ear of corn. Others hold that those are three Christian kings and still others that the artist intended the ambiguity.

Worship of Freyr may have continued to some extent in the form of phallic saints. Image File history File links Three_kings_or_three_gods. ... Image File history File links Three_kings_or_three_gods. ... This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... Thor carries his hammer and wears his belt of strength in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Phallic saints were actual saints or local deities who were invoked for fertility; more than vulgar representations of the phallus, phallic saints were benevolent symbols of prolificacy and reproductive fruitfulness, and objects of reverence and especial worship among barren women and young girls. ...


Notes

  1. ^  Other Spellings of Freyr:
    • Frequent alternate English form: Frey
    • Common Danish, Swedish and Norwegian form: Frej, Frö or Frøy, sometimes Fröj or Yng
    • German form: Fro or Froh (R. Wagner)
    • Latin form: Fricco

References

  • Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon (1989). Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  • Berger, Pamela (1985). The Goddess Obscured: Transformation of the Grain Protectress from Goddess to Saint Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 0807067237.
  • Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist (transl.) (1916). The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson. New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation. Available online
  • Dumézil, Georges (1973). From Myth to Fiction: The Saga of Hadingus. Trans. Derek Coltman. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226169723.
  • Eysteinn Björnsson (ed.). Snorra-Edda: Formáli & Gylfaginning : Textar fjögurra meginhandrita. 2005. http://www.hi.is/~eybjorn/gg/
  • Finnur Jónsson (1913). Goðafræði Norðmanna og Íslendinga eftir heimildum. Reykjavík: Hið íslenska bókmentafjelag.
  • Finnur Jónsson (1931). Lexicon Poeticum. København: S. L. Møllers Bogtrykkeri.
  • Jón Helgason (1971). Eddadigte : Völuspá Hávamál, 2. ændrede udg. København: Munksgaard.
  • Lindow, John (2001). Handbook of Norse mythology. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio. ISBN 1576072177.
  • Thorpe, Benjamin (tr.) (1866). Edda Sæmundar Hinns Froða : The Edda Of Sæmund The Learned. (2 vols.) London: Trübner & Co. Available online
  • Gimle: Hedniska ballader: Balladen om Oden och Veraldur (Frö) (Text of the ballad of Veraldur).
  • Adam of Bremen's History
  • Saxo's History
  • From Pagan to Christian: The Story in the 12th-Century Tapestry of the Skog Church

Benjamin Thorpe (1782 - July, 1870) was an English Anglo_Saxon scholar. ...

External links

  • Freyr Encyclopædia Britannica entry
Preceded by:
Njord
Mythological king of Sweden Succeeded by:
Fjolner

Norse mythology Njord or Njordr (Old Norse Njörðr) is one of the Vanir and the god of the fertile land along the seacoast, as well as seamanship and sailing in Norse mythology. ... In sources such as Heimskringla and Ynglinga saga there appear early Swedish kings who belong in the domain of mythology, but it is often suggested that they have a historical basis. ... Fjölnir, Fjölner or Fjolner was a Swedish king of the House of Yngling, at Gamla Uppsala. ... Image File history File links Mjollnir_icon. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology refers to the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ...

List of Norse gods | Æsir | Vanir | Giants | Elves | Dwarves | Valkyries | Einherjar | Norns
Odin | Thor | Freyr | Freya | Loki | Balder | Tyr | Yggdrasil | Ginnungagap | Ragnarök
Sources:
Poetic Edda | Prose Edda | The Sagas | Volsung Cycle | Tyrfing Cycle
Rune stones | Old Norse language | Orthography | Later influence
Society:
Viking Age | Skald | Kenning | Blót | Seid | Numbers
The nine worlds of Norse mythology | People, places and things

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