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Encyclopedia > Irminsul
Detail of the bent 'Irminsul' on the Externsteine relief.
Detail of the bent 'Irminsul' on the Externsteine relief.

Irminsul (pillar of Irmin) was the pillar that was said to connect heaven and earth, represented by oak or wooden pillars venerated by the Saxons. Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ... Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ... Externsteine, Germany The Externsteine are a distinctive rock formation located in the Teutoburger Wald region of northwestern Germany, not far from the city of Detmold at Horn-Bad Meinberg. ... Species See List of Quercus species The term oak can be used as part of the common name of any of several hundred species of trees and shrubs in the genus Quercus, and some related genera, notably Cyclobalanopsis and Lithocarpus. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

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Overview

Irmin was the war god of the Saxons, son of Mannus, and ancestor of the tribe of the Herminones. The Old Norse form of Irmin was Jörmun and interestingly, just like Ygg, it was one of the names of Odin [citation needed]. Yggdrasil was the yew or ash tree from which Odin sacrificed himself, and which connected heaven and earth. It appears, thus, that Irminsul may have represented a World tree corresponding to Yggdrasil among the Saxon tribes of Germany. Irmin was the god of war of the Saxons. ... Mannaz or Manwaz is the Proto-Germanic term for man, in the gender-neutral sense of person, human being. The word developed into Old English man, mann human being, person, (c. ... 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... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... Odin was referred to by many names in the skaldic tradition. ... For other meanings of Odin, Woden or Wotan see Odin (disambiguation), Woden (disambiguation), Wotan (disambiguation). ... This illustration shows a 19th century attempt to visualize the world view of the Prose Edda. ... Genera Taxaceae sensu stricto Taxus Pseudotaxus Austrotaxus — Cephalotaxaceae Torreya Amentotaxus Cephalotaxus The family Taxaceae, commonly called the yew family, includes three genera and about 7 to 12 species of coniferous plants, or in other interpretations (see Classification, below), six genera and about 30 species. ... Species Many, see text. ... In certain Indo-European religions there was a belief in a world tree, such as Yggdrasil, in Norse mythology, an Oak in Slavic mythology and in Hinduism, a banyan tree. ... This illustration shows a 19th century attempt to visualize the world view of the Prose Edda. ...


The holy yew at the temple at Uppsala mentioned by the eleventh-century chronicler, archbishop Adam of Bremen, could have a direct relation to the Irmin pillar; the flight of Widukind and other Saxon nobles to Denmark in 777 after the victory of Charlemagne has been presented as an event mediating late pagan cultural exchanges between Saxons and Scandinavia. At this time Old Saxon and Old Norse may still have been mutually intelligible, and the two neighbouring cultures probably retained open transmission of ideas. The Temple at Uppsala was a temple in Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), near modern Uppsala, Sweden, that was created to worship the Norse gods of ancient times. ... Generally a chronicle (Latin chronica) is historical account of facts and events in chronological order. ... Adam of Bremen (also: Adam Bremensis) was one of the most important German medieval chroniclers. ... Widukind or Wittekind was a Saxon leader, duke of Saxony and one of the heads of the nobility of Westphalia. ... Events Charlemagne beats the Saxons. ... Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German, is a Germanic language. ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ...


The actual Irminsul of the Saxons may have been a wooden pillar with a cult image on top. Jakob Grimm connects the name Irmin with Old Norse iörmungrund "Earth", and iörmungandr (anguis maximus, i.e. the Midgard serpent). In the practice of religion, a cult image is a man-made object that is venerated for the spirit or daemon that it embodies. ... Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm (January 4, 1785 – September 20, 1863), German philologist and mythologist, was born at Hanau, in Hesse-Kassel. ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ...


According to one suggestion, it could have been situated on or near the Externsteine. A twelfth century Christian relief on these standing stones depicts a tree-like design at the feet of Nicodemus. It is disputed whether this is simply intended as a depiction of a palmtree, or represents the bent or fallen Irminsul beneath a triumphant Christianity. Externsteine, Germany The Externsteine are a distinctive rock formation located in the Teutoburger Wald region of northwestern Germany, not far from the city of Detmold at Horn-Bad Meinberg. ... Nicodemus (Greek: Νικόδημος) was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, who, according to the Gospel of John, showed favour to Jesus. ...


At the time of Charlemagne, there were probably several Irmin pillars. One of them, at Eresburg castle near Paderborn, he is reported to have destroyed in 772. Paderborn is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, capital of the Paderborn district. ... Events Pope Adrian I succeeds Pope Stephen IV. Adrian I turns to Charlemagne for support against king Desiderius of the Lombards. ...


Awareness of the significance of the concept seems to have persisted well into Christian times; Grimm cites the twelfth-century Kaiserchronik as mentioning several Irmin pillars: leaf of a Kaiserchronik manuscript The Kaiserchronik (Der Keiser und der Kunige buoch, the book of emperors and kings) is a 12th century German epic poem. ...


Concerning Mercury: This article treats Mercury in cult practice and in archaic Rome. ...

ûf einir yrmensûle / stuont ein abgot ungehiure, / den hiezen sie ir koufman;
"On an Irminsul / stands an enormous idol / which they call their merchant"

Concerning Julius Caesar: Gaius Julius Caesar (IPA: ;[1]), July 12, 100 BC – March 15, 44 BC) was a Roman military and political leader. ...

Rômere in ungetrûwelîche sluogen / ûf einir yrmensûl sie in begruoben;
"The Romans slew him treacherously / and buried him on an Irminsul"

Concerning Simon the Magician: Simon Magus, also known as Simon the Magician, Simon the Sorcerer and Simon of Gitta, was a Samaritan (Proto-)Gnostic. ...

ûf eine yrmensûl er steic / daz lantvolc im allesamt neic
"He climbed upon an Irminsul / the peasants all bowed before him"

Remains of an Irmin pillar apparently dating to Roman times are found in the Hildesheim cathedral, where it has been adapted as a candelabrum. The nearby village of Irminseul (51°59′N 9°56′E) points to an older connection of the area with the concept. Other placenames in the area like Drachenberg "dragon's mount" and Wormstal "worm's dale" point to the Nibelung legend. For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... â–¶ (help· info) is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany. ... German Nibelung and the corresponding Old Norse form Niflung (Niflungr) refers in most of the German texts and in all the Old Norse texts to the royal family or lineage of the Burgundians who settled at Worms. ...


Roman association of warlike Wotan with Mercury rather than with Mars, may have been due to an identification of the Irmin pillars with the hermai dedicated to Mercury. For other meanings of Odin and Wotan see Odin (disambiguation) Odin (Old Norse Óðinn, Swedish Oden) is usually considered the supreme god of Germanic and Norse mythology. ... A miniature early 2nd-century Roman bronze figurine of Mars. ... In ancient Greece, before his role as protector of merchants and travelers, Hermes was a phallic god, associated with fertility, luck, roads and borders. ...


Neopaganism

The design of the Irminsul symbol current in Germanic neopaganism, particularly Heathenry and Ásatrú, is based on the shape of the tree in the Externsteine relief, but straightened back into a vertical position. The shape of this design has been likened to that of the Tyr (Ziu) rune. Irmin may have been an epithet of Ziu in early Germanic times, only later transferred to Wotan, or Wotan himself may have emerged as separate from Ziu only in the Migration Period. It has been suggested that Heathenry be merged into this article or section. ... Heathenry is the term preferred, in the UK (and increasingly elsewhere), by many followers of Germanic paganism or Germanic neopaganism as the name of their religion. ... Ásatrú (Icelandic Æsir faith) is a new religious movement which is attempting to revive the pre-Christian Viking Age Norse religion as described in the Eddas. ... Týr, depicted here with both hands intact, is identified with Mars in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... An epithet (Greek - επιθετον and Latin - epitheton; literally meaning imposed) is a descriptive word or phrase. ... Human migration denotes any movement of groups of people from one locality to another, rather than of individual wanderers. ...


Reference

  • Karl Schoppe, Die Irminsul, Forschungen über ihren Standort, Paderborn 1947.

References on-line

  • "Of Irminsuls and world trees"

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Irminsul - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (568 words)
Irminsul (pillar of Irmin) was the pillar that was said to connect heaven and earth, represented by oak or wooden pillars venerated by the Saxons.
Irmin was the war god of the Saxons, son of Mannus, and ancestor of the tribe of the Herminones.
The design of the Irminsul symbol current in Germanic neopaganism, particularly Heathenry and Ásatrú, is based on the shape of the tree in the Externsteine relief, but straightened back into a vertical position.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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