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Encyclopedia > Temple at Uppsala

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. 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. ... Uppsala (older spelling Upsala) 59°51′ N 17°38′ E is a Swedish City in central Sweden, located about 70 km north of Stockholm. ... Norse gods Divided between the Æsir and the Vanir, and sometimes including Jotun, the dividing line between these groups is less than clear. ... For the span of recorded history starting roughly 5,000-5,500 years ago, see Ancient history. ...

Midwinter blót (at the Temple at Uppsala), by Carl Larsson (1915)
Midwinter blót (at the Temple at Uppsala), by Carl Larsson (1915)

Contents

the sacrifice of king Domalde, by Carl Larsson. ... the sacrifice of king Domalde, by Carl Larsson. ... Carl Larsson (May 28, 1853 – January 22, 1919) was a Swedish painter and interior designer. ...


Overview

The temple is sparsely documented, but it is referenced in the Norse sagas and Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum. It is also described by Adam of Bremen. The Norse sagas or Viking sagas (Icelandic: sögur), are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, about migration to Iceland, and of feuds between Icelandic families. ... 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. ... Adam of Bremen (also: Adam Bremensis) was one of the most important German medieval chroniclers. ...


The chief controversies concerning the temple focus specifically on determining where in Old Uppsala the temple was located and whether or not it was a building. Some believe that the temple was confused with the hall of the Swedish kings (located some tens of metres to the north of the present church). Churches were usually built and consecrated on top of older pagan temples and other sites that witnessed ritual activities. During an excavation of the present church, the remains of one, and possibly several, large wooden buildings were found beneath the church's foundation. Hall has several meanings. ...


Snorri Sturluson wrote that the temple had been built by the god Freyr, who allegedly used to reside at Uppsala. Snorri and Saxo Grammaticus both claimed that it was Freyr who began the tradition of human sacrifices at the temple site. The Norse sagas, Saxo Grammaticus and Adam of Bremen describe the sacrifices at Uppsala as popular festivals that attracted people from all over Sweden. Many of these sources provide accounts of human sacrifice for the Norse gods. Snorri Sturluson (1178 â€“ September 23, 1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet and politician. ... This 19th century representation of Freyr shows him with his boar Gullinbursti and his sword. ... Saxo, etching by the Danish-Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe (1857 – 1945) Saxo Grammaticus (estimated. ... The Norse sagas or Viking sagas (Icelandic: sögur), are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, about migration to Iceland, and of feuds between Icelandic families. ... Saxo, etching by the Danish-Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe (1857 – 1945) Saxo Grammaticus (estimated. ... Adam of Bremen (also: Adam Bremensis) was one of the most important German medieval chroniclers. ...


The Temple at Uppsala was probably destroyed by King Ingold I in 1087 during the last known battle between the pagans and the Christians. Inge Stenkilsson (king 1079–1084 (?) and 1087–1105) ruled with his half-brother Haakon the Red, until Haakon died, in 1080. ... Events May 9 - The remains of Saint Nicholas were brought to Bari. ...


In the year 2000, a blót was performed at Old Uppsala. This was almost certainly the first event of its kind at that location in 900 years. It was done by Swedish heathen Ásatrúer. This article is about the year 2000. ... The Blót was the pagan Germanic sacrifice to Norse gods and Elves. ... 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. ... Germanic paganism refers to the religion and mythology of the Germanic nations preceding Christianization, including Norse, Anglo-Saxon mythology, information obtained from archaeological finds and remnants of pre-Christian beliefs in the folklore of medieval and modern Germanic peoples. ... Ásatrú (Icelandic Æsir faith) is a new religious movement which is attempting to revive the pre-Christian (Viking Age) Nordic religion as described in the Eddas. ...


Surviving accounts

Heimskringla

Freyr constructs the Temple at Uppsala, by Hugo Hamilton (1830)
Enlarge
Freyr constructs the Temple at Uppsala, by Hugo Hamilton (1830)

Snorri Sturluson relates that the Temple was built by the god Freyr, who settled at Uppsala: Image File history File links Yngvi-freyr. ... Image File history File links Yngvi-freyr. ... This 19th century representation of Freyr shows him with his boar Gullinbursti and his sword. ...

Odin took up his residence at the Maelare lake (Mälaren), at the place now called Old Sigtun. There he erected a large temple, where there were sacrifices according to the customs of the Asaland people. He appropriated to himself the whole of that district, and called it Sigtun (by some suggested to be the same as Tacitus's Sitones). To the temple priests he gave also domains. Njord dwelt in Noatun, Frey in Upsal, Heimdal in the Himinbergs, Thor in Thrudvang, Balder in Breidablik; to all of them he gave good estates.[1]
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.[1]
But after Frey was buried under a cairn at Upsala, many chiefs raised cairns, as commonly as stones, to the memory of their relatives.[1]

He also relates that there were human sacrifices: Odin is considered the highest god in Norse mythology and Norse paganism. ... Location map Mälaren details, with Stockholm urban area pink. ... Fornsigtuna (forn means ancient), Old Sigtun, Sithun, Sign(h)ildsberg or Signesberg is located in the parish of Håtuna ca 4 km west of the modern town of Sigtuna, by lake Mälaren, in Sweden. ... Gaius Cornelius Tacitus Publius or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. ... The Sitones were mysterious, or mythical, Germanic people. ... 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. ... Heimdall returns Brisingamen to Freya Heimdall (ON Heimdallr, the prefix Heim- means world, the affix -dallr is of uncertain origin, perhaps it means pole, perhaps bright) is one of the gods in the Norse Mythology. ... Thor carries his hammer and wears his belt of strength in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Balders death is portrayed in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... In Norse mythology, Breidablik (broad splendor; often erroneously spelled Briedablik) is the home of Baldur in Asgard where he lives with his wife Nanna. ... Uppsala öd (Uppsala domains or wealth of Uppsala) referred to the network of royal estates that were the property of the Swedish crown. ... A cairn to mark the way along a glacier A cairn is a manmade pile of stones. ...

Domald took the heritage after his father Visbur, and ruled over the land. As in his time there was great famine and distress, the Swedes made great offerings of sacrifice at Upsal. The first autumn they sacrificed oxen, but the succeeding season was not improved thereby. The following autumn they sacrificed men, but the succeeding year was rather worse. The third autumn, when the offer of sacrifices should begin, a great multitude of Swedes came to Upsal; and now the chiefs held consultations with each other, and all agreed that the times of scarcity were on account of their king Domald, and they resolved to offer him for good seasons, and to assault and kill him, and sprinkle the stalle of the gods with his blood. And they did so. [1]
After Ole's fall, On returned to Upsal, and ruled the kingdom for twenty-five years. Then he made a great sacrifice again for long life, in which he sacrificed his second son, and received the answer from Odin, that he should live as long as he gave him one of his sons every tenth year, and also that he should name one of the districts of his country after the number of sons he should offer to Odin.[1]

Moreover, he relates that many people gathered there for the sacrifices: Domalde was a Swedish king of the House of Ynglings, in Norse mythology. ... In Scandinavian mythology, Visbur was a king of the House of Ynglings and the son of Vanlade and Drífa, a daughter of Snær the Old. ... In Scandinavian legend, Ale the Strong (Heimskringla) belonged to the House of Skjöldung (Scylding), and he was the son of king Fridleif of Denmark and a cousin of Helgis (and consequently of the Hrothgar of Beowulf). ... Ane, On, One, Auchun or Aun the Old (Audhun, the same name as the A-S name Edwin) was the son of Jorund and one of the Swedish kings of the House of Yngling, the ancestors of Norways first king, Harald Fairhair. ...

Onund's district-kings were at that time spread widely over Sweden, and Svipdag the Blind ruled over Tiundaland, in which Upsal is situated, and where all the Swedish Things are held. There also were held the mid-winter sacrifices, at which many kings attended. One year at midwinter there was a great assembly of people at Upsal, and King Yngvar had also come there with his sons. Alf, King Yngvar's son, and Ingjald, King Onund's son, were there -- both about six years old. They amused themselves with child's play, in which each should be leading on his army.[1]

According to Snorri, there was a main blót at the Temple at Uppsala in February, and they sacrificed for peace and for the victories of the king. Then the Ting of all Swedes was conducted and there was a grand fair. This continued even after Sweden had been Christianized. The Dísablót was performed to see how large the next harvest would be. Anunds mound, a grave associated with Anund. ... Tiundaland is a historic region, Folkland, and since 1296 part of the modern province of Uppland. ... Ting is a carbonated beverage popular in the Caribbean and difficult to find most other places. ... Yule was the winter solstice celebration of the Germanic pagans still celebrated by Ásatrúar. ... Ingjald centralizing Sweden Ingjaldr hinn illráði or Ingjald illrÃ¥de (ill-ruler), ca 640 - ca 650, was a legendary Swedish king of the House of Ynglings. ... Snorri Sturlason (1178 – September 23, 1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet and politician. ... Look up February in Wiktionary, the free dictionary February is the second month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Ting is a carbonated beverage popular in the Caribbean and difficult to find most other places. ... In Norse mythology, the dísir (sing. ...


Gesta Danorum

Like Snorri, Saxo wrote it was a place for human sacrifice founded by the god Frey:

Also Frey, the regent of the gods, took his abode not far from Upsala, where he exchanged for a ghastly and infamous sin-offering the old custom of prayer by sacrifice, which had been used by so many ages and generations. For he paid to the gods abominable offerings, by beginning to slaughter human victims. [2]

He also writes that there were assemblies of people entertaining themselves:

And when he (Starkad) had done many noteworthy deeds among them, he went into the land of the Swedes, where he lived at leisure for seven years' space with the sons of Frey (House of Yngling). At last he left them and betook himself to Hakon, the tyrant of Denmark, because when stationed at Upsala, at the time of the sacrifices, he was disgusted by the effeminate gestures and the clapping of the mimes on the stage, and by the unmanly clatter of the bells.' [2]

Starkad, Starkotter, Starkodder, Starkadhr (ice. ... The Ynglings (Heimskringla), Scylfings (Beowulf) or Sons of Frey (Gesta Danorum and Ynglingatal) were the oldest known Scandinavian dynasty. ...

Adam of Bremen

Image showing the golden chain on the temple, the well and the tree, from Olaus Magnus' Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (1555)

Adam of Bremen wrote [3] that the Swedes had a famous temple named Ubsola near which there was a large tree with wide branches. It was always green, and no one knew what species it was. There was also a well where they apparently used to perform the sacrifices. One of these was to immerse a living man in the well. If the man disappeared the gods would answer the prayers. It was not far from the towns of Sigtuna and Birka. Image File history File links Uppsalatemplet. ... Image File history File links Uppsalatemplet. ... Olaus Magnus, or Magni (Magnus, Latin for the Swedish Stora -- great -- is the family name, and not a personal epithet), reported as born in October 1490 in Linköping, and died on August 1, 1557, was a Swedish ecclesiastic and writer, who did pioneering work for the interest of Nordic... The Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus was a monumental work by Olaus Magnus on the Nordic countries, printed in Rome 1555. ... Events Russia breaks 60 year old truce with Sweden by attacking Finland February 2 - Diet of Augsburg begins February 4 - John Rogers becomes first Protestant martyr in England February 9 - Bishop of Gloucester John Hooper is burned at the stake May 23 - Paul IV becomes Pope. ... Sigtuna is a city in central Sweden in the metropolitan area of Stockholm. ... Björkö around 1700, from Suecia antiqua et hodierna. ...


A golden chain was around the temple hanging over its gables. The chain could be seen glittering far and wide for those who approached. It stood on flat ground surrounded by mounds like a theatre. Inside the temple, which was richly decorated with gold, there were three statues of gods. The most important god, Thor sat on a throne in the centre and beside him sat the gods Odin (called Wotan by Adam) and Frey (called Fricco by Adam). Look up mound on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Thor carries his hammer and wears his belt of strength in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Odin is considered the highest god in Norse mythology and Norse paganism. ... Freyr is a very important god in Old Norse religion. ...


Thor was said to govern the air, thunder, lightning, winds, rain, good weather and harvests. Odin, which meant the furious, brought war and gave strength against enemies. Frey who gave peace and pleasure was represented by a statue with an immense phallos. Odin's statue was armed, and was likened to Mars and Thor was likened by Adam to Jupiter. The people also worshiped heroes who had been elevated to gods, such as king Erik about whom it is told in Vita Ansgari. The penis (plural penises or penes) or phallus is the external male copulatory organ, and, in mammals, the external male organ of urination. ... For the Roman god, see Mars (god). ... Jupiter et Thétis - by Jean Ingres, 1811. ... Erik Refilsson was a Swedish king of the House of Munsö. According to Hervarar saga, two of his sons, Anund Uppsale and Björn at Hauge, were to be kings of Sweden. ... Vita Ansgari, the biography of Ansgar, written by Rimbert, his successor as archbishop in Hamburg-Bremen. ...


There were priests appointed for the gods, and if plague or famine threatened they sacrificed to Thor, whereas they sacrificed to Odin for war and to Frey for marriages.


The tradition was that every ninth year, there was a great feast at the vernal equinox which was attended obligatorily by all Swedes. Not long ago, a Christian king named Anund (Anund Gårdske) had refused to sacrifice to the gods and had left glady for his faith. Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of equinox The vernal equinox (or spring equinox) marks the beginning of astronomical spring. ... Anund GÃ¥rdske came from Kievan Rus, but is only mentioned by Adam of Bremen. ...


All the kings and the people brought gifts to Uppsala and even the Christians had to redeem themselves by attending, which Adam found to be distressing. There were feasts and sacrifices for nine days and each day they sacrificed a man and animals so that when the nine days had passed seventy-two men and animals had been sacrificed.


They offered nine male heads of every living thing that was used in sacrifices, even dogs and horses together with the men (the remaining were probably rams, cocks, pigs, goats and bulls) and the bodies hanged in the sacred grove adjoining the temple. Every tree in the grove was sacred due to the death and decomposition of the corpses. Sacred groves were a feature of the mythological landscape and the cult practice of Old Europe, of the most ancient levels of Scandinavian mythology, Greek mythology, Slavic mythology, in Rome and among Druidic practice. ...


A 72-year-old Christian had seen the corpses hanging arbitrarily from the branches and reported that the songs sung were many and improper. Adam considered it best not to be more specific about their content.


Destruction

When Olof Skötkonung had been baptised he wanted to have it destroyed, but the Temple at Uppsala was probably destroyed by king Ingold I in 1087 during the last battle between the pagans and the Christians. Coin minted for Olof Skötkonung in Sigtuna Olof of Sweden or Olof Skötkonung/Skottkonung (the meaning of the cognomen is disputed) was the son of Eric the Victorious and Sigrid the Haughty. ... Inge Stenkilsson (king 1079–1084 (?) and 1087–1105) ruled with his half-brother Haakon the Red, until Haakon died, in 1080. ... Events May 9 - The remains of Saint Nicholas were brought to Bari. ...


The new cathedral of the Swedish archbishopric was constructed on the site, and during an excavation of the church the remains of one or several wooden constructions were found. In Christianity, an archbishop is an elevated bishop heading a diocese of particular importance due to either its size, history, or both, called an archdiocese. ...


The area also has a vast grave field that once comprised 2000-3000 mounds, and the remains of the houses of the Swedish kings. Since the Iron age, the area has always been the property of either the Swedish king or the Swedish state (the centre of the Uppsala öd). There is a museum and a restaurant where visitors can drink mead from horns. 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. ...


See also

Hrolf Kraki fleeing the Swedish king Adils on the Fýrisvellir Fyrisvellir, Fyris Wolds or Fyrisvallarna was the marshy plain (vellir) south of Gamla Uppsala where travellers had to leave the ships and walk to the Temple at Uppsala and the hall of the Swedish king. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Sturluson, S. "The Heimskringla; or, Chronicle of the kings of Norway." Samuel Laing (ed.) London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844. OCLC 2229301
  2. ^ a b Grammaticus, Saxo. "The nine books of the Danish history of Saxo Grammaticus." Oliver Elton, et al (tr. & eds.) London; New York: Norrœna Society, 1905. OCLC 5784991
  3. ^ Adam, von Bremen. "History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen." Francis J. Tschan (tr. & ed.) New York: Columbia University Press, 1959. OCLC 700044

Norse mythology Image File history File links Mjollnir_icon. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises 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

Divided between the Æsir and the Vanir, and sometimes including the jötnar (giants), the dividing line between these groups is less than clear. ... 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. ... Vanir is the name of one of the two groups of gods in Norse mythology, the other and more well known being the Æsir. ... The giants seize Freyja. ... A small forest elf (älva) rescuing an egg, from Solägget (1932), by Elsa Beskow An elf is a mythical creature of Norse mythology which survived in northern European folklore. ... In Norse mythology, the dwarves (Old Norse: dvergar, sing. ... A statue from 1908 by Stephan Sinding located in Copenhagen, presents an active image of a valkyrie. ... In Norse mythology, Einherjar (or Einheriar) referred to the spirits of warriors who had died bravely in battle. ... The Norns spin the threads of fate at the foot of Yggdrasil, the tree of the world. ... Odin is considered the highest god in Norse mythology and Norse paganism. ... Thor carries his hammer and wears his belt of strength in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... This 19th century representation of Freyr shows him with his boar Gullinbursti and his sword. ... Freya, in an illustration to Wagners operas by Arthur Rackham. ... This picture, from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript, shows Loki with his invention - the fishing net. ... Balders death is portrayed in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Týr, depicted here with both hands intact, is identified with Mars in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... This illustration shows a 19th century attempt to visualize the world view of the Prose Edda. ... Ginnungagap (seeming emptiness) was the vast chasm that existed between Niflheim and Muspelheim before creation in Norse mythology. ... Look up Ragnarok in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems from the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. ... This colourful front page of the Prose Edda in an 18th century Icelandic manuscript shows Odin, Heimdallr, Sleipnir and other figures from Norse mythology. ... The Norse sagas or Viking sagas (Icelandic: sögur), are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, about migration to Iceland, and of feuds between Icelandic families. ... The Volsung Cycle is the name of a series of Germanic legends based on the same matter as Niebelungenlied, and which were recorded in medieval Iceland. ... The Tyrfing Cycle is a collection of legends united by the magic sword Tyrfing. ... A rune stone Rune stones are standing stones with runic inscriptions dating from the Iron Age (Viking Age) and early Middle Ages. ... This is the approximate extent of Old Norse and related languages in the early 10th century. ... The orthography of the Old Norse language since the introduction of the Latin alphabet in Iceland is a thorny subject. ... Norse mythology provides a rich and diverse source which many later writers have borrowed from or built upon. ... 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). ... 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. ... This article is about kenning as a poetic notion. ... The Blót was the pagan Germanic sacrifice to Norse gods and Elves. ... Seid (Old Norse: seiðr, sometimes anglicized as seidhr, seidh, seidr, seithr or seith) was a form of shamanism practised by pre-Christian Norse and arguably other Germanic cultures and continued in modern times by people who practice the reconstructionist beliefs of Ásatrú or heathenry. ... Numbers are significant in Norse mythology although not to the extent which they are in some traditions e. ... Norse cosmology, as it is given us in the source material for Norse mythology recognizes the existence of nine worlds, assigned the ending -heimr (home, realm, or world) or in some cases -garðr (homestead, yard or earth). ... // Places Asgard Bifröst Bilskirnir Breidablik Elivagar Fyris Wolds Gandvik Ginnungagap Helgardh Hlidskjalf Hvergelmir Jötunheimr Leipter River Kormet Midgard Muspelheim Nastrond Nidavellir Niflheim Ormet Reidgotaland Slidr River Svartalfheim Utgard Valhalla Vanaheim Vimur Yggdrasil Events Fimbulwinter Ragnarök Artifacts Balmung Brisingamen Draupnir Dromi Eitr Mjolnir Skíðblaðnir Gram Gungnir...

External links

  • The Gesta Danorum in Latin (Olrik, 1931)
  • The Gesta Danorum in English (Elton, 1905)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Temple at Uppsala - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1591 words)
Midwinter blót (at the Temple at Uppsala), by Carl Larsson (1915)
Some believe that the temple was confused with the hall of the Swedish kings (located some tens of metres to the north of the present church).
The Temple at Uppsala was probably destroyed by King Ingold I in 1087 during the last known battle between the pagans and the Christians.
Uppsala - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (745 words)
Uppsala is the capital of Uppsala County (Uppsala län), and Sweden's ecclesiastical centre, being the seat of Sweden's archbishop since 1164.
In 1274, Östra Aros overtook Gamla Uppsala as the main regional center, and when the cathedral of Gamla Uppsala burnt down, the archbishopric was moved to Östra Aros, and the impressive Uppsala cathedral erected.
Uppsala Cathedral is built in the Gothic style and is one of the largest in northern Europe, with towers reaching 118 metres.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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