A study on the norse religion used by scandinavian people before they turned to christianity

A study by Jan de Vries provides a detailed review of work up to the middle of the twentieth century, and reviews by Joseph Harris and John Lindow cover developments up to the early s. Scholarship to the Late Nineteenth Century Medieval scholars of Germanic religion were divided into two camps.

A study on the norse religion used by scandinavian people before they turned to christianity

Thanks to Snorri Sturluson's writings and the surviving mythological poems, we know a lot about the myths which form the basis of Norse religious beliefs, but little about day to day practices.

The Christian church saw the pagan rites as deviltry, and medieval authors took little interest in them, as compared to the myths. There are some accounts of the pagan rituals by contemporary foreign authors in the medieval literature, both by Christians, and by Muslims, but these sources pose many problems with interpretation.

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The authors were inimical to the pagan rites. They were foreigners who may not have understood what they saw, or the language that was being spoken.

And in some cases, the authors wrote about things they did not witness, using second or third hand accounts. In this section, I've attempted to outline what little is known about the Norse pagan religious practices.

Most of the information comes from episodes in the sagas.

Come Out Of Her My People

The pagan religion did not have the regular organization that was so important to the Christian church. Religion was not a separate institution; it was a part of ordinary life.

Rather than special temples and priests, it was maintained by ordinary people in their homes. In the early part of the Viking era, and when away from home, people probably worshiped outdoors. For example, Swedish traders made sacrifices under a giant oak tree on an island in the Black Sea to give thanks for a successful voyage down the river Dnieper.

The saga literature provides descriptions of elaborate temples in Iceland. The description is one of the most complete descriptions of a pagan temple extant in the literature.

However, it is also highly improbable. In the saga, the temple is described as a "mighty building". In the middle of the floor was a pedestal on which stood an armring for the swearing of oathsa bowl for sacrificial bloodand idols.

To date, no archaeological evidence of such elaborate structures has been found. While large longhouses have been excavated e. He built a great temple one hundred feet long.

As he dug the holes for his high-seat pillars, he found his missing amulet of Freyr, as had been prophesized by a Lapp seeress before he left Norway. The temple was on the hill above the farm, to the right in the modern photo of the farm shown to the left.

Faint outlines of building ruins are visible, but a recent excavation shows that the structure postdates the Viking age. In front of them was an iron-covered altar, on which a fire always burned. A copper bowl stood on the altar which was used to collect the blood from sacrifices, along with a silver arm-ring on which oaths were sworn.

Men who were sacrificed were thrown into a pool that stood outside the door. The Danish archaeologist Aage Roussel reported finding the remains of a temple 6. Today, no ruins are visible on the site right because the land was filled and flattened in order to make it suitable for mechanized farming in the middle of the 20th century.

After a sacrifice and feast, men were drinking at night in the temple. No one else was armed in such a sacred spot; it was unthinkable.

A study on the norse religion used by scandinavian people before they turned to christianity

Eyvindr had committed murder, so he was declared an outlaw on the spot for defiling the temple. Adam of Bremen, an 11th century cleric, describes the temple at Uppsala as a splendid building with a roof of shining gold.

No traces of such a building have been found near Uppsala. Norsemen, if they set up any structure at all for worship, probably set up small shrines for their own personal use. Here might be kept a bowl for sacrifices, and an armring for oaths.

It seems more likely that worship took place out of doors, beside a mound, a great stone, or a sacred tree. The law required that every public temple keep a silver armring, weighing no less than two ounces.

It is not known. The passage concludes saying that each man must pay a temple-tax in the same way "as we now pay tithes to our churches". A large tree was frequently the source of luck and protection.Ancient Man and His First Civilizations The Original Black Cultures of Eastern Europe and Asia And their first contacts with the invading Albino People of Central Asia.

-"silent people"-learn about them from those they encounter, mainly icelandic sources such as poetry and manuscripts from th century -christianity was the religion of european town as well as irish hinterland-tradtional norse religious practice was embedded in .

ROME AND ROMANIA, 27 BC AD. Emperors of the Roman and the so-called Byzantine Empires; Princes, Kings, and Tsars of Numidia, Judaea, Bulgaria, Serbia, Wallachia, & Moldavia;. The Vikings’ religion never contained any formal doctrines concerning what happens to someone when he or she dies.

In the words of historian H.R. Ellis Davidson, “There is no consistent picture in Norse literary tradition of the fate of the dead,” [1] and “to oversimplify the position would.

Comments to " Continuing Anger Over Silver Ravenwolf ". You can follow all the replies to this entry through the comments feed. The Interaction between Norse Mythology & Christianity Because of the great impact of the Northern tribes on European history, their beliefs and mythology bear an even closer looking at.

Although the Scandinavian pantheon of Gods has faded into oblivion and did so quickly, just as the Greek gods did, their subliminal influence remains.

Rome and Romania, Roman Emperors, Byzantine Emperors, etc.