We will first consider Heimskringla's story. A river, by name Tanakvisl, or Vanakvisl, empties into the Black Sea. This river separates Asia from Europe. East of Tanakvisl, that is to say, then in Asia, is a country formerly called Asaland or Asaheim, and the chief citadel or town in that country was called Asgard. It was a great city of sacrifices, and there dwelt a chief who was known by the name Odin. Under him ruled twelve men who were high-priests and judges. Odin was a great chieftain and conqueror, and so victorious was he, that his men believed that victory was wholly inseparable from him. If he laid his blessing hand on anybody's head, success was sure to attend him. Even if he was absent, if called upon in distress or danger, his very name seemed to give comfort. He frequently went far away, and often remained absent half-a-year at a time. His kingdom was then ruled by his brothers Vile and Ve. Once he was absent so long that the Asas believed that he would never return. Then his brothers married his wife Frigg. Finally he returned, however, and took Frigg back again. The Asas had a people as their neighbours called the Vans. Odin made war on the Vans, but they defended themselves bravely. When both parties had been victorious and suffered defeat, they grew weary of warring, made peace, and exchanged hostages. The Vans sent their son Njord and his son Frey, and also Kvaser, as hostages to the Asas; and the latter gave in exchange Honer and Mimer. Odin gave Njord and Frey the dignity of priests. Frey's sister, too, Freyja, was made a priestess. The Vans treated the hostages they had received with similar consideration, and created Honer a chief and judge. But they soon seemed to discover that Honer was a stupid fellow. They considered themselves cheated in the exchange, and, being angry on this account, they cut off the head, not of Honer, but of his wise brother Mimer, and sent it to Odin. He embalmed the head, sang magic songs over it, so that it could talk to him and tell him many strange things. Asaland, where Odin ruled is separated by a great mountain range from Tyrkland, by which Heimskringla means Asia Minor, of which the celebrated Troy was supposed to have been the capital. In Tyrkland, Odin also had great possessions. But at that time the Romans invaded and subjugated all lands, and many rulers fled on that account from their kingdoms. And Odin, being wise and versed in the magic art, and knowing, therefore, that his descendants were to people the northern part of the world, he left his kingdom to his brothers Vile and Ve, and migrated with many followers to Gardarike, Russia. Njord, Frey, and Freyja, and the other priests who had ruled under him in Asgard, accompanied him, and sons of his were also with him. From Gardarike he proceeded to Saxland, conquered vast countries, and made his sons rulers over them. From Saxland he went to Funen, and settled there. Seeland did not then exist. Odin sent the maid Gefion north across the water to investigate what country was situated there. At that time ruled in Svithiod a chief by name Gylfe. He gave Gefion a ploughland, and, by the help of four giants changed into oxen, Gefion cut out with the plough, and dragged into the sea near Funen that island which is now called Seeland. Where the land was ploughed away there is now a lake called Logrin. Skjold, Odin's son, got this land, and married Gefion. And when Gefion informed Odin that Gylfe possessed a good land, Odin went thither, and Gylfe, being unable to make resistance, though he too was a wise man skilled in witchcraft and sorcery, a peaceful compact was made, according to which Odin acquired a vast territory around Logrin; and in Sigtuna he established a great temple, where sacrifices henceforth were offered according to the custom of the Asas.
Editore Library Of Alexandria
Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM
EAN-13 9781465507716 9781465507716
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