Ancient Mysteries Mythology Myths of Northern Lands

Myths of Northern Lands

Myths of Northern Lands
Catalog # SKU1824
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Guerber
 
$23.95
Quantity

Description

Myths
of
Northern Lands


With Special Reference
to Literature and Art

by
H. A. Guerber

The Nordic-Germanic --- Aryan mythologies are based around arctic climates. This author presents the viable probability that the Aryan races originated in the Arctic areas of the planet, instead of the torrid climate of the Caucasius Mountains in Iran. This echoes the research of the famous Indian political warrior, Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who came to the same conclusion based on the Vedas and astronomical facts.

From the Preface

The aim of this handbook of Northern mythology is to familiarize the English student of letters with the religion of his heathen ancestors, and to set forth, as clearly as possible, the various myths which have exercised an influence over our customs, arts, and literature.

As Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Icelanders, Germans, English, and French all came originally from the same stock and worshiped the same gods, so these tales formed the basis not only of their religious belief, but also of their first attempts at poetry. They are the classics of the North, and deserve as much attention at our hands as the more graceful and idyllic mythology of the South.

The most distinctive traits of the Northern mythology are a peculiar grim humor which is found in the religion of no other race, and a dark thread of tragedy which runs throughout the whole woof. These two characteristics, touching both extremes of the scale, have colored Northern thought, and have left their indelible imprint upon all our writings even to this day.

The mythology of Greece and Rome, growing as spontaneous and luxuriant as the tropical vegetation, came to its full fruition and began to decay before the introduction of Christianity. But Northern mythology, of slower growth, was arrested in mid-career before it had attained its complete development.

Excerpt

Although the Aryan inhabitants of northern Europe are supposed by some authorities to have come originally from the plateau of Iran, in the heart of Asia, the climate and scenery of the countries where they finally settled had great influence in shaping their early religious beliefs, as well as in ordering their mode of living.

The grand and rugged landscapes of Northern Europe, the midnight sun, the flashing rays of the aurora borealis, the ocean continually lashing itself into fury against the great cliffs and icebergs of the arctic circle, could not but impress the people as vividly as the almost miraculous vegetation, the perpetual light, and the blue seas and skies of their brief summer season. It is no great wonder, therefore, that the Icelanders, for instance, to whom we owe the most perfect records of this belief, fancied in looking about them that the world was originally created from a strange mixture of fire and ice.

Northern mythology is grand and tragical. Its principal theme is the perpetual struggle of the beneficent forces of Nature against the injurious, and hence it is not graceful and idyllic in character like the religion of the sunny South, where the people could bask in perpetual sunshine, and the fruits of the earth grew ready to their hand.

It was very natural that the dangers incurred in hunting and fishing under these inclement skies, and the suffering entailed by the long cold winters when the sun never shines, made our ancestors contemplate cold and ice as malevolent spirits; and it was with equal reason that they invoked with special fervor the beneficent influences of heat and light.

When questioned concerning the creation of the world, the Northern scalds or poets, whose songs are preserved in the Eddas and Sagas, declared that in the beginning, when there was as yet no earth, nor sea, nor air, when darkness rested over all, there existed a powerful being called Allfather, whom they dimly conceived as uncreated as well as unseen, and that whatever he willed came to pass.

In the center of space there was, in the morning of time, a great abyss called Ginnunga-gap, the cleft of clefts, the yawning gulf, whose depths no eye could fathom, as it was enveloped in perpetual twilight. North of this abode was a space or world known as Nifl-heim, the home of mist and darkness, in the center of which bubbled the exhaustless spring Hvergelmir, the seething caldron, whose waters supplied twelve great streams known as the Elivagar.

As the water of these streams flowed swiftly away from its source and encountered the cold blasts from the yawning gulf, it soon hardened into huge blocks of ice, which rolled downwards into the immeasurable depths of the great abyss with a continual roar like thunder.

South of this dark chasm, and directly opposite Nifl-heim, (the Biblical Nefilim?) the realm of mist, was another world called Muspells-heim, the home of elemental fire, where all was warmth and brightness, and whose frontiers were continually guarded by Surtr, the flame giant. This giant fiercely brandished his flashing sword, and continually sent forth great showers of sparks, which fell with a hissing sound upon the ice blocks in the bottom of the abyss, and partly melted them by their heat.


Softcover, 8½" x 7", 385+ pages
Perfect-Bound - 11 point font + Illustrations

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