baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)


The Sagas tells it like this: The Queen Ragnhild had great dreams, she was a wise woman. Once she dreamt that she was in her garden, and pulled a thorn from her dress. The thorn fell to the ground and a tree started sprouting. At the roots the tree was blood red, the trunk and lower branches were green, but the upper branches were white. The tree was so great and large that it seemed to the Queen it stretched out over all over Norway.

That story appears in Halvdan the Black's Saga, one of the first sagas in Heimskringla, or kringla heimsins meaning the circle of the world. It was written by Snorri Sturlason around 1230 and is a compilation of the Old Norse Kings' Sagas.

During the peak of the Norwegian independence movement, from around 1890 to cessation from Sweden in 1905 - these old sagas became a focal point in the emerging national sentiment. As a result of that a special edition of the saga was published - lavishly illustrated by the who's who of Norwegian artists at the time.

+++++ )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)


The Sagas tells it like this: The Queen Ragnhild had great dreams, she was a wise woman. Once she dreamt that she was in her garden, and pulled a thorn from her dress. The thorn fell to the ground and a tree started sprouting. At the roots the tree was blood red, the trunk and lower branches were green, but the upper branches were white. The tree was so great and large that it seemed to the Queen it stretched out over all over Norway.

That story appears in Halvdan the Black's Saga, one of the first sagas in Heimskringla, or kringla heimsins meaning the circle of the world. It was written by Snorri Sturlason around 1230 and is a compilation of the Old Norse Kings' Sagas.

During the peak of the Norwegian independence movement, from around 1890 to cessation from Sweden in 1905 - these old sagas became a focal point in the emerging national sentiment. As a result of that a special edition of the saga was published - lavishly illustrated by the who's who of Norwegian artists at the time.

+++++ )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)

A carved dragons head found in the Oseberg burial


I'm currently reading a very interesting book called The Idea of North, which deals with all manner of folklore and legends in the Polar region. One passage reminded me why I LOVE the old Norse Sagas:


"The verse narrative of The Waking of Angatyr, interprolated in the Saga of King Heindrik the Wise, takes place on a burning offshore island which is simultaneously the place where the noble dead are buried and an otherworld to which the living can travel at their peril. Hervor travels there to demand of her father Angantyr the supernatural sword that has been buried with him. As with almost all ghost narratives of the north, the early waning of the winter daylight is crucial. In the zone between the living and the dead in which the poem opens, there is a terse dialogue between the heroine and a herdsman, on the dangers of being benighted in such a place:

To have come hither, all alone
To this land of shadows was sheer folly,
Over fen and fold fires are soaring,
Graves are opening: let us go quickly.


But she is fearless: she curses and threatens the waking dead until they yield to her the sword that has been buried as part of Angantyr’s grave goods, but not without the prophecy from its dead owner that it will "Destroy your kindred, kill them all" To which she replies:
Churlish cowards! )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)

A carved dragons head found in the Oseberg burial


I'm currently reading a very interesting book called The Idea of North, which deals with all manner of folklore and legends in the Polar region. One passage reminded me why I LOVE the old Norse Sagas:


"The verse narrative of The Waking of Angatyr, interprolated in the Saga of King Heindrik the Wise, takes place on a burning offshore island which is simultaneously the place where the noble dead are buried and an otherworld to which the living can travel at their peril. Hervor travels there to demand of her father Angantyr the supernatural sword that has been buried with him. As with almost all ghost narratives of the north, the early waning of the winter daylight is crucial. In the zone between the living and the dead in which the poem opens, there is a terse dialogue between the heroine and a herdsman, on the dangers of being benighted in such a place:

To have come hither, all alone
To this land of shadows was sheer folly,
Over fen and fold fires are soaring,
Graves are opening: let us go quickly.


But she is fearless: she curses and threatens the waking dead until they yield to her the sword that has been buried as part of Angantyr’s grave goods, but not without the prophecy from its dead owner that it will "Destroy your kindred, kill them all" To which she replies:
Churlish cowards! )

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