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Okay, so obviously I started with the easiest (and least pressing) thing on my To Do list and have just finished compiling the info for the Heimdall lore fact sheet.

So the thing to do with these is present the information and just the information. Commentary is all right if it helps to clarify facts (usually it's not necessary), but should not include my personal take on the lore. Didn't think this would be a problem.

And then I started on Rigsthula. Yeah, yeah, this is probably the most problematic piece of lore out there--not in terms of interpretation (although that's always something of an issue) but in terms of general ickiness to the modern egalitarian American mind. So the message is really hard to put a finger on because of cultural background.

Anyway, just a quick gripe before I get back to work. (No cold medicine today, only one dose left of the Dayquil and I'm saving it for if I get worse.)


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 25th, 2005 08:31 pm (UTC)
Rigthula should not be taken at face value. Remember these poems were written down well after the Christian conversion. The three classes mentioned in the poem are a lot like the Three Estates of the Middle Ages. Also pre-converson culture is a lot more complicated then the poem is. This lends more creadence to the argument that this poem refelcts late attitudes.

The one piece in it that I think is definiatly old is the fact that Heimdahl taught the Runes to men and not Odin. There are a number of for lack of a better term Indo-European myths where a "minor deity" teaches man things. So in my mind it is in keeping with these traditions that Heimdahl taught men to read the Runes.
Apr. 25th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
This lends more creadence to the argument that this poem refelcts late attitudes.

That's true, and it's certainly a bias we discussed during the discussion in January, but when I'm putting it down on paper and consciously not discussing those points, I find myself getting grumpy :).

Can you point me to some of those other myths? (I've loaned out my copy of Puhvel or I'd have a look there first. :))
Apr. 25th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
Would you mind posting some of your "worksheets"? I don't know many heathens in ADF or otherwise, and I've always perceived you as rather knowledgeable. If you don't feel comfortable posting anything, perhaps you could send me a copy via email? I would love all kinds of fact sheets, etc. Too bad I live so far away, or else I would join your study group... :(
Apr. 25th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words :). I don't have them formatted yet but I can PDF the files if that would work for you? (Please note that I'm not claiming to be absolutely complete or accurate, just my best effort at both. :))
Apr. 25th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'm not too familiar with the Rigsthula - could you direct me to any decent online sources?
Apr. 25th, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC)
Here are two I found online. They seem to be ok doing a quick skim over them.

I still think the best context translation is the Larrington translation from I think Oxford University Press.
Apr. 25th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC)

It's the Bellows translation, which is not bad. Enjoy! :)
Apr. 25th, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)
Echoing what Yorkshirelad said, although the Lore is ABOUT the Gods, it was WRITTEN DOWN by fallible humans with their own agenda . . . in the Christian era.
Apr. 25th, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
That's true, but although I'm no literalist I do feel that there's some truth in all of the lore. I think it's not unlikely that Rigsthula had bias that preceded Christianity--that it changed over time as the culture changed. I sure wish there was some other Heimdall-focused lore to contrast it with, though.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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