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A champion by the same name, perhaps the same character, appears in the Prologue to the Prose Edda , in Heimskringla and in Gesta Danorum. A hero named Svipdag is one of the companions of King Hrolfr Kraki.

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Other scholars who have commented on these poems in detail include Hjalmar Falk , B. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.


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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Bellows, Henry Adams American Scandinavian Foundation.


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  8. Orchard, Andy Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Norse paganism and mythology. And this he does by instituting the sacrificial feast, which is called Frey's offering, and thenceforth was celebrated in honour of Frey Fro deo rem divinam furvis hostiis fecit. Hadding's refusal to repent what he had done, and the defiance he showed the divine powers, whom he had insulted by the murder he had committed, can only be explained by the fact that these powers were the Vana-gods who long gave succour to his enemies see No. This explanation is fully corroborated by the fact that when he learns that Odin and the Asas, whose favourite he was, no longer hold their protecting hands over him, and that the propitiation advised by the prophetess becomes a necessity to him, he institutes the great annual offering to Frey, Svipdag's brother-in-law.

    That this god especially must be propitiated can, again, have no other reason than the fact that Frey was a nearer kinsman than any of the Asa-gods to the supernatural being, from whose slayer he Frey demanded a ransom. And as Saxo has already informed us that Svipdag perished in a naval engagement with Hadding, all points to the conclusion that in the celestial person who was concealed in the guise of an animal and was slain in the water we must discover Svipdag Freyja's husband.

    Saxo does not tell us what animal guise it was. It must certainly have been a purely fabulous kind, since Saxo designates it as bellua inauditi generis. An Anglo-Saxon record, which is to be cited below, designates it as uyrm and draca.

    Teutonic Mythology: Svipdag Rescues Freyja From Three Giants

    That Svipdag, sentenced to wear this guise, kept himself in the water near the shore of a sea, follows from the fact that Hadding meets and kills him in the sea where he goes to bathe. There are reasons for assuming that she found him again, and, in spite of his transformation and the repulsive exterior he thereby got, she remained with him and sought to soothe his misery with her faithful love. One of Freyja's surnames shows that she at one time dwelt in the bosom of the sea. Another proof of this is the fragment preserved to our time of the myth concerning the conflict between Heimdal and Loki in regard to Brisingamen.

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    But before he accomplished his purpose, there crept upon the skerry another seal, in whose looks - persons in disguise were not able to change their eyes - the evil and cunning descendant of Farbauti must quickly have recognised his old opponent Heimdal. A conflict arose in regard to the possession of the ornament, and the brave son of the nine mothers became the victor and preserved the treasure for Asgard. From the Norse mythic records we learn the following in regard to Hermod: a He dwelt in Asgard, but did not belong to the number of the ruling gods. When Frigg asks if anyone desires to earn her favour and gratitude by riding to the realm of death and offering Hel a ransom for Baldur, Hermod offers to take upon himself this task.

    He gets Odin's horse Sleipnir to ride, proceeds on his way to Hel, comes safely to that citadel in the lower world, where Baldur and Nanna abide the regeneration of the earth, spurs Sleipnir over the castle wall, and returns to Asgard with Hel's answer, and with the ring Draupnir, and with presents from Nanna to Frigg and Fulla Gylfaginning From this it appears that Hermod has a position in Asgard resembling Skirnir's; that he, like Skirnir, is employed by the gods as a messenger when important or venturesome errands are to be undertaken; and that he, like Skirir, then gets that steed to ride, which is able to leap over vafurflames and castle-walls.

    We should also bear in mind that Skirnir-Svipdag had made celebrated journeys in the same world to which Hermod is now sent to find Baldur. As we know, Svipdag had before his arrival in Asgard travelled all over the lower world, and had there fetched the sword of victory.

    After his adoption in Asgard, he is sent by the gods to the lower world to get the chain Gleipnir Gylfaginning This is all there is in the Norse sources about Hermod. Further information concerning him is found in the Beowulf poem, which in two passages str. Beowulf was related by marriage to the royal dynasty then reigning in his land, and was reared in the king's halls as an older brother of his sons.

    The comparisons make these circumstances, common to Beowulf and Hermod, the starting-point, and show that while Beowulf became the most faithful guardian of his young foster-brothers, and in all things maintained their rights, Hermod conducted himself in a wholly different manner.

    Idis Örlög - "Njartharlag"

    Of Hermod the poem tells us: a He was reared at the court of a Danish king str. His table-companions at the Danish court he consigned to death in a fit of anger str. He had suddenly been banished and delivered to the world of giants, where "waves of sorrow" long oppressed him str. All these points harmonise completely with Svipdag's saga, as we have found it in other sources.

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    Svipdag is the stepson of Halfdan the Skjoldung, and has been reared in his halls, and dwells there until his mother Groa is turned out and returns to Orvandil. He is, like Hermod, endowed with extraordinary strength, partly on account of his own inherited character, partly on account of the songs of incantation sung over him by Groa, on account of the nourishment of wisdom obtained from his stepmother, and finally on account of the possession of the indomitable sword of victory.

    By being adopted in Asgard as Freyja's husband, he is, like Hermod, elevated to a position of power greater than that which mortals may expect.

    But all this does not turn out to be a blessing to the Skjoldungs, but is a misfortune to them. The hatred he had cherished toward the Skjoldung Halfdan is transferred to the son of the latter, Hadding, and he persecutes him and all those who are faithful to Hadding, makes war against him, and is unwilling to end the long war, although the gods demand it. Then he suddenly disappears, the divine wrath having clothed him with the guise of a strange animal, and relegated him to the world of water-giants, where he is slain by Hadding who in the Norse heroic saga becomes a Volsung, after Halfdan, under the name Helgi Hundingsbani, was made a son of the Volsung Sigmund.

    Hermod is killed on a rocky island under harne stan.