It has already been shown (see Nos. 59, 93) that the Elivagar have their source in the subterranean fountain Hvergelmer, situated on a mountain, which separates the subterranean region of bliss (Hel) from Nifelhel. Here, near the source of the Elivagar, stands the great world-mill, which revolves the starry heavens, causes the ebb and flood of the ocean and regulates its currents, and grinds the bodies of the primeval giants into layers of mould on the rocky substrata (see Nos. 79, 80). From Hvergelmer, the mother of all waters, the northern root of the world-tree draws saps, which rise into its topmost branches, evaporate into Eikthyrnir above Asgard, and flow thence as vafer-laden clouds (see No. 36), which emit fructifying showers upon Midgard, and through the earth they return to their original source, the fountain Hvergelmer. The Hvergelmer mountain (the Nida-mountains, Nidafjöll) cannot have been left without care and protection, as it is of so vast importance in the economy of the world, and this the less since it at the same time forms the boundary between the lower world’s realm of bliss and Nifelhel, the subterranean Jotunheim, whose frost-thurses sustain the same relation to the inhabitants on the evergreen fields of bliss as the powers of frost in the upper Jotunheim sustain to the gods of Asgard and to the inhabitants of Midgard. There is no reason for assuming that the guard of brave sworn warriors of the Asgard gods, those warriors whom we have


already seen in array near the Elivagar, should have only a part of this body of water to keep watch over. The clan of the elves, under their chiefs, the three sons of Ivalde, even though direct evidence were wanting, must be regarded as having watched over the Elivagar along their whole extent, even to their source, and as having had the same important duty in reference to the giants of the lower world as in reference to those of the upper. As its name indicates, Nifelheim is shrouded in darkness and mist, against which the peaks of the Hvergelmer mountain form the natural rampart as a protection to the smiling fields of bliss. But gales and storms might lift themselves above these peaks and enshroud even Mimer’s and Urd’s realms in mist. The elves are endowed with power to hinder this. The last strophe in Thorsdrapa, so interesting from a mythological standpoint, confirms this view. Egil is there called hneitir undir-fjálfs bliku, and is said to be helblótinn. Blika is a name for clouds while they are still near the horizon and appear as pale vapours, which to those skilled in regard to the weather forbode an approaching storm (compare Vigfusson’s Dict., 69). Undir-fjálfr is thought by Egilson to mean subterranean mountains, by Vigfusson “the deep,” abyssus. Hneitir undir-fjálfs bliku is “he wbo conquers (or resolves, scatters) the clouds rising, storm-foreboding, from the abyss (or over the lower-world mountain).” As Egil can be thus characterised, it is easy to explain why he is called helblótinn, “he who receives sacrifices in the subterranean realm of bliss.” He guards the Teutonic elysian fields against the powers of frost and the


mists of Nifelheim, and therefore receives tokens of gratitude from their pious inhabitants.

The vocation of the sons of Ivalde, as the keepers of the Hvergelmer fountain and of the Elivagar, has its counterpart in the vocation which, in the Iranian mythology, is attributed to Thjasse’s prototype, the star-hero Tistrya (Tishya). The fountain Hvergelmer, the source of the ocean and of all waters, has in the Iranian mythology its counterpart in the immense body of water Vourukasha. Just as the Teutonic world-tree grows from its northern root out of Hvergelmer, the Iranian world-tree Gaokerena grows out of Vourukasha (Bundehesh, 18). Vourukasha is guarded by Tistrya, assisted by two heroes belonging to the class of mythological beings that are called Yazatas (Izads; in the Veda literature Yajata), “they who deserve offerings,” and in the Iranian mythology they form the third rank of divine beings, and thus correspond to the elves of the Teutonic mythology. Assisted by these two heroes and by the “fevers of the just,” Tistrya defends Vourukasha, and occasionally fights against the demon Apaosha, who desires to destroy the world (Bundehesh, 7). Tistrya, as such, appears in three forms: as a youth with bright and glistening eyes, as a wild boar, and as a horse. Can it be an accident that these forms have their counterparts in the Teutonic mythology in the fact that one of Thjasse’s brothers (Egil-Orvandel-Ebur) has the epithet “wild boar,” and that, as shall be shown below, his other brother (Slagfin) bears the epithet Hengest, and that Thjasse-Volund himself, who for years was possessor of, and


presumably invented, the “remedy against aging,” which Idun, his beloved, has charge of — that Thjasse-Volund himself was regarded as a youth with a “white neck” (Volundarkvida, 2) and with glittering eyes (Volundarkvida, 17), which after his death were placed in the heavens as stars?



I now come to the third Ivalde son, Slagfin. The name Slagfin (Slagfidr) occurs nowhere else than in Volundarkvida, and in the prose introduction to the same. All that we learn of him is that, like Egil, he accompanied his brother Volund to the Wolf-dales; that, like them, he runs on skis and is a hunter; and that, when the swan-maids, in the ninth year of their abode in the Wolf-dales, are overcome by longing and return to the south, he goes away to find his beloved, just as Egil goes to find his. We learn, furthermore, that Slagfin’s swan-maid is a sister of Volund’s and a kinswoman of Egil’s, and that she, accordingly, is Slagfin’s sister (half-sister). She is called Hladgudr Svanhvit, likewise a name which occurs nowhere else. Her (and accordingly also that of Volund’s swan-maid) mother is called Swan-feather, Svanfjödr (Slagfin’s beloved is Svanfjadrar drós — str. 2). The name Swan-feather reminds us of the Svanhild Gold-feather mentioned in Fornm., ii. 7, wife of one Finalf. If Svanfeather is identical with Svanhild Gold-feather,


then Finalf must originally be identical with Ivalde, who also is an elf and bears the name Finnakonungr, Sumblus Phinnorum rex. But this then simply confirms what we already know, namely, that the Ivalde sons and two of the swan-maids are brothers and sisters. It, however, gives us no clue by which we can trace Slagfin in other sources, and rediscover him bearing other names, and restore the myth concerning him which seems to be lost. That he, however, played an important part in the mythology may be assumed already from the fact that his brothers hold places so central in the great epic of the mythology. It is, therefore, highly probable that he is mentioned in our mythic fragments, though concealed under some other name. One of these names, viz., Ide, we have already found (see No. 114); and thereby we have learned that he, with his brother Egil, had a citadel near the Elivagar, and guarded their coasts against the powers of frost. But of his fate in general we are ignorant. No extensive researches are required, however, before we find circumstances which, compared with each other, give us the result that Slagfin is Gjuke, and therewith the way is open for a nearer acquaintance with his position in the heroic saga, and before that in the mythology. His identity with Gjuke is manifest from the following circumstances:

The Gjukungs, famous in the heroic saga, are, according to the saga itself, the first ones who bear this name. Their father is Gjuke, from whom this patronymic is derived. Through their father they belong to a race that is called Hniflungs, Niflungs, Nebelungs. The Gjukungs


form a branch of the Niflung race, hence all Gjukungs are Niflungs, but not all Niflungs Gjukungs. The Younger Edda says correctly, Af Niflunga œtt var Gjuke (Younger Edda, i. 522), and Atlakvida (17) shows that the Gjukungs constitute only a part of the Niflungs. The identity of the Gjukungs in this relative sense with the Niflungs is known and pointed out in Atlamal (47, 52, 88), in Brot af Sigurdarkvida (16), in Atlakvida (11, 17, 27), and in “Drap Niflunga.”

Who the Niflung race are in the widest sense of the word, or what known heroes the race embraced besides Gjuke and his sons — to this question the saga of Helge Hundingsbane (i. 48) gives important information, inasmuch as the passage informs us that the hostile race which Helge Hundingsbane — that is to say, Halfdan Borgarson (see No. 29) — combats are the Niflungs. Foremost among the Niflungs Hodbrod is mentioned in this poem, whose betrothed Helge (Halfdan Borgarson) gets into his power. It has already been shown that, in this heroic poem, Hodbrod is the copy of the mythological Orvandel-Egil (see Nos. 29, 32, 101). It follows that Volund, Orvandel-Egil, and Slagfin are Niflungs, and that Gjuke either is identical with one of them or that he at all events is descended from the same progenitor as they.

The great treasure of works smithied from gold and other precious things which the Gjukungs owned, according to the heroic traditions, are designated in the different sources in the same manner as inherited. In Atlakvida (11) the Gjukung treasure is called arf Niflunga;


so also in Atlakvida (27). In Gudrunarkvida (ii. 25) the queen of the deceased Gjuke promises her and Gjuke’s daughter, Gudrun, that she is to have the control of all the treasures “after (at) her dead father (fjöld allz fjar at thin faudur daudan), and we are told that those treasures, together with the halls in which they were kept and the precious carpets, are an inheritance after (at) Hlaudver, “the fallen prince” (hringa rauda Hlaudves sali, arsal allan at jofur fallin). From Volundarkvida we gather that Volund’s and Slagfin’s swan-maids are daughters of Hlaudver and sisters of their lovers. Thus Hlaudver is identical with Ivalde, Volund’s, Egil’s, and Slagfin’s father (see No. 123). Ivalde’s splendidly decorated halls, together with at least one son’s share of his golden treasures, have thus passed as an inheritance to Gjuke, and from Gjuke to his sons, the Gjukungs. While the first song about Helge Hundingsbane tells us that Volund, Egil, and Slagfin were, like Gjuke, Niflungs, we here learn that Gjuke was the heir of Volund’s, Egil’s, and Slagfin’s father. And while Thorsdrapa, compared with other sources, has already informed us that Ide-Slagfin and Gang-Egil inhabited that citadel near the Elivagar which is called “Ide’s chalet” and Geirvadel’s (Geirvandel’s) chalet, and while Geirvandel is demonstrably an epithet of Ivalde,* and as Ivalde’s citadel accordingly passed into the possession of Slagfin and Egil, we here find that Ivalde’s citadel was inherited by Gjuke. Finally, we must compare herewith

* In Saxo Gervandillus (Geirvandill) is the father of Horvandillus (Orvandill). Orvandel has been proved to be identical with Egil. And as Egil is the son of Ivalde, Geirvandel is identical with Ivalde.


Bragarædur (ch. 2), where it is said that Ivalde (there called Olvalde) was survived by his sons, who harmoniously divided his great treasures. Thus Gjuke is one of the sons of Ivalde, and inherited halls and treasures after Ivalde; and as he can be neither Volund nor Egil, whose fates we already know, he must be Slagfin — a result confirmed by the evidence which we shall gradually present below.



When Volund and Egil, angry at the gods, abandoned Frey to the power of the giants and set out for the Wolfdales, they were unable to take with them their immense treasures inherited from their father and augmented by themselves. Nor did they need them for their purposes. Volund carried with him a golden fountain in his wealth-bringing arm-ring (see Nos. 87, 98, 101) from which the seven hundred rings, that Nidhad to his astonishment discovered in his smithy, must have come. But the riches left by the brothers ought not to fall into the hands of the gods, who were their enemies. Consequently they were concealed. Saxo (Hist., 193) says of the father of Svipdag-Ericus, that is to say, of Orvandel-Egil, that he long had had great treasures concealed in earth caves (gazœ, quas diu clausœ telluris antra condiderant). The same is true of Gjuke-Slagfin, who went with his brothers to the Wolfdales. Vilkinasaga (see


below) has rescued an account of a treasure which was preserved in the interior of a mountain, and which he owned. The same is still more and particularly applicable to Volund, as he was the most famous smith of the mythology and of the heroic saga. The popular fancy conceived these treasures left and concealed by Volund as being kept in earth caves, or in mountain halls, guarded and brooded over by dragons. Or it conceived them as lying on the bottom of the sea, or in the bottom of deep rivers, guarded by some dwarf inhabiting a rocky island near by. Many of the songs and sagas of heathendom and of the older days of Christianity were connected with the refinding and acquisition of the Niblung hoard by some hero or other as the Volsung Sigmund, the Borgar descendant Hadding-Dieterich, and Siegfried-Sigurd-Fafnersbane. The Niflung treasure, hodd Niflunga (Atlakvida, 26), Nibelunge Hort, is in its more limited sense these Volund treasures, and in its most general signification the golden wealth left by the three brothers. This wealth the saga represents as gathered again largely in the hands of the Gjukungs, after Sigurd, upon the victory over Fafner, has reunited the most important one of Volund’s concealed treasures with that of the Gjukungs, and has married the Gjukung sister Gudrun. The German tradition, preserved in middle-age poems, shows that the continental Teutons long remembered that the Nibelunge Hort originally was owned by Volund, Egil, and Slagfin-Gjuke. In Lied von Siegfried the treasure is owned by three brothers who are “Niblungs.” Only one of them is named, and he is called King Euglin, a name


which, with its variation Eugel, manifestly is a variation of Eigel, as be is called in the Orentel saga and in Vilkinasaga, and of Egil as he is called in the Norse records. King Euglin is, according to Lied von Siegfried, an interpreter of stars. Siegfried bids him Lasz mich deyner kunst geniessen, Astronomey genannt. This peculiar statement is explained by the myth according to which Orvandel-Egil is a star-hero. Egil becomes, like Atlas of the antique mythology, a king versed in astronomy in the historical interpretation of mythology. In Nibelunge Noth the treasure is owned by “the valiant” Niblungs, Schilbunc and Niblunc. Schilbunc is the Norse Skilfingr, and I have already shown above that Ivalde-Svigder is the progenitor of the Skilfings. The poem Biterolf knows that the treasure originally belonged to Nibelót, der machet himele guldin; selber wolt er got sin. These remarkable words have their only explanation in the myths concerning the Niflung Volund, who first ornamented Asgard with golden works of art, and subsequently wished to destroy the inhabitants of Asgard in order to be god himself. The Norse heroic saga makes the treasures brooded over by Fafner to have been previously guarded by the dwarf Andvari, and makes the latter (Sigurdarkvida Fafn., ii. 3) refer to the first owner. The saga characterises the treasure guarded by him as that gull, er Gustr átti. In the very nature of the case the first maker and possessor of these works must have been one of the most celebrated artists of the mythology; and as Gustr means “wind,” “breath of wind”; as, again, Volund in the mythology is the only artist who is designated


by a synonym of Gustr, that is, by Byrr, “wind” (Volundarkvida, 12), and by Loptr, “the airy one” (Fjölsvinnsmal, 26); as, furthermore, the song cycle concerning Sigurd Fafnersbane is connected with the children of Gjuke, Volund’s brother, and in several other respects strikes roots down into the myth concerning Ivalde’s sons; and as, finally, the German tradition shows an original connection between Nibelunge Hort and the treasures of the Ivalde sons, then every fact goes to show that in Gustur we have an epithet of Volund, and that the Niflung hoard, both in the Norse and in the German Sigurd-Siegfried saga was the inheritance and the works of Volund and his brothers. Vigfusson assumes that the first part of the compound Slagfin is slagr, “a tone,” “a melody,” played on a stringed instrument. The correctness of this opinion is corroborated by the fact that Slagfin-Gjuke’s son, Gunnar, is the greatest player on stringed instruments in the heroic literature. In the den of serpents he still plays his harp, so that the crawling venomous creatures are enchanted by the tones. This wonderful art of his is explained by the fact that his father is “the stringed instrument’s” Finn, that is, Slagfin. The horse Grane, who carries Sigurd and the hoard taken from Fafner, probably at one time bore Volund himself, when he proceeded to the Wolfdales. Grane at all events had a place in the Volund-myth. The way traversed by Volund from his own golden realm to the Wolfdales, and which in part was through the northern regions of the lower world (fyr mágrindr nedan — Fjölsvinnsmal, 26) is in Volundarkvida (14) called Grane’s way. Finally,


it must here be stated that Sigurdrifva, to whom Sigurd proceeds after he has gotten possession of Fafner’s treasure (Griperssaga, 13-15), is a mythic character transferred to the heroic saga, who, as shall be shown in the second part of this work, held a conspicuous position in the myths concerning the Ivalde sons and their swan-maids. She is, in fact, the heroic copy of Idun, and originally she had nothing to do with Budle’s daughter Brynhild. The cycle of the Sigurd songs thus attaches itself as the last ring or circle in the powerful epic to the myth concerning the Ivalde sons. The Sigurd songs arch themselves over the fateful treasures which were smithied and left by the fallen Lucifer of the Teutonic mythology, and which, like his sword of revenge and his arrow of revenge, are filled with curses and coming woe. In the heroic poems the Ivalde sons are their owners. The son’s son Svipdag wields the sword of revenge. The son’s sons Gunnar and Hogne go as the possessors of the Niblung treasure to meet their ruin. The myth concerning their fathers, the Ivalde sons, arches itself over the enmity caused by Loke between the gods on the one hand, and the great artists, the elf-princes, the protectors of growth, the personified forces of the life of nature, on the other hand. In connection herewith the myth about Ivalde himself revolves mainly around “the mead,” the soma, the strength-giving saps in nature. He too, like his sons afterwards, gets into conflict with the gods and rebels against them, seeks to deprive them of the soma sap which he had discovered, allies himself with Suttung’s sons, in whose keeping the precious liquid is


rediscovered, and is slain outside of their door, while Odin is within and carries out the plan by which the mead becomes accessible to gods and to men (see No. 89). This chain of events thus continues through three generations. And interwoven with it is the chain of events opposed to it, which develops through the generations of the other great mythic race of heroes: that of the Heimdal son Borgar, of the Borgar son Halfdan, and of the Halfdan sons Hadding and Guthorm (Dieterich and Ermenrich). Borgar fights and must yield to the assault of Ivalde, and subsequently of his sons from the North in alliance with the powers of frost (see Nos. 22, 28). Halfdan contends with Ivalde’s sons, recaptures for vegetation the Teutonic country as far as to “Svarin’s mound,” but is slain by Ivalde’s grandson Svipdag, armed with the Volund sword (see Nos. 32, 33, 102, 103). In the conflict between Svipdag and Guthorm-Ermenrich on the one side, and Hadding on the other, we see the champions divided into two camps according to the mythological antecedents of their families: Amalians and Hildings on Hadding’s side, the descendants of Ivalde on the other (see Nos. 42, 43). Accordingly, the Gjukungs, “the kings on the Rhine,” are in the German tradition on Ermenrich’s side. Accordingly, Vidga Volundson, in spite of his bond of friendship with Hadding-Dieterich, also fights under Ermenrich’s banner. Accordingly, Vildebur-Egil is again called to life in the heroic saga, and there appears as the protector and helper of the Volund son, his own nephew. And accordingly, Vate-Walther, too (see No. 123), identical with Ivalde, Volund’s father, is


reproduced in the heroic saga to bear the banner of Ermenrich in the battles (cp. No. 43).



Slagfin-Gjuke has many names in the German traditions, as in the Norse. Along with the name Gibich, Gibche (Gjuke), occur the synonyms Dankrat, Irung, and Aldrian. In the latter part of Nibelunge Noth Gibich is called Dankrat (cp. “Klage”; Biterolf also has the name Dankrat, and speaks of it in a manner which shows that in some of the sources used by the author Dankrat was a synonym of Gibich). In Vilkinasaga Gjuke appears now as Irung, now as Aldrian. Aldrian is (Vilkinasaga, 150) king of Niflungaland, and has the sons Hogne, Gunnar, Gernoz, and Gilzer. Irung (Vilkin., 15) is also king of Niflungaland, and has the sons Hogne, Gunnar, Guthorm, Gernoz, and Gisler. As Gjuke also is a Niflung, and has the sons Hogne, Gunnar, and Guthorm, there can be no doubt that Gjuke, Gibche, Dankrat, Irung, and Aldrian are synonyms, designating one and the same person, namely, Volundarkvida’s Slagfin, the Ide of the mythology. Nibelunge Noth, too, speaks of Aldrian as the father of Hagen (Hogne). Aldrian’s wife is called Oda, Gibich’s “Frau Uote,” Dankrat’s “Frau Ute.”


The Norse form for Dankrat (Tancred) is thakkrádr, Thakkrad. This name appears a single time in the Norse records, and then in connection with Volund and Nidhad. In Volundarkvida (39) Thakkrad is mentioned as Nidhad’s chief servant, who still remains in his service when Volund, his revenge accomplished, flies in an eagle’s guise away from his prison. That this servant bears a name that belongs to Slagfin-Gjuke, Volund’s brother, cannot be an accident. We must compare an account in Vilkinasaga, according to which Volund’s other brother Egil was in Nidhad’s service when Volund flew away. It follows that the heroic saga made not only Volund, but also Slagfin and Egil, fall into Nidhad’s hands. Both in Volundarkvida itself and in its prose introduction we read that when the home-sick swan-maids had left the Wolfdales, Egil and Slagfin betook themselves thence, Egil going to the east to look for his swan-maid Olrun, Slagfin going south to find his Svanhvit (Volundarkvida, 4), and that Nidhad thereupon learned — the song does not say how — that Volund was alone in the Wolfdales (Volundarkvida, 6). The assumption here lies near at hand, that Nidhad found it out from the fact that Slagfin and Egil, though going away in different directions, fell into his power while they were looking for their beloved. Whether this feature belonged to the myth or not cannot be determined. At all events it is remarkable that we refind in Volundarkvida the Gjuke name Thakkrad, as in Vilkinasaga we find Volund’s brother Egil in Nidhad’s environment.

The name Irung, Iring, as a synonym of Gjuke, is of


more importance from a mythological point of view. Widukind of Corvei (about the year 950) tells us in ch. 13 of his Saxon Chronicle that “the Milky Way is designated by Iring’s name even to this day.” Just previously he has mentioned a Saxon warrior by this name, whom he believes to have been the cause of this appellation (. . . Iringi nomine, quem ita vocitant, lacteus cœli circulus sit vocatus; and in the Aursberg Chronicle, according to J. Grimm, . . . lacteus coeli circulus Iringis, nomine Iringesstraza sit vocatus). According to Anglo-Saxon glossaries, the Milky Way is called Iringes uueg. With this we should compare the statements made above, that the Milky Way among the Teutonic population of England was called the way of the Watlings (that is, the descendants of Vate, i.e., Ivalde). Both the statements harmonise. In the one it is the descendants of Ivalde in general, in the other it is Slagfin-Iring whose name is connected with the Milky Way. Thus Slagfin, like Volund and Orvandel-Egil, was a star-hero. In “Klage” it is said of Iring and two other heroes, in whose company he appears in two other poems, that they committed grave mnistakes and were declared banished, and that they, in spite of efforts at reconciliation, remained under the penalty to the end of their lives. Biterolf says that they were exiles and threatened by their foes. Here we have a reverberation of the myth concerning the conflict between the gods and the Ivalde sons, of Frey’s unsuccessful effort to reconcile the enemies, and of their flight to the extreme north of the earth. In the German poems they take flight to Attila.


The Gjuke synonym Aldrian is a name formed in analogy with Albrian, which is a variation of Elberich. In analogy herewith Aldrian should be a variation of Elderich, Helderich. In Galfrid of Monmouth’s British History there is a Saxon saga-hero Cheldricus, who, in alliance with a Saxon chief Baldulf, fights with King Artus’ general Cador, and is slain by him. How far the name-forms Aldrian-Elderich have any connection with the Latinised Cheldricus I think best to leave undetermined; but there are other reasons which, independently of a real or apparent name-identity, indicate that this Cheldricus is the same person as Aldrian-Gjuke. Bugge has already pointed out that Baldrian corresponds to Balder, Cador to Hödr; that Galfrid’s account has points of contact with Saxo’s about the war between Balder and Hoder, and that Galfrid’s Cheldricus corresponds to Saxo’s King Gelderus, Geldr, who fights with Hoder and falls in conflict with him.

That which at once strikes us in Saxo’s account of Gelderus (see No. 101) is that he takes arms against Hotherus, when he learns that the latter has got possession of the sword of victory and the wealth-producing ring — treasures that were smithied by Volund, and in that sense belonged to the Niblung hoard. That Saxo in this manner gave a reason for the appearance of Gelderus can only be explained by the fact that Gelderus had been in some way connected with the Niblung hoard, and looked upon himself as more entitled to it than Hotherus. This right could hardly be based on any other reason than the fact that Gelderus was a Niflung, a kinsman of the


maker and owner of the treasures. In the Vilkinasaga the keeper and protector of the Niblung hoard, the one who has the key to the rocky chambers where the hoard is kept bears the very name Aldrian, consequently the very surname of Slagfin-Gjuke, Volund’s and Egil’s brother. This of itself indicates that Gelderus is Slagfin-Aldrian.



From Slagfin-Gelderus’ part in the war between the two divine brothers Balder and Hoder, as described both by Saxo and by Galfrid, we must draw the conclusion that he is a mythic person historified, and one who had taken an important part in the Balder-myth as Balder’s friend, and also as Hoder’s, though he bore weapons against the latter. According to Saxo, Hoder honours the dust of his slain opponent Gelderus in a manner which indicates a previous friendly relation between them. He first gives Gelderus a most splendid funeral (pulcherrimum funeris obsequium), then he builds a magnificent grave-mound for him, and decorates it with tokens of his respect (veneratio) for the dead one.

The position of Slagfin-Gelderus to the two contending divine brothers, his brothership-in-arms with Balder, the respect and devotion he receives from his opponent Hoder, can only be explained by the fact that he had very intimate relations with the two brothers and with the mythical


persons who play a part in the Balder-myth, According to Saxo, Hoder was fostered by Gevarr, the moon-god, Nanna’s father. As Nanna’s foster-brother, he falls in love with her who becomes the wife of his brother, Balder. Now the mythology actually mentions an individual who was adopted by the moon-god, and accordingly was Hoder’s foster-brother, but does not in fact belong to the number of real gods. This foster-son inherits in the old Norse records one of the names with which the moon-god is designated in the Anglo-Saxon poems — that is, Hoce, a name identical with the Norse Hjúke. Hnaf (Hnœfr, Nœfr, Nanna’s father) is also, as already shown, called Hoce in the Beowulf poem (see Nos. 90, 91). From the story about Bil and Hjuke, belonging to the myth about the mead and preserved in the Gylfaginning 11, we know that the moon-god took these children to himself, when they were to carry to their father, Vidfinnr, the precious burden which they had dipped out of the mead-fountain, Byrger (see Nos. 90, 91).

That this taking up was equivalent to an adoption of these children by the moon-god is manifest from the position Bil afterwards got in the circle of gods. She becomes an asynje (Younger Edda, i. 118, 556) and distributes the Teutonic mythological soma, the creative sap of nature and inspiration, the same liquid as she carried when she was taken up by the moon-god. The skalds of earth pray to her (ef unna itr vildi Bil skáldi!), and Asgard’s skald-god, Brage, refreshes himself with her in Gevarr-Nokver’s silver-ship (see Sonatorrek; cp. Nos. 90, 91).


Odin came to her every day and got a drink from the mead of the moon-ship, when the latter was sinking toward the horizon in the west. The ship is in Grimnersmal called Sökkvabekkr, “the setting or sinking ship,” in which Odin and Saga “daily drink from golden goblets,” while “cool billows in soughing sound flow over” the place where they sit. The cool billows that roar over Sokkvabekk are the waves of the atmospheric sea, in which Nokver’s ship sails, and they are the waves of the ocean when the silver-ship sinks into the sea. The epithet Saga is used in the same manner as Bil, and it probably has the same reason for its origin as that which led the skalds to call the bucket which Bil and Hjuke carried Sœgr. Bil, again, is merely a synonym of Idun. In Haustlaung, Idun is called Byrgis ár-Gefn, “Byrger’s harvest-giving dis”; Thjasse is called Byrgis ár-Gefnar bjarga-Tyr, “the mountain-Tyr of Byrger’s harvest-giving dis.” Idun is thus named partly after the fountain from which Bil and Hjuke fetched the mead, partly after the bucket in which it was carried.

That Hjuke, like Bil-Idun, was regarded by the moon-god as a foster-child, should not be doubted, the less so as we have already seen that he, in the Norse sources, bears his foster-father’s name. As an adopted son of the moon-god, he is a foster-brother of Hoder and Nanna. Hjuke must therefore have occupied a position in the mythology similar to that in which we find Gelderus as a brother-in-arms of Nanna’s husband, and as one who was held in friendship even by his opponent, Hoder. As a brother of the Ivalde daughter, Bil-Idun, he too must be


an Ivalde son, and consequently one of the three brothers, either Slagfin, or Orvandel-Egil, or Volund. The mythic context does not permit his identification with Volund or Egil. Consequently he must be Slagfin. That Gelderus is Slagfin has already been shown.

This also explains how, in Christian times, when the myths were told as history, the Niflungs-Gjukungs were said to be descended from Nœfr, Nefir (Nefir er Niflunger eru frá komnir — Younger Edda, i. 520). It is connected with the fact that Slagfin, like his brothers, is a Niflung (see No. 118) and an adopted son of the moon-god, whose name he bore.

Bil’s and Hjuke’s father is called Vidfinnr. We have already seen that Slagfin’s and his brothers’ father, Ivalde, is called Finnr, Finnakonungr (Introduction to Volundarkvida), and that he is identical with Sumbl Finnakonungr, and Finnálfr. In fact the name Finnr never occurs in the mythic records, either alone or in compounds or in paraphrases, except where it alludes to Ivalde or his son, Slagfin. Thus, for instance, the byrnie, Finnzleif in Ynglingsaga, is borne by a historified mythic person, by whose name Saxo called a foster-son of Gevarr, the moon-god. The reason why Ivalde got the name Finnr shall be given below (see No. 123). And as Ivalde (Sumbl Finnakonungr — Olvalde) plays an important part in the mead-myth, and as the same is true of Vidfin, who is robbed of Byrger’s liquid, then there is every reason for the conclusion that Vidfin, Hjuke’s and Bil-Idun’s father, is identical with Finnakonungr, the father of Slagfin and of his sister.


Gjuke and Hjuke are therefore names borne by one and the same person — by Slagfin, the Niflung, who is the progenitor of the Gjukungs. They also look like analogous formations from different roots.

This also gives us the explanation of the name of the Asgard bridge, Bilröst, “Bil’s way.” The Milky Way is Bil-Idun’s way, just as it is her brother Hjuke’s; for we have already seen that the Milky Way is called Irung’s way, and that Irung is a synonym of Slagfin-Gjuke. Bil travelled the shining way when she was taken up to Asgard as an asynje. Slagfin travelled it as Balder’s and Hoder’s foster-brother. If we now add that the same way was travelled by Svipdag when he sought and found Freyja in Asgard, and by Thjasse-Volund’s daughter, Skade, when she demanded from the gods a ransom for the slaying of her father, then we find here no less than four descendants of Ivalde who have travelled over the Milky Way to Asgard; and as Volund’s father among his numerous names also bore that of Vate, Vadi (see Vilkinasaga), then this explains how the Milky Way came to be called Watling Street in the Old English literature.*

In the mythology there was a circle of a few individuals who were celebrated players on stringed instruments. They are Balder, Hoder, Slagfin, and Brage. In the heroic poems the group is increased with Slagfin-Gjuke’s son, Gunnar, and with Hjarrandi, the Horund of the German poem “Gudrun,” to whom I shall recur in my

* Thus Vigfusson’s opinion that the Asgard bridge is identical with the Milky Way is correct. That the rainbow should be regarded as the Bilrost with its bridge-heads is an invention by the author of Gylfaginning.


treatise on the heroic sagas. Balder’s playing is remembered by Galfrid of Monmouth. Hoder’s is mentioned in Saxo, and perhaps also in the Edda’s Hadarlag, a special kind of metre or manner of singing. Slagfin’s quality as a musician is apparent from his name, and is inherited by his son, Gunnar. Hjarrandi-Horund appears in the Gudrun epic by the side of Vate (Ivalde), and there is reason for identifying him with Gevarr himself. All these names and persons are connected with the myth concerning the soma preserved in the moon. While the first drink of the liquid of inspiration and of creative force is handed to Odin by Mimer, we afterwards find a supply of the liquid preserved by the moon-god; and those mythic persons who are connected with him are the very ones who appear as the great harp-players. Balder is the son-in-law of the moon-god, Hoder and Slagfin are his foster-sons, Gunnar is Slagfin’s son, Brage becomes the husband of Bil-Idun, and Hjarrandi is no doubt the moon-god himself who sings so that the birds in the woods, the beasts on the ground, and the fishes in the sea listen and are charmed (“Gudrun,” 1415-1418, 1523-1525, 1555-1558).

Both in Saxo and in Galfrid Hoder meets Slagfin with the bow in his conflict with him (Cheldricus in Galfrid; Gelderus in Saxo). The bow plays a chief part in the relation between the gods and the sons of Ivalde. Hoder also met Egil in conflict with the bow (see No. 112), and was then defeated, but Egil’s noble-mindedness forbade his harming Slagfin’s foster-brother. Hoder, as


an archer, gets satisfaction for the defeat in Saxo, when with his favourite weapon he conquers Egil’s brother, Slagfin (Gelderus), who also is an archer. And finally, with an arrow treacherously laid on Hoder’s bow, Volund, in demoniac thirst for revenge and at Loke’s instigation, takes the life of Balder, Hoder’s brother.



The names by which Slagfin is found in our records are accordingly Idi, Gjúki, Dankrat (thakkrádr), Irung, Aldrian, Cheldricus, Gelderus, Hjúki. We have yet to mention one more, Hengest (Hengist), to which I shall return below. Of these names, Gelderus (Geldr), Cheldricus, and Aldrian form a group by themselves, and they are possibly simply variations of the same word. The meaning of the name Hengest, “a gelding,” is connected with the same group, and particularly to the variation Geldr. The most important Slagfin epithets, from a mythological standpoint, are Ide, Gjuke, Hjuke, and Irung.

The names of Volund (Wieland, Veland) in the various records are, as we have seen, thjazi, Ajo (Aggo), Anund (Önundr), Rögnir, Brunni, Ásólfr, Vargr, Fjallgyldir, Hlébardr, Byrr, Gustr, Loptr, Haquinus (Aki, Ecke). Of these names and epithets Ásólfr, Vargr, Fjallgyldir, and Hlébardr form a group by themselves, and refer to his animal-symbol, the wolf. The other brothers also have animal-symbols. Egil is symbolised


as a wild boar and a bear by the names Aurnir, Ebur, Isólfr. Slagfin is symbolised as a horse in Hengest, and also in the paraphrase öndr-Jálkr, “the gelding of the skis.” Like his brothers, he is a runner on skis. The Volund epithet, Brunni, also alludes to ski-running. Rögnir and Regin are names of Volund and his brothers in their capacity of artists. The names Ajo, Anund, and Thjasse (the sparkling) may have their origin in ancient Aryan times.

The names of the third brother, Egil, are Gangr, Örvandill, Egill, Agelmund, Eigel, Euglin, Hodbroddr, Toko, and Avo the archer; Ebur (Ibor, Wild-Ebur, Villefer, Ebbo), Aurnir Isólfr. Of these names Egill, Agelmund, Eigel, and Euglin form a separate group; Örvandill Hödbrodr, Toko, and Avo sagittarius form another group, referring to his fame as an archer; Ebur, Aurnir, and Isolfr a third, referring to his animal-symbols.



In the course taken by our investigation we have already met with and pointed out several names and epithets by which Ivalde occurs in the mythology and in the heroic poems. Such are Geirvandill, with the variation Geirvadill; Vadi (Vate), Allvaldi, Audvaldi, Olvaldi, Svigdir (Svegdir), Ölmódr, Sumbl Finnakonungr (Sumblus Phinnorum rex), Finnakonungr, Vidfinr, Finnálfr, Fin Folcvalding, Hlaudverr.

Of these names Ívaldi, Allvaldi, Audvaldi, and Ölvaldi


form a group by themselves, inasmuch as they all have the part, valdi, valdr, “mighty,” an epithet preserved from the mythology in those heroic sagas which have treated distinct portions of the Ivalde-myth, where the hero reappears as Walther, Valthari, Valdere, Valtarius Manufortis.

Another group is formed by Ölvaldi, Ölmodr, Svigdir, Sumbl Finnakonungr. Svigdir means, as already shown, “the great drinker,” and Sumbli is a synonym of “ale,” “mead “. All the names in this group refer to the quality of their bearer as a person belonging to the myth about the mead.

The name Sumbl Finnakonungr is at the same time connected with a third group of names — Finnakonungr, Finnr, Vidfinnr, Finnálfr, Fin Folcvalding. With this group the epithets Vadi and Vadill (in Geirvadill) have a real mythological connection, which shall be pointed out below.

Finally, Geirvadill is connected with the epithet Geirvandill from the fact that both belong to Ivalde on account of his place in the weapon-myth.

As has been shown above, Geirvandill means “the one occupied with the spear,” or, more accurately, “the one who exhibits great care and skill in regard to the spear” (from geir, spear, and vanda, to apply care to something in order that it may serve its purpose). In Saxo, Gervandillus-Geirvandel is the father of Horvendillus-Orvandel; the spear-hero is the father of the archer. It is evident that the epithets of the son and father are parallel formations, and that as the one designates the


foremost archer in mythology, the other must refer to a prominent spear-champion. It is of no slight importance to our knowledge of the Teutonic weapon-myth that the foremost representatives of the spear, the bow, and the sword among the heroes are grandfather, father, and son. Svipdag, Ivalde’s grandson, the son of Orvandel-Egil, is above all others the sword-champion, “the sword-elf” (sverdálfr — see Heimskringla, Olaf Trygv., 43, where Svipdag-Erik’s namesake and supposed descendant, Erik jarl Hakon’s son, is called by this epithet). It is he who from the lower world fetches the best and most terrible sword, which was also probably regarded as the first of its kind in that age, as his uncle, who had made it, was called “the father of swords” (see Nos. 113, 114, 115). Svipdag’s father is the most excellent archer whose memory still survives in the story about William Tell. The grandfather, Ivalde, must have been the most excellent marksman with the spear. The memory of this survives not only in the epithets, Geirvandill and Geirvadill, but also in the heroic poem, “Valtarius Manufortis,” written before the year 950 by Eckehard in St. Gallen, and in Vilkinasaga, which has preserved certain features of the Ivalde-myth.

Clad in an armour smithied by Volund (Vuelandia fabrica), Valtarius appears as the great spear-champion, who despises all other weapons of attack —

Vualtarius erat vir maximus undique telis
Suspectamque habuit cuncto sibi tempori pugnam (v. 366-7).

With the spear he meets a sword-champion —

Hic gladio fidens hic acer et arduus hasta (v. 822);


and he has developed the use of the spear into an art, all of whose secrets were originally known by him alone, then also by Hagano, who learned them from the former (v. 336, 367). Vilkinasaga speaks of Valthari as an excellent spear-champion. Sure of success, he wagers his head in a competitive contest with this weapon.

It has already been shown above (see No. 89) that Svigdir-Ivalde in the mythic saga concerning the race-heroes was the first ruler of the Swedes, just as his sons, Volund and Egil, became those of the Longobardians and Slagfin that of the Burgundians, and, as shall be shown below, also that of the Saxons. Even in the Ynglingasaga, compiled in the twelfth century, he remains by the name Svegdir among the first kings of the Yngling race, and in reality as the first hero; for his forerunners, Fjölnir, Freyr, and Odinn, are prehuman gods (in regard to Fjölnir, see Grimnersmal). That Svigdir was made the race-hero of the Swedes is explained by the fact that Ivalde, before his sons, before he had yet become the foe of the gods and a “perjured hapt,” was the guardian of the northern Teutonic world against the powers of frost, and that the Sviones were the northernmost race of the Teutonic domain. The elf-citadel on the southern coast of the Elivagar was Geirvadill-Ivalde’s sæter before it became that of his sons (see Nos. 109, 113-115, 117, 118). The continental Teutons, like their kinsmen on the Scandian peninsula, knew that north of the Swedes and in the uttermost north lived a non-Teutonic people who ran on skees and practised hunting — the Finns. And as the realm that was subject to the


race-hero of the Swedes in the mythology extended to the Elivagar, where his setr was situated, even the Finns must have been subject to his sceptre. This explains his surname, Finnakonungr, Finnr, Vidfinnr, Fin Folcvalding, and also the fact that his descendants form a group of ski-runners. To the location of the setr near the Elivagar, at the point where Thor was wont to wade across this body of water (see Nos. 109, 114), we have a reference in the Ivalde epithets, Vadill Vadi. They indicate his occupation as the keeper of the ford. Vilkinasaga makes him a wader of the same kind as Thor, and makes him bear his son, Volund, across a sound while the latter was still a lad. Reasons which I may yet have an opportunity to present indicate that Ivalde’s mother was the mightiest amazon of Teutonic mythology, whose memory survives in Saxo’s account of Queen Rusila, Rusla (Hist., 178, 365, 394-396), and in the German heroic-saga’s Rütze. This queen of the elves, dwelling south of the Elivagar, is also remembered by Tacitus’ informer. In Germania (45) we read: Svionibus Sitonum gentes continuantur. Cetera similes uno differunt quod femina dominatur. . . . Hic Suebiœ fines — “The Sviones are bounded by the Sitones. While they are like each other in other things they differ in the one respect, that a woman rules over the Sitones. Here the confines of Suebia end.” The name Sitones does not occur elsewhere, and it would be vain to seek it in the domain of reality. Beyond the domain of the Sviones extended at that time that of the mythic geography. The Sitones, who were governed by a queen, belonged


to the Teutonic mythology, like the Hellusians and Oxionians, mentioned elsewhere in Germania. It is not impossible that the name Sitones, of which the stem is sit, is connected with the Norse mythological name of the chief citadel in their country — setr (Geirvadill’s setr, Idja setr; cp. setr-verjendr as a designation in Ynglingasaga [17] of the descendants of Svigdir-Ivalde). The word setr is derived from setja, a causative form of sitja, the Gothic sitan.

I now pass to the name Hlaudverr, in Volundarkvida. This poem does not state directly who Volund’s, Egil’s, and Slagfin’s father was, but it does so indirectly by mentioning the name of the father of Volund’s and Slagfin’s swan-maids, and by stating that these swan-maids were sisters of the brothers. Volund’s swan-maid is called theirra systir in str. 2. Among the many uncalled-for “emendations” made in the text of the Elder Edda is also the change of theirra to theirrar, made for the reason that the student, forgetting that Volundarkvida was a poem born of mythology, regarded it as impossible for a brother and sister to be husband and wife, and for the reason that it was observed in the prose introduction to Volundarkvida that the father of the three brothers was Finnakonungr. Hlaudverr is also found in a German source, “Biterolf” as King Liutwar. There he appears in the war between Hadding-Dieterich and Gudhorm-Ermenrich, and the poem makes him a champion on the side where all who in the mythology were foes of the Asas generally got their place, that is, on Ermenrich’s. There he occupied the most conspicuous


place as Ermenrich’s standard-bearer, and, with Sabene, leads his forces. The same position as Ermenrich’s standard-bearer occupies is held in “Dieterich’s Flucht” by Vate, that is to say, Vadi-Ivalde, and in Vilkinasaga by Valthari, that is to say again, Ivalde. Liutwar, Vate, and Valthari are originally one and the same person in these German records, just as Hlaudver (corresponding to Liutwar), Vadi (corresponding to Vate), and Ivalde (corresponding to Valthari) are identical in the Scandinavian. Volundarkvida’s statement, that Volund’s and Slagfin’s swan-maids are their sisters (half-sisters, as we shall see), and, like them, daughters of Ivalde, is thus found to be correct by the comparison of widely-separated sources.

While the father of these two swan-maids is called Hlaudverr in Volundarkvida, the father of the third swan-maid, Egil’s beloved, is called King Kiarr in Valland. As Egil was first married to the dis of vegetation, Groa, whose father is Sigtrygg in the heroic saga, and then to Sif, his swan-maid must be one of these two. In Volundarkvida, where none of the swan-maids have their common mythological names, she is called Olrun, and is said to be not a sister, but a kinswoman (kunn — str. 15) of both the others. Hlaudverr (Ivalde) and Kiarr are therefore kinsmen. Who Kiarr was in the mythology I cannot now consider. Both these kings of mythological descent reappear in the cycle of the Sigurd songs. It has already been shown above (No. 118) that the Gjukungs appear in the Sigurd saga as heirs and possessors of Hlaudverr’s halls and treasures; it is added


that “they possess the whitest shield from Kiarr’s hall” (Gudrunarkvida, ii. 25; Atlakvida, 7). Here we accordingly once more find the connection already pointed out between the persons appearing in Volundarkvida and those in the Gjukung-saga. The fathers of the swan-maids who love Volund and his brothers reappear in the Sigurd songs as heroes who had already left the scene of action, and who had owned immense treasures, which after their death have passed by inheritance into the possession of the Gjukungs. This also follows from the fact that the Gjukungs are descendants of Gjuke-Slagfin, and that Slagfin and his brothers are Niflungs, heirs of Hlaudver-Ivalde, who was gullaudigr mjök (Younger Edda).

Like his sons, Ivalde originally stood in a friendly relation to the higher reigning gods; he was their sworn man, and from his citadel near the Elivagar, Geirvadills setr, he protected the creation of the gods from the powers of frost. But, like his sons, and before them, he fell into enmity with the gods and became “a perjured hapt.” The features of the Ivalde-myth, which have been preserved in the heroic poems and shed light on the relation between the moon-god and him, are told partly in the account of Gevarus, Nanna’s father, in Saxo, and partly in the poems about Walther (Valtarius, Walthari) and Fin Folcvalding. From these accounts it appears that Ivalde abducted a daughter of the moon-god; that enmity arose between them; that, after the defeat of Ivalde, Sunna’s and Nanna’s father offered him peace, and that the peace was confirmed by oath; that Ivalde broke the


oath, attacked Gevar-Nokkver and burnt him; that, during the hostilities between them, Slagfin-Gjuke, though a son of Ivalde, did not take the side of his natural father, but that of his foster-father; and that Ivalde had to pay for his own deeds with ruin and death.

Concerning the point that Ivalde abducted a daughter of Gevar-Nokkver and married her, the Latin poems Valtarius Manufortis, Nibelunge Noth, Biterolf, Vilkinasaga, and Boguphalus (Chronicon Poloniæ) relate that Walther fled with a princess named Hildigund. On the flight he was attacked by Gjukungs, according to Valtarius Manufortis. The chief one of these (in the poem Gunthari, Gjuke’s son) received in the battle a wound “clean to the hip-bone.” The statement anent the wound, which Walther gave to the chief one among the Gjukungs, has its roots in the mythology where the chief Gjukung, that is, Gjuke himself, appears with surnames (Hengest, Geldr, öndr-Jálkr) alluding to the wound inflicted. In the Anglo-Saxon heroic poem Fin Folcvalding is married to Hildeburh, a daughter of Hnæf-Hoce, and in Hyndluljod (cp. str. 17 with str. 15) Hildigunnr is the mother of Halfdan’s wife Almveig, and consequently the wife of Sumbl Finnakonungr, that is, Ivalde. Hildigunn’s father is called Sœkonungr in Hyndluljod, a synonym of Nökkver (“the ship-captain,” the moon-god), and Hildigunn’s mother is called Sváfa, the same name as that by which Nanna is introduced in the poem concerning Helge Hjorvardson. Hildeburh, Hnæf-Hoce’s daughter, is identical with Hildigunn, daughter of Sœkonungr. Compare furthermore str. 20 in Hyndluljod, which speaks of


Nanna as Nokve’s daughter, and thus refers back to str. 17, where Hildigunn is mentioned as the daughter of Sœkonungr. The phrase Nanna var nœst thar Nauckva dottir shows that Nökkver and another elder daughter of his were named in one of the immediately preceding strophes. But in these no man’s name or epithet occurs except Sœkonungr, “the sea-king,” which can refer to Nökkver, “the ship-owner” or “ship-captain,” and the “daughter” last mentioned in the poem is Hildigunnr.

Of the names of Ivalde’s wife the various records contain the following statements:

Hlaudver-Ivalde is married to Svanfeather (Svanfjödr, Volundarkvida).

Finnalf-Ivalde is married to Svanhild Gold-feather, daughter of Sol (Fornal. saga).

Fin Folcvalding-Ivalde is married to Hildeburh, daughter of Hnæf-Hoce (Beowulf poem).

Walther-Ivalde is married to Hildigunt (German poems).

Sumbl-Finnakonungr is married to Hildigunn, daughter of Sækonungr Nokver, the same as Hnæfr, Hnefr, Nanna’s father (Hyndluljod, compared with Saxo and other sources).

She who is called Swanfeather, the sun-daughter Svanhild Gold-feather, Hildeburh, Hildigunt, and Hildigunn is accordingly a sister of the moon-dis Nanna, and a daughter of the ruler of the atmosphere and of the moon. She is herself a sun-dis. In regard to the composition of the name, we must compare Hildigunn, Hiltigunt, with Nanna’s surname Sinhtgunt. The Teutonic, or at all


events the Norse, mythology knew two divinities of the sun, mother and daughter. Grimnersmal (47) tells us that the elder one, Alfraudull, has a daughter, who, not at the present time, but in the future, is to drive the car of the sun (eina dottur berr Alfraudull . . .). The elder is the wife of the moon-god. The younger one is the Sunna mentioned in the Merseburg formula (see No. 92), Sinhtgunt-Nanna’s sister. As a surname, Sunna also occurs in the Norse literature (Alvíssmal, 17; Younger Edda, i. 472, and elsewhere).

In the Beowulf poem and in “Battle of Furnesburg,” we find Fin Folcvalding, Hildeburh’s husband, as the foe of his father-in-law Hnæf, and conquered by him and Hengest. After a war ending unluckily for him, he makes peace with his victors, breaks the peace, attacks the citadel in the night, and cremates the slain and wounded in an immense funeral pyre. Hnæf is among those fallen, and Hildeburh weeps at his funeral pyre; Hengest escapes and afterwards avenges Hnæf’s death. Saxo confirms the fact, that the historified person who in the mythology is the moon-god is attacked and burnt by one of his “satraps,” and afterwards avenged. This he tells of his Gevarus Nanna’s father (Hist., 131). The correspondence on this point shows that the episode has its root in the mythology, though it would be vain to try to find out the symbolic significance from a standpoint of physical nature of the fact that the moon-god was attacked and burnt by the husband of his daughter, the sun-dis.

Meanwhile we obtain from these scattered mythic fragments

(From a painting by Lorenz Frölich)

In the Icelandic Hervar’s Saga is an account of the mythical sword called Tyrfing, which Odin commanded the dwarfs Durin and Dvalin to forge for his grandson, King Svafrlame. When, against their will, they were compelled to deliver the sword to the king, the dwarfs pronounced a curse upon it, declaring that it should never be drawn from its sheath without causing the death of some one. Soon after Svafrlame was killed by Arngrim and the sword passed to Angantyr, who, in turn, was slain by Hjalmar and, to abate the curse, Tyrfing was buried with him. Angantyr’s daughter, Hervor, however, by a spell, exorcised the spirit of her father and obtained the sword, after which it had many owners in succession, but the curse remained, for it brought death as before to every one who unsheathed it.


preserved in the heroic poems, when compared with the statements found in the mythology itself, the following connected story as the myth about the mead:

Originally, the mead, the soma, belongs to Mimer alone. From an unknown depth it rises in the lower world directly under the world-tree, whose middle root is watered by the well of the precious liquid. Only by self-sacrifice, after prayers and tears, is Odin permitted to take a drink from this fountain. The drink increases his strength and wisdom, and enables him to give order to the world situated above the lower regions. From its middle root the world-tree draws liquids from the mead-fountain, which bless the einherjes of Asgard as a beverage, and bless the people of Midgard as a fructifying honey-dew. Still this mead is not pure; it is mixed with the liquids from Urd’s and Hvergelmer’s fountains. But somewhere in the Jotunheims, the genuine mead was discovered in the fountain Byrger. This discovery was kept secret. The keeper of the secret was Ivalde, the sworn watchman near the Elivagar. In the night he sent his son Slagfin (afterwards called after his adopted father Hjuke) and his daughter Bil (Idun) to dip liquid from the fountain Byrger and bring it to him. But the children never returned. The moon-god had taken them and Byrger’s liquids unto himself, and thus the gods of Asgard were able to partake of this drink. Without the consent of the moon-god, Ivalde on his part secured his daughter the sun-dis, and doubtless she bears to him the daughters Idun, Almveig, and other dises of growth and rejuvenation, after he had begotten Slagfin, Egil,


and Volund with the giantess Greip. The moon-god and Ivalde have accordingly taken children from each other. The circumstance that the mead, which gives the gods their creative power and wisdom, was robbed from Ivalde — this find which he kept secret and wished to keep for himself alone — makes him the irreconcilable foe of the moon-god, is the cause of the war between them, and leads him to violate the oath which he had taken to him. He attacks Gevar in the night, kills and burns him, and recaptures the mead preserved in the ship of the moon. He is henceforth for ever a foe of the gods, and allies himself with the worst enemies of their world, the powers of frost and fire. Deep down in Hades there has long dwelt another foe of the gods, Surt-Durinn, the clan-chief of Suttung’s sons, the father of Fjalar. In the oldest time he too was the friend of the gods, and co-operated with Mimer in the first creation (see No. 89). But this bond of friendship had now long been broken. Down into the deep and dark dales in which this clan hostile to the gods dwells, Ivalde brings his mead-treasure into safety. He apparently gives it as the price of Fjalar’s daughter Gunnlöd, and as a pledge of his alliance with the world of giants. On the day of the wedding, Odin comes before him, and clad in his guise, into Surt’s halls, marries Gunnlöd, robs the liquids of Byrger, and flies in eagle guise with them to Asgard. On the wedding day Ivalde comes outside of Surt’s mountain-abode, but never enters. A dwarf, the keeper of the halls, entices him into his ruin. It has already been stated that he was probably buried beneath an avalanche.


The myth concerning the carrying of the mead to the moon, and concerning its fate there, has left various traces in the traditions of the Teutonic people. In the North, Hjuke and Bil with their mead-burden were the objects seen in the spots on the moon. In southern Sweden, according to Ling, it was still known in the beginning of this century, that the bucket carried by the figures in the moon was a “brewing kettle,” consequently containing or having contained a brewed liquid. According to English traditions, not the two children of Vidfin, but a drunken criminal (Ritson’s Ancient Songs; cp. J. Grimm, Deut. Myth., 681), dwelt in the full moon, and that of which he is charged in widely circulated traditions is that he was gathering fagots for the purpose of crime, or in an improper time (on the Sabbath). Both the statements — that he is drunk and that his crime consists in the gathering of fagots — lead us to suppose that this “man in the moon” originally was Ivalde, the drink-champion and the mead-robber, who attacked and burnt the moon-god. His punishment is that he will never get to heaven, but will remain in the moon, and there he is for ever to carry a bundle of thorn-fagots (thus according to a German tradition, and also according to a tradition told by Chaucer). Most probably, he has to carry the thorn-rod of the moon-god burnt by him. The moon-god (see Nos. 75, 91) ruled over the Teutonic Erynnies armed with rods (limar), and in this capacity he bore the epithet Eylimi. A Dutch poem from the fourteenth century says that the culprit in duitshe heet Ludergheer. A variation which J. Grimm (Deut. Myth., 683) quotes


is Lodeger. The name refers, as Grimm has pointed out, to the Old High German Liutker, the Lüdiger of the German middle-age poem. In “Nibelunge Noth,” Ludiger contends with the Gjukungs; in “Dieterichs Flucht,” he abandons Dieterich’s cause and allies himself with the evil Ermenrich. Like Liutwar, Lüdiger is a pendant to the Norse Hlaudver, in whom we have already rediscovered Ivalde. While, according to the Younger Edda, both the Ivalde children Hjuke and Bil appear in the moon, according to the English and German traditions it is their criminal father who appears on the scene of the fire he kindled, drunk with the mead he robbed, and punished with the rod kept by his victim.

The statement in Forspjallsljod, that Ivalde had two groups of children, corresponds with the result at which we have arrived. By the giantess Greip he is the father of Slagfin, Egil, and Volund; by the sun-dis, Gevar-Nokver’s daughter and Nanna’s sister, he is the father of dises of growth, among whom are Idun, who first is Volund’s beloved or wife, and thereupon is married to Brage. Another daughter of Ivalde is the beloved of Slagfin-Gjuke, Auda, the “frau Ute” of the German heroic saga. A third is Signe-Alveig, in Saxo the daughter of Sumblus Phinnorum (Ivalde). At his wedding with her, Egil is attacked and slain by Halfdan. Hadding is Halfdan’s and her son.

Several things indicate that, when their father became a foe of the gods, Ivalde’s sons were still their friends, and that Slagfin particularly was on the side of his foster-father in the conflict with Ivalde. With this corresponds


also the conduct of the Gjukungs toward Valtarius, when he takes flight with Hildigunn. In the Anglo-Saxon heroic poetry, the name Hengest is borne by the person who there takes Slagfin’s place as Hnæf-Gevar’s nearest man. The introduction to the Younger Edda has from its English authorities the statement that Heingestr (Hengest) was a son of Vitta and a near kinsman of Svipdag. If, as previous investigators have assumed, Vitta is Vade, then Hengest is a son of Ivalde, and this harmonises with the statement anent his kinship with Svipdag, who is a grandson of Ivalde. The meaning of the word Hengest refers of itself to Slagfin-Geldr. The name Geldr is a participle of gelda, and means castratus. The original meaning of Hengest is “a gelding,” equus castratus (in the modern German the word got for the first time its present meaning). That the adjective idea castratus was transferred to the substantive equus castratus is explained by the fact that Gils, Gisl, a mythic name for a horse (Younger Edda, i. 70, 482), was also a Gjukung name. One of Hengest’s ancestors in his genealogy in Beda and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is called Vict-gils; one of Slagfin-Gjuke’s sons is named Gilser. A neither mythic nor historic brother of Hengest added in later times is named Horsa. The Ravenna geography says that when the Saxons left their old abodes on the continent, they marched cum principe suo Anschis, and with their chief Ans-gisl, who therefore here appears in the place of Hengest. Synonymous with Hengest is the Norse Jálkr, equus castratus, and that some member of the mythological group of ski-runners, that is, some


one of the male members of the Ivalde race, in the Norse version of the Teutonic mythology, bore this epithet is proved by the paraphrase öndr-Jálkr, “the equus castratus of the skirunners.” The cause of the designation is found in the event described above, which has been handed down by the poem “Valtarius Manufortis.” The chief one of the Gjukungs, originally Gjuke himself, there fights with Valtarius, who in the mythology was his father, and receives in the conflict a wound “clean to the thigh-bone.” This wound may have symbolic significance from the fact that the fight is between father and son. According to the English chronicler Nennius, Hengest had two brothers, Ochta and Ebissa. In spite of their corruption these names remind us of Slagfin’s brothers, Aggo-Ajo (Volund) and Ibor-Ebbo (Egil).

According to the historified saga, Hengest was the leader of the first Saxon army which landed in Britain. All scholars have long since agreed that this Hengest is a mythical character. The migration saga of the Teutonic mythology was transferred by the heathen Saxons to England, and survived there until Christian times. After the names of the real leaders of the Saxon immigration were forgotten, Hengest was permitted to take their place, because in the mythology he had been a leader of the Saxon emigrants from their original country, the Scandian peninsula (see No. 16), and because this immigration was blended in Christian times with the memory of the emigration from Germany to Britain. Thus, while the Longobardians made Volund and Egil (Ajo and Ibor) the leaders of their emigration, the Saxons


made Volund’s and Egil’s brother Slagfin (Hengest-Gjuke) their leader. The Burgundians also regarded Slagfin (Gjuke) as their emigration hero and royal progenitor. Of this there is evidence partly in Lex Burgundionum, the preface of which enumerates Burgundian kings who have Gjukung names; partly in Middle High German poem, which makes the Gjukungs Burgundian kings. The Saxon migration saga and the Burgundian are therefore, like those of the other Teutonic races, connected with the Ivalde race and with the fimbul-winter.