Óðrerir

In Norse mythology, Óðrerir, Óðrørir or Óðrœrir refers either to one of the three vessels that contain the mead of poetry (along with Boðn and Són) or to the mead itself.

Attestations

Poetic Edda

Óðrerir is mentioned in two ambiguous passages of the Hávamál. In a first stanza (107), it is sometimes assumed that Óðrerir is synonymous with mead of poetry,[1] but both interpretations are possible.

Of a well-assumed form
I made good use:
few things fail the wise;
for Odhrærir
is now come up
to men’s earthly dwellings
Hávamál (107), Thorpe's translation

In another stanza (140), the meaning of Óðrerir depends on the translation.

Fimbulljóð níu
nam ek af inum frægja syni
Bölþorns, Bestlu föður,
ok ek drykk of gat
ins dýra mjaðar,
ausinn Óðreri.
Hávamál (140), Guðni Jónsson's edition
Potent songs nine
from the famed son I learned
of Bölthorn, Bestla’s sire,
and a draught obtained
of the precious mead,
drawn from Odhrærir.
Hávamál (142), Thorpe's translation

In most translations, Óðrerir seems to refer to a vessel, but other interpretations of ausinn Óðreri are possible,[2] which can lead to understand Óðrerir to be the mead itself.

Prose Edda

For Snorri Sturluson, Óðrerir is the name of the kettle in which Kvasir's blood was mixed with honey to create the mead:

[Kvasir] went up and down the earth to give instruction to men; and when he came upon invitation to the abode of certain dwarves, Fjalar and Galarr, they called him into privy converse with them, and killed him, letting his blood run into two vats and a kettle. The kettle is named Ódrerir, and the vats Són and Bodn; they blended honey with the blood, and the outcome was that mead by the virtue of which he who drinks becomes a skald or scholar.
Skáldskaparmál (V), Brodeur's translation

Similarly, Snorri considers that "liquid of Óðrerir and Boðn and Són" (lögr Óðreris ok Boðnar ok Sónar) is a kenning for the mead of poetry (Skáldskaparmál, 3).

But in skaldic poetry, Óðrerir is a synonym of mead of poetry[1] and it is therefore assumed that Óðrerir as a vessel is Snorri's invention. Moreover, the etymology of the name – which can be rendered into "stirrer of inspiration" or "stirrer of fury" – suggests that it rather refers to the mead. Boðn probably means "vessel"[1] and Són signifies either "reconciliation"[3] or "blood".[4]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Simek 1996.
  2. ^ Lindow 2002.
  3. ^ An allusion to the truce concluded by the gods after the Æsir-Vanir War.
  4. ^ Faulkes 1998.

References

  • Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist (trans.). 1916. Snorri Sturluson: The Prose Edda. New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation.
  • Faulkes, Anthony (ed.). 1998. Snorri Sturluson: Edda. Skáldskaparmál. Vol. 2, Glossary and Index of Names. London: Viking Society for Northern Research. ISBN 0-903521-38-5.
  • Guðni Jónsson (ed.). 1949. Eddukvæði: Sæmundar-Edda. Reykjavík: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  • Lindow, John. 2002. Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. New York: Oxford University Press. First published in 2001 by ABC-Clio. ISBN 0-19-515382-0.
  • Simek, Rudolf. 1996. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Translated by Angela Hall. First published by Alfred Kröner Verlag in 1984. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. ISBN 0-85991-513-1.
  • Thorpe, Benjamin (trans.). 1866. Edda Sæmundar Hinns Froða: The Edda Of Sæmund The Learned. London: Trübner & Co.
Kvasir

In Norse mythology, Kvasir was a being born of the saliva of the Æsir and Vanir, two groups of gods. Extremely wise, Kvasir traveled far and wide spreading knowledge and teaching. This continued until the dwarfs Fjalar and Galar killed Kvasir and drained him of his blood. The two mixed his blood with honey, resulting in the Mead of Poetry, a mead which imbues the drinker with skaldship and wisdom, and the spread of which eventually resulted in the introduction of poetry to mankind.

Kvasir is attested in the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, both written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, and in the poetry of skalds. According to the Prose Edda, Kvasir was instrumental in the capture and binding of Loki, and an euhemerized account of the god appears in Heimskringla, where he is attested as the wisest member of the Vanir.

Scholars have connected Kvasir to methods of beverage production and peacemaking practices among ancient peoples, and have pointed to a potential basis in Proto-Indo-European myth by way of Sanskrit tales involving the holy beverage Soma and its theft by the god Indra.

List of mythological objects

Mythological objects encompass a variety of items (e.g. weapons, armour, clothing) found in mythology, legend, folklore, tall tale, fable, religion, and spirituality from across the world. This list will be organized according to the category of object.

Mead of poetry

In Norse mythology, the Poetic Mead or Mead of Poetry (Old Norse skáldskapar mjaðar), also known as Mead of Suttungr (Suttungmjaðar), is a mythical beverage that whoever "drinks becomes a skald or scholar" to recite any information and solve any question. This myth was reported by Snorri Sturluson (Skáldskaparmál 5) (1). The drink is a vivid metaphor for poetic inspiration, often associated with Odin the god of 'possession' via berserker rage or poetic inspiration.

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