1. The Nadir in Ideas of God

In the beginning God created heaven and earth and all those things which are in them; and last of all, two of human kind, Adam and Eve, from whom the races are descended. And their offspring multiplied among themselves and were scattered throughout the earth. But as time passed, the races of men became unlike in nature: some were good and believed on the right; but many more turned after the lusts of the world and slighted God's command. Wherefore, God drowned the world in a swelling of the sea, and all living things, save them alone that were in the ark with Noah. After Noah's flood eight of mankind remained alive, who peopled the earth; and the races descended from them. And it was even as before: when the earth was full of folk and inhabited of many, then all the multitude of mankind began to love greed, wealth, and worldly honor, but neglected the worship of God. Now accordingly it came to so evil a pass that they would not name God; and who then could tell their sons of God's mighty wonders? Thus it happened that they lost the name of God; and throughout the wideness of the world the man was not found who could distinguish in aught the trace of his Creator. But not the less did God bestow upon them the gifts of the earth: wealth and happiness, for their enjoyment in the world; He increased also their wisdom, so that they knew all earthly matters, and every phase of whatsoever they might see in the air and on the earth.

One thing they wondered and pondered over: what it might mean, that the earth and the beasts and the birds had one nature in some ways, and yet were unlike in manner of life. In this was their nature one: that the earth was cleft into lofty mountain-peaks, wherein water spurted up, and it was not needful to dig longer for water there than in the deep valleys; so it is also with beasts and birds: it is equally far to the blood in the head and the feet. Another quality of the earth is, that in each year grass and flowers grow upon the earth, and in the same year all that growth falls away and withers; it is even so with beasts and birds: hair and feathers grow and fall away each year. This is the third nature of the earth, that when it is opened and dug up, the grass grows straightway on the soil which is uppermost on the earth. Boulders and stones they likened to the teeth and bones of living beings. Thus they recognized that the earth was quick, and had life with some manner of nature of its own; and they understood that she was wondrous old in years and mighty in kind: she nourished all that lived, and she took to herself all that died. Therefore they gave her a name, and traced the number of their generations from her. The same thing, moreover, they learned from their aged kinsmen: that many hundreds of years have been numbered since the same earth yet was, and the same sun and stars of the heavens; but the courses of these were unequal, some having a longer course, and some a shorter.

From things like these the thought stirred within them that there might be some governor of the stars of heaven: one who might order their courses after his will; and that he must be very strong and full of might. This also they held to be true: that if he swayed the chief things of creation, he must have been before the stars of heaven; and they saw that if he ruled the courses of the heavenly bodies, he must also govern the shining of the sun, and the dews of the air, and the fruits of the earth, whatsoever grows upon it; and in like manner the winds of the air and the storms of the sea. They knew not yet where his kingdom was; but this they believed: that he ruled all things on earth and in the sky, the great stars also of the heaven, and the winds of the sea. Wherefore, not only to tell of this fittingly, but also that they might fasten it in memory, they gave names out of their own minds to all things. This belief of theirs has changed in many ways, according as the peoples drifted asunder and their tongues became severed one from another. But all things they discerned with the wisdom of the earth, for the understanding of the spirit was not given to them; this they perceived, that all things were fashioned of some essence.

2. About the three parts of the world

The world was divided into three parts: from the south, extending into the west and bordering on the Mediterranean Sea,--all this part was called Africa, the southern quarter of which is hot, so that it is parched with the sun. The second part, from west to north and bordering on the ocean, is called Eurp or Ene; its northern part is so cold that no grass grows upon it, and no man dwells there. From the north and all down over the eastern part, even to the south, is called Asia. In that region of the world is all fairness and pride, and the fruits of the earth's increase, gold and jewels. There also is the centre of the earth; and even as the land there is lovelier and better in every way than in other places, so also were the sons of men there most favored with all goodly gifts: wisdom, and strength of the body, beauty, and all manner of knowledge.

3. Of the men of Troy

Near the earth's centre was made that goodliest of homes and haunts that ever have been, which is called Troy, even that which we call Turkland. This abode was much more gloriously made than others, and fashioned with more skill of craftsmanship in manifold wise, both in luxury and in the wealth which was there in abundance. There were twelve kingdoms and one High King, and many sovereignties belonged to each kingdom; in the stronghold were twelve chieftains. These chieftains were in every manly part greatly above other men that have ever been in the world. One king among them was called Mnn or Mennn; and he was wedded to the daughter of the High King Priam, her who was called Trn; they had a child named Trr, whom we call Thor. He was fostered in Thrace by a certain war-duke called Lrkus; but when he was ten winters old he took unto him the weapons of his father. He was as goodly to look upon, when he came among other men, as the ivory that is inlaid in oak; his hair was fairer than gold. When he was twelve winters old he had his full measure of strength; then he lifted clear of the earth ten bear-skins all at one time; and then he slew Duke Lrkus, his foster-father, and with him his wife Lr, or Glr, and took into his own hands the realm of Thrace, which we call Thrdheim. Then he went forth far and wide over the lands, and sought out every quarter of the earth, overcoming alone all berserks and giants, and one dragon, greatest of all dragons, and many beasts. In the northern half of his kingdom he found the prophetess that is called Sbil, whom we call Sif, and wedded her. The lineage of Sif I cannot tell; she was fairest of all women, and her hair was like gold. Their son was Lridi, who resembled his father; his son was Einridi, his son Vingethor, his son Vingener, his son Mda, his son Magi, his son Seskef, his son Bedvig, his son Athra (whom we call Annarr), his son termann, his son Heremd, his son Skjaldun (whom we call Skjld), his son Bjf (whom we call Bjrr), his son Jt, his son Gudlfr, his son Finn, his son Frallaf (whom we call Fridleifr); his son was he who is named Vden, whom we call Odin: he was a man far-famed for wisdom and every accomplishment. His wife was Frgd, whom we call Frigg.

4. in's journey to the north of the world

Odin had second sight, and his wife also; and from their foreknowledge he found that his name should be exalted in the northern part of the world and glorified above the fame of all other kings. Therefore, he made ready to journey out of Turkland, and was accompanied by a great multitude of people, young folk and old, men and women; and they had with them much goods of great price. And wherever they went over the lands of the earth, many glorious things were spoken of them, so that they were held more like gods than men. They made no end to their journeying till they were come north into the land that is now called Saxland; there Odin tarried for a long space, and took the land into his own hand, far and wide.

In that land Odin set up three of his sons for land-wardens. One was named Vegdeg: he was a mighty king and ruled over East Saxland; his son was Vitgils; his sons were Vitta, Heingistr's father, and Sigarr, father of Svebdeg, whom we call Svipdagr. The second son of Odin was Beldeg, whom we call Baldr: he had the land which is now called Westphalia. His son was Brandr, his son Frjdigar, (whom we call Frdi), his son Frevin, his son Uvigg, his son Gevis (whom we call Gave). Odin's third son is named Sigi, his son Rerir. These the forefathers ruled over what is now called Frankland; and thence is descended the house known as Vlsungs. From all these are sprung many and great houses.

Then Odin began his way northward, and came into the land which they called Reidgothland; and in that land he took possession of all that pleased him. He set up over the land that son of his called Skjldr, whose son was Fridleifr;--and thence descends the house of the Skjldungs: these are the kings of the Danes. And what was then called Reidgothland is now called Jutland.

5. inn set up his residence at Sigtuna

After that he went northward, where the land is called Sweden; the king there was named Gylfi. When the king learned of the coming of those men of Asia, who were called sir, he went to meet them, and made offer to them that Odin should have such power in his realm as he himself wielded. And such well-being followed ever upon their footsteps, that in whatsoever lands they dwelt were good seasons and peace; and all believed that they caused these things, for the lords of the land perceived that they were unlike other men whom they had seen, both in fairness and also in wisdom.

The fields and the choice lands in that place seemed fair to Odin, and he chose for himself the site of a city which is now called Sigtn. There he established chieftains in the fashion which had prevailed in Troy; he set up also twelve head-men to be doomsmen over the people and to judge the laws of the land; and he ordained also all laws as, there had been before, in Troy, and according to the customs of the Turks. After that he went into the north, until he was stopped by the sea, which men thought lay around all the lands of the earth; and there he set his son over this kingdom, which is now called Norway. This king was Smingr; the kings of Norway trace their lineage from him, and so do also the jarls and the other mighty men, as is said in the Hleygjatal. Odin had with him one of his sons called Yngvi, who was king in Sweden after him; and those houses come from him that are named Ynglings. The sir took wives of the land for themselves, and some also for their sons; and these kindreds became many in number, so that throughout Saxland, and thence all over the region of the north, they spread out until their tongue, even the speech of the men of Asia, was the native tongue over all these lands. Therefore men think that they can perceive, from their forefathers' names which are written down, that those names belonged to this tongue, and that the sir brought the tongue hither into the northern region, into Norway and into Sweden, into Denmark and into Saxland. But in England there are ancient lists of land-names and place-names which may show that these names came from another tongue than this.


1. run gushugmyndar.

Almttigr gu skapai upphafi himin ok jr ok alla hluti, er eim fylgja, og sast menn tv, er ttir eru fr komnar, Adam ok Evu, ok fjlgaist eira kynsl ok dreifist um heim allan.

En er fram liu stundir, jafnaist mannflkit. Vru sumir gir ok rtttrair, en miklu fleiri snerust eftir girnum heimsins ok rku gus boor, ok fyrir v drekki gu heiminum sjvargangi ok llum kykvendum heimsins nema eim, er rkinni vru me Na. Eftir Nafl lifu tta menn, eir er heiminn byggu, ok kmu fr eim ttir, ok var enn sem fyrr, at er fjlmenntist ok byggist verldin, var at allr fjli mannflksins, er elskai girni fjr ok metnaar, en afrkust gus hlni, ok sv mikit gerist at v, at eir vildu eigi nefna gu. En hverr myndi fr segja sonum eira fr gus strmerkjum? Sv kom, at eir tndu gus nafni, ok vast um verldina fannst eigi s mar, er deili kunni skapara snum. En eigi at sr veitti gu eim jarligar giftir, f ok slu, er eir skyldu vi vera heiminum. Milai hann ok spekina, sv at eir skilu alla jarliga hluti ok allar greinar, r er sj mtti loftsins ok jararinnar.

at hugsuu eir ok undruust, hv at myndi gegna, er jrin ok drin ok fuglarnir hfu saman eli sumum hlutum ok lk at htti. at var eitt eli, a jrin var grafin hm fjalltindum ok spratt ar vatn upp, ok urfti ar eigi lengra at grafa til vatns en djpum dlum. Sv er ok dr ok fuglar, at jafnlangt er til bls hfi ok ftum. nnur nttra er s jarar, at hverju ri vex jrinni gras ok blm, ok sama ri fellr at allt ok flnar, sv ok dr ok fuglar, at vex hr ok fjarar ok fellr af hverju ri. at er in rija nttra jarar, er hon er opnu ok grafin, grr gras eiri moldu, er efst er jrinni. Bjrg ok steina ddu eir mti tnnum ok beinum kvikenda. Af essu skilu eir sv, at jrunni vri kvik ok hefi lf me nkkurum htti, ok vissu eir, at hon furuliga gmul at aldartali ok mttug eli. Hon fddi ll kykvendi, ok hon eignaist allt at, er d. Fyrir sk gfu eir henni nafn ok tlu tt sna til hennar. at sama spuru eir af gmlum frndum snum, at san er tali vru mrg hundru vetra, var in sama jr ok sl ok himintungl, en gangr himintunglanna var jafn. ttu sum lengra gang, en sum skemmra. Af vlkum hlutum grunai , at nkkurr myndi vera stjrnari himintunglanna, s er stilla myndi gang eira at vilja snum, ok myndi s vera rkr mjk ok mttigr. Ok ess vntu eir, ef hann ri fyrir hfuskepnunum, at hann myndi ok fyrr verit hafa en himintunglin, ok at s eir, ef hann rr gangi himintunglanna, at hann myndi ra skini slar ok dgg loftsins ok vexti jararinnar, er v fylgir, ok slkt sama vindinum loftsins ok ar me stormi svarins. vissu eir eigi, hvar rki hans var, en v tru eir, at hann r llum hlutum jru ok lofti, himins ok himintunglum, svarins ok veranna.

En til ess at heldr mtti fr segja ea minni festa, gfu eir nfn me sjlfum sr llum hlutum, ok hefir essi trnar marga lund breytzt, sv sem jirnar skiptust ok tungurnar greindust. En alla hluti skilu eir jarligri skilningu, v at eim var eigi gefin andlig spekin. Sv skilu eir, at allir hlutir vri smair af nkkuru efni.

2. Um rjr hlfur veraldar.

Verldin var greind rjr hlfur, fr suri vestr ok inn at Mijararsj; s hlutr var kallar Affrk. Inn syri hlutr eirar deilar er heitr, sv at ar brennr, af slu. Annarr hlutr fr vestri til norrs ok inn til hafsins; er s kallar Evrp ea n. Inn nyrri hluti er ar sv kaldr, at eigi vex gras ok eigi m byggja. Fr norri ok um austrhlfur allt til surs, at er kallat As. eim hluta veraldar er ll fegr ok pri ok eignir jarar-vaxtar, gull ok gimsteinar. ar er ok mi verldin. Ok sv sem ar er jrin fegri ok betri llum kostum en rum stum, sv var ok mannflkit ar mest tignat af llum giftunum, spekinni ok aflinu, fegrinni ok alls konar kunnustu.

3. Fr Trjumnnum.

Nr miri verldinni var gert at hs ok herbergi, er gtast hefir verit, er kallat Trja, ar sem vr kllum Tyrkland. essi star var miklu meiri gerr en arir ok me meira hagleik marga lund me kostnai ok fngum, en ar vru til. ar vru tlf konungdmar ok einn yfirkonungr, ok lgu mrg jlnd til hvers konungdmsins. ar vru borginni tlf hfingjar. essir hfingjar hafa verit um fram ara menn, er verit hafa verldu, um alla manndmliga hluti.

Einn konungr Trju er nefndr Mnn ea Mennn. Hann tti dttur hfukonungsins Pram. S ht Tran. au ttu son. Hann ht Trr, er vr kllum r. Hann var at uppfslu Trak me hertoga eim, er nefndr er Lrks, en er hann var tu vetra, tk hann vi vpnum fur sns. Sv var hann fagr litum, er hann kom me rum mnnum, sem er flsbein er grafit eik. Hr hans er fegra en gull. er hann var tlf vetra, hafi hann fullt afl. lyfti hann af jru tu bjarnarstkkum llum senn, ok drap hann Lrkm hertoga, fstra sinn, ok konu hans, Lr ea Glr, ok eignai sr rkit Trak. at kllum vr rheim. fr hann va um lnd ok kannai allar heimshlfur ok sigrai einn saman alla berserki ok alla risa ok einn inn mesta dreka ok mrg dr. norrhlfu heims fann hann spkonu , er Sbl ht, er vr kllum Sif, ok fekk hennar. Engi kann at segja tt Sifjar. Hon var allra kvinna fegrst. Hr hennar var sem gull. eira sonr var Lrii, er lkr var fer snum. Hans sonr var Einrii, hans sonr Vingerr, hans sonr Vingener, hans sonr Mda, hans sonr Magi, hans sonr Seskef, hans sonr Bevig, hans sonr Athra, er vr kllum Annan, hans sonr trmann, hans sonr Herem, hans sonr Skjaldun, er vr kllum Skjld, hans Bjf, er kllum Bjr, hans sonr Jt, hans sonr Gulfr, hans sonr Finn, hans sonr Frallaf, er vr kllum Frileif. Hann tti ann son, er nefndr er Vden. ann kllum vr in. Hann var gtr mar af speki ok allri atgervi. Kona hans ht Frga, er vr kllum Frigg.

4. Fr ins norr heim.

inn hafi spdm ok sv kona hans, ok af eim vsendum fann hann at, at nafn hans myndi uppi vera haft norrhlfu heims ok tignat um fram alla konunga. Fyrir sk fstist hann at byrja fer sna af Tyrklandi ok hafi me sr mikinn fjla lis, unga menn ok gamla, karla ok konur, ok hfu me sr marga gersamliga hluti. En hvar sem eir fru yfir lnd, var gti mikit fr eim sagt, sv at eir ttu lkari goum en mnnum. Ok eir gefa eigi sta ferinni, fyrr en eir koma norr at land, er n er kallat Saxland. ar dvalist inn langar hrir ok eignaist va at land. ar setti inn til landsgzlu rj sonu sna. Er einn nefndr Vegdeg. Var hann rkr konungr ok r fyrir Austr-Saxlandi. Hans sonr var Vitrgils. Hans synir vru eir Vitta, fair Heingests, ok Sigarr, fair Svebdeg, er vr kllum Svipdag. Annarr sonr ins ht Baldeg, er vr kllum Baldr. Hann tti at land, er n heitir Vestfl. Hans sonr var Brandr, hans sonr Frjigar, er vr kllum Fra. Hans sonr var Frevin, hans sonr Uvigg, hans sonr Gevis, er vr kllum Gave. Inn rii sonr ins er nefndr Sigi, hans sonr Rerir. eir langfer ru ar fyrir, er n er kallat Frakland, ok er aan s tt komin, er kllu er Vlsungar. Fr llum eim eru strar ttir komnar ok margar.

byrjai inn fer sna norr ok kom at land, er eir klluu Reigotaland, ok eignaist v landi allt at, er hann vildi. Hann setti ar til landa son sinn, er Skjldr ht. Hans sonr var Frileifr. aan er s tt komin, er Skjldungar heita. at eru Danakonungar, ok at heitir Jtland, er var kallat Reigotaland.

5. inn tk sr bsta Sigtnum.

Eftir at fr hann norr, ar sem n heitir Svj. ar var s konungr, er Gylfi er nefndr. En er hann spyrr til ferar eira samanna, er er sir vru kallair, fr hann mti eim ok bau, at inn skyldi slkt vald hafa hans rki, sem hann vildi sjlfr. Ok s tmi fylgi fer eira, at hvar sem eir dvlust lndum, var ar r ok frir, ok tru allir, at eir vri ess randi, v at at s rkismenn, at eir vru lkir rum mnnum, eim er eir hfu st, at fegr ok sv at viti. ar tti ni fagrir vellir ok landskostir gir ok kaus sr ar borgsta, er n heita Sigtn. Skipai hann ar hfingjum ok lking, sem verit hafi Trja, setti tlf hfumenn stainum at dma landslg, ok sv skipai hann rttum llum sem fyrr hafi verit Trja ok Tyrkir vru vanir.

Eftir at fr hann norr, ar til er sjr tk vi honum, s er eir hugu, at lgi um ll lnd, ok setti ar son sinn til ess rkis, er n heitir Nregr. S er Smingr kallar, ok telja ar Nregskonungar snar ttir til hans ok sv jarlar ok arir rkismenn, sv sem segir Hleygjatali. En inn hafi me sr ann son sinn, er Yngvi er nefndr, er konungr var Svju eftir hann, ok eru fr honum komnar r ttir, er Ynglingar eru kallair.

eir sir tku sr kvnfng ar innan lands, en sumir sonum snum, ok uru essar ttir fjlmennar, at umb Saxland ok allt aan of norrhlfur dreifist sv, at eira tunga, samanna, var eigin tunga um ll essi lnd. Ok at ykkjast menn skynja mega af v, at ritu eru langfeganfn eira, at au nfn hafa fylgt essi tungu ok eir sir hafa haft tunguna norr hingat heim, Nreg ok Svj, Danmrk ok Saxland, ok Englandi eru forn landsheiti ea staaheiti, au er skilja m, at af annarri tungu eru gefin en essi.


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