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Thread: Nerthus in the North - Woden Further South?

  1. #51
    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    In fairness Njordr does have male IE counterparts elsewhere, most obviously in Rome and Ossetia as was noticed by Dumezil decades ago.

    But Snorri nonetheless makes the point that Njordr is beardless unlike the Aesir and unlike Freyr. Such details had importance to an ancient or medieval audience that are lost to us today. Cutting facial hair was a taboo to the Norse; to have no beard, vuluntarily or otherwise, was ergi and beardless males belonged to the female social spaces. Thus Snorri actually did point out something gender bent as did Tacitus.

    Probably the deity was female in worshipped as male some locations and male in others, and recieved the -r suffix nonetheless when female as it was the Norse custom for legally autonomous women. Or was what the Japanese would call a moon-turner.

    Elsewhere around the Baltic and further east among the Slavs the sex of fertility gods could be blurred because brother-sister dyads could also be worshippped as singular. It would not be surprising were this a common Subarctic tendency among the northernmost IEs. This would explain the unfemininity of Njordr's southern parallels. Such would explain the references to Njordr and his curiously missing sister who people conclude is Nerthus anyway.

    Simek supports the position that Njordr was hermaphrodite whilst Dumezil believed the deity was recognised male or female at different locations.

  2. #52
    Mein Glaube ist die Liebe zu meinem Volk. Juthunge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    Woden is an Iranic borrowing and Iranic influences, other than on the steppes, were most proximal to Pannonia. A bit more controversial is the identification of Odin with the Heruli in a Scandinavian inscription. Scandinavia and the North Sea were furthest from the source of the borrowings. The Suevi were geograhically closer and Classical authors noted that the Suevic tribes, compared to other Germanic tribes, were very mobile and less reliant on agriculture. The only oyher acceptable etymology for his names, is Celtic rather than Germanic. Either way he was imported from another IE group.

    The attitudes people have to these two gods are interesting because in one case people refuse to accept the god's foreign origins (repeating an impossible derivation from wut)
    What proof is there or what is even the concrete theory about an Iranian origin? Unless you’re speaking about the theory by Heyerdahl, which stands on etymologically infinitely more shaky ground than a derivation from “wut”(well, rather the much different looking form from back then).

    By the way, I wouldn’t care or be surprised, if he derived from a foreign source so there is no ideologically bias here. The figure of Odin always puzzled me, in fact, as he is relatively “odd” for the whole Indo-European pantheon(s).

    The original home of the Suebi, in BC times, was roughly between the Elbe and the Oder, later, in the 1st century AD, some parts got to Bohemia especially Marcomanni and Quadi. Even later, in the 2nd century AD, the latter got to the banks of the Danube in Slovakia. There they had some contact with Indo-Iranian Sarmatians, often fighting against the Romans together with them.
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    Ancient DNA: List of All Studies analyzing DNA of Ancient Tribes and Ethnicities(post-2010)


  3. #53
    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    I am not referrng to Heyerdahl but to John Colarusso. His demonstration was the Shapsegh cognate Wadana whose own name cannot be a borroring from or source for the Germanic, but rather from a common Iranic source itself that was probably cognate with Vrddhana (Shiva/Rudra). As Colarusso is a Caucasiologist I expect him to be an unfamiliar name here, however he refers to himself as providing HED's "eastern link". If Colarusso is unfamiliar then Davidson and her comparison of Odin to Mithras ought not to be. Odin has Mongol, Turkic and Tibetan equivalents as befits a god from the east; see Eliade for a summary of Central Asian similarities for example connecting the loss of an eye to the lame smith. However the specific motif of having one eye is not especially informative as to function as it suggests amplified power.

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    Yep, the god of order, law and war have all kind of strange equivalences.
    Ogun of the Ibos in western Africa have incredibly many similarities with Odin. Not so strange, societies need law and rule and law and rule is closely related to ethics, war and so on. The Ogun cult also represents surprisingly high ethical standards and warrior etics, it must have been some of Africas best developed cultures once

    Ogun have also migrated with the africans and is also a notable god in the voodoo-universe of Caribbea & SA, I dont remember the name of the branch, but it`s not a "black magic" branch, this is a Jupiter-like charachter with a Martial side... As we know from the Kabbalah and the blue and red light of US cop cars... "The power and the glory", Mars and Jupiter is a very strong combination when balanced
    Last edited by Hoarsewhisper; Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 at 01:38 AM. Reason: words...
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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Something weird happened on Wikipedia: there never was a reference to Colarusso and Davidson's oft discussed "eastern connection" (why?) but there was to a proposed Celtic etymology. It was strangely and quietly removed without explanation.

    You will remember that in the interwar period there was an attempt to undermine Indo-European studies. People have always been iffy about connections between Indo-European groups that inevitably erode particularism and create bonds of underastanding with other cultures. Even though the comparative approach ultimately brings all cultures together at some level, it accepts people are not exactly the same and therefore undermines fantasies all individuals are directly interchangable.

    There is a reason cultural brotherhood between Germanics and their neighbours is downlayed or denied whilst similarities between us and more distant cultures are hyped when present or invented outright.

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    Mein Glaube ist die Liebe zu meinem Volk. Juthunge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    Something weird happened on Wikipedia: there never was a reference to Colarusso and Davidson's oft discussed "eastern connection" (why?)
    Well, is that theory oft discussed? I've never heard of it before you mentioned it. I also can't find the works by Colarusso online.

    but there was to a proposed Celtic etymology. It was strangely and quietly removed without explanation.
    Strange, that it was removed, I remember that passage, too. I found an attempted refutation of the Celtic, hypothesis, at least of the one by De Vries, though:
    Celtic Influences in Germanic Religion: A Survey

    Even so, even if wrong, which is of course still debatable, the theory should still be mentioned.
    And the day they sold us out, Our hearts grew cold
    'Cause we were never asked, No brother, we were told!
    What do they know of Europe, Who only Europe know?



    Ancient DNA: List of All Studies analyzing DNA of Ancient Tribes and Ethnicities(post-2010)


  7. #57
    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    The JIES paper by Colarusso is or was online: he repeated his argument in his book on Circassian Nart stories. The chapter by HED about the influences of Mithras upon Odhinn is also online, or was when I looked for it successfully.

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