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Thread: Rigsthula Text with Comments

  1. #1
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    Arrow Rigsthula Text with Comments

    The text with some comment:
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe14.htm
    another reading:
    http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1335625
    Note the referrence to racial features being made and the work being performed by them.
    Men say there went | by ways so green
    Of old the god, | the aged and wise,
    Mighty and strong | did Rig go striding.

    Forward he went | on the midmost way,
    He came to a dwelling, | a door on its posts;
    In did he fare, | on the floor was a fire,
    Two hoary ones | by the hearth there sat,
    Ai and Edda, | in olden dress.

    Rig knew well | wise words to speak,
    Soon in the midst | of the room he sat,
    And on either side | the others were.

    A loaf of bread | did Edda bring,
    Heavy and thick | and swollen with husks;
    Forth on the table | she set the fare,
    And broth for the meal | in a bowl there was.
    (Calf's flesh boiled | was the best of the dainties.)

    Rig knew well | wise words to speak,
    Thence did he rise, | made ready to sleep;
    Soon in the bed | himself did he lay,
    And on either side | the others were.

    Thus was he there | for three nights long,
    Then forward he went | on the midmost way,
    And so nine months | were soon passed by.

    A son bore Edda, | with water they sprinkled him,
    With a cloth his hair | so black they covered;
    Thræll they named him, | . . . . .

    The skin was wrinkled | and rough on his hands,
    Knotted his knuckles, | . . . . .
    Thick his fingers, | and ugly his face,
    Twisted his back, | and big his heels.

    He began to grow, | and to gain in strength,
    Soon of his might | good use he made;
    With bast he bound, | and burdens carried,
    Home bore faggots | the whole day long.

    One came to their home, | crooked her legs,
    Stained were her feet, | and sunburned her arms,
    Flat was her nose; | her name was Thir.

    Soon in the midst | of the room she sat,
    By her side there sat | the son of the house;
    They whispered both, | and the bed made ready,
    Thræll and Thir, | till the day was through.

    Children they had, | they lived and were happy,
    Fjosnir and Klur | they were called, methinks,
    Hreim and Kleggi, | Kefsir, Fulnir,
    Drumb, Digraldi, | Drott and Leggjaldi,
    Lut and Hosvir; | the house they cared for,
    Ground they dunged, | and swine they guarded,
    Goats they tended, | and turf they dug.

    Daughters had they, | Drumba and Kumba,
    Ökkvinkalfa, | Arinnefla,
    Ysja and Ambott, | Eikintjasna,
    Totrughypja | and Tronubeina;
    And thence has risen | the race of thralls.

    Forward went Rig, | his road was straight,
    To a hall he came, | and a door there hung;
    In did he fare, | on the floor was a fire:
    Afi and Amma | owned the house.

    There sat the twain, | and worked at their tasks:
    The man hewed wood | for the weaver's beam;
    His beard was trimmed, | o'er his brow a curl,
    His clothes fitted close; | in the corner a chest.

    The woman sat | and the distaff wielded,
    At the weaving with arms | outstretched she worked;
    On her head was a band, | on her breast a smock;
    On her shoulders a kerchief | with clasps there was.

    Rig knew well | wise words to speak,
    Soon in the midst | of the room he sat,
    And on either side | the others were.

    Then took Amma | . . . . .
    The vessels full | with the fare she set,
    Calf's flesh boiled | was the best of the dainties.

    Rig knew well | wise words to speak,
    He rose from the board, | made ready to sleep;
    Soon in the bed | himself did he lay,
    And on either side | the others were.

    Thus was he there | for three nights long,
    Then forward he went | on the midmost way,
    And so nine months | were soon passed by.

    A son bore Amma, | with water they sprinkled him,
    Karl they named him; | in a cloth she wrapped him,
    He was ruddy of face, | and flashing his eyes.

    He began to grow, | and to gain in strength,
    Oxen he ruled, | and plows made ready,
    Houses he built, | and barns he fashioned,
    Carts he made, | and the plow he managed.

    Home did they bring | the bride for Karl,
    In goatskins clad, | and keys she bore;
    Snör was her name, | 'neath the veil she sat;
    A home they made ready, | and rings exchanged,
    The bed they decked, | and a dwelling made.

    Sons they had, | they lived and were happy:
    Hal and Dreng, | Holth, Thegn and Smith,
    Breith and Bondi, | Bundinskeggi,
    Bui and Boddi, | Brattskegg and Segg.

    Daughters they had, | and their names are here:
    Snot, Bruth, Svanni, | Svarri, Sprakki,
    Fljoth, Sprund and Vif, | Feima, Ristil:
    And thence has risen | the yeomen's race.

    Thence went Rig, | his road was straight,
    A hall he saw, | the doors faced south;
    The portal stood wide, | on the posts was a ring,
    Then in he fared; | the floor was strewn.

    Within two gazed | in each other's eyes,
    Fathir and Mothir, | and played with their fingers;
    There sat the house-lord, | wound strings for the bow,
    Shafts he fashioned, | and bows he shaped.

    The lady sat, | at her arms she looked,
    She smoothed the cloth, | and fitted the sleeves;
    Gay was her cap, | on her breast were clasps,
    Broad was her train, | of blue was her gown,
    Her brows were bright, | her breast was shining,
    Whiter her neck | than new-fallen snow.

    Rig knew | well wise words to speak,
    Soon in the midst | of the room he sat,
    And on either side | the others were.

    Then Mothir brought | a broidered cloth,
    Of linen bright, | and the board she covered;
    And then she took | the loaves so thin,
    And laid them, white | from the wheat, on the cloth.

    Then forth she brought | the vessels full,
    With silver covered, | and set before them,
    Meat all browned, | and well-cooked birds;
    In the pitcher was wine, | of plate were the cups,
    So drank they and talked | till the day was gone.

    Rig knew well | wise words to speak,
    Soon did he rise, | made ready to sleep;
    So in the bed | himself did he lay,
    And on either side | the others were.

    Thus was he there | for three nights long,
    Then forward he went | on the midmost way,
    And so nine months | were soon passed by.

    A son had Mothir, | in silk they wrapped him,
    With water they sprinkled him, | Jarl he was;
    Blond was his hair, | and bright his cheeks,
    Grim as a snake's | were his glowing eyes.

    To grow in the house | did Jarl begin,
    Shields he brandished, | and bow-strings wound,
    Bows he shot, | and shafts he fashioned,
    Arrows he loosened, | and lances wielded,
    Horses he rode, | and hounds unleashed,
    Swords he handled, | and sounds he swam.

    Straight from the grove | came striding Rig,
    Rig came striding, | and runes he taught him;
    By his name he called him, | as son he claimed him,
    And bade him hold | his heritage wide,
    His heritage wide, | the ancient homes.

    . . . . . . . . . .
    Forward he rode | through the forest dark,
    O'er the frosty crags, | till a hall he found.

    His spear he shook, | his shield he brandished,
    His horse he spurred, | with his sword he hewed;
    Wars he raised, | and reddened the field,
    Warriors slew he, | and land he won.

    Eighteen halls | ere long did he hold,
    Wealth did he get, | and gave to all,
    Stones and jewels | and slim-flanked steeds,
    Rings he offered, | and arm-rings shared.

    His messengers went | by the ways so wet,
    And came to the hall | where Hersir dwelt;
    His daughter was fair | and slender-fingered,
    Erna the wise | the maiden was.

    Her hand they sought, | and home they brought her,
    Wedded to Jarl | the veil she wore;
    Together they dwelt, | their joy was great,
    Children they had, | and happy they lived.

    Bur was the eldest, | and Barn the next,
    Joth and Athal, | Arfi, Mog,
    Nith and Svein, | soon they began-
    Sun and Nithjung-- | to play and swim;
    Kund was one, | and the youngest Kon.

    Soon grew up | the sons of Jarl,
    Beasts they tamed, | and bucklers rounded,
    Shafts they fashioned, | and spears they shook.

    But Kon the Young | learned runes to use,
    Runes everlasting, | the runes of life;
    Soon could he well | the warriors shield,
    Dull the swordblade, | and still the seas.

    Bird-chatter learned he, | flames could he lessen.,
    Minds could quiet, | and sorrows calm;
    . . . . . . . . . .
    The might and strength | of twice four men.

    With Rig-Jarl soon | the runes he shared,
    More crafty he was, | and greater his wisdom;
    The right he sought, | and soon he won it,
    Rig to be called, | and runes to know.

    Young Kon rode forth | through forest and grove,
    Shafts let loose, | and birds he lured;
    There spake a crow | on a bough that sat:
    "Why lurest thou, Kon, | the birds to come?

    " 'Twere better forth | on thy steed to fare,
    . . . . . | and the host to slay.

    "The halls of Dan | and Danp are noble,
    Greater their wealth | than thou bast gained;
    Good are they | at guiding the keel,
    Trying of weapons, | and giving of wounds

  2. #2
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    Am I correct in assuming that the Rig referred to here is the same as the diety Heimdallr, the guardian of the Bifrost Bridge, he of the golden teeth and the remarkable sense of hearing ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Egil Skallagrimsson
    Am I correct in assuming that the Rig referred to here is the same as the diety Heimdallr, the guardian of the Bifrost Bridge, he of the golden teeth and the remarkable sense of hearing ?
    This has been suggest, indeed:
    ...The fourteenth (or late thirteenth) century annotator identifies Rig with Heimdall, but there is nothing in the poem itself, and very little anywhere else, to warrant this, and it seems likely that the poet had Othin, and not Heimdall, in mind, his purpose being to trace the origin of the royal estate to the chief of the gods. The evidence bearing on this identification is briefly summed up in the note on the introductory prose passage, but the question involves complex and baffling problems in mythology, and from very early times the status of Heimdall was unquestionably confusing to the Norse mind. http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe14.htm
    Rig is like Rex more something of a title. Note the reception that this Rigs receives from all those couples. Note also the 'jobs' assigned to the children.
    - menial
    - technological, entrepreneural
    - metaphysical

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    Good post. I have read the validity of the Rigsthula is questioned in some quarters. Do you know anything about this? (Not that I believe such myself in anyway, shape or form)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SURT
    Good post. I have read the validity of the Rigsthula is questioned in some quarters. Do you know anything about this? (Not that I believe such myself in anyway, shape or form)
    I have read about it. Deviated reading. However one can question the validity of any text Finding contradictions, compare similar texts, contrast to current "historical facts" etc., all those things can be employed to undermine the credibility of a text. One needs to bear in mind that this poem was first transmitted by word-of-mouth. So deviations are actually to be expected.

    The usage of words like thrall, carl and jarl is also common practice.

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    One of my favourite legends. I love the descriptions of the different classes. I can firmly associate myself with the Yeoman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Kirk
    One of my favourite legends. I love the descriptions of the different classes. I can firmly associate myself with the Yeoman.
    Any other interesting ancient literature on germanic societies?!
    I think Veblen wrote on it:
    http://de.geocities.com/veblenite
    But this is of course retrosprective from modern times.

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    1.
    I old, er sagt, gjekk han
    dei grøne brauter,
    trauste gubben,
    trollkunnig ås.
    Ram og rask
    kom Rig reikande.
    Midt etter stigen
    skreid han so fram.

    2.
    Kom til eit hus,
    hurdi var stengd.
    Inn mun han gange,
    eld brann på golvet,
    og eit gråhært hjon
    grov fram-i åren,
    Åe og Edda
    med aldrugt skaut.

    3.
    Rig kunde dei
    råder segja.
    Munde seg setja
    midt imillom,
    med mann og kone
    på kvar si led.

    4.
    Då tok Edda
    ein diger leiv,
    tung og klumput,
    og tett med såder.
    Midt på ein stett
    ho sette det fram.
    Sòd var i bolle
    ho bar på bord.

    5.
    Rig kunde dei
    råder segja,
    reis upp frå sess,
    var huga te sova.
    Heldt seg med dei
    heile tri næter.
    Midt etter stigen
    skreid han so fram.

    6.
    Barn fekk Edda,
    var aust med vann,
    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    svart av hamlet,
    vart heitande Træl.

    7.
    Hendene hadde
    skrukkut hud,
    kropne knoklar,
    [kartnaglar ljote]
    og digre fingrar.
    Fælt var andlet,
    lut-ryggja var han,
    med lange hælar.

    8.
    Voks han gjorde,
    og vel han treivst.
    Sidan fekk han
    freiste styrken:
    bast-reip binde
    og byrdar gjurde,
    ris bar han heim
    heile dagen.

    9.
    Kom far-fyrkja
    fram til gards
    med saur på solom
    og solbrende armar,
    bjug-nasa var ho,
    bar namnet Tir .

    10.
    Midt i sessen
    sette ho seg.
    Sat hjå henne
    sonen i huset.
    Dei rødde og runa,
    reidde seg seng,
    Træl og Tir
    og tidi skreid.

    11.
    Born dei ól
    uneleg saman;
    eg trur dei vart kalla
    Klur og Fjosne,
    Reim og Klegge,
    Kjefse, Fulne,
    Drumb, Digralde,
    Drott og Hosve,
    Lut og Leggjalde;
    dei laga skigard,
    frøydde åkrar,
    ól på griser,
    gjætte geiter
    og grov upp torv.

    12.
    Døtrane deira:
    Drumba og Kumba,
    Økkvinkalva
    og Årinnevja,
    Ysja og Ambått,
    Eikintjasna,
    Totrughypja
    og Tranebeina.
    Hev træle-ætter
    sitt upphav frå dei.

    13.
    Gjekk Rig sidan
    radne vegen,
    kom til ei hall,
    hurdi på glytt;
    inn han gjekk,
    eld brann på golv.
    Ave og Amma
    åtte huset.

    14.
    Sat der eit hjon
    med syslom sine.
    Mannen telgde
    teinar til veven.
    Skjegg var skipa,
    hår klypt i skallen,
    stramt sat skjorta,
    skrin stod på golv.

    15.
    Sat der kona
    og sveivde rokken,
    strakte armane,
    spann til vev.
    Bar ho sveig
    og bringeduk,
    halsplagg ho hadde
    og band yver herdar.

    16.
    Rig kunde dei
    råder segja,
    munde seg setja
    midt imillom
    med mann og kone
    på kvar si led.

    17.
    Då tog Amma
    -- -- -- -- --
    Fulle skåler
    fram ho sette,
    kalve-steiki
    var beste kråsi.

    18.
    Rig kunde dei
    råder segja,
    steig upp frå bord,
    var huga te sova.
    Heldt seg hjå dei
    heile tri næter.
    Midt etter stigen
    skreid han so fram.

    19.
    Ein våk fekk Amma,
    var aust med vatn,
    dei kalla han Karl.
    Kona sveipte
    den raudleitte sellen
    med dei spelande augo.

    20.
    Voks han gjorde,
    og vel han treivst.
    Uksar han tamde
    og ardar gjorde,
    timbra stogur,
    sette upp løur,
    kjerrur han smidde
    og køyrde plog.

    21.
    Heim dei førde,
    med nykle-hankar
    og geiteskinn-stakk,
    gifta til Karl.
    Snòr heitte ho.
    Sat ho med brur-lin.
    So breidde dei blæja
    og bu sette.

    22.
    Born dei ól
    uneleg saman,
    het Hal og Dreng,
    Hold, Tegn og Smed,
    Breide, Bonde,
    Bundinskjegge,
    Bue og Bodde,
    Brattskjegg og Segg.

    23.
    Enn var det døtrar
    med desse namni:
    Snót, Brur, Svanne,
    Svarre, Sprakke,
    Fljod, Sprund, Viv,
    Feima, Ristil.
    Hev bonde-ætter
    sitt upphav frå dei.

    24.
    Gjekk Rig derifrå
    radne vegen,
    kom til ein sal,
    mot sud horvde døri,
    opi ho stod,
    ring var i stolpen.
    Gjekk han so inn,
    golvet var strålagt.

    25.
    Såg mann og kone
    kvarandre i augo,
    Fader og Moder
    med fingrom leika.
    Mannen sjølv
    snudde strengjer,
    smidde bogar
    og skjefte piler.

    26.
    Fruga gav ans
    på armane sine,
    strauk yver linet,
    sterte ermar,
    batt upp skrud.
    Dings var i bringa,
    sid var kjolen
    og serken blåleitt.

    27.
    Rig kunde dei
    råder segja,
    munde seg setja
    midt imillom
    med mann og kone
    på kvar si led.

    28.
    Fann då moder
    mønster-duk fram,
    av bjartaste lin,
    og breidde på bord.
    Lagde so brotar
    av braud på duken,
    tynne, kvite
    kveite-leivar.

    29.
    På bord ho sette
    sylvlagde fat,
    slikjande flesk
    og steikte fuglar.
    Vin var i kanne,
    krota var staup.
    Dei drakk og drøste,
    med dagen leid.

    30.
    Rig kunde dei
    råder segja,
    reis han so upp,
    reidde seg seng.
    Heldt seg hjå dei
    heile tri næter.
    Midt etter stigen
    skreid han so fram.

    31.
    Ein svein fekk Moder
    vart sveipt i silke
    og aust med vann.
    Jarl vart han kalla.
    Gulbleikt hår,
    globjarte vangar,
    atal i augo,
    som orm du såg.

    32.
    Upp voks der
    Jarl i garden,
    Skjold mun han svinge,
    strengjer leggje,
    alm bøygje,
    orvar skjefte,
    på hestar ride,
    hundar eggje,
    sverd bruke
    og symjing øve.

    33.
    Kom der til gards
    Rig gangande,
    Rig gangande,
    gav runelærdom
    og namnet sitt eigi,
    nemnde honom son,
    bad honom eigne seg
    odels-vollar,
    odels-vollar,
    utgamle bygder.

    34.
    Ein-eigar vart han
    av attan gardar;
    gåvur han skifte,
    gav åt alle
    eigna-luter,
    øykjer staute,
    hogg sund og heiv ut
    haugar av gull.

    35.
    Av fór drengjer,
    ók våtvegen;
    kom til halli,
    der Herse budde.
    Ei møy han hadde,
    var mjo um hand,
    kvitleitt og klok,
    var kalla Erna.

    36.
    Feste dei møyi
    og førde ho heim,
    gifte ho med Jarl
    og skautet gav ho.
    Dei hugnadlegt saman
    i heimen budde.
    Med ætter auka,
    sin alder dei naut.

    37.
    Upp so voks der
    Jarl sine born,
    dei hestar tamde
    og hivde spjot,
    emna skjoldar
    og oddar kvesste.

    38.
    Bur var den eldste,
    og sidan Barn,
    Jod og Adal,
    Arve, Mòg;
    Nid og Svein,
    Nidjung og Son,
    dei tamde seg upp
    i tavlspel og symjing.
    Kund het ein til,
    Kon var den yngste.

    39.
    Men Kon unge
    kunde runer,
    runer som år
    og æve stend.
    Meir kunde han:
    mannaliv berge,
    stormar stille,
    sverds-egg døyve.

    40.
    Han fuglemålet
    fulla kunde.
    Eld han stogga,
    sorger døyvde
    og stillte hugen.
    [Og so er sagt:]
    han åtte manns avl
    og age hadde.

    41.
    Han med Rig Jarl
    um runer stridde,
    batt han med velur
    og vart den beste.
    Då til odel
    og eige vann han
    Rig å heite
    og rune-meister.

    42.
    Reid Kon unge
    i kjørr og skogar,
    og fuglen han fall,
    der pili hans flaug.
    Då kvad ei kråke,
    på kvisten sat:
    "Kvi fèr du, Kon ung,
    og fuglar veider?

    43.
    Heller du skulde
    din hest ut ride,
    geiren støyte
    og slengje spjot,
    [vig vekkje,
    voll blodge,
    med hoggi harde]
    her felle.

    44.
    Dan og Danp
    hev dyre haller,
    yppare odel
    enn du mun eige.
    Kann fulla dei
    kjølen ride,
    få sverd te bite
    og sår te svide."

    45.
    Spjot han slengde
    i skjold det skalv,
    sprengde fram hesten,
    og sverdhoggi skrall.
    Vig han vekte,
    voll han blodga,
    val han fellte
    og vann seg land.

    46.
    Reid han sidan
    gjenom svarte skog,
    yver helut fjell,
    til halli han kom.

    47.
    [Fann der ei møy
    fagrast av kvende.]
    Bruni var bjartare,
    brjostet ljosare,
    halsen kvitare
    enn klåre mjølli.
    Flust var med gull,
    der dei flutte saman.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ragnar Lodbrok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorm the Old View Post
    Am I correct in assuming that the Rig referred to here is the same as the diety Heimdallr, the guardian of the Bifrost Bridge, he of the golden teeth and the remarkable sense of hearing ?
    Yes Rig was suppose to be another name for and an incarnation of Heimdall. Also Varg Vikernes has talked in interviews about an interesting view of this legend. He says the Rigsthula refered to an advanced and superior species from Sirius who had good intentions concerning the pure strains of homo sapien left over from the ice age. That Rig fathering Jarl and his kin was refering to these Sirians using genetic engineering to improve the homo sapiens in such a way that we where spawned from their experiments.

    I was wondering here if anybody had anyother views on Rigsthula, as in matters of interperation?
    "What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." Friedrich Nietzche

    "Virtue - all virtue - is knowledge."
    Socrates

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    Most likely Mannus, as mentioned by Tacitus, is the same as Rig or Heimdall as well. The different tribal groups are not as much groups who actually originate from a certain deity (Irminaz, Ingwaz, Istuz), but cultic groups devoted to the deity of a certain class or function as Dumézil puts it. It's another interpretation of course and due to the lack of sources mentioning the myth of Mannus it's even harder to be sure, but to me it seems the most probable interpretation. Mannus as the first "man" corresponds with Rig-Heimdal the father of the people. Etymologically Mannus is related to other indo-european deities (Menes, Manus) who had the same function and were, if I'm not mistaking, moongods just like Heimdall. The father of Heimdal is Odin according to the Skáldskaparmál. Odin would then be Tuisto or the twofold. This is probable as well since Tuisto is a God according to Tacitus (so this makes a often posed theory of Tuisto as Ymir problematic) and another name for Odin in several sources is Tveggi, which has the same meaning.

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