The three men are interpreted as the Norse gods OdinThorand Freyr. Recent research suggests that great public festivals involving the population of large regions were not as important as the more local feasts in the life of the individual. Though they were written in a later Christian era, the Icelandic sagas are of great significance as sources to everyday religion.
The Christian church saw the pagan rites as deviltry, and medieval authors took little interest in them, as compared to the myths.
There are some accounts of the pagan rituals by contemporary foreign authors in the medieval literature, both by Christians, and by Muslims, but these sources pose many problems with interpretation. The authors were inimical to the pagan rites. They were foreigners who may not have understood what they saw, or the language that was being spoken.
And in some cases, the authors wrote about things they did not witness, using second or third hand accounts. Most of the information comes from episodes in the sagas.
The pagan religion did not have the regular organization that was so important to the Christian church. Religion was not a separate institution; it was a part of ordinary life.
Rather than special temples and priests, it was maintained by ordinary people in their homes. In the early part of the Viking era, and when away from home, people probably worshiped outdoors.
For example, Swedish traders made sacrifices under a giant oak tree on an island in the Black Sea to give thanks for a successful voyage down the river Dnieper. The saga literature provides descriptions of elaborate temples in Iceland.
The description is one of the most complete descriptions of a pagan temple extant in the literature. However, it is also highly improbable.
In the saga, the temple is described as a "mighty building". In the middle of the floor was a pedestal on which stood an armring for the swearing of oathsa bowl for sacrificial bloodand idols.
To date, no archaeological evidence of such elaborate structures has been found. While large longhouses have been excavated e.
He built a great temple one hundred feet long. As he dug the holes for his high-seat pillars, he found his missing amulet of Freyr, as had been prophesized by a Lapp seeress before he left Norway. The temple was on the hill above the farm, to the right in the modern photo of the farm shown to the left.
Faint outlines of building ruins are visible, but a recent excavation shows that the structure postdates the Viking age. In front of them was an iron-covered altar, on which a fire always burned. A copper bowl stood on the altar which was used to collect the blood from sacrifices, along with a silver arm-ring on which oaths were sworn.
Men who were sacrificed were thrown into a pool that stood outside the door. The Danish archaeologist Aage Roussel reported finding the remains of a temple 6. Today, no ruins are visible on the site right because the land was filled and flattened in order to make it suitable for mechanized farming in the middle of the 20th century.
After a sacrifice and feast, men were drinking at night in the temple. No one else was armed in such a sacred spot; it was unthinkable.
Eyvindr had committed murder, so he was declared an outlaw on the spot for defiling the temple. Adam of Bremen, an 11th century cleric, describes the temple at Uppsala as a splendid building with a roof of shining gold.
No traces of such a building have been found near Uppsala. Norsemen, if they set up any structure at all for worship, probably set up small shrines for their own personal use. Here might be kept a bowl for sacrifices, and an armring for oaths.
It seems more likely that worship took place out of doors, beside a mound, a great stone, or a sacred tree. The law required that every public temple keep a silver armring, weighing no less than two ounces. It is not known. The passage concludes saying that each man must pay a temple-tax in the same way "as we now pay tithes to our churches".
A large tree was frequently the source of luck and protection. The world tree, Yggdrasil, plays a central role in Norse mythology. Adam of Bremen writes that there was a great tree standing beside the temple at Uppsala which remained green both summer and winter.
He forcibly imposed Christianity on Norway. The idols were destroyed, the ring taken, and the temple burned down.Ritual Ritual is a set of actions that usually have symbolic meaning. It mostly appeared in organizations with systematic structure, especially in religion. It mostly appeared in organizations with systematic structure, especially in religion.
In many ways, the old Norse beliefs of Scandinavia are strange and wonderful. The old pagan religion had gods and goddesses of music and fertility, nature deities, elves, dwarves, giants, magical weapons and modes of transportation, werewolves and other magical creatures.
Topics: Neo-druidism, The British Druid Order founded in , which is both Pagan and Goddess orientated, and the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, which has both Christian and Pagan members left the CBDO to form the Druid Forum, which meets to discuss .
Other deities are described in less detail in the Old Norse literature, and other classes of supernatural beings such as Elves and Landspirits, worshipped in both ancient Norse tradition and modern Nordic Paganism. Paganism and Neo-Paganism Paganism and Neo-Paganism are religions that prac-tice, reclaim, or experiment with non- and pre-Christian forms of worship.
Mar 18, · Yahoo Answers Sign in Sign in Mail ⚙ Help Account Info; Help; Suggestions; Send Feedback.