A Tentative Comparability Of Greek, Roman, And Norse Myths
Huge, huge thanks to a tremendous, crazy-smart, twitter buddy, Katharina Gerlach, who came through with this put up on mythology. She’s a lot fun on twitter and that i had NO concept she studied my favourite thing ever. Mythology! If you’re into it like we’re, then this one’s for you. Enjoy!!
A tentative comparability of Greek, Roman, and Norse myths
It’s no massive secret that the Romans jade harley atom shirt assimilated quite a lot of the Greek pantheon and culture. Seeing that both cultures lived in shut proximity, that’s not shocking. Zeus became Jupiter, Hermes become Mercury, Athene confirmed up as Minerva. Even minor Greek gods seem within the Roman religion (here’s a full table of all Greek gods and their roman counterparts).
I personally discover it somewhat attention-grabbing to see how carefully the two religions resemble each other. In each, the gods are unpredictable for the people living with them in the same world. The gods give little to no thought to the people and reward or punish them in keeping with their whim. Their feuds and petty rivalries jeopardize human life as a rule, and so they behave like spoiled kids most of the time, celebrating in a luxurious realm.
The only exception to this rule is Prometheus (not an actual god but one of many last titans) whose story is precisely the identical in each religions. He helps creating the humans and brings them the fireplace that Zeus/Jupiter needs to maintain for the gods. This story alone exhibits that the Greek and Roman thought their gods like over-emphasised humans with the same however amplified faults.
In distinction, the Norse gods are much darker and brooding. Although they, just like the Greek/Roman gods, are a pantheon with a lot of family ties and one ruling god, the best way their respective worshipers saw them differed enormously. The Norse gods had been much more approachable for the people and less unpredictable. True, additionally they had their feuds, but they had been extra private and hardly ever concerned humans. Loki loved playing methods on the opposite gods and then they struggled with each other, not with people. All-father Odin issued few punishments despite (or perhaps because) understanding things that were to return. The one actual punishment I jade harley atom shirt remember is when the gods tie Loki to a rock where a snake drops venom onto him. They permit his spouse Sigyn to stand beside him to catch the venom in a bowl, giving Loki spells of relative peace till she has to empty the bowl (True, not one of the gods, Greek, Roman and Norse had been particularly nice to one another). All-father Odin’s primary goal was to achieve as much knowledge as attainable even at excessive prices to himself. The gods were not playful like Greek and Roman gods, however making ready for the final battle between the completely different realms of their world.
One factor that seems to be the same in all three of the religions is the idea that the lives of people and gods alike were predetermined by the Fates (or Nornes in Norse mythology). In all three religions, three girls governed every part that occurred up to now, now, and future. Thus, the Nornes/Fates are more powerful than the gods. I believe it slightly stunning that the idea behind such an essential a part of religion as the private freedom of the person, be it god or human, is similar in all these religions. To me, it suggests either a crosspollination of the religions or an adaptation of a good older, now forgotten religion.
Interestingly, in the Roman and Greek religion, there’s just one place where souls go after dying: the underworld dominated by Hades/Pluto. There, the souls deemed unworthy are despatched to Tartarus (equal hell) and the worthy souls go to the Elysian fields (equal heaven). The underworld is circled by a river and guarded by a 3 headed canine. Imagine my shock when I found that one of many Norse underworlds seems just the same. Helheim, the house of the goddess of death, Hel, is circled by a river that even the gods can solely cross into her realm however not again out, and it is guarded by… a monstrous dog. Those souls (human and god alike) who died from diseases, accidents, old age and such would go to Helheim upon their dying. But Norse mythology held three more locations souls may go after loss of life. The most generally identified is Valhalla, the place Odin collected probably the most courageous fighters for Ragnarok. Men who died preventing but didn’t outshine others would go to Folkvang. Finally, drowned sailors could be collected by Ran to her hall.
An interesting distinction between Roman and Greek concerns the function of people within the religion. Whereas the heroic deeds by the Roman gods were more essential than the actions of men, in Greek mythology, humans had been just as necessary as items because they contributed considerably to the society. Additionally, in Roman mythology, good deeds and heroic acts might elevate a mortal to a god-like status. The Greek are way more concerned with the physical life on earth. The afterlife appears to have a much smaller importance in on a regular basis life than in Roman or Norse mythology (I’m not an knowledgeable so don’t crucify me if I’m mistaken).
An important distinction between Roman and Greek gods and the Aesir is that along with a fantasy of creation (all three have comparable myths of creation: the slaying of older gods/giants), the Norse even have a fantasy of destruction. Throughout this closing fight, Ragnarok, all gods would fall. The entire universe of the Nordic gods could be destroyed. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t finish. From the ashes, a brand new world would rise with two people, Lif and Lifthrasir. Additionally two gods, Balder and his blind brother Hod, could be reborn, and together they would start a brand new world.
For me, that makes the Nordic mythology a more advanced type of religion, one that looks past its own demise – that’s uncommon even in today’s religions. I find it fascinating to see how a lot of what has been hidden from the wave of Christianization burning via Europe survived, and the way a lot could jade harley atom shirt possibly be reconstructed from the few sources that remained. Indubitably the Greek and Roman religions and their cultures have influenced the way in which the Christian religion developed, and thus performed a major position in the way humans in Europe developed and spread throughout the world. The impact of the Nordic myths and legends is less visible. I know that they have been misused within the Third Reich, and still there are a lot of people who misuse them to today. Nevertheless, I personally believe that the Nordic myths and legends formed our standpoint much more than we give them credit for.
Born and raised German with a good serving to of Scottish adoptive heritage, Katharina Gerlach has been writing tales within the realms of fantasy and historical fiction for a few years. She managed to convince a German agent, but the seek for a fitting publisher took too lengthy. So she began to self-publish her novels in German and English and has garnered a few awards since. Visit her webpage or observe her on Facebook or Twitter.
Thank you Cat! This was superb!
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