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Bronze statue (about 6.4 cm) in the Icelandic National Museum in Reykjavík, there dated about 1000 AD; probably Thor holding his hammer Mjolnir

Thor in the north, or Donar among the continental Germanic peoples, is a Germanic god . He is "the Thunderer" ( noun agentis ), originally as a generic name "the thunder " (appellative) ( Old Saxon Thunaer , Old English Thunor , Old High German Donar , Old Dutch Donre , Old Norse Thorr of urnordisch þunraʀ "thunder"). The common Germanic name of God * Þunaraz is derived from this. Thor / Donar acted as the god of thunderstorms and weather for the peoples who went to sea and was a vegetation god in a further function within the rural Germanic society . In the mythological Edda scriptures he was the protector of Midgard , the human world.

Name, etymology and origin


Thor (by Mårten Eskil Winge , 1872)

The name of the deity is closely related to that of other, functionally similar Indo-European deities . Iuppiter tonans , Zeus , the Celtic Taranis used the stone thunderbolt, which was thrown from heaven to earth by the lightning bolt, as a weapon. The fight that Indra waged is atmospherically depicted by lightning and thunder . The term heaven goes back to an Indo-European word root that means "stone" or "anvil". It is said of the common Germanic * Þunraz (analogous to Zeus ) that its thunder is like driving a car over a vault (ags. Þunorrād "thunder ride"). Lightning and thunder herald the nearness of Thor in Norse myth. Thus the Germanic name of God is identical with that of the natural phenomenon , as he specifically in words for appellatively a root word back, which is an acoustic sound of thunder and thunder wortgleichend is used; ig. * (s) th . For this purpose, as an explanatory comparison, Latin tonare "thunder", an. Þónarr "thunder", ai. tanyu "thundering", ags. Þunian , also "thundering". In the Old Norse Þórr , on the other hand, only the name of God applies, the appellative meaning thunder is usually omitted except for its occurrence in regional dialects (Norway), in which tór in turn corresponds to the meaning thunder . The two-syllable form of the name in the continental Germanic area is striking, whereas in the Nordic form the name is only monosyllabic.

The weekday Thursday ( English thursday , Danish / Swedish torsdag ) is named after Donar or Thor . The day was already dedicated to the gods Zeus and Jupiter in antiquity ( Latin dies Iovis , also French jeudi , Romanian joi , Spanish jueves , Italian giovedì ) and became when the originally Babylonian / Egyptian 7-day week was adopted by the Teutons modeled on the Latin term.

Origin and Indo-European parallels

The god of heaven has lightning and thunder in his power among the Indo-European language peoples and beyond. Donar / Thor (female form Tyra) was probably created by splitting off or separating the function as ruler of the natural phenomena of lightning and thunder from this sky god. Henrich Beck does not see a separation from this heavenly deity as necessarily given. From the Indo-European original religion, which was only indirectly developed, the idea of ​​the deity developed further under regional, cultural-religious fluctuations among the Germanic peoples. According to the theory of Georges Dumézil , the three main gods each have a function in the Indo-European peoples , the thundering sky god occupies the first position. With the Teutons, the figure of the thunderer has separated from that of the sky god, so that he fulfills the second function of "strength". Dumezil's "three-function theory" has found supporters in research, since the second edition of his "Old Germanic Religious History" (1956/57), particularly through Jan de Vries or through Ake V. Ströms' treatise in "Germanic [...] Religion" (1975), but also critics and skeptics. Helmut Birkhan speaks of a partial "piety", since critics rightly point to some considerable unexplained or factual facts that do not fit into Dumezil's theoretical system, especially in the comparative comparison of the Germanic and Celtic cultures .

Petroglyphs near the Swedish town of Tanum ,
Bohuslän region
The so-called "ax god" by Lilla Flyhov

The idea of ​​a hammer-wielding, wagon driving weather / thunder god is an ancient image of God; the Hittite Tarḫunna is portrayed identically as a carriage driving deity attributed with a hammer or a club. If Thor's chariot is pulled by goats, then it is bulls in Tarhunna and reddish or fawn horses in the Vedic Indra . His weapon, a throwing club, was also made by a lower being. Like Mjölnir , the hammer of Thor made by the dwarf Sindri, this club returns to the hand of the god after it has been thrown.

In numerous Scandinavian rock drawings and images in stone tombs, male figures can be found lifting a hammer or rather axes (double axes) or hatchets, often in a phallic pose (e.g. the grave of Kivik ), which is why they are interpreted as divine beings. With regard to the “hammer-swinging” figures in the rock carvings, some of which are depicted as a goat, Franz Rolf Schröder points to the depiction in Nordic mythology and the close relationship between Thor and his attributive, wagon-pulling billy goats. In the Indo-European comparison it can be stated that the thunder deities related to Thor / Donar vary between ax, hammer and club. An amulet with the representation of the Thor's hammer in the North Germanic area or the Donarskeule in the South Germanic area was considered a fertility symbol in late pagan times, especially for women (excavation finds in Haithabu ) and only appeared as such at this later time.

Another thing they have in common with other Indo-European myths is the dragon or snake fight that the god of thunder fights. In Thor it is the confrontation with the Midgard serpent , in the Greeks Apollo fights with Python and Heracles with Hydra , in Hittite mythology Tarhunna with the serpent Illuyanka , in Iranian mythology Fereydūn and Azhi Dahaka as well as Rostam with a dragon, and in Indian mythology In mythology it is the battle of the god Indra with the Vritra dragon. The former is praised in the Rigveden with ever new hymns. The singing of the dragon fighter and monster slayer in myth is evident in all of the cultures mentioned; it is about cult-symbolic struggles that have become the formative religious type. Another mythical analogy between Thor and Indra is found in the Hrungnir myth . The fight of Thor with the giant, who has a three-pronged heart of stone, is like the fight of Indra against the three-headed monster Trisiras .

There are also striking parallels between Thor's dialogues with Odin in Hárbarðslióð and those Indras with Varuna in Rigveden. According to Dumézil , these dialogues do not represent an aggressive conflict between the different cults, but an age-old form of dialogue based on the different natures of the gods within their structural functional areas. Most of the anthropomorphic traits Thor shares with Indra in terms of how they wear their hair and beard. In the Rigveden Indra is described as blond-haired and with a blond beard, Thor is called the "red beard" ( Þrymskviða , Thrymlied), and both are considered to be philanthropic in nature.

The connection to oak as an attribute is partly interpreted as a parallel to other Indo-European gods. The tree cult in its various forms is often associated with fertility rites. In the mythical eddischen songs Hárbarðslióð and Voluspa is Thor's mother Fjörgyn , wife Fjorgynns called (Fjörgnjar burr) . Fjorgyn (n) rarely occurs in the Old Norse sources, but it corresponds to the Lithuanian * Perkūnas and the Latvian * Perkuns . In Lithuanian and Latvian, this is the thunderstorm god, who is also ritually connected to the oak.

Early Roman Imperial Era

The anthropomorphic, so-called pole idols have been handed down from prehistoric times in northern Germany and Jutland , and they cannot be identified with a specific deity handed down by name (see Germanic religion in the Germanic article) .

This changes through the contact of the Teutons with the Roman Empire. In Chapter 9 of his work Germania , an overview of the Germanic religion, Tacitus describes at least the religious conditions that were known to the Romans from the location of the Germania inferior on the Rhine . He names the main Germanic gods in a Roman interpretation . Donar can be derived from the naming of Hercules , although the Germanic name can only be verified by runic inscriptions from the time of the Great Migration ( Nordendorfer rune primer ) and other later sources place Donar as Jupiter. On this fundamentally not unproblematic derivation Hercules = Donar, among others, Karl Helm ("Old Germanic Religious History") took a position. Ultimately, in contrast to the Germanic excursion written 150 years earlier in Caesar's De bello Gallico , according to which the Germanic peoples would only worship natural forces such as sun, moon and fire, Tacitus' report is the first concrete, serious attempt to portray Germanic culture and religion, but with everything For and against and always taking into account the special Roman perspective. Tacitus drew parallels to the figure of Hercules for the comparative Roman observer, presumably on the basis that he recognized the same characteristics in Thor. As the embodiment of power, Hercules and Thor are similar in their attributes , those of the hammer and the club, and analogously in both drinking and eating, which Thor has handed down from later Nordic sources. In addition, Tacitus describes that the Teutons honored Hercules by singing "Barditus", especially before a battle. In primeval Attic times, the Athenians were advised by the Delphic oracle to sing the Paian (Παιάν) as a mythical evocation of victory. 'The singing of Paian goes back to the myth of Apollon and his victorious fight with Python. Dieter Timpe looks at it through the compositional position of this Hercules mention in Chap. 3 neither as productive nor as obvious, to the naming of Hercules in chap. 9 to see a compelling theological-systematic connection.

According to Tacitus, animal sacrifices were made to Hercules / Donar . In which religious and cultic contexts this happens, Tacitus leaves open, and he generalizes the acts of sacrifice to the effect that they serve to favor the deity.

"Deorum maxime Mercurium colunt, cui certis diebus humanis quoque hostiis litare fas habent. Herculem et Martem concessis animalibus placant. "

“Of the gods, they worship Mercury most; they consider it imperative to make human sacrifices to him on certain days . Hercules and Mars make them gracious through certain animal sacrifices. "

- Tacitus, Germania 9, 1

Consecration stones and coins from the first century AD bear Latin inscriptions dedicated to Donar. He was greatly admired by the Batavians in the Nijmegen area . Most of the inscriptions reflect the form of the name Hercules Magusanus . In his annals , Tacitus names a sanctuary dedicated to Donar, which is located at a location Idistaviso east of the Weser.

"Caesar transgressus Visurgim indicio perfugae cognoscit delectum from Arminio locum pugnae; convenisse et alias nationes in silvam Herculi sacram ausurosque nocturnam castrorum oppugnationem. […] Sic accensos et proelium poscentis in campum, cui Idistaviso noun, deducunt. is medius inter Visurgim et collis, ut ripae fluminis cedunt aut prominentia montium resistunt, inaequaliter sinuatur. "

“ After crossing the Weser, Caesar ( Germanicus ) learned from a report of a defector that Arminius had chosen a battlefield, that other tribes had also come together in a grove sacred to Hercules and would dare to attack the camp at night. […] When they called for battle so enthusiastically, they were led down to an open field called Idistaviso. This lies in the middle between the Visurgis and the hills and stretches in unequal curvatures, depending on whether the banks of the river recede or the mountain ledges advance. "

- Tacitus, Annals 2,12,16

Of such sanctuaries or holy groves, which were consecrated to a "male" deity, in addition to the tribal shrine of the Semnones , also mentioned by Tacitus (Germania chap. 39), only the Cheruscan Hercules / Donar cult for this time is documented in writing. In summarizing the sources from the early Roman Empire, Günter Behm-Blancke evaluates that images of gods (idols) and altars were erected in such sanctuaries, i.e. also related to the Hercules / Donar grove , and that sacrificial acts were carried out and that they were also used as a repository for sacred objects and spoils of war as well as a meeting place ( thing ) served.

For the Gothic peoples, no direct evidence of a thunderstorm god is possible due to the generally poor sources for the Roman imperial period and the subsequent migration period. Only a few reports from ancient chroniclers and historians allow connections to religiously motivated behavior. For example, Titus Livius reports a battle in 179 BC. Between the Bastarnen and Thracians around a mountain occupied by them. The attacking Bastarnen were chased away by a sudden thunderstorm and, according to Livy, stated that the gods had caused their flight.

Ammianus Marcellinus reports that at the Battle of Adrianople in 378 the Goths were also scattered by a thunderstorm. Whether a religious fear of a certain deity or just a superstitious fear of this natural phenomenon proves an actual reference to a deity of the Goths concerned cannot be determined - quite apart from the problem of the credibility of such reports.

Donar / Thor in the early and late medieval tradition

Detailed image of the depiction of Thor on the Altuna rune stone (U 1161)

Source location and basic conditions

Due to a very long tradition, the idea of ​​Donar / Thor is a relatively uniform mythical and religious subject among the Germanic peoples. Nevertheless, there were definitely developments and changes, especially in the Roman Empire and in the epoch of the Great Migration up to the Viking Age in Scandinavia.

In the religious systems of the West and North Germanic peoples there were changes in the ranking of the revered male high gods. The cult of Wodan / Odin , after an assumption of parts of the research, wandering from south to north, displaced the old sky god Tyr , to whom Thor is also subordinated, at least in Skaldic poetry, and finally took the highest position.

In connection with the Germanic weekday naming , Helmut Birkhan pointed out that the equation Jovis / Jupiter = Donar and its antiquity suggest that Donar presumably held a priority position in the continental area of ​​Germania. According to the sources, a special circumstance is the discussion about the function or quality of consecration activity that Donar / Thor is assigned or denied, and whether this function has existed since the earliest times.

The early and intensive Christianization of the continental Germanic tribes and peoples was accompanied by the destruction of writings and the loss of orally transmitted knowledge and traditions of non-Christian content. In-depth statements about the so-called “ Germanic paganism ” by the Christians , in particular about Donar / Thor as the primary figure and about the cult and rite concerning him on the part of the dedicants, the Germanic admirers, cannot be made because of the mainly clerical sources of the early Middle Ages .

For the mainly northwestern-Nordic-Scandinavian written sources (Edda, Saga, Skaldik) from Iceland and Norway, the problem of Christianization in tradition also applies, the filter-like filter between the unbroken religiosity of the “pagan times” and a faithful representation of religious practice in cult and rite lay. The records can be assigned to the time from the 10th to the 13th century, and the material tradition only partially goes back to the time before Christianization. This had a direct influence on the myths, which were first handed down orally, which were later codified in handwritten form , for example in the genres of Eddic writings and saga literatures, materially and fictionally from the special milieu of the early settler generations in Iceland . Today's knowledge about Thor is largely taken from this literature, but has not remained untouched by Christian influences and therefore written from a Christian perspective by Christian staff.

Virring runestone

In the Scaldic poetics or in a small part of the preserved text corpus (Þórsþula), the earliest records of which are still in a pagan context, Thor has a special meaning. For no other deity were so many Kenningars composed and especially adjectival Heiti devised. They are of particular importance in the typology of Thor, as they represent a link between the predominantly pagan ideas and those of the high medieval Christian influenced poetics and prose. The frequently cited motif of Thor's fight with the Midgard snake and the giants (Geirröðr myth) in the Skaldic and Eddic poetry, whose religious and particularly mythical significance is emphasized above ("Origin and Indo-European parallels"), is striking . In principle, the informative value of the myth must be viewed separately from the verifiable informative value of the religious cult, especially when it comes to the written sources.

In addition to the written sources of different types and times, the archaeological report, the evaluation or the interpretation of finds are therefore of great importance. Runic inscriptions and iconographies on goods and objects of different types and materials can supplement the written sources from prose and mythology on Donar / Thor, but also question them or leave them unanswered. Research on place names has made important contributions across the entire Germanic-speaking area, as it - with reservations and caution - suggests former cult sites that were consecrated to Donar / Thor. Such places are found mainly in Denmark, England, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Continental West Germanic evidence

Jan de Vries suspects that the Merovingian Franks , who were converted to Christianity relatively early, had an after-effect of old, discarded pagan traditions connected to Donar, which are based either on actual religious cult or at least on superstitions developed from it. Chlothar I was supposed to be murdered by his brothers in 537. Since the implementation of the plan failed due to a thunderstorm, the brothers and their entourage threw themselves to the ground and asked the Christian God for forgiveness for the attempted outrage against Chlothar.

In the presumably Alemannic “ rune brooch”, bow brooch from Nordendorf (early 7th century ), Donar is referred to as Wigiþonar . If the overall interpretation in the relevant scientific literature is inconsistent, the form in question is mostly given as Weihe-Donar . Deviating from this is wigi also from the Germanic meaning * wīʒan for combat derived, so as combat Donar in the transferred meaning. Heinrich Beck advocates the interpretation as consecration- donar on the basis of the Nordic formulas, on the other hand Rudolf Simek advocates the form as combat- donar and rejects the consecration interpretation. Edith Marold points out that in the first member of the name wigi- instead of g an h would have to be given in order to correspond to Germanic * wihjan (h from Germanic χ). An Old High German wigan , to beat, to fight, is better suited to the given sound , analogous to the Old Norse Vingþorr = Kampfthor . The Viking Age testimonies (Beck) show that Thor, in addition to the consecration function, also had a warlike component, so here is a conditional common Germanic testimony to the character of the god and his position among the (still) pagan Alemanni in the late continental period for the southern Germanic area Paganism before.

"Loga † ore W¿dan Wigi † onar awa LeubwiniÛ"

"Loga † ore, Wodan [and] Donar, [give] divine protection to Leubwinia!"

- Helmut Arntz, Handbook of Runic Studies. 2nd Edition. Halle / Saale 1944

"Loga † ore W¿dan W³g (i) † onar (A) wa (L) eubwini"

"Loga † ore (= schemer) - W¿dan - W³gi † onar (= consecration-ðonar) - Awa [and] Leubwini [give]"

- Wolfgang Krause, Herbert Jankuhn, The runic inscriptions in the older Futhark. Goettingen 1966

"Logaþore Wōdan Wigiþonar ..."

"Wodan [and] Wigiþonar (= battle Þonar) [angry] with the Logaþor (= who dares to lie: Loki)"

- Norbert Wagner, Historical Linguistic Research, 1995

The name form Donar in connection with a functional consecration or the identification of the deity with this quality for the people in the Alemannic spectrum can be found in Scandinavia during the Viking Age in runic inscriptions confirming the cultures there. The old Germanists and runologists Klaus Düwel and Wolfgang Krause, on the other hand, interpreted the phrase Logatore as a schemer (e), spokesman for lies . There is the possibility that, with regard to Donar, instead of a formula of consecration, there is a Christian spell from the time of the change of religion, which proves the affiliation with the now Christian God. At the same time as Düwel, Norbert Wagner interprets the inscription in a pagan context regarding a conflict situation with the god Loki .

In the Saxon baptismal vow of the 8th century, a formula for abjuring the traditional pagan belief, Donar is mentioned in Anglo-Saxon transcription as Thuna along with other gods.

"[...] end ec forsacho [...] Thunaer end Uuoden end Saxnote end allum them unholdum "

"[...] and I renounce [...] [the] Donar and Woden and Saxnot and all fiends."

- Saxon baptismal vow , Capitularia regum Francorum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica

The Lombard scholar Paulus Diaconus mentions the gods "Waten" and "Thonar" in a poem about the Danish king. The forms of the names, however, show Upper German forms and not Nordic ones.

In Anglo-Saxon glosses of clerical origin, Þunor is referred to as “Jovem Þuner”, “Jupiter Þuner” and “Þor” and “Þūr”. The monosyllabic Nordic form of the name comes from the Danish-Viking influence from the time of Danelaw , as it is also partly used in place names. Place and field names in England , which can be traced back to the old English form of the name Þunor and which indicate springs or damp lowlands in the ending, suggest places of worship formerly consecrated to the deity . For example, places like “Þunres lēa” (lēa, lēah in the meaning of grove) or “Þunorslēge” and “Þunrēs feld” are mentioned in manuscripts, modern equivalents can be found in “Thundersley” in Essex and “Thundersfield” in Surrey . In the Saxon and Jutian settlement areas, the place and field names are based on the Anglo-Saxon name form, while in the Anglic area, which was later under Danish influence, the Nordic form of the name of God predominates. At Burnsall in Yorkshire , a source site was therefore dedicated to Thor as "Thor's Well". In Gilton , Kent , graves from the 6th century were found as additions to Thor's hammers, which attest to the religious worship of orsunor. In addition to the place names and archaeological sources and the cults and myths associated with them, subsequent twists and turns in Old English literature show that the common Germanic ideas of God were shared by the Anglo-Saxons. According to Ernst Alfred Philippson, a phrase from the text of the old English story "The Prose of Salomon and Saturn" refers to these common ideas:

"Se ðunor hit (ðæt deofol) ðrysceð mid þære fyrenan æcxe"

"The thunder smashes him with a fiery ax"

- Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons, Cologne 1929, pp. 144–145

Continental places and place names such as Donnersberg in Rhineland-Palatinate suggest places of worship for Donar. In the case of the Donnersberg - not with all the Donnersberg mountains, since the natural phenomenon was definitely and usually the causative factor - the Germanic tribes presumably continued the sacred use of the place by the Celtic population who had previously resided there after it was displaced. Similar patterns can be found in England and also on the continent, for example on the Heiligenberg near Heidelberg in further use for the vodan cult.

Ecclesiastical prohibition writings, such as the shortened indiculia , forbid newly converted people from the usual and traditional cult and the sacrifices to Donar contained therein. As in the Anglo-Saxon glosses, Donar is here in the Latin form "Jovem, Jovis", ie Jupiter. In the high mediaeval old Icelandic “Barlaams saga”, which also originates from educated church authorship, Donar / Thor is compared to Jupiter in analogy to continental sources, or rather this is defined as Thor.

"Anarr guð þeira he Júpiter, he Þórr kallðr"

Probably the best known sanctuary dedicated to the god of thunder was the Donareiche (in the text: "robur Iovis") near Fritzlar in northern Hesse, which Boniface had cut down in 725. Boniface complained in a letter to Pope Gregory III. that just converted and priestly people returned to the custom of Donar sacrifices.

"De sacris Mercurii vel Jovis ... De feriis quae faciunt Jovi vel Mercurio."

"About sacrifices to Mercury (Wodan) and Jupiter (Donar) ... About celebrations that they hold for Jupiter and Mercury."

- Indiculus c. 8, 20, Capitularia regum Francorum, Monumenta Germaniae Historica

The Thorsberger Moor in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Süderbrarup is considered the central tribal sanctuary of the anglers . It was presumably consecrated to the Donar, and the current name comes from the later Danish-Nordic influence, as it sometimes happened in England. It remains unclear whether the fishing rods made sacrifices to Donar or to other deities. However, the artifacts allow certain conclusions to be drawn about the special occasions in the context of (victorious) acts of war and the weapon sacrifices made. Sacrifice ended in the 5th century when large parts of the tribe emigrated to the British Isles.

On a Saxon burial ground in Liebenau in Lower Saxony near Nienburg on the Weser, so-called "Donarskeulen" were found as additions in the body graves of women. This shows the special function of Donar as a fertility donor and that his cultic veneration among the Saxons is comparable to that of other Germanic peoples. Another function of the "Donarskeulen", namely the defense against damage, can be derived from the role model function of Roman Hercules clubs, which were imitated or borrowed from the Germanic peoples.

North Germanic certificates

Drawing of a 4.6 cm gilded Thor's hammer made of solid silver. It was found in Bredsättra in Öland, Sweden. At this late pagan time of the Vikings, in addition to the habit of wearing Thor's hammers, the custom of using male and female personal names with reference to Thor emerged.

Around 1075 Adam von Bremen provided a description of the attributes and characteristics of Thor in his history of the diocese of Hamburg ( Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum ) . For example, the historiographer ascribes the control of wind and rain to him. These descriptions of Thor are related to the pagan cults around the temple of Uppsala, from the point of view of the clerical scribe .

“Thor presides in aere, qui tonitrus et fulmina, ventos imbresque serena et fruges gubernat. [...] Si pestis et fames imminent Thor idolo libatur ... "

“Thor presides in the air, he directs thunder and lightning, gives wind and rain, bright weather and fertility. [...] When the plague and famine threaten, Thor is sacrificed to the idol ... "

- Hamburg Church History, Book IV, Chapter 26, 27

In Norway and Iceland , Thor was worshiped as the most important god, especially by the rural population, in Old Norse "mest tignaðr ... hǫfðingi allra goða". He is, as the Swedish religious historian Ake V. Ström points out, the "son of the earth - Jarðar burr" or "Jarðar sunr" ( Lokasenna 58, Þrymskviða 1 and Haustlǫng 14) and is subsequently considered by these people to be connected to the earth and with the The fertility of fields and meadows is thought and felt in a closely related way. In Scandinavia, worshiping Odin as the highest god was above all a courtly custom of the late pagan Scaldic poetry in the 9th and 10th centuries, which can be derived from a verse of the Eddic Hárbarðslióð (The Harbard Song), from the speech of Odin St. 24 :

"Óðinn á iarla, þá er í val falla, enn Þórr á þræla kyn."

"The servants have Thor, but the kings Odin, who fall in the field."

- Edda, transfer from Felix Genzmer

Nevertheless, central mythical themes can be found in some Skaldic poems, which are connected with Thor and show how popular these were. In late pagan times, Thor gained a warlike aspect or a functional significance for the Vikings , i.e. the groups from northern Germanic people who went on prey. This is presumably because Thor embodied a force that was evident to these people.

"When they (the Normans ) set out on raids and military expeditions, they used to sacrifice in the service of their god Thur ."

- Dudo by Saint-Quentin, De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum 1, 2

Temples, springs and groves were dedicated to Thor ; Place names that go back to Thor's name are still in use today. In Sweden, Norway and Iceland they outnumber all other theophoric place names. Where one can conclude that places were named after Thor because of his popularity, the second part of the name is often the personal name of a founder. Therefore, two-part place names, which are composed of the divine name and components such as Old Norse -hof and -lund (r) , -harg , -vi or other terms with sacred meaning , stand for a temple or grove.

"En Óðin ok þá Höfðingja tólf blótuðu menn, ok kölluðu goð sín ok trúðu á lengi síðan. Eptir Óðins nafni var kallaðr Auðun, ok hétu menn svá sonu sína, en af ​​Þórs nafni er kallaðr Þórir eða Þórarinn, eða dregit af öðrum heitum til, svá sem Steinþórr eða Hafþórenn vega órr eða Hafþórenn

“The name Audun was formed after Odin , and so the people called their sons; the names Tore or Torars were formed after Thor, and other terms were also associated with Thor in the name; and that's how names like Steintor or Havtor and many others came about . "

- Snorri Sturlusson, Yinglinga saga 7

"Þorgrímr travels bú um vórit at Hofi… Þar stód Þórr í miðju ok önnur goð á tvær hendr;"

"He (Thorgrim) had a large temple built in his enclosed courtyard ... In the middle there stood Thor and other gods on both sides."

- Kjalnesinga saga, chapter 2

“… Hallstein and the people of Reykjanes had erected a temple of Thor there in the west after a large tree had drifted onto its land when it had sacrificed. And that's where they paid their contribution. "

- GullÞórissaga c. 7th

In the southern Norwegian locality "Torshov gård" near Hamar in the province of Hedmarken there was a temple shrine which was dedicated to Thor and was used by the local peasant population in the sense of the function assigned to him by these people. In these temples or in other sacred places Thor, according to the sources of the saga literature, carved stakes were consecrated and votive offerings were offered. Adam von Bremen reports of a Christian Anglo-Saxon missionary, Wulfrad, who stayed on a mission with the pagan Swedes and destroyed a picture of Thor (“ydolum gentis nomine Thor”) at a thing site (“in concilio paganorum”). Thereupon he was killed by the Swedes and sunk in a (victim) bog. Statements in the saga literature and in reports by clerical medieval chroniclers about possible human sacrifice are to be regarded as uncertain.

“They did not offer him (Thor) domestic animals, nor cattle, nor wine or crops, but they always sacrificed human blood; because they considered it the most valuable of all the victims. "

- Dudo by Saint-Quentin, De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum 1, 2

Sacrifices of animals are more appropriate , especially with regard to the mythical connection between Thor and his billy goats Tanngnjostr and Tanngrisnir . According to Rudolf Simek, the scene of the sacrifice and subsequent resuscitation of the billy goats described below could be “reminiscences of Thor victims, which seem more archaic than the statements made by Christian authors and their fantastic accounts of human sacrifices” (“Lexikon der Germanischen Mythologie”, page 420, Stuttgart 2006). The report from the Landnámabók chap. 73 via a gate victims in Iceland in place Thorsnes to see where the offenders for a domr , a court decision, probably the backbone has been broken on a "Thorsteiin". Human sacrifices were rare among the Germanic peoples over the entire spatial and temporal framework of the pagan epoch, and such sacrifices to Thor were not verifiable.

The formula Thor consecrate as a detail from the inscription on the rune stone from Velanda (Vg 150), Västergötland, Sweden. Runic writing:
ÞuR: uiki

Further evidence of Thor are picture stones , rune stones and a few bracteate finds or amulets in the Scandinavian region, the latter mainly recognizable by the naming of the gods in runic inscriptions. Six stones from Denmark and Sweden bear the image of the Thor's hammer. Four Viking Age rune stones from both countries attest to the veneration of Thor with the transliterated appellative consecration formulation "Þur uiki - Thor consecrate!". Ake V. Ström sees in these consecration formulas and similar literary motifs a clear indication of the special fertility and protective function of Thor. Edith Marold sees the inscriptions of the 9th and 10th centuries with the reference to consecration as a late new formation of Pagan religiosity under Christian influence.

"Þur uiki þisi kuml"

"Thor, consecrate this burial mound."

- Virring runestone
The tombstone known as the Gosforth Cross with the mythical depiction of Thor's “fish haul” or his fight with the Midgard serpent

Picture stones are then safely related to Thor if a combination of several existing features enables identification. The mythical scene described below is depicted on the rune stone of Altuna from the Swedish region of Uppland , the Gosforth cross in northern England, as well as on the Jutland stone block in the church of Hørdum in Thy and on the Gotland stone "Ardre VIII" the mythical scene described below, in which Thor wields a hammer the Midgard Serpent is fighting. Other picture stones take up the Hrungnir myth thematically by showing the three-pronged, angled Hrungnir heart in scenic motifs and thus indirectly clarify the mental presence of Thor among people. The runestone of Karlevi on the Swedish island of Öland could represent another interesting form of indirect reference, in which the linguistic organic entanglement and internalized deep meaning is expressed through the aspect of a mythical figure closely associated with Thor. The inscription is the praise of a deceased Danish Viking leader. In stabender Skaldic poetry, the transliterated phrase is used in the stanza: " d áðir d olga Þrúðar". Þrúðr is the daughter of Thor's Thrud , and in this textual context the phrase represents a kenning (poetic description). "Dáðir dolga Þrúdar" is translated by Klaus Düwel as: "The tree of the Thrud of struggles" or "Goddess of struggles" and means transferred the "battle tree", a paraphrase for the warrior. An amulet from Sigtuna also relates to the battle of Thor with the giants. The inscription reads: "Þur sarriþu þursa trutin - Thor wound you, Lord of the Giants".

"Þur uigi þik þursa trutin"

"Thor consecrate (or curse) you, the lord of the giants."

- Canterbury manuscript, "Canterbury Charm"

Iceland was settled in the end of the pagan period . The later saga literature often takes up this event from the medieval-Christian perspective. In the Landnámabók (Chapter 73) it is reported how the first settler threw a wooden high seat column "öndvegissúlur" with a carved Thor's image ("þar var skroinn á Þórr") into the coastal waters to determine the ideal settlement site and had it investigated where this column landed . There the new farms were built and a new temple was built for Thor ("gerði þar hof mikil ok helgaði Þórr"). Because of the function and importance that Thor had for these people, and because of a natural feeling and awareness of religious ties, these agrarian communities placed themselves under his protection through the cultic act. One of these first settlers, Thorolf Mostrarskegg , who was a great sacrifice ("blótmaðr mikill") and admirer of Thor ("trúði á Þórr"), is reported in the saga after he has consulted an oracle:

“Many of his friends decided to go with him. He tore down the temple, taking with him most of the wood from which it was built, as well as the earth under the altar on which Thor (as an idol) had sat. Then Thorolf set out to sea ... Then Thorolf threw overboard the pillars that had stood in the temple; a picture of Thor was carved in one of them. He decided that he wanted to settle there in Iceland, where Thor would let them come ashore ... He took land in the south of the fjord ... Then they searched the land and found that Thor on a promontory further to the sea ... with the other pillars had come ashore. Since then it has been called "Thorness". "

- Eyrbyggja saga, chapter 4

About a quarter of the personal names listed in the settlers' Landnámabók are based on Thor. According to Rudolf Simek, in addition to the strong family traditions, this particularly points to the massive veneration of Thor in the country of origin, Norway. Jan de Vries explains that of the 4000 personal names that can be found in the Landnámabók, 984 are composed of Thor, and that the meaning is particularly clear from the fact that, in contrast, only four names are based on Freyr - and not a single name on Odin is due.

"Thor is a god in whom the pagan Teuton has confidence in all his actions, whose help he is always certain, the loyal friend who accompanies him through his whole life and under whose hammer he finds the last rest."

- Jan de Vries, Old Germanic History of Religions, 3rd edition. Berlin 1970, Volume 2, p. 152

From the time of the Christianization of the north-western regions of Scandinavia, clear forms of syncretism emerged , in which the traditional attachment to Thor comes to the fore, especially in emergency and dangerous situations, compared to the formally known Christian faith. In the late phase or in the transition period to the adoption of the Christian religion, the emerging custom of wearing the Thor's hammer belongs as a conscious act analogous to wearing the crucifix . In this juxtaposition of Thor and Christ, Edith Marold sees the consecration function of Thor explained above. One of the settlers from the Eyrbyggja saga with the name Helgi was a Christian, but he deliberately relied on Thor for sea voyages. An excerpt from the Oláfs saga Tryggvasonar can be regarded as an echo of the old pagan religion through the encounter of King Olaf Tryggvason with Thor and through the utterances of God and at the same time shows how it was put down - personified by Thor. During a sailing trip on the coast, Olaf Tryggvason meets a red-bearded handsome man (Thor) who is standing on a rock and asks him on board the ship to hear his old stories:

"Hann svarar:" Þar tek ek þá til, herra! at land þetta, er vér siglum nú fur, var byggt forðum daga af risum nǫkbewerbum, en risar þeir fengu með atburð brádðan bana, svá at þeir dó náliga allir senn, svá at eigi varð meirr eptir en konur tvær; síðan tóku menn af austrlǫndum at byggja land þetta, en þær enar miklu konur veittu því fólki mikinn yfirgang ok úmaka, ok þrǫngðu þeira manna ráðí, er landit byggja land etta, old þar til er landseitgó etta ar til hital hita ar auar tau sér, en ek greip þegar hamar minn, ok sló ek þær báðar til bana, ok hefir þetta landsfólk haldit því at kalla á mik til flutings, ef þeir hafa nǫkkurs viðþurft, alt hertil er þú hefir! mjǫk svá eytt ǫllum mínum vinum, sem hefnda væri fyrir vert! “- Ok í þessu leit hann aptr ímóti konungi, ok glotti við, í því er hann bikti sér út af borðinu, svá skannótt sem kólfi inn aldri síðan. "

"He replied," I begin with that, Lord, that this land we are now sailing along was inhabited by giants in ancient times. But once the giants perished quickly, so that they almost all died at the same time and no one was left but two women. After that people from eastern countries settled here, but the big women caused them great annoyance and some violence and harassed the people who had colonized the country until they finally decided to use that red beard for help to call. Immediately I grabbed my hammer and killed them both, and the people of this country continued to call on me for assistance if it was necessary, until you, King, destroyed all my friends, which would be worth vengeance! ”- At the same time he looked back at the king and smiled bitterly, throwing himself overboard as quickly as if an arrow were shooting into the sea, and they never saw him again. "

- Óláfs ​​saga Tryggvasonar c. 213

Thor in Norse mythology

Thor wears his hammer Mjölnir and the power belt Megingiard. When Thor throws the hammer away, it always comes back. From an Icelandic manuscript from the 18th century.

The Norse literature paints a clear picture of Thor in the so-called "Thorsmythen". The individual motifs were partially reshaped in literary terms and consequently show Thor as a joke figure in the sometimes fluctuating poems of the Edda Songs . In the summary, Thor is portrayed and described as follows:

After Odin, Thor is the highest and most feared of the gods. He is the son of Odin and Jörd (earth), his wife is the beautiful golden-haired Sif , with whom he has a daughter, Thrud (strength) . He has two sons, Magni and Modi , with the Ioten maiden Jarnsaxa , a giantess so beautiful that Thor, though a sworn enemy of the Joten (giants), sleeps with her . His favorite son is Magni, who is most like him of all in courage and strength. Thor's realm is called Thrudvangr , and the palace in it, Bilskirnir , is the largest with 540 halls ever built in Asgard .

"Segia mun ec til nafns míns, þótt ec secr siác, oc til allz øðlis: ec em Óðins sonr, Meila bróðir, enn Magna faðir, þrúðvaldr goða; við Þór knáttu hér doma. Hins vil ec nú spyria, hvat þú heitir. "

"You should find out my name, even if I am peaceless, and my descent too: I am Odin's son, Meili's brother and Magnis father, the Rater ruler of power ..."

- Hárbarðslióð, verse 9.

"Vingþórr ec heiti - ec hefi víða ratað - sonr em ec Síðgrana .."

"My name is Wingthor - I have moved far - and I am Sidgrani's son."

- Alvíssmal, verse 6.

Thor drives terribly in his chariot, rolling, thundering, above the clouds, pulled by the billy goats; but it is even more terrible when he buckles on his Megingjarder power belt , which gives him double strength, and when he grabs the hammer Mjolnir with his iron gloves and crushes him and steps under his enemies and those of the gods. What stands out here is his feud with the giants.

Once Thrym stole his hammer from the sleeping Thor. When Thor wakes up, he falls into a helpless rage because he feels robbed of his most important weapon. Loki flies around in Freya's plumage , spots Thor's hammer in Jötunheim and confronts Thrym. Thrym only wants to return the hammer on the condition that it is married to the goddess Freya. However, Freya gets very angry when Loki tells her this. Heimdall then suggests dressing up Thor, decorating him as a bride and presenting him to Thrym as Freya. Thor is concerned about being laughed at, but Loki says that the Thursen will soon rule in Asgard if he doesn't get his hammer back. Both travel to Thrym disguised as bride and maid. Thor is noticed by the thunder that accompanies his journey, his piercing gaze when Thrym wants to kiss him and his unbelievable voracity at the wedding party, but Loki always knows how to calm Thrym down. To complete the festivities, the giant prince lets his bride's hammer Mjölnir lie in his lap, whereupon the god of thunder grabs his hammer and kills all the giants present, including Thrym.

"Þá qvað þat Þrymr, þursa dróttinn:" Berið inn hamar, brúði at vígia, leggit Miollni í meyiar kné, vígit ocr saman Várar hendi! " Hló Hlórriða hugr í briósti, he harðhugaðr hamar um þecþi; Þrym drap hann fyrstan, þursa dróttin, oc ætt iotuns alla lamði. "

“Then Thrym the Thursen King said: Bring the hammer to consecrate the bride! Put Mjöllnir the maiden in your lap! Consecrate us together with the hand of war! Thor's heart laughed when the hard-hearted saw the hammer: first he met Thrym, the King of Thursen; he killed the giants whole. "

- Þrymskviða, verse 30, 31.

An often quoted and commented passage describes the feeding of the billy goats pulling Thor's wagon as a team and their resuscitation (see Thor's goats ) .

Then Thor arrives, now with the accompanying group, to the castle of King Utgartloki (outside world-Loki lord of demons), who challenges him through targeted humiliation or the questioning of his divine power and powers. Thor receives three tasks from the king. First the king asks Thor what he can do, to which Thor replies that he knows how to empty the drinking horn better than anyone else. But Thor fails. Even if you start it three times, it does not succeed in emptying the horn. But it gets worse. Utgartloki challenges Thor to prove his godly power by openly doubting this power. The opponent is an opponent. The old woman Elli takes on a wrestling match, and the god tries with all his might to shake her, but is unable to do so. Now his opponent tries her strength, and soon Thor has to go to his knees defeated. The third task is to lift a cat; God also fails in this.

Ashamed and humiliated, they move on; As soon as they have left the castle, the king explains to them that everything happened as a result of a spell. Utgardloki explains that the drinking horn Thor drank from was connected to the sea, so he couldn't drink it. But his sip was so strong that it caused the ebb. The old woman was age itself, which no one could defeat. And the cat, in turn, was the enchanted Midgard serpent that spanned the whole world. He achieved something supernatural in the individual situations. Thor, furious at knowing he was so mistaken, reaches for his hammer, and at that moment they are all on a wide plain.

To wipe out this notch, Thor, accompanied by the giant Hymir , sets off to the Midgard Serpent in the sea. They drive so far out that the giant is frightened. Thor equips the hook of a fishing line with an ox head as bait. The snake bites, feels its injury and hits so hard that Thor, holding the cord in his hands, hits the railing of the boat and his godly power is so intensified that his legs pierce the hull and he stands on the seabed. where he continues to resist the train of the snake. Thor pulls the snake up and looks at it with glowing eyes. She tries to spray him with her poison. Thor grabs his hammer to slay the snake, but Hymir, shaken with fear, cuts the cord. In anger, the god throws the giant head first into the sea, so that his legs stretch upwards. Then Thor wades back to the dry land. In a different version, both come ashore after Thor slapped Hymir in the face.

„Egndi á ǫngul, sá er ǫldom bergr, orms einbani, uxa hǫfði; gein við ǫngli, sú er goð fiá, umgiorð neðan allra land. Dró diarfliga dáðraccr Þórr orm eitrfán upp at borði; hamri kníði háfiall scarar, ofliótt, ofan úlfs hnitbróður "

“The head of an ox that shields people, the serpent's enemy, is speared on the fishing rod; from the bottom greedily seized the bait that the sir hate, the earth girdle. The worm, the shining poisonous one, Sif's husband, tore vigorously to the railing; with the hammer struck the hair of the mountain whale father's son the wolf brother. "

- Hymiskviða, verse 22, 23.

In Ragnarok Thor is like most other Asen its end, significantly, by the Midgard Serpent. The snake attacks Thor and pollutes the sea and the air with its vapors. Thor kills her with his hammer, but stumbles back nine paces and then drowns in the streams of poison that the monster spits out.

See also


  • Thorsten Andersson: Place names and personal names as a source of information for the old Germanic religion. In: Heinrich Beck, Detlev Ellmers , Kurt Schier (eds.): Germanic religious history - sources and source problems. Result of the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde Volume 5. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1992, ISBN 3-11-012872-1 , pp. 508-540.
  • Walter Baetke: The religion of the Teutons in source certificates . Moritz Diesterweg, Frankfurt / M. 1944.
  • Walter Baetke: Dictionary of Norse prose literature . WBG Darmstadt, 1976.
  • Heinrich Beck: Donar - Þorr . In: Heinrich Beck, Herbert Jankuhn, Kurt Ranke, Reinhard Wenskus (eds.): Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde . tape 6 . de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1986, ISBN 3-11-010468-7 , p. 1-7 .
  • Günther Behm-Blancke : Cult and Ideology . In: Bruno Krüger (Hrsg.): Die Germanen - History and culture of the Germanic tribes in Central Europe. 4th edition. Volume 1, Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1983 ( publications of the Central Institute for Ancient History and Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR , Volume 4).
  • Helmut Birkhan: Teutons and Celts up to the end of the Roman era. The expressive value of words and things for the earliest Celtic-Germanic cultural relations . In: Meeting reports d. Austrian Akad. D. Knowledge phil.-hist. Kl. 272, Böhlau, Vienna 1970.
  • Rene Derolez: Gods and Myths of the Teutons . Verlag F. Englisch, Wiesbaden 1976.
  • Wilhelm Boudriot: The old Germanic religion in the church evidence. WBG, Darmstadt 1964.
  • Torsten Capelle : Archeology of the Anglo-Saxons. WBG, Darmstadt 1990.
  • Jan de Vries : Celts and Teutons . Francke Verlag AG, Bern / Munich 1960.
  • Jan de Vries: Old Norse Etymological Dictionary. Brill Verlag, Leiden 1961, ISBN 90-04-05436-7 .
  • Jan de Vries: The spiritual world of the Teutons . WBG, Darmstadt 1964.
  • Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion (2 volumes) . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1970.
  • Klaus Düwel : Runic inscriptions as sources of the Germanic religious history . In: Heinrich Beck, Detlev Ellmers, Kurt Schier (eds.): Germanic religious history - sources and source problems. Result of the Real Lexicon of Germanic Archeology Volume 5. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1992, ISBN 3-11-012872-1 .
  • Klaus Düwel: Runic lore . 3. Edition. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2001, ISBN 3-476-13072-X .
  • Eugen Fehrle , Richard Hünnerkopf: Publius Cornelius Tacitus: Germania . Winter, Heidelberg 1959.
  • Wolfgang Golther: Handbook of Germanic mythology . Marix Verlag, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 3-937715-38-X .
  • Hans Jürgen Häßler: A burial ground tells history - archaeologists visit the Old Saxons on the Heidberg near Liebenau, Nienburg (Weser) district, Lower Saxony. Isensee Verlag, Oldenburg 1999, ISBN 3-89598-543-0 .
  • Friedrich Heiler: manifestations and essence of religion. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1961.
  • Karl Helm: Old Germanic history of religion . 2 volumes in 3 parts, 1911–1953. Carl Winter, Heidelberg.
  • Andreas Heusler: The old Germanic poetry. Athenaion Verlag, Berlin 1923.
  • Otto Höfler: Siegfried, Arminius and the symbolism. Carl Winter, Heidelberg 1961.
  • Kurt Hübner: The Truth of the Myth. Beck Verlag, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-406-30773-6 .
  • Herbert Jankuhn : Thorsberg and Nydam. Neumünster 1975.
  • Friedrich Kluge, Elmar Seebold: Etymological dictionary of the German language . Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-11-017473-1 .
  • Bernhard Maier : The religion of the Germanic peoples . Beck Verlag, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-50280-6 .
  • Edith Marold: The Skaldendichtung as a source of religious history. In: Heinrich Beck, Detlev Ellmers, Kurt Schier (eds.): Germanic religious history - sources and source problems (= supplementary volumes to the real dictionary of Germanic antiquity. 5). de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1992, ISBN 3-11-012872-1 , pp. 692-694.
  • Edith Marold: Thor consecrate these runes. In: Early Medieval Studies. Volume 8. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York, 1974, ISBN 3-11-004753-5 .
  • Wolfgang Meid: Aspects of the Germanic and Celtic religion in the testimony of language . Innsbruck 1991.
  • Rudolf Much, Herbert Jankuhn, Wolfgang Lange: The Germania of Tacitus. 3. Edition. Carl Winter, Heidelberg 1967.
  • Lutz von Padberg: Mission and Christianization: Forms and Consequences with Anglo-Saxons and Franks in the 7th and 8th centuries . Fritz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-515-06737-X .
  • Georg Heinrich Pertz: Capitularia regum Francorum. In: MGH . Leges Volume 1, 1835, pp. 19-20 ( ).
  • Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (=  Cologne Anglistic works . Volume 4 ). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929.
  • Herbert J. Rose: Greek Mythology. Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-49458-7 .
  • Kurt Schier: Scandinavian rock paintings as a source for the Germanic religious history? In: Heinrich Beck, Detlev Ellmers, Kurt Schier (eds.): Germanische Religionsgeschichte - Sources and source problems (= supplementary volumes to the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. 5). Berlin / New York 1992, ISBN 3-11-012872-1 , p. 200 ff.
  • Franz Rolf Schröder : The Teutons. In: Alfred Bertholet (Ed.): Religionsgeschichtliches Lesebuch . 2nd Edition. Volume 12. JCB Mohr, Tübingen 1929.
  • Franz Rolf Schröder: Source book for the Germanic religious history. de Gruyter, Berlin 1933.
  • Franz Rolf Schröder: Skadi and the gods of Scandinavia. JCB Mohr, Tuebingen 1941.
  • Franz Rolf Schröder: Indra, Thor and Heracles. In: Journal for German Philology. 76, 1957.
  • Rudolf Simek : Religion and Mythology of the Germanic Peoples . WGB, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-16910-7 .
  • Rudolf Simek: Gods and Cults of the Teutons . Beck Verlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-50835-9 .
  • Rudolf Simek : Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X .
  • Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais : Germanic and Baltic religion . W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-17-001157-X .
  • Dieter Timpe : Tacitus' Germania as a source of religious history. In: Heinrich Beck, Detlev Ellmers, Kurt Schier (eds.): Germanische Religionsgeschichte - Sources and source problems, results of the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde Volume 5. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1992, ISBN 3-11-012872-1 .
  • Norbert Wagner: To the runic inscriptions from Pforzen and Nordendorf. In: Historical linguistic research. 108 (1995) pp. 104-112.

Modern reception

The proposed Archaeen phylum " Thorarchaeota " from the group of Asgard Archaea should be named after Thor.

Web links

Wiktionary: Thor  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Thor  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Explore Viking Nordisk, History, and More! In: Pinterest.
  2. Þjóðminjasafn Íslands (National Museum of Iceland) ( Memento from November 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Jan de Vries: Old Norse Etymological Dictionary. P. 618.
  4. Vladimir Orel: A Handbook of Germanic Etymology. Brill, Leiden / Boston 2003, p. 429.
  5. IEW: J. Pokorny: Indo-European etymological dictionary. Bern / Munich 1959–1969, pp. ??.
  6. ^ Karl Helm: Old Germanic history of religion. Volume 1. pp. 274-277, including footnotes.
  7. Jan de Vries: The spiritual world of the Germanic peoples. Pp. 186-187.
  8. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology. P. 417.
  9. Herbert Rose: Greek Mythology. Pp. 43-45.
  10. ^ Karl Helm: Old Germanic History of Religions, Volume 1, p. 390.
  11. Jan de Vries: Celts and Teutons. P. 93.
  12. Uncertain: Friedrich Kluge, Elmar Seebold: Etymological Dictionary of the German Language, 24th edition. Keyword heaven .
  13. Wolfgang Golther: Handbook of Germanic Mythology. P. 305 footnote; Folklore comparisons between proverbs in Northern Germany and Scandinavia.
  14. ^ Snorri Sturluson: Skáldskaparmál chap. 17; in the context of the Hrungnir myth.
  15. Julius Pokorny: Indo-European Etymological Dictionary. Franke, Bern - Munich 1956, p. 1021.
  16. ^ Linguistic Research Center (University of Texas, Austin): Indo-European Lexicon; PIE Etymon and IE Reflexes.
  17. ^ A b Heinrich Beck: Donar - Þorr. P. 1.
  18. Originally, the weeks of the Egyptian Sothi calendar were divided into the four phases of the moon. With the introduction of the Egyptian administrative calendar, the number of days of the week changed there, while the religious lunar calendar continued to maintain the lunar phase week, see also: Richard-Anthony Parker: Egyptian Astronomy, Astrology and calendrical reckoning , pp. 713-714; Siegfried Schott: Ancient Egyptian Festival Dates . Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz / Wiesbaden 1950, pp. 10-14; Rolf Krauss: Sothis and moon dates: Studies on the astronomical and technical chronology of ancient Egypt , Gerstenberg, Hildesheim 1985, pp. 15-18 and Hans-Christoph Schmidt-Lauber , Michael Meyer-Blanck, Karl-Heinrich Bieritz: Handbuch der Liturgik - Liturgiewwissenschaft in Theology and Practice of the Church - . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-525-57210-7 , p. 359.
  19. ^ Friedrich Kluge, Elmar Seebold: Etymological dictionary of the German language, 24th edition. Keyword → Thursday .
  20. Helmut Birkhan: Teutons and Celts up to the end of the Roman era. P. 303f., P. 320.
  21. Friedrich Heiler: manifestations and essence of religion. Pp. 49-50.
  22. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: Skadi and the gods of Scandinavia. P. 117ff. ; Indra, Thor and Heracles. Pp. 1f., 33ff.
  23. ^ Heinrich Beck: Donar - Þorr. P. 5.
  24. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: Skadi and the gods of Scandinavia. P. 116f.
  25. Helmut Birkhan: Kelten - Attempt to present an overall picture of their culture . Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-7001-2609-3 , p. 459 and footnote 1.
  26. Bernhard Maier: The religion of the Germanic peoples. P. 129f.
  27. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology. Pp. 79-80.
  28. Einar von Schuler : Asia Minor: The mythology of the Hittites and Hurrites - The main weather god. In: Hans Wilhelm Haussig , Dietz Otto Edzard (Hrsg.): Gods and Myths in the Middle East (= Dictionary of Mythology . Department 1: The ancient civilized peoples. Volume 1). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1965, pp. 208-212, here p. 209.
  29. Rudolf Simek: Gods and Cults of the Teutons. P. 60 "... originally a stone tool".
  30. Friedrich Heiler: manifestations and essence of religion. Pp. 97-98.
  31. Kurt Schier: Scandinavian rock paintings as a source for the Germanic religious history ?. P. 200ff.
  32. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: Skadi and the gods of Scandinavia. P. 118f.
  33. Rene Derolez: Gods and Myths of the Teutons. Pp. 116, 120.
  34. Friedrich Heiler: manifestations and essence of religion. Pp. 84-86.
  35. Otto Höfler: Siegfrid Arminius and the symbolism. Pp. 14f., 146, 168
  36. ^ Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology. P. 207.
  37. ^ Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais: Germanic and Baltic religion. P. 138.
  38. Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais: Germanic and Baltic religion. P. 135.
  39. Jan de Vries: Festschrift for Dumezil , 1960, pp. 86-88; “… The Vikings, who often dyed their hair red, attributed their features to Thor; they were called "Thor's people" in Ireland. "
  40. Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais: Germanic and Baltic religion. Pp. 135-138.
  41. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: Indra, Thor and Herakles. P. 1ff.
  42. ^ Karl Helm: Old Germanic History of Religions, Volume 1, p. 278.
  43. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: Skadi and the gods of Saknadinaviens. P. 66 f.
  44. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology. P. 105.
  45. ^ Thomas V. Gamkrelidze, Vjaceslav V. Ivanov: Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. A Reconstruction and Historical Analysis of a Proto-Language and Proto-Culture. Part I: The Text. Part II: Bibliography, Indexes . Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1995 [Reprint 2010], ISBN 978-3-11-081503-0 , pp. 694-695. Edgar Charles Polomé : Diachronic stratification of the Germanic vocabulary. In: Irmgard Rauch (Ed. Et al.): Insights in Germanic Linguistics. I. Methodology in Transition. (= Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 83). Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1995, ISBN 978-3-11-081086-8 , pp. 243-264; here p. 252 f.
  46. ^ Gaius Iulius Caesar, De bello Gallico 6:21 ( Latin text ).
  47. Dieter Timpe: Tacitus' Germania as a source of religious history. P. 434ff .; Helmut Birkhan: Teutons and Celts up to the end of the Roman era ... p. 315f.
  48. ^ Eugen Fehrle, Richard Hünnerkopf: Publius Cornelius Tacitus: Germania p. 69, 70 "Schlachtengesang"; Rudolf Much: The Germania of Tacitus. Pp. 77-80.
  49. ^ Andreas Heusler: Old Germanic poetry. P. 54; Fehrle, Richard Hünnerkopf: Publius Cornelius Tacitus: Germania, Chapter 3, 9. Explanations pp. 69–70, 81.
  50. Otto Höfler: Siegfried, Arminius and the symbolism. P. 168; Kurt Hübner: The truth of the myth pp. 195–196, 211; Franz Rolf Schröder: Skadi and the gods of Scandinavia. Pp. 122, 123.
  51. Dieter Timpe: Tacitus' Germania as a source of religious history. Pp. 438, 439.
  52. Günter Behm-Blancke: Cult and Ideology. Pp. 367, 368.
  53. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic History of Religions, Volume 2, p. 107ff.
  54. ^ Karl Helm: Old Germanic History of Religions, Volume 1, p. 363f. ; Volume 2, Part 2, pp. 244, 255; Rene Derolez: Gods and Myths of the Teutons. P. 114; Much: The Germania of Tacitus. Pp. 175, 176.
  55. Günter Behm-Blancke: Cult and Ideology. Pp. 363-365.
  56. Titus Livius, Ab urbe condita 40.50; Ammianus Marcellinus, Res gestae 31,15,5.
  57. Karl Helm: Old Germanic History of Religion. Vol. 2, Part 1, pp. 39-41. On the overall problem of the representation of the East Germanic-Gothic religious relationships, especially with regard to individual deities.
  58. Entry of the Altunastein in the online register of the Swedish Riksantikvarieämbetet.
  59. With serious researchers since the beginning of the 20th century, for the migration hypotheses among others FR Schröder, R. Much, K. Helm. Against the migration hypothesis: J. de Vries, G. Dumezil, AV Ström. Rudolf Simek (Lexikon d. Germ. Myth.) Is reserved to the topic and considers the migration hypothesis to be weaker. On the subject in particular Thornes: Anders Hultgard: Wotan - Odin . In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde , H. Beck, D. Geuenich , H. Steuer (Eds.), Vol. 35. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2007, ISBN 978-3-11-018784-7 , p. 760 , 776.
  60. Helmut Birkhan: The Etymology of German . Lang Verlag, Bern - Frankfurt / M. - New York, 1985, ISBN 3-261-03206-5 , pp. 294f.
  61. Edith Marold: Thor consecrate these runes. P. 220ff. in summary.
  62. Hans Kuhn: The old Iceland . Diederichs, Düsseldorf / Cologne 1978, ISBN 3-424-00609-2 , pp. 202ff., 222ff., 244ff.
  63. Rudolf Simek: Gods and Cults of the Teutons. P. 65f.
  64. "Thor vie disse runer" - "Thor sanctify these runes" is written on the rune stone from Glavendrup , the rune stone from Sønder Kirkeby and the rune stone from Virring.
  65. ^ Heinrich Beck: Donar - Þorr. P. 1, col. 1, 2
  66. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion. Vol. 2, p. 148.
  67. Vladimir Orel: A Handbook of Germanic Etymology, Brill, Leiden - Boston 2003, p. 465.
  68. a b Norbert Wagner: On the runic inscriptions from Pforzen and Nordendorf. Pp. 104-112.
  69. Klaus Düwel: Runenkunde. Pp. 63, 64.
  70. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology. P. 420 with reference to Edith Marold
  71. Vladimir Orel: A Handbook of Germanic Etymology, Brill, Leiden - Boston 2003, p. 465 Germanisch * wīχjanan.
  72. Edith Marold: Thor consecrate these runes. Pp. 203f., 221f.
  73. In view of the disparate and problematic source situation and the technical evaluation (Simek, Vorwort Lexikon der Germanischen Mythologie , 2006 VIII – X).
  74. ^ Klaus Düwel: Runic inscriptions as sources of the Germanic religious history. P. 356f.
  75. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion. Vol. 2, p. 113.
  76. ^ Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons. Pp. 139-141.
  77. Torsten Capelle: Archeology of the Anglo-Saxons . WBG, Darmstadt 1990, p. 81.
  78. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion. Vol. 1, pp. 47-49, p. 345.
  79. Thorsten Andersson: Place names and personal names as a source of information for the old Germanic religion. P. 510f.
  80. Wilhelm Boudriot called: Old Germanic religion in the church records. P. 57f.
  81. Karl Helm: Old Germanic History of Religion. Vol. 2, part 2, p. 255.
  82. ^ Walter Baetke: The religion of the Teutons in source certificates. P. 6.
  83. ^ Herbert Jankuhn: Thorsberg and Nydam. Pp. 6, 23, 24.
  84. Torsten Capelle: Archeology of the Anglo-Saxons. P. 6.
  85. Hans Jürgen Häßler: A burial ground tells history ... p. 112f.
  86. Joachim Werner: Hercules Club and Donar Amulet . In: Yearbook of the Roman-Germanic Central Museum Mainz , vol. 11. Mainz, 1964, p. 176ff.
  87. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: The Germanic peoples. Pp. 61, 62.
  88. ^ Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais: Germanic and Baltic religion. P. 140.
  89. Edith Marold: The Skaldendichtung as a source of the history of religion. Pp. 692-694.
  90. ^ Walter Baetke: The religion of the Teutons in source certificates. P. 26.
  91. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion. Vol. 2, pp. 343-346.
  92. ^ Walter Baetke: Dictionary of Norse prose literature. Pp. 266, 393.
  93. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion. Vol. 1, pp. 374ff., Vol. 2, pp. 118–119 (Maps of the spread of place names pp. 116, 117).
  94. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology. P. 421, col. 2.
  95. Thorsten Andersson: Place names and personal names as a source of information for the old Germanic religion. P. 528f.
  96. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: Source book for the Germanic history of religion. S. 110. Translation: Walter Baetke: The religion of the Teutons in source documents. P. 16.
  97. ^ Walter Baetke: The religion of the Teutons in source certificates. P. 14.
  98. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion. Vol. 2, p. 119, counts 10 records for Torshov in the Oslofjord region.
  99. a b c Heinrich Beck: Donar - Þorr. P. 2.
  100. Walter Baetke: The religion of the Teutons in source certificates. P. 26.
  101. Günter Behm-Blancke: Cult and Ideology. P. 363ff.
  102. ^ Rudolf Simek: Religion and Mythology of the Germanic Peoples. P. 42ff.
  103. Entry of the Velandastein in the online register of the Swedish Riksantikvarieämbetet
  104. Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais: Germanic and Baltic religion. P. 140.
  105. ^ Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of the Germanic Religion. Pp. 420-422.
  106. Edith Marold: Thor consecrate these runes. P. 222.
  107. ^ Walter Baetke: The religion of the Teutons in source certificates. P. 59.
  108. ^ Heinrich Beck: Donar - Þorr. P. 5, col. 1.
  109. Klaus Düwel: Runenkunde. Pp. 134-135.
  110. ^ Rudolf Simek: Religion and Mythology of the Germanic Peoples. P. 135.
  111. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion. Vol. 2, p. 121.
  112. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: The Germanic peoples. P. 59.
  113. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology. P. 419, col. 2.
  114. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion. Vol. 2, pp. 120, 147f.
  115. Edith Marold: Thor consecrate these runes. P. 221.
  116. ^ Franz Rolf Schröder: Source book for the Germanic history of religion. S. 181, 182. Translation of the. Die Teutons. Pp. 73, 74.
  117. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology. P. 370. "the one with a long mustache", an epithet of Odin .
  118. Felix Genzmer: Edda - gods and heroic songs. 1981 (Ed. Kurt Schier) Former Thule Collection Volume 1, 2.
  119. ^ Gustav Neckel, Felix Niedner: Snorra-Edda. Thule Collection, Volume 20, reprint 1966.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on October 23, 2008 .