The mythical runes of the Vikings have fascinated many throughout the centuries. In some areas of Scandinavia they remained in use until as late as the 17th century. But where did they originally come from? A comparison of the Latin, North Etruscan and Phoenician Theses of the origin of the runes.
A great article on a classic of Old English Literature by Kristyn J. Miller.
Epic poems have incredible staying power both as literary achievements and as historical resources. The Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf is one of the foremost examples of this. Despite its mythological themes, the story offers historians a rare insight into Anglo-Saxon ideals of masculinity, heroism, and society. At the same time, it presents literary scholars with a wellspring of opportunities to analyze symbolism and metaphor, as well as a look at the progression of our literary language.
Within the literary sphere, modern Beowulf criticism finds its origins in J.R.R. Tolkien. In his 1936 lecture at Oxford University, later transcribed as an essay, Tolkien argued:
I have read enough, I think, to venture the opinion that Beowulfiana is, while rich in many departments, specially poor in one. It is poor in criticism, criticism that is directed to the understanding of a poem as a poem.
The essay goes on to reaffirm the value…
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Ragnarok describes the end of the world in Norse Mythology. Or does it really? Not only the world itself is reborn after its destruction, but one of the gods as well. Could this be an indication for reincarnation in Germanic myth or perhaps even evidence for a pan-Indo-European phenomenon of rebirth?