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the Supreme Deity, are either e- mythology. In the ancient Icepithets taken from the qualities at- landic poetry, we find the Sutributed to him, or the places preme God denominated in more where he was worshiped, or from than a hundred and twenty-fix the actions he had performed, &c. different phrases. They are all eThis diversity of names hath often numerated in the Scalda, or Poemilled those of the learned, who tic Dictionary. It would therehave applied themselves to the fore (as Gangler observes) require study of the Celtic religion, jul in fome application, to give the reathe same manner as hath happen- fons of all thele different denomied to those, who applied them- nations, many of which allude to felves to the Greek and Roman particular events,


Of the God Thor, the Son of Odin.


EREUPON Gangler demanded, What are the

names of the other Gods? What are their functions, and what have they done for the advancement of their glory? Har says to him, The most illuftrious among them is Thor. Ile is called Alu Tor, or the Lord Thor; and Ake- I hor, or the Active Thor. He is the strongest and bravest of Gods and Men (A). His kingdom is named Ihrudwanger. He poffèfles there a palace, in which are five lundred and forty Halls. It is the largest honse that is known; according as we find mentioned in the poein of Grimnis.

There are five hundred and forty Ilalls in the " Winding Palace of the God Thor; and I believe 6 there is no where a greater fabric, than this of the

" eldest

" eldest of sons." The Chariot of Thor is drawn by two He-Goats. It is in that Chariot that he goes

in. to the country of the Giants; and thence they call him the rapid Thor. He likewise possesses three very precious things. The first is a Mace, or Club, called Miolner, which the Giants of the Froft, and those of the Mountains, know to their cost, when they see it hurled against them in the air: and no wonder ; for with that Mace has this God often bruised the heads of their fathers and kindred. The second jewel he possesses, is called the Belt of Prowess; when he puts it on, he becomes as strong again as he was before. The third, which is also very precious, are his Gauntlets, or Gloves of Iron, which he always wears when he would lay hold of the handle of his Mace. There is no person of so much learning, as to be able to relate all his marvellous exploits; I myself could tell you so many, that day would end much sooner, than the recital of what immediately occur to me.

Then says Gangler to him, I would rather hear fomething about the other Sons of Odin. To this Har answered in these words:

THE fecond


(A) “ Thor is the strongest of The function ascribed to him of “ Gods and Men.”] The reader launching the thunder, made him will recollect here, what I have pass for the most warlike and forfaid a little higher concerning this midable of all the Gods. It was divinity of the northern nations *. also Thor who reigned in the air,


* Fr. Des Celtes.

diftributed the seasons, and raised that the most illustrious of all creor allayed tempests. “ Taor,'ated intelligences was what they " says Adam of Bremen, is the paid homage to under the fym" God who, according to these bol of Fire or the Sun, wherein * people, governs the thunder, the intelligence resided. They " the winds, the rains, the fair called it Mithr-as, or the Media" weather, and harvest." (See tor Lord.' (The word As still sigHift. Ecclef.) This Mace or ' nifies Lord, in Persian.) They, Club, which he hurled against as the Scandinavians, kept a perthe Giants, and with which he petual and facred fire, in consecrushed their heads, is doubtless quence of this persuasion. The the Thunder, which most fre- Scythians, according to Herodoquently falls upon elevated places. 'tus and Hesychius, adored this He was in general regarded as a' divinity under the title of Goetodivinity favourable to mankind; Syrus, which fignifies The Good as he who guarded them from Star. This word Syr or Seir, the attacks of Giants and wicked which the Persians employed to Genii ; whom he never ceased to denominate the Sun, seems to be encounter and pursue. The name the same with Thor, only in a of his place fignifics, in Gothic, different dialect. The ancient " the place of refuge from Ter people of the north pronounced the « rour.” As he was the first. th in the same manner as the Engborn of the Supreme God; or to lish do at present; not very different fpeak in the language of the Ed from ss. They had a particular DA,

6 The Eldest of Sons ; character for that letter,which was the first and principal intelligence afterwards lost in the other dialects proceeding from the union of the of the Saxon language. All the Deity with Matter ; they have Celtic nations have in like manmade him a middle divinity, a ner,' been accustomed to the wormediátor between God and Man. ship of the Sun ; either as distin. It is probable that a great many guished from Thor, or considered people venerated him also, as the as his fymbol. It was a custom intelligence who animated the that every where prevailed in anSun and Fire. The worship of cient times, to celebrate a feast at the Persians had in this respect, the winter solstice, by which men as in a great many others, the testified their joy at fecing this most exact resemblance to that of great luminary return again to this people. The Persians held, this part of the heavens. They VOL. II. G


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sacrificed horses to him, as an em- nativity of our Lord; the anniblem, says Herodotus, of the ra- versary of which happened to be pidity of this planet. This was much about the fame time. In the greatest solemnity in the year. the languages of the north, Juul, They called it in many places, or Yule, ftill signifies Christmas ; role, or Tuule, from the word Hi-' and the manner in which this fefaul, or Houl, which even at this tival is celebrated in many places, day signifies the Sun, in the lan- as well as the old name itself, reguages of Bass Bretagne, and minds us of many circumstances Cornwal. When the ancient Pa- of its first original. (See Schef. gan religion gave place to the fer. Upsal. Antiq. c. 7. Pellout. Christian, the rejoicings, feasts Hist. des Celt. T. II. C. 12 *.) I. and nocturnal aflemblies which have already observed, that in all that festival authorised, indecent the languages of the North, the as they were, were not suppressed, day.consecrated to the Jupiter tolest, by endeavouring to gain all, nans of the Romans, was transferall should be lost. The church red to the God Taor, and was salvas content to fan&ify the end of named Thorsdag, &c. that is this feasting, by applying it to the TURSDAY.

See also Keyl. Antiq. p. 159. &c. p. 349, 367.




Of the God Balder.


THE fecond fon of Odin is named BALDER. lie

is of an excellent natural temper; and hath the universal praise of mankind : so handsome in his person, and of fo dazzling a look, that he seems to dart forth rays of light (A). To make you comprehend the beauty of his hair, you should be informed that the whitest of all vegetables is called, the “ Eye. 6 brow of Balder.” This God, fo radiant and graceful, is also the most eloquent and benign ; yet such is his nature, that the judgements he has pronounced can never be altered. He dwells in the city of Breidablik, before-mentioned. This place is in hea. ven, and nothing impure can have admittance there : this is confirmed by the following. verses : “ Balder “ hath his palaces in Breidablik, and there I know

are columns, upon which are engraven verses, ca“ pable of recalling the dead to life.”

The third God is he, whom we call KIORD. He dwelleth in a place named Noatun. He is ruler of the winds: he checks the fury of the sea, storms and fire (B.

Whoever would succeed in navigation, hunting or fishing, ought to pray to this God. He is so rich, that he can give to his votaries kingdoms and treasures : and upon this account also he deserves to be invoked. Yet Niord is not of the lineage of the Gods. He was reared at Vanheim, that is, in the


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