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  1. #1
    Ansuz
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    Default The names of Odin's brothers?

    I have a little question regarding the names of Odin's brothers. In Voluspa, Hner and Lodur help Odin to create Ask and Embla. But in Gylfaginning, Vile and Ve are mentioned instead. So is it I who have missed something, or are those names just different names for the same gods?

    I think it is probable that they are different names for the same gods. I know that for example Odin has many different names, such as Wotan, Oden, Woden, and Thor such as Thorr, Donar and Tor. But I want to be certain regarding Hner, Lodur, Vile and Ve.

  2. #2
    Full Members invargR's Avatar
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    I believe they're considered to be the same gods but with different names, although it's not certain. I prefer the alliterated names[V]inn, Vili, V.

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    Forum Moderator Schwarzesonne's Avatar
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    Whilst there are always those that disagree most academic scholars and most Heathens agree that these are simply alternative names for the same deities. In Irminenschaft we refer to these three brothers as Wodan, Willo and Wh.

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    Full Members Scramaseax's Avatar
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    Vǫlusp 17 doesn't actually say that inn, Hnir and Lurr are brothers. I think it's a case of the same basic myth of creation by a trinity becoming garbled into two different traditions, and perhaps there were yet other versions that are no longer extant. The oldest recorded creation myth would be Tuisto-Mannaz-Ing/Hermin/Ist and that also has the alliterated trinity in common but is unrelated to inn/Vili/V.

    Clearly Hnir/Lurr and Vili/V are not etymologically related to eachother the way that Wodan/Ƿden/inn are. If they were the same people at some point that certainly wasn't known to the compilers of the various texts. Snorri for example says in Ynglingsaga 3 "inn had two brothers, one V, the other Vili", and then right after in Ynglingsaga 4 he talks about "the man called Hnir" being given to the Vanir and no connection with inn, Vili or V is apparent. Hnir is apparently his own person, and where Lurr is elsewhere referred to it is often believed to be another name for Loki rather than Vili or V. This wikipedia article is quite helpfull:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%B3%C3%B0urr

    "Ond ā Ƿēalas flugon ā Englan sƿā fȳr"

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    Forum Moderator Schwarzesonne's Avatar
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    There are a few different theories on this.

    It does not matter if Hnir/Vili/Willo and Lurr /V/Wh are etymologically connected or notfirst because etymology in itself is very theoretical and is not hard evidence of anything; and second because it is well known that all the gods bear numerous names (e.g. Freyja, Walburga Frouwa, Mengl, Sr).

    Personally I tend to go with the idea (I believe this came from Rydberg?) that Wodan, Willo & Wh are the progenitors of the Ensi, Wan & Alp respectively. Of course, this conclusion would not agree with the notion that Wh is the same as Locho at all!

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    Full Members Scramaseax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwarzesonne
    it is well known that all the gods bear numerous names (e.g. Freyja, Walburga Frouwa, Mengl, Sr).
    That's true, it's just that Ansuz had said "I know that for example Odin has many different names, such as Wotan, Oden, Woden, and Thor such as Thorr, Donar and Tor" and what I meant was that Hnir/Lurr and Vili/V are not the same as Willo/Wh/Willi/Wh and Vili/V. They're not just the same name in different languages as those examples are. If they are the same person then they're different titles/nicknames/kennings, in the way that Ƿden has 100-odd different names.

    Of course, this conclusion would not agree with the notion that Wh is the same as Locho at all!
    Vǫlusp features a trio of inn, Hnir and Lurr, Reginsml and Skaldskaparmal both feature a trio of inn, Hnir and Loki. Haustlǫng twice refers to Loki as "Hnirs friend" and once as "Raven-god(inn)'s friend". slendingadrpa and Hleygjatal refer to inn as "Lurr's friend" (not brother). And it seems pretty weird that the Lokka tttur ballad from the Faroes has the couple praying to in, Hnir and Lokki. Even though it can only be traced to the 18th century it must have come from somewhere.

    The weird thing is, Snorri says in Gylfaginning that it was inn, Vili and V that gave life to Askr and Embla, but Snorri was evidently aware of Vǫlusp since he quotes from it. So one would have to assume that Snorri thought Vili/V and Hnir/Lurr were the same. But as I said earlier in Ynglingsaga he presents Hnir as quite seperate when he mentions him being given to the Vanir.

    "Ond ā Ƿēalas flugon ā Englan sƿā fȳr"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scramaseax
    So one would have to assume that Snorri thought Vili/V and Hnir/Lurr were the same. But as I said earlier in Ynglingsaga he presents Hnir as quite seperate when he mentions him being given to the Vanir.
    Or just didn't care and was trying to mack a buck, so to speak, so he simplified it and cut out two names.

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    Full Members Scramaseax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arinbjorn
    Or just didn't care and was trying to mack a buck, so to speak, so he simplified it and cut out two names.
    Don't really follow you, explain?

    Snorri got much of his material for Gylfaginning from Vǫlusp, it seems like he wrote Gylfaginning with a copy of Vǫlusp at the table. But Vǫlusp (as we have it) says inn, Hnir and Lurr found Askr and Embla, for some reason Snorri changes it to "Borr's sons" which he has earlier named as inn, Vili and V. Vǫlusp appears to name Hnir as seperate from inn's brothers at the end, but I suppose it could be taken either way:

    Bellows
    63. Then Hnir wins the prophetic wand,
    . . . . . . . . . .
    And the sons of the brothers of Tveggi abide
    In Vindheim now: would you know yet more?


    Thorpe
    61. Then can Hoenir choose his lot,
    and the two brothers sons inhabit
    the spacious Vindheim. Understand ye yet, or what?


    Hollander
    62. Then will Hnir handle the blood-wands,
    And Ygg's brothers' sons will forever dwell
    In wide Wind-Home: do ye wit more, or how?


    Larrington
    63. The Hnir will choose wooden slips for prophecy,
    and the sons of two brothers will inhabit, widely,
    the windy world - do you understand yet, or what more?


    Then there is the tradition referred to in Ynglingsaga and Lokasenna (and perhaps Gesta Danorum) where Frigga has an affair with Vili and V. I bring it up because in Lokasenna Loki accuses Frigga of it, and clearly he is not to be identified with Vili or V there:

    Bellows
    Loki spake:
    26. "Be silent, Frigg! thou art Fjorgyn's wife,
    But ever lustful in love;
    For Vili and Ve, thou wife of Vithrir,
    Both in thy bosom have lain."

    "Ond ā Ƿēalas flugon ā Englan sƿā fȳr"

  9. #9
    Ansuz
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    Hmm, I would support that they are simply two different names for the same gods, even though they are not linguistically related. Remember, one of Odin's names was Grimner, and to my knowledge the words Odin and Grimner are not linguistically related.

    Also, our ancestors did not like to repeat the same word too much, so in the myths, we can find that they employed various names of the same entity in the story.

    My personal preferation would be to use Vile and Ve, but that's just me. I like those names better.

  10. #10
    Forum Moderator Schwarzesonne's Avatar
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    When using Snorri as a source it is always good to keep his intentions in mind (as with any other writer). There is some debate as to whether his beliefs were more christian or Heathen; but it is well known that his reason for writing the mythic accounts that he did were to preserve the forms of skaldic poetrynot to preserve the myths in any reflective fashion. He only used the myths because they represented a traditional use of the skalds talents.

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