Aesir-Vanir War

Aesir-Vanir War In Germanic mythology, a war fought at the beginning of time that was concluded by a truce that joined the two warring entities into a single unified group of gods. The war was precipitated when a mysterious figure named Gullveig, sometimes called Heid and other times Freyja, came to the hall of Odin. There she was attacked but could not be killed and went on performing seid, a form of magic or divination. Accounts of the war place more emphasis on the final settlement than on the details of the battle, and the symbol of the truce, the mixed spittle Odhrerir, became a symbol for wisdom, the mead of poetry. The Vanir are usually viewed as fertility gods who may have been overrun by a more warlike cult, the Aesir. Some scholars have tried to associate the Aesir with the invading Indo-European tribes, but recent scholarship does not accept this interpretation, since war in a myth does not have to have a historical origin.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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