Ullr (pronounced “ULL-er,” often Anglicized as “Ull,” and also occasionally referred to as “Ullinn”) is an obscure and enigmatic Norse god. p. 105-106. In early Germanic paganism, *Wulþuz ("glory") appears to have been an important concept, perhaps personified as a god, or an epithet of an important god; it is continued in Old Norse tradition as Ullr, a god associated with hunting and archery. p. 182-183. Like so many other aspects of pre-Christian Germanic religion, the information we have on Ullr is fragmentary and insubstantial, but, what is even more frustrating, tantalizingly so. The Thorsberg chape (a metal piece belonging to a scabbard found in the Thorsberg moor) bears an Elder Futhark inscription, one of the earliest known altogether, dating to roughly AD 200. It has been suggested that this is the remnant of a pair of divine twins and further that there may have been a female Ullin, on the model of divine pairs such as Fjörgyn and Fjörgynn. This indicates that Ullr had at some point a religious importance in Scandinavia that is greater than what is immediately apparent from the scant surviving textual references. Ull is said there to be the handsome son of Sif and the stepson of her husband Thor. 1964. Ullr helped Svipdagr-Eiríkr rescue Freyja from the giants. The Icelandic form is Ullur. In Saxo Grammaticus' 12th century work Gesta Danorum, where gods appear euhemerized, Ollerus is described as a cunning wizard with magical means of transportation: When Odin was exiled, Ollerus was chosen to take his place.  Turville-Petre, E.O.G. Rydberg also postulates he also ruled over the Vanir when they held Ásgarðrduring the war between the Vanir and the Æsir, however Rudolf Simek states "this has no basis in the sources whatso… Grímnismál, stanza 5. ), Viktor Rydberg speculates in his Teutonic Mythology that Ullr was the son of Sif and Egill-Örvandill, half-brother of Svipdagr-Óðr, nephew of Völundr and a cousin of Skaði. Translated by Angela Hall. Ullr (pronounced “ULL-er,” often Anglicized as “Ull,” and also occasionally referred to as “Ullinn”) is an obscure and enigmatic Norse god.  One of the poems in Poetic Edda, the Grímnismál, states that his home is called Ýdalir, “Yew Dales.” Yew wood was preferred above that of all other trees for making bows, which probably explains this association. References to him in Old Norse literature are sparse and tell us little to nothing about his personality or role in pre-Christian religion and mythology. , Some have attempted to equate Ullr with the sky god Tyr, who, as his article on this site discusses, was the Germanic version of the highest god of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, from whom the Norse and other Germanic peoples are descended.. References to him in Old Norse literature are sparse and tell us little to nothing about his personality or role in pre-Christian religion and mythology. Breck Ullr Fest was first held in 1963. In the mainland North Germanic languages, the modern form is Ull. Uller is reknowned in Asgard for his cunning. It seems to indicate Ullr as an important god. Ollerus ruled under the name Odin for ten years until the true Odin was called back. , Elsewhere in the poem, Odin, who is entrapped between two fires, promises the blessings of “Ullr and all the gods” on whomever will rescue him. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The last reference to Ullr in the Poetic Edda is found in Atlakviða: Both Atlakviða and Grímnismál are often considered to be among the oldest extant Eddic poems.  Some of the Norwegian placenames have a variant form, Ullinn. The Vanir: an Obituary. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. (For a possible nickname *Ringir for Ullr see under the name Ringsaker. #5012; A very early Nordic symbol representing the sun and the four quarters. He typically wears green clothing and no armor. “Ullr’s ship” is a kenning for “shield,” which indicates that there was a tale of his traveling across the ocean on a shield, but if so, this tale has been lost. Ull is said there to be the handsome son of Sif and the stepson of her husband Thor. It may not be a coincidence that they are the only ones to refer to Ullr. Three skaldic poems, Þórsdrápa, Haustlöng and a fragment by Eysteinn Valdason, refer to Thor as Ullr's stepfather, confirming Snorri's information. Bronze is $15, silver is $30. Ullr's name appears in several important Norwegian and Swedish place names (but not in Denmark or in Iceland). p. 339. Others have wanted to connect Ullr with the Vanir tribe of deities on similarly shaky evidence: the distribution of place names with “Freyr” and “Njord” in them in the vicinity of place names bearing “Ullr,” and the fact that Ullr apparently once traveled across the sea (some deities who are grouped amongst the Vanir were associated with the ocean). Ullr helped Svipdagr-Eiríkr rescue Freyja from the giants. Snorri informs his readers that Ullr can be called ski-god, bow-god, hunting-god and shield-god. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Tyr was, amongst other things, a god of law and justice. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. Reprinted 2001, Elibron Classics. Viktor Rydberg speculates in his Teutonic Mythology that Ullr was the son of Sif and Egill-Örvandill, half-brother of Svipdagr-Óðr, nephew of Völundr and a cousin of Skaði. , Ullr is a playable character in the video game Smite.. This page was last edited on 18 October 2020, at 13:10. Young (1964). In turn a shield can be called Ullr's ship. 1964. In the book Hammered, third book in The Iron Druid Chronicles, Ullr makes an appearance when the main character and his five man team raid Asgard.  Ellis-Davidson, Hilda Roderick. In The Retrospective Methods Newsletter, December 2010. It seems likely that he didn't know any, the god having faded from memory. Commonalities we see between Cernunnos and Ullr include: gods associated with the deep woods, hunting for the tribe, kingship – Ullr as a chieftain, and Cernunnos with his king-symbol the torc, and with oath rings binding rulers and their subjects. p. 182.  Turville-Petre, E.O.G. More fundamentally, however, any argument that assumes the Vanir were a distinct tribe is by that virtue alone open to considerable suspicion, because it’s highly debatable to what extent the Vanir were seen as being a distinct tribe of gods, if at all.. The first element owlþu, for wolþu-, means "glory", "glorious one", Old Norse Ullr, Old English wuldor. 2010. All rights reserved. Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). This article was most recently revised and updated by, Ull - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). "Ulle" redirects here. Public Domain Ull was married to the former wife of Njord, Skadi, the goddess of winter and cold. But since swearing an oath on a symbol of divinity – any divinity, regardless of that deity’s connection with justice and law – was a common practice in heathen Germanic society, this episode alone is insufficient to establish that Ullr had anything in particular to do with these attributes. Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. Northvegr: Lore: Poetic Edda - Thorpe Trans. Translated by Angela Hall. The medieval Norse word was Latinized as Ollerus.
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