Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome to the Runes

Quiz covering the gods, unusual characters and introduction to the Runes

Dear Mythology Students,

Your homework for Tuesday, April 3rd is the following:

1. Your handout covering your Norse God is due on Tuesday (03/04). Please see the blue handout in your packet.

B1 KATRINA: Your god is THOR

2. Read the purple handout in your packet entitled "Runes" (if you were absent)

3. Please read "The Pantheon" section in your textbook located on pgs. xxv-xxxii. Please develop a list of 25 notations using ALL YOUR COLORS!


Runes are the letters of the ancient Scandinavian people. According to myth, the Runes were created by Odin. In his quest to obtain more knowledge, he stabbed and then hanged himself from Yggdrasil. As he was hanging, and of course, bleeding to death, the weight of his body forced dead branches from Yggdrasil to land in Gunnungagap. The branches fell in unusual patterns, hence creating the Runes. Originally, eighteen Runes were created, but as the Scandinavian language changed, more letters were required.

Each Rune represents a letter, has a sound, name, and has magical powers associated with it. Odin touches each of the eighteen Runes, and therefore he is given knowledge that other characters in Norse Mythology do not have. For example, one of the Runes taught Odin how to return from the dead. Another teaches him how to woo women. One Rune gives him the power to read and write.....etc.

The Runes are placed around this rendering of Odin riding Sleipnir.

We covered an extensive amount of information today in class. We completed the back of your yellow sheet. YOU WILL HAVE A QUIZ ON FRIDAY covering our discussion today. If you complete your flashcards (28), you are welcome to use seven on your quiz. The following characters relate to your quiz:



Frigg (a)




























I have also included a practice quiz. Remember you will receive extra-credit for completing the quiz.

1. I am Odin's "thought." _________________
2. I am Odin's "Memory." _________________
3. Mother to Balder; Friday; weaves the clouds ______________
4. Loves gold; hates war ____________________
5. Strong senses _________________
6. Trickster _______________
7. The end of the Norse World is called ______________
8. I have eight legs. _______________
9. Wednesday ______________
10. The "heaven" in the land of the gods is called ____________
11. Loki is our father 11.______________12.______________13.____________
14. I have a special hammer _______________
15. Apples are my favorite fruit. _________________
16. Well of past, present and future ____________________

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 20th, 2012

Introduction to Norse Mythology

Dear Mythology Students,

Norse Mythology are the stories of the Scandanavian people. The Norse were extremely skilled at sea faring; consequently, they were exposed to different cultures. The Norse came upon the Romans, who in turn, hired them as mercenaries. The Roman culture was extremely advanced; consequently, the Norseman adopted some of their belief system into their own culture. This is why when we start to read the myths you will note some strong similarities to Greek Mythology. Remember that the Romans stole their religion from the Greeks. Another important point that you need to know involves the conversion of the Romans to Christianity. The Norseman continued to be influenced by the Roman culture, and therefore they also adopted Christian influences into their mythology, as well.

Everyone of you should have a new textbook, and a "packet" of handouts that will be used during the next two weeks. Your homework assignments for THURS. include the following:

1. Please read pages xiv-xx in the "Introduction" section of your book.
2. Create a list of 20 notations from the reading that you found interesting.

Norse Mythology is difficult to fully explain in this forum, but I will do my best.......In the beginning, no formed matter exists. This enormous chasm of unorganized matter is called GUNNUNGAGAP! To the north of Gunnungagap is an immense area of frozen ice. This area is called NIFLHEIM.

To the south of Gunnungagap is an immense region of heat called MUSPELHEIM. Nothing exists but these two regions.
Suddenly these two regions begin to move closer together. The heat from Muspelheim causes the ice from Niflheim to melt and droplets of water land in Gunnungagap. Some how and I don't know exactly how this happens, and neither did the Nordic people, so you just have to accept it, two important beings are created at the same enormous man called Ymir, who is also called a "frost giant" and a cow whose name is Adumla. I know, it's a little unusual.

Ymir begins to suck on the teats of Audumla, so she is nourishing this evil frost giant, and then he begins to "give birth" to other frost giants. As he is sucking on the teats of the cow, Ymir begins to sweat and his sweat morphs into other giants. In the mean time, Audumla begins to lick some of the ice from Niflheim that did not melt when Muspelheim moved close to it. Every place her saliva touches a human form is created. You can see this depicted in the image above. The individual that is created from the saliva is known as BURI. He is entirely positive. He, in turn, gives birth to two individuals; their names are BOR and BESTLA. Bor is a male and Bestla is a famale. These two have three children whose names are Odin, Vili, and Ve. Odin becomes the king of the Norse Gods because he is recognized as the "first born."
Odin, Vili, and Ve recognize that Ymir is "birthing" evil frost giants, so they feel compelled to destory him. Upon his murder they take his body and use it to create the world of humans, giants, and dwarfs known as Midgard.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Dear Mythology Kids,
I hope your "day off" was beneficial for you.

If you missed class we completed the following:

1. We defined the word "MOTIF" and then identified several motifs for both epic poems.
2. You were then introduced to another assignment entitled "Dateline Troy/Ithaca" where the motifs will be useful.


STUDY FOR YOUR ODYSSEY QUIZ! The quiz involves the six questions below. The second involves answering questions regarding actual text from the epic. If you have read your book and the sections concerning annotating, you will do well.

Your QUIZ covering The Odyssey will take place on Monday, March 12th. I am actually considering giving it to you as a take home quiz, but I haven't come to a definite conclusion on that idea yet. We'll see......Anyway, I have posted the 6 questions for your quiz below. Remember that you will "blindly" CHOOSE ONE for your quiz. You may use your book, storyboard, and annotated pieces of text. The questions are essay in nature, and you MUST SUPPORT your ideas with examples from the The Odyssey. HINT: I would thoroughly consider each question making notes on each one. Those notes may be submitted for extra-credit points for your quiz.

#1. Trace Homer's thematic approach to "appearance vs. reality" in The Odyssey. Discuss the importance of this theme to events within the epic. Include three examples from your book and/or annotated texts to support your response.

#2. Discuss the literary element of Dramatic Irony found in The Odyssey. Remember that Dramatic Irony occurs when the audience has knowledge that the character(s) within the text do not. Identify three examples of Dramatic Irony within the epic poem. An explanation as to why irony heightens the reader's interest in The Odyssey is compulsory.

#3. Discuss the thematic approach concerning "identity" in The Odyssey. An explanation regarding the positive and negative effects of maintaining anonymity in contrast to identifying oneself must be part of your response. Identify three examples from your textbook I or annotated texts to support your points.

#4. Discuss the characters of Penelope and Telemachus in association with being "worthy partners" for Odysseus. Support your response with three textual examples.

#5. The concept regarding "power of cunning over strength" is a valid theme in The Odyssey. Discuss this thematic view, and the role it plays in the epic poem. Support your points with three textual examples.

#6. The customs involving "guest and host" were highly venerated in ancient Greek culture. Homer clearly valued these customs, and he recognized the role of the gods if these customs were not followed. Support Homer's view by explaining and indicating three examples from your textbook and/or your annotated sources.