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HANDBOOK OF NORSE MYTHOLOGY
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN;
ADJUNCT AT THE CATHEDRAL SCHOOL (ROYAL GYMNASIUM)
TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH
A. CLINTON CROWELL
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN BROWN UNIVERSITY
THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY PUBLISHERS
Published March, 1913.
THIS popular presentation of the myths and sagas which took shape here in the North but whose foundation is common property of all the people who speak a Gothic-Germanic language, first appeared in 1898 and has been used since then in the study of Norse Mythology in the high schools and universities of all the Scandinavian countries. Since Professor Crowell has thought that the little book might also achieve a modest success in the youngest but richest and most powerful branch which has grown from our common root, I have without hesitation, accepted his friendly proposal to translate it into English. I find great satisfaction in having my work put into the world's most comprehensive language and placed before students in the United States, where I have so many friends, where so many relatives and fellow-countrymen have found a home and a future, and toward which country we Northerners look with the deepest admiration and respect for the mighty forces which are seeking to control material things and to break new ground in the infinite realms of the intellect.
I sincerely thank Professor Crowell for his intelligent rendering of my Danish text, since on account of the nature of the subject and the half-poetic form, it has called for patient work and for uncommon insight. I would likewise thank the Thomas Y. Crowell Company of New York for their willingness to publish the book.
It is my earnest hope that the American student into whose hands the, book may fall will be able to reap from it the advantage which the translator has had in mind and to feel awakened in him some of the love for our oldest common memorials, which has inspired the anther in his task.
The idea of translating Dr. Mortensen's Nordisk Mythologi suggested itself when my attention was called to the book by Professor E. Mogk of Leipzig.
I am chiefly indebted to the author, who has read the translation of all the prose and commented upon unusual points, all with friendly and cordial interest. With his consent I have translated the illustrative strophes from the Icelandic, according to the text of B. Sijmons in the Germanistische Handbibliothek, having for consultation H. Gering's Vollständiges Wörterbuch der Edda, the German translation of Gering, the Danish of Gjessing, and the English of some unpublished selections by my friend, the late Dr. Adrian Scott, sometime member of the Brown University faculty. When the work was practically complete, I saw Olive Bray's more recent translation and was slightly influenced by it. Dr. H. Hermannsson of Cornell University has read my strophes, making corrections and suggestions. I thank him for his interest and encouragement, and I thank Professor A. Heusler of Berlin for many helpful hints. I have also been assisted in many ways by my wife, Carrie E. Crowell, A.M.
Professor W. H. Schofield's translation of Sophus Bugge's The Home of the Eddic Poems has been most valuable for reference, especially in the matter of spelling.
A. C. C.
PROVIDENCE, R. I.,
I. HOW THE WORLD WAS CREATED
II THE GODS AND THEIR LIFE
I. COMMON POPULAR BELIEF
II. CHIEF GODS AND MYTHS OF THE GODS
Frey and Njorth
Heimdall and Baldur
FORMS OF WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS LIFE
The Helgi Sagas
Volund the Smith