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From Wine In A Goblet To Milk In Cowdung. The Transformation Of Early Christian Kings In Three Post-Viking Tales From Ireland

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Chapter Summary

Warriors exist in all societies and at all times. Regarding the mythology of the warrior, Georges Dumézil made important observations in a number of publications. In particular, Dumezil examined the subject of the "warrior's three sins", where, within the Nordic material, he focused on the theme of Starkaðr. This chapter looks at Óðinn's and Þórr's different relationship to war, not least because a discussion of this problem is necessary in order to understand the main aim of this chapter: examining the role of certain groups of warriors and of initiation. It may be hard to decide whether discrepancies within our sources of Old Norse texts are due to the question of whether the warrior bands were connected especially to bears or to wolves. It appears beyond reasonable doubt that warrior bands as well as initiations into these did exist as an important element in the Scandinavian conception of the warrior.

Keywords:Óðinn; Þórr; Old Norse religion; Starkaðr; warriors



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