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”Þá mælti Míms hǫfuð”: Jätten Mimer som kunskapsförmedlare i fornnordisk tradition
Institutet för språk och folkminnen.
2017 (Swedish)In: Scripta Islandica: Isländska Sällskapets Årsbok, ISSN 0582-3234, E-ISSN 2001-9416, Vol. 68, p. 331-359Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article argues that the enigmatic figure Mímir – and his various name forms – is to be considered a wise giant and an oracle that Óðinn consults for knowl­edge in critical times. Mímir shares this aspect with other wise giants such as Vaf­þrúðnir. This discussion is based upon the relationship between knowledge, death, the realm of the dead, and the mead of poetry. It is proposed that Óðinn him­self beheads Mímir with the sole purpose of animating his head, thereby securing his wisdom. The article compares Mímir’s head with other decapitated heads known from folklore, primarily from Irish sources. It is argued that Mímir subsists on the threshold between life and death and that this gives him the ability to see into the realm of the dead and draw on their knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Isländska sällskapet , 2017. Vol. 68, p. 331-359
Keyword [en]
Mímir, mythology, decapitated heads, wisdom, giants, Óðinn
National Category
History of Religions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336117OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-336117DiVA, id: diva2:1168400
Available from: 2017-12-20 Created: 2017-12-20 Last updated: 2017-12-20

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Scripta Islandica: Isländska Sällskapets Årsbok
History of Religions

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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