Sunday, November 22, 2015

Odin’s Death and Cremation and the Location of Valhalla

“Walhalla” (1896) by Max Bruckner.(public domain)

Per Snorri Sturluson:
Othin died in his bed in Sweden.  But when he felt death approaching he had himself marked with the point of a spear, and he declared as his own all men who fell in battle.  He said he was about to depart to the abode of the gods and would there welcome his friends.  So then the Swedes believed that he had gone to the old Asgarth and would live there forever.  Then the belief in Othin arose anew, and they called on him.  Often, the Swedes thought, he revealed himself before great battles were fought, when he would give victory to some and invite others to come to his abode.  Both fates seemed good to them.

Othin was burned after his death, and this burning on the pyre of his body took place with great splendor.  It was people’s belief that the higher the smoke rose into the sky, the more elevated in heaven would he be who was cremated: and [therefore] a man [was considered] the nobler, the more possession were burned with him.

After him, Njorth of Noatun took power among the Swedes and continued the sacrifices….

- Snorri Sturuluson, The Heimskringla , page 13.
I believe the old Asgarth was the home of Zeus in Crete and also known as Valhalla.  It may have also been on Mt. Olympus in Greece.  Snorri Sturluson wrote that the Asgard was the city of Troy in his Prose Edda:

Next they made for themselves in the middle of the world a city which is called Asgard; men call it Troy - Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda, Gylfaginning, page 22.