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Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas

Page: 74

Solemn judicial assemblies were frequently held upon this sacred isle, the jurists always drawing water and drinking it in silence, in memory of Forseti’s visit. The waters of his spring were, moreover, considered to be so holy that all who drank of them were held to be sacred, and even the cattle who had tasted of them might not be slain. As Forseti was said to hold his assizes in spring, summer, and autumn, but never in winter, it became customary, in all the Northern countries, to dispense justice in those seasons, the people declaring that it was only when the light shone clearly [145]in the heavens that right could become apparent to all, and that it would be utterly impossible to render an equitable verdict during the dark winter season. Forseti is seldom mentioned except in connection with Balder. He apparently had no share in the closing battle in which all the other gods played such prominent parts. [146]

[Contents]

Chapter XIII: Heimdall

The Watchman of the Gods

In the course of a walk along the sea-shore Odin once beheld nine beautiful giantesses, the wave maidens, Gialp, Greip, Egia, Augeia, Ulfrun, Aurgiafa, Sindur, Atla, and Iarnsaxa, sound asleep on the white sand. The god of the sky was so charmed with these beautiful creatures that, as the Eddas relate, he wedded all nine of them, and they combined, at the same moment, to bring forth a son, who received the name of Heimdall.


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