Studying A Viking Wedding Approach English Literature Essay Free Essay

The twelvemonth is 966 A.D. and I am a Norseman named Olaf the Strong. Harvest is about done and the twenty-four hours of my nuptials is fast nearing. As you are an foreigner to our manner of life, I will try to relay to you our imposts sing the procedure taking up to and following my approaching weddings. This statement might hold been said to one of the travellers who visited the Norse part in the late tenth century. The narrative told by Olaf may hold been written down by the visitant. Although the narrative may hold been embellished somewhat or biased by the visitant ‘s ain beliefs, it can give us a expression into the slightly unknown rites of the peoples of Viking age Scandinavia. The primary beginnings for the Viking period come from archeology, runic letterings, and modern-day literary grounds provided by Arabic travellers and Germanic chroniclers such as Adam of Bremen ( Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia ) . With this in head, it seems genuinely impossible to be certain that any description of a Norse nuptials can be genuinely accurate. All that can be done is to make a scenario every bit near as possible with what information we have at manus. With that being said, I ‘ll go on with the narrative of my impending nuptials.

As with most matrimonies in Viking age Scandinavia, mine is an ordered matrimony. My male parent, like most other male parents seeking a bride for his boy, had been reconnoitering prospective brides at societal assemblages, banquets, other ceremonials and of class, the Thing, since last crop season. The Thing is a assemblage where male parents bring their girls non merely to execute housework and cookery at his booth for his comfort, but besides to do the misss and their wifelike accomplishments seeable to prospective suers ( Mary Wilhelmine Williams, Social Scandinavia in the Viking Age. 1920 ; New York: Kraus Reprint Co. , 1971. p. 282 ) . After my male parent located a bride he thought suited for me and he and the male parent of my prospective bride had agreed that an confederation between our two households was acceptable to both, the dialogue of the bride-price began. The bride-price consists of three payments: from the groom, me, comes the mundr and morgen-gifu, while my bride ‘s household is supplying the heiman fylgia ( Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia ) .

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The mundr, or “ bride-price ” , as you may mention to it, will be paid by me to the male parent of my bride to be. I will pay it in Ag, as is the usage, and it will be equal in value to the dowery of my shortly to be married woman. The morgen-gifu, or “ forenoon gift ” , was besides set at this clip. I will give the forenoon gift to my married woman, as the name implies, the forenoon after our brotherhood is consummated. The last amount that was agreed upon was the heiman fylgia, or dowery. The dowery represents the part of my bride ‘s male parent ‘s heritage to be trusted to me to utilize sagely for her care during our matrimony and to supply for her and our kids should I decease. Once all the sums had been agreed upon it was finalized by the handsal or formal understanding of engagement sealed by a manus clasp and witnessed by at least six work forces, “ since the unwritten understanding reached would hold cogency merely every bit long as the informants were alive ” ( Frank, p. 475-476 ) .

As with most nuptialss of our society, ours is to be held on the traditional twenty-four hours for nuptialss in the North, Friday or “ Friggas-day ” , sacred to the goddess Frigga, the goddess of matrimony ( Hilda R. Ellis-Davidson. Supreme beings and Myths of Northern Europe. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 1964. pp. 110-112 ) . Our nuptials day of the month has been known for many months. This was to let for adequate clip to hold ample nutrient stocked up for the week-long jubilation and so that adequate Mead, a honey based ale, is available for my payoff and I to portion together over the month following our nuptials, besides referred to as the “ honey-moon ” ( Edwin W. Teale. The Golden Throng. New York: Universe. 1981. p. 127 ; besides see John B. Free. Bees and Mankind. Boston: Allen & A ; Unwin. 1982. p. 103 ) .

While my nuptials is yet to go on, I can state you what will go on from narratives and detecting the nuptialss of others. My bride will be hidden off with her attenders, her female parent and other married adult females and possibly a gyA°ja or priestess. They will take her old vesture and any symbols of her unwed position such as the kransen, a aureate circlet that is worn by Norse misss of soft birth upon the outspread hair that is similarly a item of her virginity ( Sigrid Undset. The Bridal Wreath. trans. Charles Archer and J.S. Scott. New York: Bantam. 1920. p. 331 ) . The kransen will go an heirloom. The attenders will wrap it up to be put away for my bride until the birth of our eldest girl. She will so see the bath-house. The steam bath symbolizes the “ washing off ” of her inaugural position, and a purification to fix her for the spiritual ritual the undermentioned twenty-four hours. Her attenders will teach her on her responsibilities as a married woman, spiritual observations to be followed by married adult females, advice on the best ways of life with a adult male, and the similar ( Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia ) . Finally she will be dressed for the coming ceremonial. Her hair will be left down and to replace the kransen she wore as a maiden, she will alternatively have on the bridal-crown, an heirloom kept by her household and worn merely during the nuptials celebrations ( Undset, p. 331 ) .

As for me, I will besides be taken off by my ain attenders, including my male parent, my married brother and several other married work forces and possibly a goA°i, or priest. Tradition requires that I obtain an hereditary blade that belonged to one of my forbears, which will be used in ceremonial the undermentioned twenty-four hours. I have several options in obtaining this blade. If I have any ascendants buried near by I can recover the blade from their grave-mound. If this is non possible, my relations may conceal an hereditary blade for me to recover, where I would be confronted by a adult male costumed as a shade or aptrgangr of my ascendant, he will lucubrate on my direction by reminding me of my household history and line of descent, the importance of tradition, and the demand to go on the hereditary lineage. On the other manus, the blade which I have to obtain might alternatively be given to me by a life comparative, complete with a talk on household history ( Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia ) . I so will besides see the bath-house with my attenders to symbolically rinse away my position as a unmarried man and sublimate myself for the coming nuptials ceremonial. My attenders will besides leave their wisdom of what my husbandly responsibilities will dwell of. I will so be dressed and the blade of my ascendants will be worn at my side.

The dark has passed and the clip has come for the nuptials ceremonial. The first order of concern will be the exchanging of the mundr and the heiman fylgia before the collected informants. After the exchange, my bride will be led to the chosen location, preceded by a immature kinsman of hers bearing a blade that will be her marrying gift to me, her new hubby ( Ellis-Davidson, Sword at the Wedding, p. 97 ) . The ceremonial will so go on with an supplication to cite the attending of the Gods and goddesses. After this, I will show my bride with the hereditary blade which I recovered the old dark. She will keep this blade in trust for our eldest boy, merely as was done by earlier Germanic folks as described by Tacitus: “ She is having something that she must manus over integral and undepreciated to her kids, something for her boies ‘ married womans to have in their bend and base on balls on to their grandchildren ” ( Tacitus, p. 117 ) . My bride will so show to me the blade which had preceded her to the ceremonial. “ This interchange of gifts typifies for them the most sacred bond of brotherhood, sanctified by mysterious rites under the favour of the presiding divinities of marriage ” ( Tacitus, p. 116 ) . The hereditary blade signifies the traditions of the household and the continuance of the lineage, while the blade given to me by my bride symbolized the transportation of her male parent ‘s power of care and protection over the bride to me, her new hubby ( Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia ) . Following the exchange of blades, my bride and I will interchange finger rings ( Williams, p. 98 ) . I will offer my bride her ring on the hilt of my new blade, and she will show my ring in the same manner: this apposition of blade and peal further “ emphasizes the sacredness of the compact between adult male and married woman and the binding nature of the curse which they take together, so that the blade is non a menace to the adult female merely, but to either should the curse be broken ” ( Ellis-Davidson, Sword at the Wedding, p. 95 ) . With the rings upon our custodies, and our custodies joined upon the sword-hilt, we will so talk our vows. This will reason the nuptials ceremonial, but there is still more yet to come.

After the decision of the nuptials ceremonial will come the bruA°-hlaup or “ bride-running, ” which may be connected with the bruA° gumareid or “ bride-groom’s-ride ” ( Williams, p. 97 ) , a race by the parties of my bride and myself to the hall for the nuptials banquet. Whichever group arrived last at the hall had to function the ale that dark to the members of the other party. Of class, my party is mounted for the “ bride-groom’s-ride, ” so it is a bygone decision that we will win the competition. What will go on next is something steeped in tradition and superstitious notion. When my bride arrives at the banquet hall I will barricade her manner and have my bared blade laid across the threshold. This ensures that I lead my new bride into the hall and that she would non falter over the threshold. It is of great importance that my bride should non fall as she passes the door, for that would be an portents of utmost bad luck ( Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia ) .

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