Talk:Bifröst

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Good article Bifröst has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
October 17, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
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Ö?[edit]

Why is Bifrost spelled with an ö? Neither in Norse, Icelandic or any Scandinavian language is ö or ø involved when spelling Bifrost.

It's spelled Bifrǫst in standardized Old Norse and 'ö' is commonly used as a substitute for 'ǫ', that's currently the practice on Wikipedia. In Modern Icelandic the name is spelled Bifröst. - Haukur Þorgeirsson 13:07, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
But when reading Old Norse in a scholarly text you have a clear idea from the context that it is used as a typographical substitute (just think of the confusion of the thorn; «þe olde» as typographically translated to «ye olde»). No such context indication here. Plus, ö (ø in Norway/Denmark) to modern readers is a very common and distinct vowel from ǫ, which AFAICT actually is quite close to what the English pronounciation of o in frost sounds like. I believe this should be moved to Bifrost. toresbe (talk) 02:32, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
But this is the English language page for it. In English, it may be spelled Bifrost (most common, arguably not most correct) or possibly Bifrœst or Bifroest. Under no circumstances are umlauts used in English, and a diæresis is not appropriate here. 65.100.120.173 03:38, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't have the answer, but I have additional ideas that allow for many cases. Bifrost is a proper name, hence writing it in English will vary. I realize this is not proof, but to demonstrate this look to the singer Björk, sometimes spelled by some as Bjork. I think it depends on personal preference. And even though used less than oral tradition, runes preceded the Latin alphabet. --Trakon (talk) 23:26, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, Björk is actually named Björk, not Bjǫrk. What's happening in this article is a simplification of an archaic letter to a modern typographical substitute, rather than what happens with Björk: People who don't have modifiers in their language seem to think that they are decorative and just don't bother to find the right key on their keyboard. Look at any one of a host of product names, like the «Monster» energy drink which sells in the US as «Mønster», which is Norwegian for «pattern»... toresbe (talk) 02:32, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Quoted material[edit]

Do you find the quoted material here a little bit spurious? As far as quotations go, I would feel much happier about reading some references from one of the old sources (as in Norse Mythology) rather than what is currently here. If such can be found. --Philip Howard 00:27, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

You're absolutely 100% correct. I'll get on the case right away. - Haukur Þorgeirsson 00:33, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Wow, I feel clever now! (100%!) I will be interested to see what you find.--Philip Howard 21:15, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, I've added an extended quote from the Prose Edda to the article and removed the previous stuff. Does that make sense to you? :) I hope to add something from the Poetic Edda sometime in the future. Or maybe someone else will - this is Wikipedia, after all :) - Haukur Þorgeirsson 21:59, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Beautiful! Much better now. It's interesting that Snorri writes of the three-colour rainbow. I read that the Ancient Greeks did the same (I'm sure I read it in "Invisibility" by Steve Richards, but have never been able to find it since, and there was no reference given for the claim). Perhaps I should put in a query somewhere like Rainbow or Colour Vision. If I see something interesting involving Bifröst, I will add it to the page.

Red, blue, and green[edit]

According to H.A.Guerber's "Myths of the Norsemen", Bifrost is comprised of red (representing fire), blue (representing air) and green (representing water). Is this true?--Khsmith72 06:53, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

In chapter 15 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, High states that red seen in the rainbow of the bridge (which is apparently a three-colored rainbow according to chapter 13) is "burning fire" but I don't believe there's anymore detail elsewhere specifically about the colors. I assume this is speculation on Guerber's part. :bloodofox: (talk) 23:46, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Bifröst/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I will begin reviewing this article and make straightforward changes as I go (explanations in edit summaries). Please revert any changes I make where I inadvertently change the meaning. I will post queries below. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:48, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Is there any other commentary about the discrepancy in the name between the two eddas? A typo etc.?
I always thought it was supposed to be the rainbow, but this is not clarified in the text (?)
Regarding both comments: I haven't encountered much discussion about this outside of what you see there. The bridge is only called a rainbow in Snorri's Prose Edda. There does seem to be some question about which of the two is the original spelling and it appears that the "milky way" debate probably hinges on calling into question Snorri's account in the Prose Edda. I don't currently have access to that debate (which Simek calls into doubt without giving a reason typically enough), unfortunately, and as a result I've just covered what the dictionaries say about it. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:39, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Okay, hauling out the criteria again....

1. Well written?:

Prose quality:
Manual of Style compliance:

2. Factually accurate and verifiable?:

References to sources:
Citations to reliable sources, where required:
No original research:

3. Broad in coverage?:

Major aspects:
Focused:

4. Reflects a neutral point of view?:

Fair representation without bias:

5. Reasonably stable?

No edit wars, etc. (Vandalism does not count against GA):

6. Illustrated by images, when possible and appropriate?:

Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:


Overall:

Pass or Fail:

I have buffed the prose a little and constructed a lead - it could benefit from more massaging but is fine for GA now. I think this is pretty comprehensive for GA. My quandary is about these meagre topics - there does seem to be a lack of (for lack of a better term) secondary-source discussion, but then again we cannot stray into OR and I figure if there were any then you'd be one who knows about it, so pass :) Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:47, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your work and for looking the article over. Over time, I'll add more discussion regarding the bridge as I find it. The same goes for all of my articles. Right now only so much is available to me (a lot of this stuff can be hard to track down) but in time I'm sure that will change. :bloodofox: (talk) 00:37, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Why no reference to Aurora?[edit]

When I read this etymology,

"Andy Orchard posits that Bifröst may mean "shimmering path." He notes that the first element of Bilröst—bil (meaning "a moment")—"suggests the fleeting nature of the rainbow," which he connects to the first element of Bifröst—the Old Norse verb bifa (meaning "to shimmer" or "to shake")—noting that the element provokes notions of the "lustrous sheen" of the bridge. Austrian Germanist Rudolf Simek says that Bifröst either means "the swaying road to heaven" (also citing bifa) or, if Bilröst is the original form of the two (which Simek says is likely), "the fleetingly glimpsed rainbow" (possibly connected to bil, meaning "moment, weak point")"

The description of exactly how aurora look and behave became blatantly obvious. I've seen them many times in my life. They often take on the appearance of a metallic lustrous sheen. Most times they are very fleeting. They also occur in all colors of the rainbow. Even intense golds and whites at times (gold formed from red and green illumination). The most mesmerizing display was when I saw what appeared to be a thousand metallic blue and green pointed rods, like shining metal knitting-needles, shifting and sliding parallel past one another. The description you give in the etymology EXACTLY describes all the appearances and behaviors of aurora.

There is even an Inuit counterpart of all these Norse descriptions, for "Keoeeit". Keoeeit is the Inuit word for aurora. It's the word for the colored lights in the night sky that lead the way to their final resting place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 12.73.129.23 (talk) 14:39, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Find a scholar making such an observation and then we can add it to the article. Please read Wikipedia:No original research. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:40, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Rainbows don't shimmer, they don't sway, they don't shake, they don't have the properties of a lustreous sheen. But each and every one of those descriptions more than adequately describe aurora. Proving once again what I've learned all my life. Some of the stupidest and most ignorant people I've ever met were "scholars" with PhD or Dr next to their names. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 12.73.132.143 (talk) 02:20, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Certainly, the description of the "rainbow bridge" sounds much more like the aurora borealis than a rainbow. In Scandinavia and Iceland, such sightings are quite common.

"Some of the stupidest and most ignorant people I've ever met were "scholars" with PhD or Dr next to their names. "

Well, when you spend your cloistered life with your nose very close to a topic you'll often miss the obvious. For many years, scholars agonised about why hunter/gatherer societies buried their dead in a fetal {flexed} position in small, round holes while agriculturalists laid their dead out straight. Many hundreds of papers explored the cultural outlooks that would cause such a consistent difference in burial customs. One day not that many years ago, somebody stood back and asked the obvious question, viz, what do farmers have that hunters don't? ... shovels ... Plaasjaapie (talk) 03:13, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

I am now forced to point out the obvious; this rainbow business is not the work of those ever-so-dumb scholars, but rather the Prose Edda quite specifically refers to it as a (the?) rainbow. That palm-facing fact acknowledged, I again say dig up a decent reference stating said theory and you may then, attribution in hand, put it on the article as that—a theory. These articles are ever-growing, and any well-referenced-from-a-reputable-source theory is welcome alongside the others. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:37, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Another thing to consider, although this may not be a notable source, the following website expresses a theory that the aurora may not have been visible in scandinavia in that time period: http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/njordrljos.shtml 203.217.150.76 (talk) 04:55, 26 February 2014 (UTC)