Óttar (mythology)

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"The Ancestry of Ottar" (1908) by W. G. Collingwood

In Norse Mythology, Óttar, also known as Óttar the Simple, is a protégé of the goddess Freyja. He appeared in Hyndluljóð (the Lay of Hyndla), a poem in the Poetic Edda. In this tale, Óttar is said to be very pious to the goddesses. He built a shrine of stones, a hörgr, and on it made many offerings to Freyja. The goddess answered his prayers and went on a journey to help him find his pedigree. Freyja disguised Óttar as her boar Hildisvini (the Battle-Swine) and brought him to the giantess Hyndla, a seeress. There, Freyja forced Hyndla to tell Óttar about his ancestors, as well as to give him a memory potion so that he would remember all that he was told.

It has been theorized that the framework of the poem was created for the 12th-century poet to produce a list of mythical heroes' names. The poem does not connect much to other poems in the Edda, and is often viewed as a semi-historical work.[1] Viktor Rydberg theorized that Óttar is another spelling of the name Óðr.[2]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Poetic Edda, Henry A. Bellows, transl. Princeton University Press (1936).
  2. ^ Viktor Rydberg, Gods and Goddesses of the Northland.