Talk:Hrafnagaldr Óðins

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Recent removals[edit]

Hi BloodoFox,

On what grounds you have removed the link to the full translation of Lassen's article? Your notes state "unreliable source with pro-Rydbergian commentary". The link is a direct translation of her article with a facing text translation. The translator has added a single comment at the end of the article in regard to his translation.

On what grounds do you consider the facing text translation of Dr. Lassen's 2006 article, "unreliable"? Lassen herself had no such qualms. She also discusses the work of Viktor Rydberg, who is a published scholar on the subject of the poem. Dr. Lassen specifically names the translator of the article, William P. Reaves in both her article and book, as a translator. His work is also listed in the bibliography of her book. She discusses his role in bringing this poem to the internet and as inspiration for the musical production which sparked the latest round of scholarly interest. The site in question is a clearing house of Germanic sources, scholarship and translations. All views are presented. If personal websites are now considered unreliable, you have some major housecleaening to do. Wikipedia is rife with them.

How about an independant review by someone other than yourself? Obviously you have no direct knowledge of Lassen's work. I find your repeated objections to translations from this site baseless and bias. Nor is the treatment consistent with other sites of this nature. Northvegur for example takes a similar approach to the myths. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 21:02, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Bloodofox wrote:

"Given the blatant self-promotion that is going on here, does Reaves actually have anything to do with this other than erecting a website after the publication date?)"

I cited and partially quoted my source. You have repeatedly removed a published reference in two reliable sources and now openly question whether your impressions are correct without checking a single fact.

It is well-known that Eysteinn Björnsson and Mr. Reaves had a working relationship in the early part of the decade, resulting in translations and commentaries to Hrafnagaldur Odins and Svipdagsmal as these texts are grossly unrepresented in modern scholarship. Today, the translations remain online without attribution. Lassen correctly attributes the translators, as earlier versions of the pages show. Eysteinn Björnsson and Reaves' translation is also recognized by Jonas Kristjansson in his 2002 article. It's not hard to check the facts.

Eysteinn Björnsson's contributions in this field are listed in the credits of a number of recent books, besides Annette Lassen's Hrafnagaldur Odins, including Jesse Byock's translation of The Prose Edda, and Andy Orchard's The Elder Edda.

Since Reaves' role in the modern revival of this poem is noted in no less than three published works of scholarship, I see no grounds to remove it. Your ignorance of Eysteinn Björnsson's site and its history is easily remedied by a visit to where earlier versions of sites may be viewed. You may also find links to it in Reaves' translation of Annette Lassen's Danish article from 2006 at

Lassen's article was published as part of the 2006 International Saga Conference. Her most recent work was published by the Viking Society for Northern Research. Both articles mention Mr. Reaves and his contrinution by name. These are published, and highly reliable sources. Reaves, for his part, has had his translations reviewed in the Journal of Indo-European Studies, and well as a biographical piece published in Veratis, the journal of the Viktor Rydberg Society. Copies of his books are held in the Royal Library in Sweden, by the Viktor Rydberg Museum in Jönkopig, and in various libraries throughout the US. His work has also appeared in a number of Asatru publications and on various websites in the last decade. He is well-known to be associated with this poem (as Lassen's work attests), and in part is responsible for the first appearance of this poem on the internet.

Instead of questioning whether "Reaves actually ha[d] anything to do with this other than erecting a website after the publication date", you might do a little research on the subject before deleting such verifiable references in the future.

Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 06:01, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Regarding recent removals:
1.) is a personal, commercial, and anti-Rydbergian theory website that hosts public domain material that is otherwise freely available from other, neutral sources. Northvegr is not a reliable source. Links to exist only on Wikipedia where they haven't been pulled yet.
2.) is a personal, pro-Rydbergian theory website that is little more than a link index with a few Rydbergian opinion pieces here and there. Like Northvegr, is not a reliable source. All links to this site that may have been inserted on Wikipedia (and I wonder by who) need to be purged on sight. Wikipedia is not an advertising platform. Reaves is credited for various pro-Ryderberg articles here and may be behind the site.
3.) All mentions of Reaves has been pulled from Oysteinn's translation—of what remains of the long-dismantled website—and so have any references to Rydberg. They are only visible, as you note, by way of Now, why do you think that is?
4.) Reaves is not listed as a co-author of the paper in question, and the extent of his highlighted inclusion here is thus questionable. Exactly why is Reaves being highlighted so much?
5.) And, finally, since it is is quite relevant here, previous discussion on the Viktor Rydberg page has identified you, Jack the Giant Killer, as William P. Reaves (readers: [[1]]; search "reaves").
Reaves, you're going to have to keep your pet fondness for Ryddberg—a scholar who is historically important but all but totally irrelevant to modern scholarship—off of this website and find other venues to promote your material. Wikipedia is not a venue for self-promotion or advertisement. :bloodofox: (talk) 23:50, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Bloodofox wrote:
5.) And, finally, since it is is quite relevant here, previous discussion on the Viktor Rydberg page has identified you, Jack the Giant Killer, as William P. Reaves.
Consider the source. Repeating a lie doesn't make it true. I recall that time well. Rorik Radford, perhaps a pseudonym, attempted to pack the entry in question with his personal theories about Rydberg, including speculative accusations of pedophilia and homosexuality which he developed independently. As evidence, he linked the entry to an 80 page hit-piece he composed and posted on a website, now in a similar state of disarray on the web. As I recall, you supported him in this venture until myself and others proved his alleged citations were fraudulent. At the time, you two objected to anything that wasn't a direct quote if it contradicted Radford's views. As a result, the article had to be filled with direct quotes to remain reasonably factual. I see the same trend developing here. "Kill on sight" policies are a poor substitute for objective editing. Good editors fact-check before deleting.

3.) All mentions of Reaves has been pulled from Oysteinn's translation—of what remains of the long-dismantled website—and so have any references to Rydberg. They are only visible, as you note, by way of Now, why do you think that is?

Oy vey, more than that has been pulled, my friend. You seriously "mis-underestimate" the extent of the former site. The entire critical appartus and verse by verse commentary, including a glossary, introduction, overview of scholarship, geneology of the gods, synopsis of the poem, cosmological diagram, photos and an account of the manuscripts have gone missing.

Why do I think that is? As anyone who has been online for some time knows, websites come and go. [Radford's for example. Northvegur for another.] The site is a former shell of what it once was. You'll notice that even the host and URL have changed. The important thing is that proves they existed, and at least 5 references to it have appeared in the work of noted scholars. Isn't that what Wikipedia asks for, verifiability? You have it.
Again, these sources are:
1. Jonas Kristiansson's article in Lesbok of the Morginbladid newspaper, which I also quoted in a footnote, lest you delete it "on sight" (again). The translation and commentary on the site (now defunct) are clearly attributed to Björnsson and Reaves.
2. The 2006 article by Annette Lassen "Hrafnagaldur Óðins / Forspjallsljóð : et antikvarisk digt?" delived as part of the 13th International Saga Conference and published in The Fantastic in Old Norse/Icelandic Literature, pp. 551-560. which also refers to the translation as that of Björnsson and Reaves. She notes that the commentary and attributes have been removed from the site.
3. The 2011 book by Annette Lassen, Hrafnagaldur Óðinns, published by the Viking Society for Northern Research, which says that the site lead to the orchestral performance by Sigur Ros in 2002. She notes having spoken to Mr. Björnsson reagrding the matter and again attributes the translation to Björnsson and Reaves.
4. The playbill of the 2002 performance of Odin's Raven Magic in London at the Barbicon hall which printed the translation with the same attribution. I'd be happy to upload a scan to Wikipedia if you'd like. Scans of it have appeared online, as well as references to it.
5. The article by Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir, "The Werewolf in Medieval Icelandic Literature," Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol.106:3 (2007) [11] who also attributes the poem to the two gentlemen in question.
Please weigh this against your objections. Arguments made on the absense of evidence are usually not considered valid. As it stands, the translation is attributed to Björnsson and Reaves in at least 6 verifable sources (and no doubt more). You'll notice that no one is given credit for the translation on the current site:
And lest you decide to "kill" Eysteinn's site as "personal", note that links and references to his site have been posted on scholarly sites, and also appeared in published sources. The general contributions of Eysteinn Björnsson in published scholarship have also been noted in recent books by Andy Orchard and Jesse Byock.
4.) Exactly why is Reaves being highlighted so much?
Ask yourself that. Because of your 'kill on sight' policy in regard to his work, it has been necessary to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt. Among his many contributions, Reaves has produced the only English translation of the 2006 Annette Lassen article available. It is highly relevant to this entry, especially considering his previous work on the subject. Since Reaves is recognized as a reliable translator, with published works held in libraries (see, and a recent review in the Journal of Indo-European Studies, I see no reason not to include it here.
Eysteinn Björnsson and William P. Reaves' work on Hrafnagaldur Odins has most recently been cited as spearheading the modern interest in the poem (see above). So your objection to Reaves' translation of Lassen's article as "unreliable" simply doesn't ring true. Your own bias is apparent in this matter. Please take a moment and verify the sources, I'll be happy to provide more as I find them. I got these from an initial sweep of the web and the books I own. Initially, I was simply attempting to add a link to an English translation of one of the sources here which I found on the web, so interested readers could research the matter further. Your aggressive deletions and speculative comments made the rewrite and citation of sources necessary.
I fail to see how the inclusion of a link to Reaves' facing text translation of Lassen's article is "self-promotional". It's a free website as far as I can tell. Furthermore, the link provided is to a single page of a larger website billed as a "Resource for Researchers", not to the index page of the site itself. The index page contains links to a wide variety of texts, translations and scholarship both old and new. I use this site often since Northvegur went black. Some of it is linked to Googlebooks, as you say, some is not. {What site isn't? Wikipedia also uses links] No doubt copyright restrictions are at play here. The site also contains original works by a variety of people, links to heathen blogs and books, as well as contact information for modern scholars. Less than 5% of the material on the site pertains to Rydberg and is mainly contained under a single heading clearly labeled "Viktor Rydberg". I was unaware that one's position on Rydberg was now a litmus test for inclusion on Wikipedia.
Rydberg is a historical scholar referenced in a number of recent texts, including the prestigious German language Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda. He commented extensively on Hrafnagaldur Odins, providing a detailed interpretation of the poem. His views have been discussed by other scholars for more than a century. Whether you like him or not, the facts remain. There is no single consensus on Hrafnagaldur Odins. Therefore all views must be taken into account. I need hardly remind you that Wikipedia itself is not considered a reliable source. Ask any teacher or librarian. It operates best as a resource to find quick and thorough information on a topic, which should be independently verified. Any serious student knows this. Dogmatic editors such as yourself harm that mission, in my opinion.
Rydberg, Reaves, the Theosophical Society and others all have played a part in the modern history of this poem and are recognized as such. For my part, my only interest is to provide a link to the translation of the 2006 Lassen article by a translator recognized by published scholars as such, as it is highly relevent to this article. As I recall, Reaves' translations were ruled admissable on the Rydberg entry. So what's the objection to including it here? It's a direct translation of the article with a single thoughtful comment by the translator (clearly labeled as such) regarding an alternate interpretation of one line of the poem, as a footnote, at the very end of the work. Labeling the page "Pro-Rydbergian" based on this is quite a leap. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 06:54, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Before a proper response, I have to ask you to keep your own responses appropriately formatted (see my formatting of your last response, for example) and as short and concise as possible.
A few comments to make here: First, your memory is failing you; I actually defended Rydberg there, which you can see in the talk page archives. But, of course, I am under no illusion that Rydberg has any real relevance in modern, scholarly Germanic philology. That said, very occasionally I'll cite something from Rydberg here or there on Wikipedia, but only in appropriate context with other 19th century scholars, and only if it's not reliant on his "patchwork" approach.
Now, I am aware of a particular, small but vocal strain of Germanic Neopaganism that revers Rydberg's "patchwork" method, usually involved with Reaves, himself an otherwise obscure individual. And it appears that there is good reason to figure that you're simply Reaves, but for the sake of argument, I'll continue to refer to Reaves in third person here despite my doubts.
That said, Reaves, of course, is all over the pro-Rydberg web; for example, he has contributed to the "new" Rydbergian, Oera Linda Book hoax-citing, name-jacked Norroena Society [2] (who are infamous for their definite article wielding The Asatru Edda), the link index/pro-Rydbergian article depository, and has had some translated Rydberg works printed by way of a vanity press. I'm also unswayed by Reaves having his vanity press (iUniverse) Rydberg translation reviewed or archived anywhere.
Speaking of the Rydberg article, it desperately needs a rewrite, as it is currently little more than a puff piece and violates any number of Wikipedia standards. Now, since you're clearly keen on Rydberg, and I'm sure you'll want to get your thumb in this pie, here are some basic Wikipedia standards: Wikipedia:Good article criteria and Wikipedia:Manual of Style. Consider working on the rewrite before launch by way of a user page sandbox extension. In fact, if you can get the Rydberg article up to GA standards, and then get it up to Featured status, everyone on the main page can find out all about Viktor Rydberg. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:44, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi Bloodofox. I'm not particularly interested in the Rydberg entry, it's status, nor is it the topic of this discussion. As I see it, you actively supported an editor closely affiliated with Northvegur who regularly used demonstratably deceptive citations to push his original research, and promote a personal site, since it agreed with your own views. That much is clear. None of the objections you raise now, were raised then in regard to that editor. Obviously it's hard to be consistent and biased at the same time. But enough about us, already.

In regard to this entry: Since you're an advocate of Rydberg, I've gone ahead and added some additional relevant citations. No doubt I can expand upon these if needed. Your choice. I have restored the Simrock translation with a working link, added a link to the Björnsson/Reaves translation as it appears in the 2011 Annette Lassen book. Since it's been referred to in several published sources now, I consider it reliable. Published scholars do, so I see no grounds for your objection. I deleted the quote from Jonas Kristjanson in regard to the popular works, since you don't seem to have an issue with it. I only added the quote to prove its reliablility; and I have restored and added a citation with scans for the reference to the publication of the same translation in the Barbicon Centre program. Since Eysteinn, Hilmar, Steindor and others associated with the program are also recognized and respected in this field in published sources, I consider this peer-reviewed. That the work also is referenced in academic sources indicates that it is academically reviewed. I've read the defintion of verifiability and it clearly fits. So if you unless you have any further objections, my work here is done. Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 22:45, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I have no idea what you mean with the first paragraph of your response. And I would not say that I am a Rydberg "advocate", whatever that implies. Published authors may link to the site, but the site has long since been abandoned by its creator, and it now sits without any sort of authorship information. As it appears to have been disowned, we have no reason to link to it. We don't "assume peer-review"; just cite the references that mention it where appropriate. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:58, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

As the only modern English translation of the poem available online, it would be foolish not to. Since the site is listed in current works of scholarship, your objections are baseless. Apparently what's good enough for published scholars trained in this field is not good enough for the fine folks at Wikipedia. ROFL!

Actually, Bloodofox, I'm wasting my time here. I see no point in continuing to post scholarly material which some ideological pagan with an ax to grind will delete on-sight. I've taken a closer look at many of the Norse mythology entries over the last few days to familarize myself with your "standards" and find they are relatively useless as far as factual information and links go. One entry I saw for an eddic poem amounted to a lengthy synopsis of the poem, actually longer than the poem itself. No links, no scholarship, no translations —in effect "no meat". As a researcher, I find little of value here that isn't readily available elsewhere. Worse yet, I find misleading and sometimes plain wrong statements.

As if you did not know, the entries are littered with citations to sources and links that you claim are unacceptable here, yet they stand. This simply reveals your biased approach to editing, as well as your poor attention to detail. You say such errors haven't been caught yet. It's because no one's looking. Participation here in this field is obviously "dead" or limited to a few ideological pagans unfamilar with the source material. If self-appointed watchdogs such as yourself cannot be bothered to clean up the mess, knowledgeable people certainly have no incentive to. Who would bother, when met at the door by a rabid Fenrir? Editors like yourself actually discourage participation. I find it laughable that you want me to do your work for you.

if you can get the Rydberg article up to GA standards, and then get it up to Featured status

My only interest in the Rydberg article was to keep it from being defaced by a nut-job at Northvegur with an axe to grind. I only intervened when his ficticious re-casting of Rydberg as a homosexual pedophile went unchallenged. Since you have identified me as "Reaves" and continue to openly insult "Reaves", I can only assume you intend to insult me. Your attitude, your random "kill on site" policy, and your selective interpretation of Wikipedia's mission and policies are counterproductive. No wonder Wikipedia has such a poor reputation among teachers and librarians. Obviously no one watches the watchers. Enjoy your petty fiefdom! Jack the Giant-Killer (talk) 01:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC) (talk) 00:42, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

So you've gone off the deep end. Again, whatever you're rambling on about is unclear, as you don't provide specifics (i.e. what articles are you talking about?). It certainly isn't one that I've had a major hand in authoring. And, again, search my name in the first archive, and I'm well-represented defending.
But yes, in the end, Reaves, your attempts at using Wikipedia as an advertising platform will only continue to be denied. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:47, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Rydberg isn't of the remotest interest to this page. Mr. Reaves has been obsessing online about Rydberg for what, 15 years? If you want, go and knock yourself out at Talk:Viktor Rydberg, but don't drag other, unrelated articles down this drain. Also, after so many years, could it be that everything that could be said has been said many times over, and you would do well to just move on and find a fresh topic to obsess about? Rydberg was neither an evil Nazi nor was he a great scholar. He was just a romanticist with a lot of imagination. His Mythology is a collection of fanciful speculation. Take it as such, or else leave it as such, but don't make it your life's obsession to prove or disprove it.

Fine, so Rydberg thought this poem was genuine. State as much and be done. Any attempt to bring all this pathetic Rydbergian "controversy" to this page should be reverted on sight. --dab (𒁳) 16:56, 23 November 2011 (UTC)


So, any idea whence the title "Odin's raven-galdr"? No ravens seem to be mentioned, nor does Odin seem to be performing any galdrs at all? Why then was the poem so called, and by whom? --dab (𒁳) 09:37, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

The various paper manuscripts contain the title "Hrafnagaldr Óðins (eða) Forspjallsljód". The B manuscript can be viewed at, and the site has images of other manuscripts which were not one of the canonical texts use in Annette Lassen's edition (2011). Lassen thinks the title may have been added later, based on a misconception "due to a misunderstanding of ‘hugur’ in the third stanza as an alternative form of the name ‘Huginn’ for one of Óðinn’s ravens". (pp.21-22) Thorpe's old translation gives "Hug3 then goes forth" and footnotes "3Hugin, Odin's raven ?" --Kiyoweap (talk) 05:16, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Annette Lassen's 2011 editon of poem available[edit]

Annette Lassen's 2011 book (edition of the poem, translation, with critical apparatus) has been made openly available on the publisher site: Lassen, Annette (2011). "Hrafnagaldur Óðinns" (pdf). Viking Society for Northern Research. ISBN 978-0903521819.. It was translated from the Danish by Anthony Faulkes, known for his complete translation of the Prose Edda. --Kiyoweap (talk) 05:40, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

2010 Gripla article[edit]

My 2010 article is available here: Haukur (talk) 20:58, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Haukur's paper has been cited in the page by Alarichall.
I've added reference to it in English in Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir (2013) "The Tradition of Icelandic sagnakvæði", RNS, No. 6, p. 19 note 4[3]--Kiyoweap (talk) 07:21, 14 March 2018 (UTC)