2022-10-15

Edda means wit

 

When you put a 'V' before the word Edda, you get Vedda or Veda.

Vedda or Wedda is related to the Dutch word 'weten' and the German word 'wissen' (to know) and the English word 'Wit'

The Edda, the Rig Veda en the Zend Avesta have the same origin.

 

Etymology of 'Edda'

The meaning of the word 'Edda' is puzzling to many people who study the old Icelandic writings. When you put the letter 'V' in front of Edda, the word explains itself.

The Norwegian and Icelandic languages have lost the letter 'V' of 'W' in front of many words. The middle Germanic Wodan (Woden, Vodanes) became the Icelandic Óðinn.

 

Etymology of wit

From Middle English wit, from Old English witt (“understanding, intellect, sense, knowledge, consciousness, conscience”), from Proto-West Germanic *witi, from Proto-Germanic *witją (“knowledge, reason”), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“see, know”).

Cognate with Dutch weet, German Witz, Danish vid, Swedish vett, Norwegian Bokmål vett, Gothic (unwiti, “ignorance”), Latin videō (“see”), Bulgarian (vídja), Russian (vídetʹ), Sanskrit (vidyā). Compare wise.

 

What does Veda mean?

Veda is a Sanskrit word from the root, vid, meaning “to know." Thus, veda means "knowledge" or "wisdom."

The Vedas are the most ancient Hindu and yogic texts. Written in Sanskrit, they are considered to have no author. Rather, it is believed that the texts were revealed to the ancient sages who passed them on orally for many years until they were written down on palm leaves around 500 BCE. Because of this supposed link with the Divine, the Vedas are also called sruti in Sanskrit, which means “what is heard" (as opposed to smrti, meaning “what is remembered”). Some sources state that Brahma is the creator of the Vedas.

The ideas, teachings and practices described in the Vedas formed the basis for the six major schools of Hindu philosophy, one of which is yoga.

 

Similarities between Edda and Rig Veda

In the Rig Veda, HYMN XXII "Asvins and Others" we read:

1 WAKEN the Asvin Pair who yoke their car at early morn

Griffith, Rig Veda, page 12.

Usually these Asvins are interpreted as two gods. But they can be interpreted as two horses that drag the chariot with the sun. Interpreted like that, they are similar to Árvakr and Alsviðr. In the Prose Edda we read:

But the gods were incensed at that insolence, and took the brother and sister, and set them up in the heavens; they caused Sun to drive those horses that drew the chariot of the sun, which the gods had fashioned, for the world's illumination, from that glowing stuff which flew out of Múspellheim. Those horses are called thus: Early-Wake and All-Strong;

Gylfaginning 11. Icelandic text and English translation.

 

In the earliest Vedic texts lists four social classes or Varna.

The varnas have been known since a hymn in the Rigveda (the oldest surviving Indian text) that portrays the Brahman (priest), the Kshatriya (noble), the Vaishya (commoner), and the Shudra (servant) issued forth at creation from the mouth, arms, thighs, and feet of the primeval person (purusha). Males of the first three varnas are “twice-born” (dvija): after undergoing the ceremony of spiritual rebirth (upanayana), they are initiated into manhood and are free to study the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of Hinduism. The Shudra live in service to the other three.

Source: britannica.com topic/varna-Hinduism.

In the Poetic Edda there is a chapter called Rigsthula or "The song of Rig". In this writing the deity Rig gives birth to three classes: servants, freemen (farmers, carpenters, fishermen) and leaders. These classes are similar to the Vedic classes of Shudra, Vaishya and Kshatriya.

The origin of the name 'Rig' is not known. Snorri Sturluson states, that it is another name for Heimdallr. But perhaps Snorri was only guessing. Perhaps the name 'Rig' goes back to the time before the Germanic people wandered from Asia to Europe.

 

I do not know the Rig Veda very well. If one would compare the Rig Veda with the Edda's perhaps more similarities can be found. It would be nice to have a database with mythical figures from the Rig Veda, the Edda's and the (Zend) Avesta.

 

Similarities between Edda and (Zend) Avesta

In the Vendidad the Chinvat bridge is described. Chinvat Bridge. This bridge is guarded by two dogs. After death the soul has to cross this bridge. But for the sinner, the bridge will be small as a hair. For a righteous person the bridge will be wide.

In the Gylfaginning there is a description of the Gjallarbrú, the bridge over the river Gjallar. The bridge is guarded by Módgudr (the good mother). After dying you have to cross this bridge to get to Niflheimar.

 

In the Avesta there is a bad spirit named Angra Mainyu or Angro Mainyoes. It can be translated to 'angry thought', 'angry mind', 'angry spirit', 'angry wind' (in a spiritual sense). It is often translated as 'evil spirit' or as Zoroastrian version of Satan. See Angra Mainyu and Ahriman Angro Mainyoes is often opposite to Spenta Mainyoes (good spirit, benevolent wind).

In the Gylfaginning 34 there is a creature called Angrboða. Loki has three children with her: Fenrisúlfr, Jörmungandr and Hel. See Icelandic text or English text. Angr translates to anger. boða means (1) to announce, proclaim; (2) to bid, order; (3) to bode, signify; Source Old Icelandic dictionairy. You can see Angrboða as a creature that brings forth angry thoughts, angry feelings, angry words, angry emotions and angry deeds.

 

How old are the Edda's?

Are the Edda's, the Rig Veda and the Avesta from the same source? What I wrote above is not enough evidence for that conclusion. But there are indications in that direction. I leave it to historians to argue about this. But I do believe, that they are from the same source.

If these books are from the same source, then the original version of the Edda's is probably more than 5.000 years old. But we can not prove that. The manuscripts of the Edda's are pretty good dated. See: The Discovery of the Poetic Edda.

 

How reliable are the Edda's?

The Prose Edda is written by Snorri Sturluson. The original manuscripts of the Poetic Edda are written by some unknown people. What do we know about these writers? And what can we say about the reliability?

Imagine that civilization is destroyed by an asteroid or an atomic war. 1.000 Years later only two books are found from before this event. Give these books sound knowledge about the civilization before this event?

The most important thing we know about the writers of the Edda's is that they wrote. The old Germanic people did not. We should assume, that the writers had some Christian education. And most likely they were not heathen Skalds. We do not know how well they knew the old Germanic mythology. Nor can we know how much Christian bias they put in their writings.

The Edda's are important sources of information on the old Germanic mythology because we have not much else. But we should not see the Edda's like Jews see their holy scriptures. For many centuries the Jews are meticulous about the flawless copying of the old manuscripts. And they are ordained not to change a jot or tittle. The Edda's are nothing like that. They are just sources on old Germanic mythology written at a time when the old Germanic mindset was already replaced by a Christian mindset. And we have no information about the opinions of heathen Skalds about these writings. If they even knew about their existence.

 

Disclaimer:

To be very clear about this: I am not against Jews. I am just stating the obvious: The old writings about Germanic mythology should not be regarded as 'a holy scripture' or as 'the word of God'. They are just writings from Christian writers about what they remembered of old mythology.

 

Further reading: Where did Germanic peoples come from

 

 

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Where did Germanic peoples come from

According to DNA research of David Reich et al. the Germanic people came from Central Asia from the Yamnaya culture.

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Werewolves and Werebears

There is no truth

Germanic tribes lived from about 3500 BC to 100 AD. Each tribe had its own myths and customs. And they changed over time.

So we can not say things like: "The Germanic people were like this and they believed that".

Where did Germanic peoples come from

According to DNA research of David Reich et al. the Germanic people came from Central Asia from the Yamnaya culture.

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