Bældæg and Baldur

Started by Alex Moes on Thursday, June 16, 2016
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6/16/2016 at 3:38 PM

"According to Snorri's prologue Beldeg was identical to Baldur and ruled in Westphalia. There is no independent evidence of the identification of Beldeg with Baldur."

As such I have renamed Odin, {Norse God}'s son "Baldur" and moved all duplicates into Odin, {Norse God}'s son Bældæg, king in Westphalia.

I will sort the sons and wives out next, Nanna is the wife of Baldur and Forseti is there son, Brand is Baeldaeg's son. Baeldaegs wife Nanna needs to be merged into Baldur's wife and Baeldaeg's husband, Gewar, is Nanna's father (or at least in one version of the story). The other sons of Baldur look to all actually be sons of Odin that have somehow ended up as Odin's grandsons, except for Brand who needs to be merged with Baeldaeg's son Brand.

Baldur's profile was updated by Alex Moes. death, forename and nicknames
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Baldur of Asgard was disconnected from his parents Odin MERGE TARGET and Frigga of Asgard by Alex Moes.
a moment ago

Baldur of Asgard was merged into Bældæg Wodning by Alex Moes.
a moment ago · undo

6/16/2016 at 3:40 PM
6/16/2016 at 4:38 PM

Good work. All this multiple proflies of the Gods are annoying.

6/16/2016 at 6:12 PM

Odin was first added to the tree in 2007, anyone creating a profile for Odin since then has been creating a duplicate. The biggest issue is people joining Geni and adding profiles without understanding the collaborative nature of the site. If the effort to create thousands of duplicate profiles was expended on improving the quality of the existing profiles then Geni would be a much better site.

6/16/2016 at 6:13 PM

Which is to say, yes they are annoying :)

6/16/2016 at 8:50 PM

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

If the idea is to use Prose Edda generally, and Deluding of Gyfli specifically as the source for this tree, what justification can there be to ignore an explicit statement that the two are the same?

But, if we are just creating a generic tree, then why not use relationships mentioned in the Poetic Edda?

6/17/2016 at 7:42 PM

The thought path i followed was based on the children.

The man known as Baeldaeg is father of Brand and links some (all?) of the Wessex/Saxon kings to Odin/Woden.

The man known as Baldur is married to Nanna and has a son named Forseti, "an Æsir god of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology."

As i have separated "Odin" into Odin and Woden to differentiate between the Norse pantheon and Saxon genealogies it then (to my mind) makes sense to separate Baeldaeg and Baldur the same way, inspite of whether the are the same person or not. I am not ignoring Snorri, I am just ignoring him... you know what i mean :)

Regarding the Poetic Edda as a source, I think you are talking generally rather than to this specific case? I'm not resistant to use it as a source, i just prefer prose to poetry in general! I think when discussed earlier we selected Prose as the singular source simple to have a singular source, Poetic could be supplementary with Prose having precedence where disputes arise?

6/17/2016 at 10:32 PM

Yes, the reasoning is easy to follow but I think it's a grave mistake to create a custom version of Norse mythology that ignores BOTH the source(s) AND academic opinion. In the end, all we'll get is an indefensible muddle. (I wish there were a way to say this that sounds less harsh.)

Snorri explicitly says Balder and Baeldaeg were the same person. To our modern ears it is easy to believe that he made a mistake. He just confused two similar names. Truly, it seems that Baeldaeg should be re-assigned to the group of Odin's dynastic son rather than his god sons.

Except -- the majority opinion of scholars is that the names are indeed the same, although the experts disagree about possible etymology. As far as anyone can tell, Baldr is the Norse variant and Baeldaeg is the Continental Saxon and Anglo Saxon equivalent.

In the form floating around academic circles for the last 100 years the general landscape of discussion is that Baldr ("Shining") might have been the personification of light in (north) Germanic mythology. He had a brother Hödr ("Discord"), the personification of darkness. They both fell in love with Nanna ("Woman"), etc

All of this is consistent with Baldr having a son Brand or Brond ("Fire Brand"). This Brond might have been the eponymous ancestor of the Brondingas, mentioned in Beowulf, who seem to lived off the coat of Sweden. And it's possible the name Baeldaeg (Baldag, Beldeg) is a longer form of Baldr -- Baldr-daegr -- Shining Day. It's also consistent with Hödr (darkness) being blind. Originally, they might have been divine twins, similar to the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) in Greek mythology.

Experts disagree but this is the backdrop of the debate.

The story has come down to us in two very different forms.

In Snorri's version, Baldr is the son of Odin and Frigg. He is a brother of Hodr. Hödr is a son of Odin, but apparently not of Frigg. You know this story. I think everyone does.

In Saxo's version, they are rivals not brothers. Balder is a demi-god, the son of Odin by an unnamed mortal woman. Höther is a mortal, the son of Swedish king Hothbrod. Balder has been elected king of Sweden, although Sweden is Höther's paternal heritage. Both of them are in love with Höther's foster sister Nanna, the daughter of Gewar, king of Norway. Nanna prefers Höther. There is a great sea battle where Höther and his allies (Gelderus, king of Saxony; and Helgo, king of Hålogaland) fight against Balder and the gods. The gods are defeated. Nanna marries Höther and he becomes king of Sweden, then Denmark. Balder wins a 2nd battle. The treacherous Danes elect him their king. Then a 3rd battle where Höther attacked. Balder was wounded with a magical sword and died three days later.

Do you see the problem? The existence of Saxo's version makes it much more likely that Baldr / Baeldaeg originally belonged to the cluster of Odin's human sons.

6/17/2016 at 10:39 PM

Regarding the Poetic Edda as a source, it contains material that is not poetry. There are explanations of many kennings, and many of those kennings contain statements of relationship.

For example:

Skáldskaparmál XVI. "How should one periphrase Loki? Thus: call him Son of Fárbauti and Laufey, or of Nál, Brother of Býleistr and of Helblindi, Father of the Monster of Ván (that is, Fenris-Wolf), and of the Vast Monster (that is, the Midgard Serpent), and of Hel, and Nari, and Áli; Kinsman and Uncle, Evil Companion and Bench-Mate of Odin and the Æsir, Visitor and Chest-Trapping of Geirrödr, Thief of the Giants, of the Goat, of Brísinga-men, and of Idunn's Apples, Kinsman of Sleipnir, Husband of Sigyn, Foe of the Gods, Harmer of Sifs Hair, Forger of Evil, the Sly God,

Here, Loki is the "Kinsman and Uncle of Odin", although I'm not aware of any other source that tells us the details. It doesn't seem likely he was a brother of Borr, so he must have been a brother or half-brother of Bestla ;)

6/18/2016 at 5:19 PM

Thanks for your input both here and in the other thread, I think that looked at in combination the obvious conclusion is that my 6 years of genealogical researching gives me basically no ability to work on this section of the tree. What I find hard to believe would be that more that a handful of the 360 ish managers of Odin would have anywhere near your 50 years of professional experience, I think that this highlight's perfectly why this part of the tree should not be accessible to Joe Average because all it does is waste everyone's time.

I will continue with merging obvious duplicates but i will stop trying to make sense of the relationships in the MP tree as i simply cannot dedicate the time and energy that it warrants. Hopefully Geni will give us Relationship Lock sooner than later and the effort can be made to correct the tree once and for all and then fix it in place. I don't know how to stop users making rubbish duplicate trees but at the end of the day that is a totally different question.

6/18/2016 at 8:09 PM

You might think you under-qualified, Alex, but in my opinion you're perfectly qualified. You have the interest, excellent analytical skills and you're not attached to a particular outcome. What more can any of us ask?

When you get some time, maybe you'd be willing to lead in a discussion dedicated to asking users what they want the Norse tree to achieve. I'd love to see the answers.

6/18/2016 at 11:33 PM

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on that point :)

6/19/2016 at 5:30 AM

To really throw some fule of the fire, some think Odin was a real living man from the Asov region. http://www.wilmer-t.net/fornnorden/AncientNordic/HumanOdin.html
And if (and yes, it's a big if) that is so, then we're no longer talking about myths.
In the viking aera being a decendant of Odin ment you had a claim to the throne. You were partly a God, and more fit to rule. ¨

6/19/2016 at 8:57 PM

May, the ashes of Heyerdahl's arguments burned themselves out on Geni long ago!

His theories are fun to discuss, but there's simply too little evidence there to modify the tree based on it.

6/20/2016 at 7:29 AM

I didn't know it had been discussed here, sorry. I know this theory is, well, a theory

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