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Konge, jarl, bonde, trell

Myrvold, L. 2008: King, earl, peasant, thrall., Stavanger, Norway.

The paper is based on a speech given at Stavanger Rotary Vest 21.01.2001. The author who has retired from the AmS worked as exhibition leader and co-ordinator for many years at the museum.

In the speech the story about the Norse god Heimdal in the Edda poem Rigstula is presented. Inspired by her grandchild Natalie, who at the age of 10 years said that when she grew old enough, she wanted to be a researcher and study the religions of many gods, the author started to look into Norse mythology. The author then remembered how she first came across the Rigstula poem in connection with a preliminary exhibition work on the Vikings. This presentation narrates the travel of the god Heimdal to Midgard, the home of humans, and his creation of four social classes. In reflecting on the different attributes of the social classes by a god, the paper dwells upon the fact that it is the children’s relation to their mothers that creates a division between the classes. The author points at the life conditions of the thralls, and tells the story about the thrall Kark, his beheading of the earl Håkon Jarl, the great womanizer, and his fatal destiny. It ends with citing Stephen Hawking and his fear for humanity in letting the computer rule the world, so may be a return of the god Heimdal is what is now needed.

Lillann Myrvold, Lyngvoldveien 21, 4017 Stavanger. Telephone: (+47) 51 58 53 16. 16 92 65 10 95.

Key words : Norse mythology, social class, Rigstula, Heimdal, trellen Kark
Emneord : Norrøn mytologi, sosial klasse, Rigstula, Heimdal, trellen Kark

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