What was the best Viking Jewelry Amulet?
Posted by Ms Elly on August 08, 2018
What was the best Viking Jewelry Amulet?
Though the Viking glory is covered by the dust of time, the greatness of Viking times has been learnt by people in this day and age. We admire and respect many Viking things, one of which is the Viking Jewelry. The Vikings found their pleasure in their jewelry. But Viking Jewelry stretched beyond the decorative purpose since they served as the amulet both in normal life and wars. This blog post is going to discuss What the best Viking Jewelry Amulet was.
The answer to the question mentioned is *DRUMROLL* the Mjolnir necklace - Hammer amulet.
Thor using the hammer Mjolnir.
In Norse mythology, Mjolnir is the war hammer of Thor, the godof lightning, thunder, wind, rain, and oak trees. Mjolnir is the most feared weapon of the Norse gods. It was believed to be able to knock down giants and entire mountains with only one hit.
There are different stories about where the war hammer came from. One theory is that Odin had the weapon made in the heart of a supernova when Thor was born. Other stories say that it fell to Earth like a meteorite. Because of this, many Norse followers believed that lightning strikes were a sign of Mjolnir on Earth.
"...He (Thor) would be able to strike as firmly as he wanted, whatever his aim, and the hammer would never fail, and if he threw it at something, it would never miss and never fly so far from his hand that it would not find its way back, and when he wanted, it would be so small that it could be carried inside his tunic."
When the excavators unearth the Viking sites in this day and age, there are a lot of hammer-like things, presumably pendants, found. A group of scholars link these artefacts with the Mjolnir hammer of Thor. However, pendants or whatever it might be that shaped like hammers cannot totally persuade all the scholars of the ancient Viking Mjolnir hammer pendant. The shapes are not conclusive and none of them contains any information that directly points to Thor or the Mjolnir hammer. Viking bracelet. Norse Jewelry. Viking Ring
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Mjolnir-hammer-like Viking Jewelry artefact
However, good thing is that excavators just found a similar pendant in Købelev on the Danish island of Lolland. That was the first Viking artefact found with an inscription. It was engraved with runic letters which were the most sacred Viking alphabets. The line said "Hmar x is", which can be translated as "This is a hammer". Featured in bronze and plated with silver and gold, this 1,100-year-old pendant showcased that Thor had a deep influence in the Viking culture and especially the Viking Jewelry.
The rune-carved Mjölnir amulet. Credit: National Museum of Denmark
According to Henrik Schilling, a spokesman at the National Museum of Denmark, the pendant found in Købelev was the first jewelry with runic inscription at that time and it told us that the pendants (including many found previously) in fact depicted the hammer of Thor.
Regarding Thor in Norse mythology, there is no need introducing and explaining much. Because Thor and his power have gained in popularity thanks to the movie and comics adaptations. The common knowledge is that Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, and storm in Norse myth and he is a hero. But we might miss an awesome point that Thor always wants to protect the human against any evil force with this Mjolnir hammer. Because of this, many of the Vikings worshipped Thor and created the Mjolnir Hammer Amulet. The popularity of Thor sometimes surpassed that of Odin the Father of All. Legend had it that the Viking warriors wore the Mjolnir Hammer Jewelry to join the battles. The warriors held a firm belief that Thor would be beside helping them to win the battles. In the face of the Christianization, the Vikings wore the Mjolnir Thor's Hammer Amulet in defiance.
The short handle does not prevent the Mjolnir hammer from becoming a favorite Viking Jewelry for the Viking lovers these days. Since the significant importance to the Viking life and the majestic appearance, the Mjolnir hammer has become a trendsetting Viking Jewelry design. It might come in the forms such as necklace, ring, bracelet, etc. Based on the favor of the modern Viking lovers, the Mjolnir Hammer Viking Jewelry Amulet might be different, marrying the classic Thor hammer with the stylish design or blending Mjolnir hammer with other Viking Symbols.
A drawing of a Viking Age hammer pendant discovered in Öland, Sweden
Thor was the indefatigable god who guarded Asgard, the celestial stronghold of the Aesir, the main tribe of gods and goddesses in Norse mythology. The giants, the forces of chaos, were often trying to destroy Asgard and kill the Aesir, and it was Thor’s task to prevent them from doing so.
The hammer was his primary weapon. Thor (whose name goes back to a Proto-Germanic root that means “Thunder”) was the god of the storm, and thunder was experienced as being the sound of his hammer crashing down on his foes. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the Old Norse name for his hammer, Mjöllnir, probably meant “Lightning.”
While the etymology of Mjöllnir is uncertain, most scholars trace the name back to an Indo-European root that is attested in the Old Slavic word mlunuji, Russian molnija, and Welsh mellt, all of which mean “lightning.” It may also be related to the Icelandic words mjöll, “new snow,” and mjalli, “white,” the color of lightning and a potential symbol of purity. The significance of that symbolism will become clear shortly.
Thor’s Hammer as an Instrument of Blessing, Consecration, and Protection
Thor’s hammer was certainly a weapon – the best weapon the Aesir had, in fact – but it was more than just a weapon. It also occupied a central role in rituals of consecration and hallowing.
The hammer was used in formal ceremonies to bless marriages, births, and probably funerals as well. In one episode from medieval Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, Thor once killed and ate his goats, then brought them back to life by hallowing their bones with his hammer (talk about having your cake and eating it, too). The medieval Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus records that huge hammers were kept in one of Thor’s temples in Sweden, and that periodically the people would hold a ritual there that involved beating the hammers against some kind of drum that would resound like thunder. This could have been a ceremony to bless and protect the community and ward off hostile spirits.
Historian Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson provides an excellent summary of the uses of the hammer:
It would seem indeed as though the power of the thunder god, symbolized by his hammer, extended over all that had to do with the well-being of the community. It covered birth, marriage, and death, burial, and cremation ceremonies, weapons and feasting, travelling, land-taking, and the making of oaths between men. The famous weapon of Thor was not only the symbol of the destructive power of the storm, and of fire from heaven, but also a protection against the forces of evil and violence. Without it Asgard could no longer be guarded against the giants, and men relied on it also to give security and to support the rule of law.
Of all of these consecration ceremonies, the use of the hammer to bless a marriage is especially well-established. The existence of this rite is assumed in the tale of Thor as a Transvestite, where the giants stole Thor’s hammer and he went to retrieve it by dressing as a bride to be married to one of the giants, knowing that the hammer would be presented during the ceremony. When it was presented, he seized it and promptly smashed the skulls of all of the giants in attendance. A Bronze Age rock carving from Scandinavia apparently depicts a couple being blessed by a larger figure holding a hammer, which indicates the considerable antiquity of this notion. Historian E.O.G. Turville-Petre suggests that part of this blessing consisted of imparting fertility to the couple, which would make sense in light of Thor’s connections with agriculture and the fertilization of the fields.
Mjolnir Thor's Hammer pendant with Norse floral patterns
Mjolnir hammer Ring with runes and Norse floral patterns
With the growing popularity of the Viking Jewelry in the past few years, maybe the dust that lies on the Viking glory is being gradually swept away and may there be a time the long-gone Viking culture find their way back to our times.