Pre-modern Seminar No 32: Leszek Slupecki
On Monday April 28th Professor Leszek Słupecki from the University of Rzeszow will give a talk called:
“Mímisbrunnr – a depository of organs?”
The seminar will take place in the library of Skandinavistika (Ülikooli 17, 3rd floor, room 305) at 18.15.
Wine, bread, fruit, cheese and ham will be served.
Leszek has sent us a short presentation of the lecture:
“The lecture will attempt at providing a new interpretation of Old Norse sources concerning Mímisbrunnr. According to mythological texts, Mímisbrunnr is a well of knowledge in which Oðinn’s eye is deposited as a pledge to the Giant Mímir. In exchange for the eye, Mímir granted Oðinn a special kind of wisdom. However, as implied by similar written accounts from Irish and Celtic mythologies, it seems that the Giant’s own head was also deposited in the well.
In my lecture I will try to suggest a possibility that – in addition to Oðinn’s eye and Mímir’s head – the Norse may have believed that the well also contained Heimdall’s ear. If we were to extend the field of our investigation a little bit further, then in this context we might also consider the motif of Tyr’s cut-off hand. Furthermore, it is worth considering (as problematic as it may be) which organ may have potentially been offered by the god Freyr. The idea behind the proposed interpretation(s) is that the power of the gods – especially those with very specific skills, qualities and responsibilities – results from offering some of their organs in exchange. It is likely that at least some of those organs may have remained deposited in Mímirbrunnr as a pledge.”
Leszek P. Slupecki is professor at the Faculty of History and Archaeology at Rzeszow University, Poland. His field of specialty is Pre-Christian religion and archaeology in the Slavonic and Nordic cultures.
Everybody is welcome!