Murder and Vengeance among the Gods: Baldr in Scandinavian Mythology. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia (Academia Scientiarum Fennica). 1997. 210 pp.
ISBN 951-41-0808-6 (hardback)
25 euros (hardback)
|The death of Baldr and its aftermath comprise the central moment of Scandinavian mythology. This book attempts to make sense of that story in the context of its thirteenth century recording by paying close attention to the texts themselves rather than to hypothetical background in cult or ritual. It elucidates both the literary and probable socio- historical context, and in connection with the latter it draws special attention to the fact that Baldr’s story does not end with his death but always involves acts of vengeance, thus suggesting an involvement with bloodfeud.
JOHN LINDOW is Professor of Scandinavian at the University of California at Berkeley. Among his books are Comitatus Individual and Honor (1976), Scandinavian Mythology: An Annotated Bibliography (1988) and, with Carol J. Clover and others, Old Norse-lcelandic Literature: A Critical Guide (1985).