Saturday, December 12, 2009


The Nordic equivalent of Hermes and Mercury was known as Loki. His father was Fárbauti, a "hacker", and his mother was Laufey, possibly a silvan nymph. Like the Greek and Roman gods his connection with bounds is that he often ignored them. There is a discription of him given in an Icelandic saga about Gylfi, the first king of Sweden,

"Loki was cute and alluring* in appearance, bad by nature, very duplicitous in manner. He surpassed others in that wisdom which is called craftiness with devices for all things; he would even bring the Æsir into a complete quagmire and often he would free them with fabrications." - Gylfaginning, 33

Loki was a slippery character who did not engender trust and probably was responsible for the downfall of the gods. He had a fate similar to that of Prometheus.

(*edit: fríður og fagur can be translated as "beautiful" and "enchanting" but, allowing for changes over time, "plain" and "simple" might be a better fit. A modern translation for fríður is "peace." vélar and vélræðum → "devices" and "fabrications," at least that seems to be the impression.)

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