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Baldr

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  • etherman23
    I ve been thinking about Baldr lately. Where did the name come from? What type of god was he? I ve been poking around on the Internet and it seems that there
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 3, 2009
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      I've been thinking about Baldr lately. Where did the name come from?
      What type of god was he? I've been poking around on the Internet and
      it seems that there are lots of ideas out there. But hopefully people
      around here can shed some light on the subject.

      First, the name. Here,
      http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/cybalist/message/11698 Chris Gwinn
      derives the name from the PIE root *bHel, to blow. I don't know if
      there's any well accepted etymology, but I can think of two other
      possibilities that seem at least as promising. There's *bHelH (that
      might be H2 but I'm not sure), meaning light or bright. There's also
      *bHolH (whith H1 perhaps?) which means leaf or flower. Why are these
      promising?

      Baldr's main claim to fame is that he was invulnerable to everything
      except mistletoe. Loki fashions a dart out of the stuff and Baldr's
      blind brother throws it at him and kills him. After Ragnarok Baldr is
      raised from the dead. This death-rebirth motif is pretty common among
      vegetation gods, and presumably solar deities (though off-hand I can't
      think of any). There doesn't seem to be much to link Baldr to either
      of these types of gods. But there's not nothing. Baldr's link with
      mistletoe is suggestive of vegetation. On the flip side Baldr is slain
      by a blind god. This blindness could indicate night. Night could be
      said to kill the day (which is later reborn as a new day).
      Unfortunately, my two possible etymologies could both work! I don't
      know of anything in the myth cycle that would link Baldr to blowing
      (or swelling).
    • Rick McCallister
      ... Darkness and mistletoe are both characteristic of winter, so I d look at words for bright, bold, bald (in the archaic sense of white , i.e. bald
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 3, 2009
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        --- On Sat, 1/3/09, etherman23 <etherman23@...> wrote:

        > From: etherman23 <etherman23@...>
        > Subject: [tied] Baldr
        > To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Saturday, January 3, 2009, 7:27 PM
        > I've been thinking about Baldr lately. Where did the
        > name come from?
        > What type of god was he? I've been poking around on the
        > Internet and
        > it seems that there are lots of ideas out there. But
        > hopefully people
        > around here can shed some light on the subject.

        Darkness and mistletoe are both characteristic of winter, so I'd look at words for "bright, bold, bald (in the archaic sense of 'white', i.e. 'bald eagle)", etc. I've always seen it ety'd as "bold, bright" in popular works, and since they tend to agree, they are probably getting this from a common source. But given "leaf, flower", the meaning could be polysemic.

        >
        > First, the name. Here,
        > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/cybalist/message/11698
        > Chris Gwinn
        > derives the name from the PIE root *bHel, to blow. I
        > don't know if
        > there's any well accepted etymology, but I can think of
        > two other
        > possibilities that seem at least as promising. There's
        > *bHelH (that
        > might be H2 but I'm not sure), meaning light or bright.
        > There's also
        > *bHolH (whith H1 perhaps?) which means leaf or flower. Why
        > are these
        > promising?
        >
        > Baldr's main claim to fame is that he was invulnerable
        > to everything
        > except mistletoe. Loki fashions a dart out of the stuff and
        > Baldr's
        > blind brother throws it at him and kills him. After
        > Ragnarok Baldr is
        > raised from the dead. This death-rebirth motif is pretty
        > common among
        > vegetation gods, and presumably solar deities (though
        > off-hand I can't
        > think of any). There doesn't seem to be much to link
        > Baldr to either
        > of these types of gods. But there's not nothing.
        > Baldr's link with
        > mistletoe is suggestive of vegetation. On the flip side
        > Baldr is slain
        > by a blind god. This blindness could indicate night. Night
        > could be
        > said to kill the day (which is later reborn as a new day).
        > Unfortunately, my two possible etymologies could both work!
        > I don't
        > know of anything in the myth cycle that would link Baldr to
        > blowing
        > (or swelling).
      • Jespal Brar
        A common Punjabi name is Baldave / Baldev, which means strong God.   Bal means strength and Dev means God.   ... From: Rick McCallister
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 3, 2009
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          A common Punjabi name is Baldave / Baldev, which means strong God.   Bal means strength and Dev means God.  

          --- On Sun, 1/4/09, Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...> wrote:

          From: Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...>
          Subject: Re: [tied] Baldr
          To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sunday, January 4, 2009, 12:38 AM

          --- On Sat, 1/3/09, etherman23 <etherman23@yahoo. com> wrote:

          > I've been thinking about Baldr lately. Where did the
          > name come from?
          > What type of god was he? I've been poking around on the
          > Internet and
          > it seems that there are lots of ideas out there. But
          > hopefully people
          > around here can shed some light on the subject.

          Darkness and mistletoe are both characteristic of winter, so I'd look at words for "bright, bold, bald (in the archaic sense of 'white', i.e. 'bald eagle)", etc. I've always seen it ety'd as "bold, bright" in popular works, and since they tend to agree, they are probably getting this from a common source. But given "leaf, flower", the meaning could be polysemic.

          [Excess quoting and HTML deleted. -BMS]
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