Having never read any Norse mythology I assumed the characters and places in it would be fairly different from the Roman and Greek mythology I’m a bit more familiar with. Therefore I was very surprised to find the mention of Troy in Snorri’s prologue.

     In the prologue Snorri states that Thor was fathered by one of the kings of Troy and so his son Odin who eventually traveled north to rule over the town of Sigtuna in Sweden is likewise a descendant of Troy. On the same page (p. 86) there is also side note saying that according to the rest of the Prose Edda Thor is descended from Odin not vice versa. So where does that leave Troy in all this? Is the mention of Troy purely Snorri explaining his beliefs on where Norse mythology arose? Am I making way to much fuss over one little detail?

    It’s just that the mention of descendants of Troy made me think of one of the founding myths of Rome in which Rome is said to have been founded by the descendants of Aeneas, survivor of the Trojan war. That made me wonder if maybe Norse mythology was influenced by Roman mythology through the Roman presence in Germany. What were your reactions to the mention of Troy?  


3 thoughts on “All roads lead to….Troy?

  1. Keeping in mind that Snorri is influenced by the prevalence of Christian faith, as was mentioned in class today, I would have to say that the confusion is, at least in part, due to his deliberate ‘confus-ification’ of the pagan stories.
    The desire to associate with the popular warps a lot of information, even just from people as individuals.
    When asking someone where their family is from, different members of the same family will give different answers, based on their favourite nationalities, and I imagine Snorri was no exception.
    His belief structure seems to have clouded his retelling, even just within his prologue, ‘a friend of a friend of a friend’.
    He is one of the few sources we have of ancient writing, and as such, his writings do have some credibility, but the context he is writing from makes me a little skeptical.
    I would /like/ to believe that the Norse myths, in their most original, were at least original.

  2. I agree with the previous comment that the desire to associate popular subjects certainly affects the ways people tell these myths. However I also believe that Snorri did incorporate Troy into his myth by the influence of the Romans in Germany. It would make sense for people retelling this myth to incorporate their own backgrounds into it. Since the Romans were present in Germany, is it not possible that Snorri got this information from them?

  3. I think that Troy was mentioned by Snorri because of the reputation of the Trojans through history. They were considered wealthy, wise strong for barbarians which could have been one of the reasons the Greeks declared war on them, as they were a threat at the time. Hector is an example of those three traits. I think that like pichenick Snorri wanted to connect himself and his people to some of the strongest men in history.

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