Poetic Edda Predicted The Fall of Gods and Active Volcano
Poetic Edda is a collection of Norse tales which were compiled by the ancient poets and scholars. The first and most famous poem of the Poetic Edda is the Völuspá meaning "The Prophecy of the Seer". It is among the best source to study not only Norse mythology but also what happened in the past, a new study finds.
The researchers have linked the migration of the Icelandic inhabitants and the fall of pagan gods. An active volcano made the inhabitants abandon their homes to turn away. Moreover, it made the pagans convert themselves to Christian. Roughly two generations after the eruption, the Icelandic completely changed their religions. But how come the volcanic eruption renounced their belief in pagan gods? The answer is attributed to the Völuspá that predicted the fiery eruption led to the fall of gods.
The volcanic eruption
History had it that the Vikings settled down in Iceland around the end of 9th century. But the exact date of Eldgjá lava flood that hit Iceland was unknown. Knowing the date is crucial for it helped to learn how much the eruption affected the site.
The researchers carried out their investigation examining the ice core records. The eruption turned out to take place 100 years after people settled down in Iceland. So two or three generations must have witnessed the eruption. Some of the new settlers brought their children with them only to experience the volcanic eruption, according to the researchers.
In all likelihood, the Eldgjá lava flood was what led to the baptism of the Icelandic inhabitants in the 10th century.
About one hundred years after the eruption, the people of Iceland finally denounced their previous pagan belief and converted themselves into Christianity. And it was likely that this religious conversion was associated with the Prophecy of the Seer.
The apocalyptic poem and the downfall of gods
The exact date that the mysterious author of Völuspá wrote the poem was unknown. But it is now believed to have been produced in the 10th century, before the Christianization of Iceland.
Toward the end of the 10th century, the people of Iceland completed converting themselves into Christians abandoning the Pantheon of Norse gods. The scene depicted the baptism vowing to follow the monotheism
It described how an eruption and meteorological events marked the downfall of the Norse Pantheon. Viking gods like Odin, Thor, and Heimdall fell in the battle with the giants. But the world would emerge once again with the rule of the Almighty.
"The sun starts to turn black, the land sinks into the sea; the bright stars scatter from the sky. Steam spurts up with what nourishes life, flame flies high against heaven itself"
A translation of Völuspá
However, scholars believed that the part of the "Almighty" was the later insertion into the poem. Considering the historical context when the Christian rulers wanted to convert the pagans into their belief, this was likely a move to stimulate Iceland's Christianization in the late 10th century.