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We cannot exclude the latter possibility even when we know about man-made cult sites at a given farm and only inconspicuous candidates for a natural horg. Likewise, the former possibility cannot be excluded even if a farm is located next to a very prominent natural formation that could be a horg.
The approach of the present study My starting point is that if we want to ascertain what people in pre-Christian times understood by the word horg, we need to examine something that has come down to us with the term horg attached to it. I will analyse Norwegian horg place names in relation to the landscapes in which they are found. The fact that most of these names are natural names will reduce the problems described above. Attempting to obtain information from the landscape about possibly sacral place names is by no means a new approach see e.
Olsen , Calissendorff Still, it is somewhat unusual, the classical approach to such studies being the toponymic rather than the topographic environment e. If many of them have a sacral meaning, it is considered probable that the Lund name does, too e.
Vasshus I approve of this approach, but I believe there is a large and untapped potential in the landscape approach, not least in Norway, where the landscape is easier to read than in most places, because the formations of the landscape are so large. For this reason I will, however, exclude from the initial discussion the names from the agricultural areas of south-eastern Norway, which are flat in comparison to the rest of the country , until the concluding discussion.
In the remaining material, it seems that the original bearers of virtually all the horg names are natural formations. Regarding the natural horg names in Norway, I will try to determine whether the probable namebearers stand out in the landscape and whether there are man- made indicators that they had a special status.
If Sandnes and Rostvik are right in thinking that these places had no religious significance, we should expect them to be anonymous, insignificant. The same applies if some of the places turn out to be hill forts cf. Oral traditions connected to a place with a horg name are also indicative of that place having had a special status, even if the tradition is not recorded until modern times or is Christian in content, because the landscape and communication routes have basically been the same until modern road con- struction.
The chances are high that a landscape feature that attracted attention in recent times also did so in ancient times. In some cases, this is confirmed by archaeological monuments. To get information about the characteristics of the Norwegian places in question, I have used maps available at norgeskart. I have also used online photographs found through Google searches to obtain information about places.
As mentioned, problem i. But it is also an argument against it: natural horg names, like other natural names, are usually not attested until post-medieval or even modern times. Accor- dingly, it is somewhat bold to understand such names as pre-Christian.
However, although virtually no assumed pre-Christian sacral place name is attested prior to the conversion, there is nevertheless general agreement that many of them are, in fact, pre-Christian, potentially reaching far back into prehistoric times, because various factors associated with the names indicate or demonstrate this. In the case of horg, ancientness is probable when a horg name appears in an area where the appellative horg is unknown in the post-medieval dialect most recordings of dia- lects are 19th and 20th century.
This is the case with many of the names discussed below. However, this reasoning can never be completely certain and this means that conclusions may only be based upon broad patterns within the source material, patterns that will be clear even if a few names should prove to be post-medieval after all. As the examination of the names will show, such broad patterns definitely are present in the Norwegian horg name material.
The name Horgane in Hardanger, Western Norway name d. But his conclusions do not necessarily say much about pre-Christian times as such because they are based upon a deviant area. In Hordaland according to the overview in Rostvik , there are more than 70 horg names, virtually all of them mountain names, whereas in the rest of Norway there are only about 30 horg names, of which less than one third are mountain names.
We cannot know when this development took place, but it may have been com- pleted as late as in modern times. Accordingly, we should exclude the Hordaland names to begin with when attempting to identify medieval or pre-Christian horg names and the landscape features to which they were applied.
It seems, though, that the Hordaland names can shed further light on patterns detected in the extra- Hordaland material, as we will see in the discussion below. This does not imply a claim that all horgs were conceived of in the same way throughout the entire pagan period and across the whole Germanic area. This potentially makes it possible to link the different derivations of the meanings of a word or word root. I have also excluded the mountain Horgaknuten in Vindafjord, Rogaland, because it is located just south of the Hordaland border and seems to be a branch of a cluster of horg names in Etne just north of the border.
A few derived names have also been excluded when a primary name is known; see name p. The purpose of the exclusions is to establish a name corpus with the highest chances of giving us access to a very early meaning of horg. In the later stages of the discussion, many of these excluded names will, however, be drawn in. This name is unique in referring to a cult site itself. Here is the resulting list of 18 names, starting from the north. Non-farm simplex names: a. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 7. Figure 1.
Non-farm compound names: k. Figure 8. Summer Farm names:9 m. The name Horgehornet of the mountain next to the farm probably is derived from this name. Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6. In addition, I draw in a couple of the Swedish names mentioned by Rostvik when these are relevant, although I have not studied the Swedish names systematically.
Discussion of the Norwegian horg names Most of the names are discussed under more than one heading below. Rising steeply m above the major waterway, Byglandsfjorden, it fills up a headland in the lake, in pre-modern times forcing virtually all traffic up and down the valley to take a detour around it.
Mount Hor g berget name a. Rising steeply m above the sea, Hor g berget forces a detour onto one of the two inshore pas- sages available at this section of the Nor- wegian coast. The passage leading up to Hor[g]berget from the south-east is not much sailed; it is narrow and shallow and the prevailing south-westerly and westerly winds are gusty there. Similar to Horga in Bygland, but more pronouncedly, Hor g berget is special in the sense that it stands by itself, Figure 1.
There are many outlet. Contour interval m. An analogous case in Bolstadfjorden in Hordaland hints that landscape forma- tions of this kind did have some religious significance. Several of the summer farm names and compound mountain names have a similar location in the landscape.
The bearer of name o. The bearer of name p. This passage is so difficult that in olden times, travellers would often take an alternative route over the mountains pers. The farm Horge lies at one end of this route, as is shown in Figure 4. Image generated from Virtual Globe at www. It lies next to a steep hill that forces the valley to change direction around it, creating a narrow passage that complicates travel up and down the valley Figure 5.
Horgen may seem to lie quite some dis- tance from the hill, but name typology indicates that this was the farm closest to it when the farm was founded. A similar landscape situation is found around the bearer of name r. Countour interval 20 m. But in this case, the horg name is found above the blocking mountain rather than beneath one side of it.
On land, travellers are forced to make detours around or over the obstructing mountain, often taking them through difficult terrain. On water, difficult sailing conditions complicate such detours. Because of the surrounding mountains, winds will tend to follow the waterways in question, but will be gusty and shifty and thus dangerous on the lee side of the horg mountain when sailing in a strong tail wind. In a light breeze, it will be hard to pass the horg mountain because there will be a calm on the lee side.
Clearly, the landscape formations to which these horg names are connected are very prominent. View from the south-east. I have spent hours and hours examining the maps and found very few additional examples. The clearest parallel is the mentioned Trollkona on the Bolstadfjorden Figure 9. The mountain Hornelen on the west coast, on the other hand, is extremely prominent by its elevation and steepness, but does not appear to eat into a landscape corridor, which the above examples do.
I may have overlooked examples, but it nonetheless seems that the majority of the examples of the landscape formation in question are connected to horg names. Accordingly, horg names are hugely overrepresented in connection with this type of landscape formation: mountains and hills forming or appearing to form barriers on ancient, major routes of communication by eating into a landscape corridor. Horg names on borders Many of the already discussed horg names and most of the remaining ones are found in connection with another type of barrier, namely borders of various kinds.
I have not been able to check borders no longer in use for all names, but here are the examples that I have found. Horveraks-Horga name g. Hor g berget name a. In Romsdalen, the mountain Romsdalshorn next to the farm Horgheim name o. The shieling Horga in Gudbrandsdalen Horgen, name r. In Hordaland, Western Norway, the grave cairns Horgane name d. In Sigdal, Eastern Norway, the river Horga name i. The tiny island of Horge north of Stavanger, south-western Norway name e.
There is reason to believe that the island itself marked borders between communities in the days prior to maps and GPSs since it lies quite precisely at a middle point between the communities within the area. Its location makes it a hub at the junction of many fjords and sea routes. Because of this, it may have been the point most frequently encountered by people travelling around this region, so it should be regarded as a prominent landscape formation in spite of its somewhat modest appearance.
The island Horge in south-western Norway. Countour interval m. In Telemark, Eastern Norway, the background for name l. The borders associated with the horg places in question naturally offer themselves in the landscape, so there should be no reason to assume that the majority of them are late inventions.
If we include other names from Hordaland than Horgane name d. Horg names and other landscape divides The Horgtinden in Lofoten name k. The mountain Horga in Sogn name c. View from south-east. If we include more of the Hordaland material, there are several cases where it is not the highest point on a mountain road that bears a horg name, but rather the entrances to the mountain road. One example is shown in Figure 9, the passage between Berge in Bergsdalen and Evanger.
In Hordaland, there is also a more general connection between horg names and dividing landscape formations: many of the horg names not yet mentioned tend to occur in high, not easily passable mountain ranges separating communities. Despite being a mountain range, it was one of the easiest ways out of Voss prior to modern infrastructure, and several of the most popular routes to the Hardanger fjord led through it Nordland , based on interviews with people who remembered pre-railway Voss.
This mountain range has the highest concentration of horg names anywhere, with seven horg mountains within a few square km and, as Nordland points out ibid. On both sides, three of the tracks leading into the area pass by summer farms with helg- names, and in the middle of the mountains, travellers would rest or spend the night at Helgaset ibid.
The concentration of both name types around this important mountain crossing fits with the connection between horg names and landscape divides that we have seen. All of them are, however, associated with other types of barriers. The slope name Horga in Hurdal, Eastern Norway name j. The Horga, he says, is all kame, kettle and boulders, a challenge to cross. The cliff Roaldsteinen next to the farm Horgjem and the hill Horga in Iveland are both hill forts.
There are traditions of trolls connected to both; Skar , Fjermedal , ; Aannestad This could be accidental if these two cases had been isolated, but there is a whole range of connections between horg places and hill forts. This may be part of the background for the farm name Horg.
In England, several horg sites feature prehistoric fortifications Semple The cairns Horgane in Hardanger name d. In this area, no hill forts with horg names are known, so it is unlikely that this meaning derives from some random hill fort with heaps of stone on it; this is, rather, an old, inherited meaning.
The mountain Horga in Romsdalen name b. It is located on its south-eastern slopes c. The fact that several of the rocks are of the same kind of gneiss, some of them seemingly even stemming from the same block Parelius , may support this understanding. It is also hard to see why people would invest the enor- mous amount of work needed to erect such a monument in the middle of a forest, several km away from summer farms and major communication lanes, with no exceptional natural formations in the immediate vicinity.
This, however, does not mean that it did not function as a cult site. Whether it did or not can only be determined by means of an archaeological excavation, but there is already reason to believe that some kind of religious notion or activity was connected to the site, because of the uniqueness of the stone construction and what we find in the vicinity. The background for this mountain name Horga remains a riddle, though.
Regarding question a , there is a clear tendency that the name bearers or formations from which the names seem to be derived, i. This is just one category of [bearers of] helg- names, however; the whole group seems far more heterogeneous than the horg names in Norway. I will focus on helg- names in a subsequent article.
At least seven cases are known, Manker They are typically found in the middle of a difficult block field that has to be traversed because it is the only passage between a lake and a vertical mountain face ibid. The ancientness of this pattern can be supported by the typological dating of some of the names that have the clea- rest connection with landscape barriers. They belong to the simplex names that refer to landscape features, which are considered the oldest farm names we have ibid: 34 and thus belonging to the earliest Iron Age or even earlier times.
There is some uncertainty about these two names, however. The name could derive from a man-made cult con- struction on the farm. At any rate, the outlined naming pattern seems to predate the conversion by at least half a millennium, probably much more. The Horgen farms of south-eastern Norway seem not to fit into the outlined pattern. This does not necessarily contradict the pattern, however, as these farms may have featured man-made horgs that were in some way characterized by barriers.
One might argue that an enclosure is very different from the lands- cape barriers discussed above, but that depends upon what we understand to be the essence of a cultic enclosure. Obviously, its enclosing function is important. But, when barriers like fences, walls and hedges very often and throughout the world15 are found enclosing cult sites, their main function seems to be to mark the border between the profane world outside of it and the special status of the area inside.
That is, they have a separating function, one of separating areas of different status. From this perspective, it is not decisive whether the border encloses an area or not. Both cultic enclosures and landscape barriers between communities separate spheres of different social status. No stone rings are known at the other lowland Horgen farms, so we may not assume the same to be the background for those names, although there may have been now lost stone rings at some of the farms, or other kinds of now lost cultic enclosures or constructions developed from enclosures, see below.
However, in order to be acceptable, these conclusions also have to be compatible with the rest of the material, not least the extensive Old Norse textual information. Because a probable, original meaning of horg has already been established by other means, I will here not put too much emphasis on the dating of sources but rather focus on the semantic aspects.
The following seems to be the information we get, cf. Flateyjarbok III: In the listed material, there is no clear connection to barriers or enclosures. This may count against the theory put forward in the present article. Such an early meaning will not be contradicted by later develop- ments, and the Old Norse texts mostly reflect the latest phase of Nordic heathendom — or even post-conversion understandings.
So may the meanings B. Meaning B. Firstly, a height, even if its surface has no obstacles, is a divide, a barrier, from which it is easier than elsewhere to stop an intruder, which is why fortifications have usually been placed on heights. Secondly, there are often more obstacles, such as rocks and forest, on hills than between them, especially in a cultivated landscape.
Moraine hills, frequently strewn with rocks and boulders, are a common hill type in Scandinavia, especially its eastern parts, and quite a few of the Swedish dialect horg explanations explicitly link the term to moraines Rostvik When considered from this angle, it also makes good sense that places with horg names in England are in several cases heights with remains of both ancient fortifi- cations and Romano-British temples Semple Coinciden- tally or not, it is both a barrier height fortification and site with cultic buildings.
Bjorvand , Similarly, a grove can be hard both to get into and to pass through. Compare birch or spruce branches and reindeer horn put into the ground as enclosures around Sami sacrificial sites Manker Meaning F. It is located on a smooth rock top of a prominent divide, a low moraine hill the surrounding landscape is flat , which separates two communities and two landscape types Olausson , On both sides of the hill, a horg farm is found — Old Swedish Hargher, about a km to the north, and Odhinshargher now Odensala , about the same distance to the south.
The complex is dominated by two more or less concentric walls some 50 m in diame- ter , so low that they would have no defence value, and by a grave mound in the middle. One could argue that the dating of this complex is too early; the activity around the walls being dated to BC ibid: This may be the case in the Bible translation, too E.
Enclosing fences are often essential parts of cult sites and such fences can be wooden, piled of stones or even a combination: stone walls with timber on top. Quite a number of Sami sacrificial sites are enclosed by this combined type of fence with an idol, heap of stones or other in the middle Manker , Vorren The stone parts are typically cm high, with the timber part on top of that Vorren This may have shifted the emphasis of the cultic horg from an enclosure to a build- ing developed from the object inside the enclosure cf.
This implies that the horgs Bede knew were surrounded by fences, which he regarded as religiously essential parts of these cult sites. During the most recent decades, archaeologists have found at such sites several complexes consisting of small build- ings rich in cultic finds next to central hall buildings, and many of these small buildings, which are probably cult-related, are surrounded by fences e.
As has been pointed out by many scholars e. De Vries had something similar in mind when he argued that a horg was an altar with an enclosure around it de Vries I: This may well be the easiest understanding of the Old Norse meanings F.
But he seems to have no example of this and etymology counts against it, hof seems originally to have been a word for a height Bjorvand and Lindeman , Andersson Several scholars e. Falk and Torp , not necessarily enclosed. It should also be stressed, however, that the material discussed here is not the basis for the theory put forward in the present study.
The theory has a fairly robust basis in other types of evidence, and it seems compatible with the material discussed here. What kind of cult? The total corpus of information about horg gives the impression that horg sites were very diverse and that cultic horgs existed over a vast area at least from the early centuries AD cf. This may imply that the religious notions and practices associated with horg sites were also very diverse, more diverse than has been realized cf.
Nordberg So does the connection between horgs and mountain crossings and the passing of prominent cliffs and the like near old roads. Heide a, b: , , Mathisen Anttonen and Therefore, he suggested that these names reflect private cult and the central horg names public cult Olsen There may be something to this, although the private cult connected to landscape barriers may have been much simpler than what Olsen had in mind cf.
On the coast, sailors would take off their hats or pay their respects in other ways when passing a mountain that was known to generate dangerous winds or other critical points Solheim The cult at Odensala vicarage was very different from this, with extensive burning on the cliff and extensive sacrifices of food and animals Olausson Near Horgheim in the valley of Romsdalen name o.
It is conceivable that the cave in the moun- tain Hor g berget in Northern Norway name a. In other cases, such focal points may not have existed. Our information about what kind of cult was connected to horg sites is still very limited, which means that the suggestions put forward here are equally limited. Conclusion It seems that the landscape location of horg names in the mountainous and hilly parts of Norway contains an ancient naming pattern that can shed light on the horg complex.
There is a clear tendency for the natural features bearing such names to be prominent. This, combined with the Old Germanic textual evidence, indicates that most of these names and their bearers had some kind of religious significance, a conclusion that contrasts with the hypercritical rejection of this religious aspect during the s. This understanding is compatible with more or less all of the seemingly incon- gruous and confusing forms of horg, although the Old Germanic meanings of horg are so diverse that many of them had clearly developed quite far from the original meaning at the time of recording.
The basis for this view seems, on closer inspection, to be weak and largely built upon circular reasoning. Not much can yet be said for sure about pre-Christian cult and beliefs connected to horg sites, except that they were probably very diverse, far more diverse than has been realized. The results of this study suggest that more attention should be paid to non-farm names as a source for Old Scandinavian religion than has hitherto been done.
Alt- hough the non-farm names in Norway are usually recorded very late, a pattern in a large corpus of such names can be relatively robust and may be anchored in ancient times through individual, typologically datable names as well as supported by etymology, archaeological monuments, medieval texts and other independent material.
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|Spain croatia betting preview nfl||I do not know whether it is signifi- cant that six of these farms are located near fansbetting withdrawal rivers or long and narrow lakes, possibly even the seventh, Horgen in Slagendalen, Vestfold a narrow fjord, in that casewhen the name was coined during the first centuries AD, depending upon the progress of the post-glacial rebound. He argued that a high number of horg mountains in Hordaland county Norw. Skien-Telemark turistforening. Christensen, Olav Bergteken. OlsenOlrik and Ellekilde,de Vries I: ff. Alt- hough the non-farm names hargne secular definition investing Norway are usually recorded very late, a pattern in a large corpus of such names can be relatively robust and may be anchored in ancient times through individual, typologically datable names as well as supported by etymology, archaeological monuments, medieval texts and other independent material. Integral approach, including mind-body medicine, naturopathy and conventional medicine.|
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