Profs and Pints DC presents: “The World of Norse Gods,” with Lilla Kopár a professor of medieval literature and culture at Catholic University who teaches courses on Norse mythology.
Norse gods and heroes seem to be popping up everywhere these days. The new hit film The Northman, Marvel movies, Netflix series, video games, and Neil Gaiman’s critically acclaimed books all feature them wielding their spears, hammers, or swords.
But where did these stories and characters originally come from? And how have they changed over time? Prepare to hear such questions tackled while gaining a big-picture understanding of Norse mythology and how it shaped Norse culture.
Providing you such introductions will be Dr. Lilla Kopár, a scholar of Vikings, Norse Mythology, and Runology and the author of Gods and Settlers: The Iconography of Norse Mythology in Anglo-Scandinavian Sculpture.
Reprising a fantastic talk she gave last fall, Dr. Kopár will explore the cultural origins of the Norse gods. She’ll look at the fascinating—but often complex and contradictory—myths about them and discuss some their greatest adventures, including the epic story of Ragnarök. She’ll map out the structure of the Norse universe and its nine realms. She’ll help us get to know the many inhabitants of this world, including giants, dwarfs, elves, Valkyries, and frightening mythical beasts like the Midgard Serpent and Fenrir the wolf.
We’ll survey the medieval literary sources of mythological stories such as the Poetic Edda, Snorri’s Prose Edda, Icelandic sagas, and Viking-age poetry, and we’ll compare them to images of gods in art on rune stones, amulets, and other artifacts. We’ll also look at the religious practices, cults, and rituals of Scandinavia in the Viking period based on textual and archeological evidence such as cult objects and traces of elaborate burials.
It’s your big chance to sit in a bar and get to know Odin, Loki, Freyr and Freyja, Balder and Heimdall, and Thor. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)
Image: The mythic battle Ragnarok as illustrated by the German artist Johannes Gehrts.