Tyr

Tyr

Týr is the god of justice in Germanic paganism. He is the son of Odin and Frigg.

The Old Norse name Týr is a continuation of the proto-Germanic (reconstructed) word Tīwaz. The Old High German reconstructed form of the name is Ziu. In Old English he was called Tīw or Tīg, in Dutch Tuw or Dings.

The Germanic names for Tuesday are often derived from the names of this god.

Apparently Týr is somewhat outside the family relations of the gods. A wife is mentioned almost nowhere in Old Norse literature and there is uncertainty about his father.

Týr is the god behind the rune, or rune T (an arrow pointing up). The rune T belongs to Týr and stands for justice, discipline, self-sacrifice and it is a warrior run.

Týr is the sky father and personifies the sun. In addition, as god of the sword and spear, Týr is also the god of war. Týr provides justice, honor, courage and wisdom in battle. Since Týr provides justice, he is also the god of the ‘thing’ (the Germanic people’s assembly).

Around the beginning of our era, Týr was one of the most important Germanic gods, which in Greek mythology is compared to Zeus. Later – in the time of the Vikings – he has faded into the background. Odin became the most popular and thus the most important god. At the end of time (Ragnarok), Týr will kill the hellhound Garmr.

Since Týr was once such an important god, it is likely that he is the continuation of an older Indogerman deity. However, the connection with the god names Zeus and Dyaus and words such as the Latin ‘deus’ and the French ‘dieu’ (for ‘god’) is not so transparent that one can speak of an immediate relationship.

In the Poetic Edda, Týr Thor tells about Hymir’s cauldron and they meet Tyr’s grandmother with nine hundred heads. Both are first hidden by the woman when Hymir comes home and a feast follows. Thor eats two bulls. However, he must provide food the next day and catches a dragon (or snake) with the head of an ox. Then Thor has to break a cup, but this does not work. After the woman’s advice, he throws the cup against the giant’s head and then the object breaks. Thor takes the kettle home with Tyr. See Hymir’s kettle.

There are a few place names that refer to Týr, especially in Denmark and less often in Norway. Examples are Tislund in Denmark, Tysnes and Tysnesø in Norway. But he is also referred to in the Lower Saxon regions of the Netherlands, such as the Dinkel river in Twente, the municipality of Dinkelland and the village of Dinxperlo.

Tyr
Type: Aesir, Deities
Gender:
Symbols:
Names
Norse: Týr
English: Tiw or Tig
German: Ziu
Dutch: Tuw or Dings
Equivalents
Hellenic: Zeus
Roman: Jupiter
Slavic: Perun
Hindu: Indra

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