Einar Pálsson. Evil and the earth
- Author: Einar Pálsson
- Title: Evil and the Earth
- Place, Publisher: Reykjavik, Mímir
- Year: 1994
- Reference: Einar Pálsson. Evil and the Earth. Reykjavik: Mímir, 1994.
- Key words:
mythology, Plato, symbolism
This short book relies on symbolical derivations from Ancient Greek texts to analyze the character of Mörðr Valgarðsson in Njáls saga. Because Hauksbók contains Plato’s Timaeus, Einar assumes that the author of Njáls saga was, and indeed all ‘wise men’ were, intimately familiar with its concepts of the Four Elements and Five Regular Solids. Therefore he concludes that Mörðr must stand for the Cube and its association with earth and evil. Mörðr is also connected to the symbols of pagan slanderer, the god Loki, a marten, the Roman god Saturn, and the number six, and his character alludes to the Holy Grail. Einar’s approach heavily relies on evidence from Antiquity, such as Plato, Proclus, and Plotinus, combined with number symbolism and geometrical interpretations of landscape. Conversely, his use of evidence from Old Norse sources is mostly based on conjecture.
Chapter 46: Hann var slægur go illgjarn: “Not only are we told that Mörðr lived at Hof; we are directly told that he was cunning and full of ill will and that he further envied our great hero, Gunnar frá Hliðarenda. And Proclus tells us that jealousy and envy are the nature of matter – the ultimate symbol of which was the Cube.” (p. 25)
- Written by: Jensen Scheuer
- Icelandic/English translation: