Tir - a god in the north and a city in the south

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Tir - a god in the north and a city in the south
Tir - a god in the north and a city in the south

In the wake of the popularity of Marvel films about the adventures of the god Thor, interest in Norse mythology in general has increased. There are many interesting personalities among the gods of the northern pantheon. In this article we will tell about the Scandinavian god Tire. Let's pay attention to the Phoenician city of the same name to remind you that consonant names and names in history are not always connected.

The Origin of Tyr

There are different versions of the pronunciation of the name of this god, but the most common form is Tyr or Tyr. In some Germanic tribes, he was called Ziu or Tiwaz, and in the Latinized version - Tius. In Scandinavian mythology, the god Tyr is the son of the supreme deity Odin or the giant Gimir.

Tyr is often depicted with Fenrir

The name Tyr is etymologically connected with many other names of the celestials with the same root (Thor, Tuisto, Zeus, Dionysus, Dievas), as well as with Latin and Sanskrit words denoting deities - Deus and Deva. Such a name indicates that once Tire in the heavenlyhierarchy was at the top of the pantheon and, most likely, was the god of heaven in early Scandinavian myths. Then Odin removed him from this place. Because of what exactly such a change in beliefs occurred, modern historians and culturologists do not know. There is a version that this is somehow connected with the myth of the capture of Fenrir, because of which Tyr lost his arm, and other gods began to make fun of him.

Spawn of Angrboda

In Scandinavian mythology, the most striking episode involving the god Tyr refers to the taming of the monstrous wolf Fenrir (the offspring of the god of cunning and deceit Loki and the giantess Angrboda). In total, Angrboda gave birth to Loki three children, if monsters, of course, can be called children:

  • The Serpent of Ermungand, which grew so large that it encircled the entire Earth and all other worlds. It lives at the bottom of the sea and will rise to land when Ragnarok (the end of the world) comes.
  • Goddess Hel, ruler of the realm of the dead. She is half a virgin with a beautiful appearance, but the other half of her body is a half-decomposed corpse. During ragnarok, she will lead the army of the dead against the living.
  • Fenrir Wolf. The furious beast has been captured by the Aesir and is waiting in the wings. During the end of the world, he will fight with the supreme god Odin and kill him. He himself will die at the hands of the god of vengeance Vidar.

Capture of the Wolf of Fenrir

Initially, Fenrir was not considered dangerous and was taken by the Aesir to Asgard for education. The wolf grew wild and strong, he did not allow anyone to feed him, except for the god Tyr, which makes the story that happened later become even more dramatic. Aesir, realizing that Fenrirposes a significant threat, they decided to shackle him in chains. The first two attempts were unsuccessful: Fenrir broke strong and powerful chains: Leding and Dromi. Then the aces decided to go to the trick and use magic. The third chain, called Gleipnir, was forged by the dwarves, creating it from a woman's beard, the noise of cat steps, bird saliva, bear veins, mountain roots and fish voices. This chain is soft and light, like a ribbon.

Drawing by John Bauer of Fenrir and Tyr

Seeing Gleipnir, Fenrir immediately suspected something was wrong, but agreed to shackle himself only on the condition that one of the aces put his hand in his mouth as a sign of trust. And it was the valiant god Tyr, who fed him as a puppy, agreed to this step, knowing what he was doing. When Fenrir failed to free himself, he bit off the brush of Tyr that lay in his mouth. Since then, Tyr has been called the One-armed.

God of military prowess

The one-armed god Tyr in the northern tradition has become an example of valor and real military honor. The episode with the bitten off hand symbolized the ability to be responsible for one's words and served as an example of responsibility for one's actions. These qualities make Tyr not only the god of war and battles, but also of justice. For the ancient Scandinavian and Germanic tribes, these two concepts were inseparable.

The god Tyr as the deity of war

It is believed that Tiru corresponds in Roman mythology to the god of war Mars. This is confirmed by the names of the days of the week: the English Tuesday and the Norwegian Tirsdag correspond to the Latin Martis. Also Tiru-Tivazucorresponds to the rune Teyvaz, depicted as an arrow pointing into the sky. This rune is associated with masculinity, destructive power and the ability to attack and defend.

Another Tyr: a city, not a god

If somewhere you come across a mention of the ancient city of Tire, then know that he has nothing to do with the god Tyr from the Scandinavian and German traditions. This is an ancient Phoenician city, located on the territory of modern Lebanon on the Mediterranean coast. Its history began two millennia BC.

City of Tire: reconstruction

Which god was revered in Tire?

In this Phoenician city, several deities were revered above all others. For the inhabitants of Tyre, the most significant was Usoos - the navigator god, who, according to legend, became its founder. It was believed that before the appearance of the Usoos, Tire was an island and drifted on the sea, and the god made it freeze by sacrificing an animal (an eagle is most often mentioned in legends).

Statue of the god Melqart in the museum

But even more important than the founding father Usoos, for the Tyrians was the god Melqart, also revered as the patron saint of navigation. It is believed that it was Melkart who became the prototype of Hercules for the ancient Greeks: the Phoenician myths about this deity contain many plots, like two drops of water, similar to the Greek Heracles. In Tyre, there was a temple dedicated to Melkart, erected by one of the kings. Over time, the Phoenicians became more and more skilled in maritime affairs and more and more honored their patron. The god of navigation also became a godcolonization. The Phoenicians called the modern Strait of Gibr altar the Pillars of Melkart, believing that it was he who helped the sailors get there. Interestingly, the Greeks called the coastal rocks the Pillars of Hercules, attributing to this hero the creation of the strait itself by pushing the mountains apart.

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