Dedicant's Work

Study Program











Pagan Student Association

CafePress Shop


Indo-European Mythology 1, Requirement 4

Compare and contrast the Divine War theme in the myths of three different IE cultures. (If a culture has more than one myth that fits the theme, please choose one for comparison.) (minimum 300 words)

The Divine War theme is fairly common, and is more evident than the creation theme. In Celtic lore, we find the battle between the Tuatha De Danann and the Fomorians, part of a whole series of invasions to the island of Ireland. In this war, after defeating the Fir Blog, the Tuatha are then attacked by the perennial enemy of the Irish, the Fomorians. These Fomorians are the forces of chaos and it is interaction with them that brings out the best and worst in the Tuatha. The Fomorians seem to be an earlier set of deities, linked with fertility cults (though I have my personal doubts if they, like the Vanir or Titans, were ever actually worshipped in an "indigenous" religion).

The story of the divine war in Norse mythology is somewhat less clear. We know one happened (Njord is a hostage from the war, given in good faith to prevent further wars, and his son and daughter came with him), but we know little else. Njord, Freyr and Freyja are generally seen as fertility deities, and are associated with incest (and as such, represent the breaking of taboos in the Norse world). The truce between the Aesir and the Vanir was sealed not only with an exchange of hostages, but also with the creation of mead.

In Greek myth, we have the well-recounted myth of the Titans and the Olympians. The king of the Titans, Cronus, and his sister/wife seek to prevent the Olympians, their children, from doing to them what they did to Uranus and so Cronus swallows the children that are born. Rhea tricks Cronus with a stone in place of Zeus, however, and when Zeus grows up, he defeats his father and gets his brothers and sisters back from his father's stomach, bringing about the age of the Olympians and defeating the powers associated with fertility and taking over their roles.


Content © 2003 - 2006, Michael J Dangler
Updated on 03/14/2006. Site Credits / Email Me!
Basic site design from
(Yes, I stole it!)