Lawspeakers of Tyr


Lawspeakers of Tyr

Dedicated to the Feud, Law & Society of the [Norse] Sagas.

Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Members: 54
Latest Activity: Jan 31


"Týr" by Lorenz Frølich (1895).Tyr (pronounced /ˈtɪər/;[1] Old Norse: Týr [tyːr]) is the god of single combat, victory and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as a one-handed man. Corresponding names in other Germanic languages are Gothic Teiws , Old English Tīw and Old High German Ziu, all from Proto-Germanic *Tîwaz (*Tē₂waz).

In the late Icelandic Eddas, Tyr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda), while the origins of his name and his possible relationship to Tuisto (see Tacitus' Germania) suggest he was once considered the father of the gods and head of the pantheon, since his name is ultimately cognate to that of *Dyeus (cf. Dyaus), the reconstructed chief deity in Indo-European religion. It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age.

Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio romana. Tuesday is in fact "Tīw's Day" (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martius.

Further information: dyeus
Proto-Germanic *Tē₂waz continues Proto-Indo-European, *deywos "celestial being, god" (whence also Latin deus and Sanskrit deva). The oldest records of the word in Germanic are Gothic *teiws (/tiːws/), attested as tyz (as the name of the Gothic letter 𐍄), in the 9th century Codex Vindobonensis 795[2] and Old High German *ziu, attested as cyo- in the A Wessobrunn prayer ms. of 814. The Negau helmet inscription (2nd century BC) may actually record the Proto-Germanic form, as teiva, but this interpretation is uncertain.

The Old Norse name Tyr in origin was a generic noun meaning "god" (cf. Hangatyr, the "god of the hanged" as one of Odin's names; probably inherited from Tyr in his role as judge).

The Old Norse name became Norwegian Ty, Swedish Tyr, Danish Tyr, while it remains Týr in Modern Icelandic and Faroese.

West Germanic Ziu / Tiw
A gloss to the Wessobrunn prayer names the Alamanni Cyowari (worshipers of Cyo) and their capital Augsburg Ciesburc.[3]

The Excerptum ex Gallica Historia of Ursberg (ca. 1135) records a dea Ciza as the patron goddess of Augsburg. According to this account, Cisaria was founded by Swabian tribes as a defence against Roman incursions. This Zisa would be the female consort of Ziu, as Dione was of Zeus.

The name of Mars Thingsus (Thincsus) is found in an inscription on an 3rd century altar from the Roman fort and settlement of Vercovicium at Housesteads in Northumberland, thought to have been erected by Frisian mercenaries stationed at Hadrian's Wall. It is interpreted as "Mars of the Thing".[4]

In the Old English Rune Poem, the rune that is otherwise named for Tiw in the other rune poems (Abecedarium Nordmanicum, Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme, Old Icelandic Rune Poem), is called tir, meaning "glory". This rune was inscribed on more Anglo-Saxon cremation urns than any other symbol.

There is sketchy evidence of a consort, in German named Zisa: Tacitus mentions one Germanic tribe who worshipped "Isis", and Jacob Grimm pointed to Cisa/Zisa, the patroness of Augsburg, in this connection. The name Zisa could be derived from Ziu etymologically.

North Germanic Tyr

Tyr sacrifices his arm to Fenrir in a 1911 illustration by John Bauer.According to the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, at one stage the gods decided to shackle the Fenris wolf (Fenrir), but the beast broke every chain they put upon him. Eventually they had the dwarves make them a magical ribbon called Gleipnir. It appeared to be only a silken ribbon but was made of six wondrous ingredients: the sound of a cat's footfall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain, bear's sinews (meaning nerves, sensibility), fish's breath and bird's spittle. The creation of Gleipnir is said to be the reason why none of the above exist.[5] Fenrir sensed the gods' deceit and refused to be bound with it unless one of them put his hand in the wolf's mouth.

Tyr, known for his great wisdom and courage, agreed, and the other gods bound the wolf. After Fenrir had been bound by the gods, he struggled to try and break the rope. When the gods saw that Fenrir was bound they all rejoiced, except Tyr, who had his right hand bitten off by the wolf. Fenrir will remain bound until the day of Ragnarök. As a result of this deed, Tyr is called the "Leavings of the Wolf"; which is to be understood as a poetic kenning for glory.

According to the Prose version of Ragnarok, Tyr is destined to kill and be killed by Garm, the guard dog of Hel. However, in the two poetic versions of Ragnarok, he goes unmentioned; unless one believes that he is the "Mighty One".

In Lokasenna, Tyr is taunted with cuckoldry by Loki, maybe another hint that he had a consort or wife at one time.

In the Hymskvidha, Tyr's father is named as the etin Hymir – the term "Hymir's kin" was used a kenning for etinkind – while his mother goes unnamed, but is otherwise described in terms that befit a goddess. This myth also pairs Tyr with Thor, and draws a comparison between their strength via the lifting of Hymir's cauldron. Thor proves the stronger, but other than Thor's own son, Magni, Tyr is the only deity whose strength is ever questioned in comparison to the Thunderer's.

Tiwaz rune

The Tiwaz the T rune is associated with Tyr.
and was identified with this god; the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is Tîwaz. The rune is sometimes also referred to as Teiwaz, or spelling variants.

The rune was also compared with Mars as in the Icelandic rune poem:

Týr er einhendr áss
ok ulfs leifar
ok hofa hilmir.
Mars tiggi.
Tyr is a one-handed god,
and leavings of the wolf
and prince of temples.

Lexical traces
Tyr/Tiw had become relatively unimportant compared to Odin/Woden in both North and West Germanic, and specifically in the sphere of organized warfare. Traces of the god remain, however, in Tuesday (Old English tíwesdæg "Tiw's day"; Old Frisian tîesdei, Old High German zîestag, Alemannic and Swabian dialect in south west Germany (today) Zieschdig/Zeischdig, Old Norse týsdagr), named after Tyr in both the North and the West Germanic languages (corresponding to Martis dies, dedicated to the Roman god of war and the father-god of Rome, Mars) and also in the names of some plants: Old Norse Týsfiola (after the Latin Viola Martis), Týrhialm (Aconitum, one of the most poisonous plants in Europe whose helmet-like shape might suggest a warlike connection) and Týviðr, "Tý's wood", Tiveden may also be named after Tyr, or reflecting Tyr as a generic word for "god" (i.e., the forest of the gods). In Norway the parish and municipality of Tysnes are named after the god.


Týr, depicted here with both hands intact, before the encounter with Fenrir is identified with Mars in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript.
The altar dedicated to Mars Thingsus, erected in the 3rd century in Housesteads, Northumberland.Dewsbury, England - possibly Tiw's Burg
Tuesley, England - Tiw's Clearing
Tisvilde, Sjælland, Denmark - Tyr's Spring.
Lake Tissø, near Gørlev, Sjælland, Denmark - Tyr's Lake.
Thisted, Jutland, Denmark - Tyr's Stead.
Tyrsted, Jutland, Denmark - Another form of Tyr's Stead.
Tyrseng ("Tyr's Meadow"), Viby, Jutland, Denmark. Once a stretch of meadow near a stream called Dødeå ("Stream of the Dead" or "Dead Stream"), where ballgame courts now exist. Viby contained another theonym; Onsholt ("Odin's Holt") and religious practices associated with Odin and Tyr may have occurred in these places. A spring dedicated to Holy Neils that was likely a Christianization of prior indigenous pagan practice also exists in Viby and the city itself may mean "the settlement by the sacred site". Traces of sacrifices going back 2,500 years have been found in Viby.[6]
Tiveden, Sweden - Tyr's Woods
Tysnes, Norway - Tyr's Headland
[edit] Personal names
A number of Icelandic male names are derived from Týr. Apart from Týr itself: Angantýr, Bryntýr, Hjálmtýr, Hrafntýr, Sigtýr, Valtýr and Vigtýr. When Týr is used in this way, joined to another name, it takes on a more general meaning of "a god" instead of referring to the god Týr.

For example, the meaning of a name such as Hrafntýr (hrafn means raven) is raven-god, god of the ravens. This would be a reference to Odin, who is the god of the ravens. Another case would be Valtýr, which means god of the slain, which is also a reference to Odin. In Visigothic Spain the Germanic name "Gudesteo/Godesteo" or "Gustios" that remained common during the Middle Ages, seems to have an etymology in the words Goth or Gud/god and the "Thew" root, as it's in many other Germanic names.The Visigoth tribal division of Tervingi has their name probably based on this divinity.

1.^ Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: Tyr
2.^ Grimm, Teutonic Mythology
3.^ Peter Buchholz, Perspectives for Historical Research in Germanic Religion, History of Religions, vol. 8, no. 2 (1968), 127.
4.^ Vercovicium, the Roman fort and settlement at Housesteads
5.^ Snorri Sturluson. The Prose Edda
6.^ Damm, Annette. Editor. (2005) Viking Aros, pages 42-45. Moesgård Museum ISBN 87-87334-63-1

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Comment by David Carron on March 4, 2013 at 12:20pm

The East Coast Thing is an Asatru community-building event in the Poconos of Pennsylvania in Raymondskill.  It was established in 1999 and is a family-friendly place where Asatruar gather in frith to honor the Aesir and Vanir, exchange ideas in classes and workshops and renew the bonds between kindreds and individuals.  All kids to date gone free via community fund.  While the event is open to all individuals, the focus is on Asatru and the Northeast Asatru community.  Going on from August 21-25th 2013.  Details at

Comment by Tylor Mclaughlin on September 19, 2012 at 9:52pm

Just joined so I thought Id pop in and say hi

Comment by Asadrew Gothi on December 28, 2010 at 1:09pm


I just heard Vincent's Podcast. So I'm following him around and meeting his friends, since I'm new here. HA!

Comment by Vincent Enlund on September 20, 2010 at 2:54pm
Just joined the group and I thought I would say Hello.


Comment by Lady Isreya Brising on October 8, 2009 at 4:27pm
hi all, i dont speak much bet eh im here.... *grins*
Comment by AD(arch-druid) Stephen W. Abbott on September 10, 2009 at 7:46pm
Hi! Everyone. I'm back after such a long time. The group looks great. I have a lot of catch up to do. I have been ill a long time. I have had major computer problems.These issues are in the past for now. I hope you all will join my group page and our 40 groups that Abbott'sinn International has on this network. I plan to be posting here soon. Take Care and Blessed Be to you all. AD(arch-druid) Stephen. Peace! Peace! Peace!
Comment by David Carron on August 20, 2009 at 10:45pm
I just Blogged about our Raven Kindred North Tyr Blot, if folks are interested.
Comment by David Carron on June 6, 2009 at 9:51pm
Folks may wish to hit up Ravencast for my interview about Tyr. (just uploaded today.)
Comment by David Carron on March 3, 2009 at 8:50pm
My bad - Thyle

Stolen From Wikipedia

A Thyle, (OE Þyle, ON Þulr) was a position of the court associated with Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon royalty and chieftains in the Early Middle Ages. Most literary references are found in Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon literature like the Hávamál and Beowulf. It also appears on the Snoldelev Stone.

The Old English term is glossed as Latin histrio "orator" and curra "jester"; þylcræft means "elocution". Zoega's Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic defines Þulr as "wise-man, sage," cognate to Old Norse þula (verb) "to speak" and ''þula (noun) "list in poetic form". The Rundata project translates Þulr as "reciter". From this it appears that the office of thyle was connected to the keeping and reproducing of orally transmitted lore.

The thyle may further have served the function of challenging those who would make unwise boasts or oaths and possibly hurt the luck of the community, and consequentially the reputation of the king: Unferth holds the role of thyle in the poem Beowulf, so that his questioning of Beowulf's statements may have been part of his office, rather than motivated by petty antagonism.

Some modern scholars view the role of the thyle as being usurped by monks after Christianization, and being reduced to the modern caricature of the court jester (hence the Latin gloss of curra).

Modern adherents of the reconstructionist religion Theodism have instituted the role of thyle in their organizations.


* Norman E. Eliason (1963). "The Þyle and Scop in Beowulf". Speculum 38 (2): 267–284. doi:10.2307/2852453.
* The Office of Þyle - essay by Eric Wodening
* Oaths:What They Mean and Why They Matter - essay by Winifred Hodge
Comment by David Carron on March 2, 2009 at 8:20pm
The laws in the form of the Gragas are quite dense and quite a tough read to penetrate.

IMHO the more practical subject than historical law for kindreds is maintaining a someone to challenge oaths - a thule position.

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