In Sweden tiny little Guldgubber and Guldkoner are again being found in the Earth, thought to have been created from gold Roman coins, it is
interesting to look at these, and also to consider what they represented and their importance;
Västra Vång in Blekinge is now a sleepy rural community on Sweden’s southern Baltic coast. It has never been mentioned in ancient or medieval
writings. So why are gold figurines and bronze busts turning up there?
No less than 29 guldgubbar have been found beneath the turf. The term means “little old man of gold”, and is also found in Norway and Denmark.
These are thin pieces of hammered gold, fashioned as clothed men or women.
The figurines date back to the 6th century AD and were made for a few centuries. They are made of very thinly beaten gold and only a centimetre or two
in height. But their significance towers over their size, according to the Swedish archaeologists.
“The discovery of gold from this period shows that people in the area served as soldiers in the Roman Army,” says Björn Nilsson, of Södertörn
University College in a press release.
“Up here in the Nordic countries the gold coins that had been paid to the soldiers were melted down and formed into guldgubbar and guldkoner [gold
There has so far been found some 3,000 of the little golden man and the little golden women, this suggests they were very popular!
The word gullgubbe means "little old man of gold" and is taken from a report published in 1791 by Nils Henrik Sjöborg, in which he said that
villagers in Ravlunda, Scania who found them in the dunes called them guldgubbar
Approximately 3,000 gullgubber have been found, from approximately 30 sites in Norway, Sweden, and the greatest number in Denmark. No fewer than 2,350
were found at the settlement of Sorte Muld on the Danish island of Bornholm, while over 100 were found at Lundeborg, near Gudme on the Danish island
of Funen, and 122 at Uppåkra
They date to the late Iron Age, from the end of the Migration Age to the early Viking Age, particularly what is referred to in Norway as the
Merovingian era, in Sweden as the Vendel era, from 550 to about 800
The figures do relate to sacred marriage, within all aspects of nature as Freyr was the God of such;
Many of the gullgubber that have been found in Norway and Sweden depict a man and a woman facing each other, sometimes embracing, sometimes with a
branch or a tree visible between them. Sometimes the figures' knees are bent and they may be dancing. They are almost always clothed, with the clothes
generally depicted carefully and more formal than casual
A common interpretation of the motif of the man and woman on the gullgubber is that it symbolises the sacred marriage between the Vanir-god Freyr and
the jötunn Gerðr
Some have interpreted the tree branch as a reference to the grove, Barri, where Gerðr agrees to meet Freyr; others have noted its resemblance to the
Garden Angelica, a plant associated with fertility. From historical sources, for example, we know that the Yngling line traced its ancestry to
Fjölnir, son of Gerðr and Freyr.
Geror as a Goddess of the Earth and also boundaries took considerable persuasion and coercion to marry Freyr, as might be expected, it was her nature,
their union giving rise to the Yngling Dynasty and bloodline.
In many ways Freyr represented that gold found in the realm of nature, the association of the golden grain and the Sun, whilst Geror that gold which
is found from within the Earth, and their union is the unification thus of gold in both the material and spiritual sense.
In Heimskringla, Gerðr is recorded as the wife of Freyr, euhemerized as having been a beloved king of Sweden. In the same source, the couple are
the founders of the Yngling dynasty and produced a son, Fjölnir, who rose to kinghood after Freyr's passing and continued their line. Gerðr is
commonly theorized to be a goddess associated with the earth.
The god Freyr sat on the high seat Hlidskjalf and looked into all worlds. Freyr saw a beautiful girl walking from the hall of her father to a
storehouse. Freyr became heartsick for the girl. Freyr has a page named Skírnir. Freyr tells Skírnir that he has seen a wonderous girl with shining
arms at the home of (her father) Gymir, yet that the gods and elves do not wish for the two to be together...
The nature of the Jotunn is of the strange variety;
Jǫtunn (Proto-Germanic *etunaz) might have the same root as "eat" (Proto-Germanic *etan) and accordingly had the original meaning of "glutton" or
"man-eater", probably due to their enormous diet because of their size. Following the same logic, þurs might be derivative of "thirst" or
"blood-thirst." Risi is probably akin to "rise," and so means "towering person"
The Jötunn are an ancient race, being the first beings created, they carry wisdom from bygone times Although some jötnar are said to have been of
considerable size, many were of no difference in size than that of the Æsir or Vanir
Scholar John Lindow comments that Gerðr's name has been etymologically associated with the earth and enclosures and that the wedding of Gerðr and
Freyr is commonly seen as "the divine coupling of sky and earth or at least fertility god and representative of the soil." Lindow adds that, at the
same time, the situation can be read as simply the gods getting what they want from the jötnar
Hilda Ellis Davidson comments that Gerðr's role in Skírnismál has parallels with the goddess Persephone from Greek mythology, "since it is made
clear that if [Gerðr] remains below in the dark kingdom of the underworld there will be nothing to hope for but sterility and famine. She does not
become the bride of the underworld, however; her bridal is to be in the upper world when she consents to meet Freyr at Barri
Yes they seem to have liked placing them in the Earth as this bestowed blessings upon the land, in the sense of uniting the principle of the gold of
the inner Earth and the Celestial glory, not neccesarily a good idea to dig them all up...
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