Difference between celtic and norse?

Discussion in 'Norse Mythology' started by Insights, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Insights

    Insights New Member

    What is the difference between Norse and Celtic mythology? Are they almost the same or completely different? I'm getting confused reading about different gods and warriors in some articles I found.
  2. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    I've been getting confused with that as well; I'd always thought that they were the same. Perhaps they are similar in the way that Greek and Roman myth are similar. Roman mythology came from Greece, courtesy of Io I believe. The gods and stories are mostly the same, just given different names. Like in greek myth Zeus became king of the gods after dethroning his father Cronus and in Roman myth it is Jupiter who fought and won against his father Saturn. In Greek myth Hades, the ruler of the underworld kidnapped his bride Persephone and in Roman myth, Pluto, ruler of the underworld, kidnapped Proserpina. The stories are the same and the characters are mostly the same, but they are all given different names.
  3. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member

    They are way, way, WAY different.
    They each have their own gods and stories.
    They are more different from each other than Roman and Greek myths are to each other. (BTW, there are Roman myths that are different from Greek
    myths; it is not always the same gods with different names).
    Norse myths have a pantheon of gods and stories that have been recorded in two important Icelandic manuscripts: the two Eddas.
    In it there are stories about Thor, Odin, Frey, Freya, Loki and others.
    There are also heroes such as Sigurd and Helgi.
    The gods live in the sky in a realm called Asgard.
    It is generally held that the Norse myths are part of a larger family of myths called Germanic mythology.
    The Celts have a much longer history than the germanic tribes, and their mythology is different not only in its characters, but
    in the flavor of the stories.
    The gods are more vague and there has been a lot of Christian influence in the writings that are left to us.
    The bulk of the manuscripts come from Ireland; they include the Book of the Dun Cow, the Book of Leinster
    and others.
    The gods did not live in the heavens, but here on earth, before the arrival of mankind.
    They include such characters as Lugh of the long hand, Nuada of the silver hand,
    The Morrigan (war goddess), and the Dagda (good god).
    Heroes include Cuchulainn and Finn MacCumhall.
    It is too complicated to go any further, this is just a taste.
    As long as you do not confuse the two, you guys almost gave me a heart attack!:eek:
    Myrddin and Nadai like this.
  4. Right. Norse mythology is similar to Teutonic mythology in the same sense that Greek and Roman myths are similar. Not too familiar with Teutonic lore, but I believe my statement is generally correct.
  5. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    ;)Sorry for the distress we caused!
    :p
    :D
    :)Thanks for the lesson
    LegendofJoe likes this.
  6. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    You're not alone.
  7. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member

    Okay, I think I've recovered a bit.:D
    There are some great books on both Celtic and Norse myths that may dispel some confusion.
    Two classics are Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race by T. W. Rolleston
    and Myths and Legends of the Norsemen by H. A. Guerber.
    Some of what they say may be out of date, but they are very heavy on story and less on complicated analysis and facts.
    They are wide in scope and act as fun introductions.
    Nadai likes this.
  8. Insights

    Insights New Member

    I don't understand why we almost gave you a heart attack? (LOL!) It was just a question that you explained quite well. Oh well, I'm glad you recovered! I'm going to look into the books here, they sound like very good reads.
    LegendofJoe and Nadai like this.
  9. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member

    I hope you find the books, they are both still in print.
    A very recent book is Myths and Legends of the Celts by MacKillop. Very comprehensive.
  10. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member


    Sorry, I scare easily.
    It is like that time i purchased a rune pendant. The salesperson told me it was Celtic.
    Celtic?! It is Germanic I responded. The Celts gave us the Ogham script, not the Runes!
    Oh the horror!
    Me and my pedantry! Not that i am above making mistakes as well.:rolleyes:
  11. karu_ai

    karu_ai New Member

    Oh my education is concentrated in mythological creatures no one culture in specific but defiantly, but i know plenty sense to know about the creatures one has to study about the myths and the combination of lore between countries

    i did like the books you suggested some of the read them before joining to make sure you weren't incorrect and as far as Runes is not just Germanic is also Saxon.
    and to add to the original conversation Cetic folk lore is and mythology is responsible for most of the current mythological creatures of the western culture while Celtic is responsible for most of european (more like a mix of both) european mythological creatures even some that transcend Europe.
    England, Scotland, & Ireland shared the same mythology and culture (ruling) for so long that that they weved into the country they invaded.

    p.s. i wanted to suggest a book as well sense you were interested in runes is not about divination and the title is not good but aside from that the mythology is defiantly solid the title is Anglo-Saxon Mythology, Migration & Magic the writer Tony Linsell studied Saxon mythology for years before publishing and the illustration are amazing
  12. The Misfit

    The Misfit New Member

    This is pretty well explained, but I'll add my two cents. The Celts and the Norse are both Indo-European peoples, but that's where the connection ends. The Indo-Europeans originated in central Asia, most migrated west into Europe, some migrated south into the Indian subcontinent. The Celts migrated earlier than the Germanic peoples (Norse being a subset of Germanic). After the Germanic people came the Slavic people and so on. They're all Indo-European, but you will find that the Norse have much more in common with the Teutons, Anglos, Saxons, Goths, Etc. than with the Celts (Irish, Scottish, Welch, Etc.).

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