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Tyr

Tyr

In Norse* mythology, Tyr was worshiped as a god of war, justice, and order. One of his roles was to guarantee that contracts and oaths were not broken.

Although Tyr appears in very few legends, the best-known story about him involves the fierce wolf Fenrir that no chain could hold. The supreme god Odin ordered the dwarfs to make a magical ribbon so strong that Fenrir could not break it. Fenrir was suspicious when the gods wanted to tie the ribbon around him. But he allowed himself to be bound after brave Tyr put his hand in the wolf's mouth. However, when Fenrir realized that he had been tricked, he bit off Tyr's hand.

Early Germanic peoples associated Tyr with Mars, the Roman god of war. The third day of the week, known as dies Martis (Mars' Day) in Latin, became known as Tyrsdagr to the Norse and entered English as Tuesday.

See also Fenrir; Mars; Norse Mythology.

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Tyr

Tyr in Scandinavian mythology, the god of battle, identified with Mars, after whom Tuesday is named; he is one-handed, the other hand having been bitten off by the wolf Fenrir when it was shackled by the gods.

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Tyr

Tyr (Tiw) In Germanic mythology, powerful sky god. He was also associated with war, government, and justice. The word Tuesday derives from Tyr's day.

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Tyr

Tyr: see Tiw.

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Tyr

Tyradhere, Agadir, appear, arrear, auctioneer, austere, balladeer, bandolier, Bashkir, beer, besmear, bier, blear, bombardier, brigadier, buccaneer, cameleer, career, cashier, cavalier, chandelier, charioteer, cheer, chevalier, chiffonier, clavier, clear, Coetzee, cohere, commandeer, conventioneer, Cordelier, corsetière, Crimea, dear, deer, diarrhoea (US diarrhea), domineer, Dorothea, drear, ear, electioneer, emir, endear, engineer, fear, fleer, Freer, fusilier, gadgeteer, Galatea, gazetteer, gear, gondolier, gonorrhoea (US gonorrhea), Greer, grenadier, hear, here, Hosea, idea, interfere, Izmir, jeer, Judaea, Kashmir, Keir, kir, Korea, Lear, leer, Maria, marketeer, Medea, Meir, Melilla, mere, Mia, Mir, mishear, mountaineer, muleteer, musketeer, mutineer, near, orienteer, pamphleteer, panacea, paneer, peer, persevere, pier, Pierre, pioneer, pistoleer, privateer, profiteer, puppeteer, queer, racketeer, ratafia, rear, revere, rhea, rocketeer, Sapir, scrutineer, sear, seer, sere, severe, Shamir, shear, sheer, sincere, smear, sneer, sonneteer, souvenir, spear, sphere, steer, stere, summiteer, Tangier, tear, tier, Trier, Tyr, veer, veneer, Vere, Vermeer, vizier, volunteer, Wear, weir, we're, year, Zaïre

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Tyr

Tyr (or tyr) Biochem. tyrosine

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Tyr

Tyr

Nationality/Culture

Norse

Pronunciation

TEER

Alternate Names

Tiw (Old English), Tiwaz (proto-Germanic)

Appears In

The Eddas

Lineage

Son of Odin

Character Overview

In Norse mythology , Tyr was worshipped as a god of war, justice, and order. One of his roles was to guarantee that contracts and oaths were not broken. Although he appears to have been worshipped earlier than many other Norse gods, he is generally considered to be the son of Odin (pronounced OH-din), the leader of the gods.

Major Myths

Although Tyr appears in very few legends, the best-known story about him involves the fierce wolf Fenrir (pronounced FEN-reer) that no chain could hold. The wolf was so frightening that only Tyr was brave enough to feed him. As Fenrir continued to grow, the gods knew he would have to be restrained somehow. The supreme god Odin ordered the dwarves to make a magical ribbon so strong that Fenrir could not break it. Fenrir was suspicious when the gods wanted to tie the ribbon around him. But he allowed himself to be bound after brave Tyr put his hand in the wolfs mouth, swearing an oath to free him if he could not free himself However, when Fenrir realized that he could not escape, the gods refused to set him free and he realized he had been tricked. The wolf bit off Tyr's hand in anger, but the brave god did not even cry out in pain.

Tyr in Context

The story of Tyr and Fenrir reflects the value and importance of stoicism in Norse culture. Stoicism is the tendency to not display emotions openly to others; feelings of joy, pain, sadness, or anger would not appear obvious in the expression or behavior of a stoic person. This quality was seen as a positive thing to the Norse, because it reflected bravery and total self-control. The Norse characteristic of “fearlessness in the face of death” may also reflect their belief that a brave death would be rewarded by entrance to Valhalla (pronounced val-HAL-uh), the heavenly hall of Odin.

Key Themes and Symbols

One of the central themes in the myth of Tyr is sacrifice. Tyr was the only god willing to place his hand in Fenrir's mouth so the wolf could be tied up. He sacrificed his hand in order to protect the rest of the world from Fenrir's ferocity. Tyr was also associated with victory, and warriors engraved a symbol associated with Tyr known as a t-rune on their weapons to ensure victory in battle.

Tyr in Art, Literature, and Everyday Life

Early Germanic peoples associated Tyr with Mars, the Roman god of war. The third day of the week, known as dies Martis (Mars's Day) in Latin, became known as Tyrsdagr to the Norse and entered English as Tuesday. In modern times, Tyr has not enjoyed the same level of popularity as other Norse gods like Odin or Thor. However, both DC Comics and Marvel Comics have featured characters based on Tyr—the former was a villain, while the latter more closely resembled the Tyr of Norse myth.

Read, Write, Think, Discuss

When Tyr sacrifices his hand in order for the gods to secure Fenrir, he does not cry out in pain. For the Norse, such stoicism was considered to be a sign of strength and bravery. Do you think stoicism is still considered a value in contemporary societies? Give examples to support your opinion.

SEE ALSO Fenrir; Norse Mythology

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