Many of the Viking gods are well known around the world even in modern times. Odin, Tyr, Freya, all of these legendary characters are a part of our cultural lexicon. Even people who know relatively little about Norse mythology are aware that Odin carries a spear and is missing an eye. And who could forget Thor? Owing to one of the best PR campaigns in godly history (courtesy of Marvel comics), few people on earth would not recognize Thor, god of thunder, with his mystical hammer Mjolnir and his mighty strength in battle… even if you mostly recognize the comic book version.
However, there are many lesser-known gods from the Norse age. Some of these still make their way into fiction in one form or another, though their stories may be drastically changed as a result. Others are even more obscure, yet their impact on Norse history can’t be denied – such as the god Forseti, called the law giver, and who you probably have never heard of. Despite his modest position in Norse mythology, though, he may be one of the most impactful gods of all.
Study history long enough and you will notice an interesting feature common in almost every culture – the law comes from above. Human beings are created or emerge or otherwise find themselves to exist on planet earth, and at some point some god somewhere tells us how we ought to be living our lives. Setting aside the truth or fiction of these accounts, it is curious how every culture seems to come up with the same idea – that of establishing rules for all of us to follow based on some divine mandate. It’s almost as though we feel that the idea of Justice or fairness is so important to our identity as a species that we are compelled to create fictions to justify their importance. For the Norse people, these laws came from Forseti.
Forseti appears in few places in the major writings of Norse history. He is first described in the Grímnismál, a section of the Poetic Edda, and in this he is described as living in the great hall Glitnir, from which he settles disputes in accordance with a law of justice and fairness. In other epic tales Forseti appears with a great golden axe, in one case to 12 Viking leaders who had been a drift on the ocean without oars or food. These Vikings prayed for guidance and Forseti appeared; bearing a gleaming axe, he paddled their boat to shore, split the land open to create a spring of fresh water, and taught them the Code of Law as well as the means of dispensing justice in society. In modern times, pagans considered Forseti to be a god of negotiation and
debate, a just arbiter from an age of vendettas and vengeance who chooses to lead people to peaceful reconciliation.
This axe is named in the spirit of this god of justice and reconciliation. The Lawgiver is a bearded Viking axe with incredible handling. Unlike the hulking, brutish axes of fantasy and fiction the Lawgiver is a nimble weapon that comes alive in the hand, able to be swung at length with one or both hands with equal deftness. The hardwood handle is wrapped in leather and treated to resist the elements, and compliments the darkened steel of the head. The head itself has a inlaid Viking knotwork design, the intricate swirls depicting the same dragon that would grace the prow of Viking longships. To add to the Lawgiver’s versatility, the back of the head is a broad, flat face suitable for use as a hammer should the need arise. We hope you will find a place for the Lawgiver in your collection!
Axe Head Material: 1095 Steel
Handle Material: Ash Wood
Total Length : 35”
Axe head 7.5″ x 5 3/4″
Axe material: High Carbon steel
weight: 3.2 lbs