Enda80 wrote:Interesting question. Well, the earliest references to Thor, Baldur, Woden, etc. occur in the Conan stories, which the Handbook reaffirm as part of Earth-616's history. Also, the Council of Sky-Fathers entry acknowledges that these references were to previous incarnations of the Asgardians. The people of Nordheim, Cimmeria's neighbors to the north, worshipped and invoked these deities, and they also worshipped Ymir and his supposed first-born, his daugther Atali.
You seem to forget about Borri, the Grim Grey God and his Choosers of the Slain (Hyborian-era Valkyries). They turn up orchestrating their own demises and those of their last worshippers in "Conan the Barbarian" #3 ("Even the Gods must die"). Based on interpretation Borri can either be identified with either Búri or Borr, respectively the grandfather and father of Odin.
Enda80 wrote:Conan lived at 10,000 BCE. An issue of Conan the Adventurer noted that when the Atlanteans lived the descendants of the Nordheimr "lived far away", and an article in Savage Sword of Conan speculates that the people of Thule of Kull's time were the ancestors of the Nordheimr. Conan lived around 10,000 BCE.
You mean ancestors of the Nordheimr, contemporary to the Atlanteans. According to the "Hyborian Age" essay by Robert E. Howard the Nordheimr evolved from "apemen" of the Arctic Circle:
*"According to the essay, at the time of this cataclysm a group of primitive humans were at a technological level hardly above the Neanderthal. They fled to the Northern areas of what was left of the Thurian continent to escape the destruction. They discovered the areas to be safe but covered with snow and already inhabited by a race of carnivorous apes. The apes were large with white fur and apparently native to their land. The stone age invaders engaged in a territorial war with them and eventually managed to drive them off, past the Arctic Circle. Believing their enemies fated to perish and no longer interested in them, the recently arrived group adapted to their new, harsh environment and its population started to increase."
*"The only exception to their [early Hyborian tribes] long isolation from other cultural groups came due to the actions of a lone adventurer, unnamed in the essay. He had traveled past the Arctic Circle and returned with news that their old adversaries, the apes were not in fact annihilated. They had instead evolved into apemen and according to his description were by then numerous. He believed they were quickly evolving to human status and would pose a threat to the Hyborians in the future. He attempted to recruit a significant military force to campaign against them. But most Hyborians were not convinced by his tales and at last only a small group of foolhardy youths followed his campaign. None of them returned."
*"Meanwhile the "apemen" of the Arctic Circle emerged as a new race of light-haired and tall humans. They started their own migration to the south, displacing the northernmost of the Hyborian tribes." "At the north of the continent, the fair haired invaders from the Arctic Circle had grown in numbers and power. They continued their expansion south while in turn displacing defeated Hyborians to the south. Even Hyperborea was conquered by one of these barbarian tribes. But the conquerors here decided to maintain the kingdom with its old name, merged with the defeated Hyperboreans and adopted elements of Hyborian culture."
*The Hyborian era ended in a new ice age. "Vanaheim and Asgard were freezing and the Vanir and Aesir tribes started their migrations to the south. Gunderland fell to marching Aesir on their way to the former lands of Aquilonia. The Picts were slaughtered while wave after wave of the Northern invaders marched towards the south and into the Pictish Empire. The Hyrkanians did not fare much better. When the migration waves ceased, the Vanir, Aesir and the Cimmerians were spread from the former areas of Hyperborea to Stygia and from the Western Sea to the areas of old Turan. The Picts retained remnants of their old Empire which included Aquilonia, part of Zingara and most of the western coast of the nameless continent. But only Stygia and Shem still contained cities. In all other areas the cities failed to survive the constant wars and the people had returned to nomadic life."
"The Æsir who dominated Nemedia were called Nemedians, and later figured in Irish history, and the Nordics who settled in Brythunia were known as Brythunians, Brythons or Britons." ... "Another terrific convulsion of the earth, carving out the lands as they are known to moderns, hurled all into chaos again." ... "Great strips of the western coast sank; Vanaheim and western Asgard — uninhabited and glacier-haunted wastes for a hundred years — vanished beneath the waves." ... "In the north the Baltic Sea was formed, cutting Asgard into the peninsulas later known as Norway, Sweden and Denmark". "Whole Nordic tribes were blotted out, and the rest retreated eastward. The territory about the slowly drying inland sea was not affected, and there, on the western shores, the Nordic tribes began a pastoral existence, living in more or less peace with the Cimmerians, and gradually mixing with them."... "They [post cataclusmic remnants of the Picts] were overthrown by the westward drift of the Cimmerians and Nordics. This was so long after the breaking-up of the continent that only meaningless legends told of former empires."
"This drift comes within the reach of modern history and need not be repeated. It resulted from a growing population which thronged the steppes west of the inland sea — which still later, much reduced in size, was known as the Caspian — to such an extent that migration became an economic necessity. The tribes moved southward, northward and westward, into those lands now known as India, Asia Minor and central and western Europe.They came into these countries as Aryans. But there were variations among these primitive Aryans, some of which are still recognized today, others which have long been forgotten.":
*The blond Achaians, Gauls and Britons, for instance, were descendants of pure-blooded Æsir.
*The Nemedians of Irish legendry were the Nemedian Æsir.
*The Danes were descendants of pure-blooded Vanir.
*The Goths — ancestors of the other Scandinavian and Germanic tribes, including the Anglo-Saxons — were descendants of a mixed race whose elements contained Vanir, AEsir and Cimmerian strains.
*The Cymric tribes of Britain were a mixed Nordic-Cimmerian race which preceded the purely Nordic Britons into the isles, and thus gave rise to a legend of Gaelic priority. The Cimbri who fought Rome were of the same blood, as well as the Gimmerai of the Assyrians and Grecians, and Gomer of the Hebrews.
*The Gaels, ancestors of the Irish and Highland Scotch, descended from pure-blooded Cimmerian clans. The original ancestors of the Gaels gave their name to modern Crimea.
*Other clans of the Cimmerians adventured east of the drying inland sea, and a few centuries later mixed with Hyrkanian blood, returned westward as Scythians.
*"From pure-blooded Shemites, or Shemites mixed with Hyborian or Nordic blood, were descended the Arabs, Israelites, and other straighter-featured Semites."
Thus, according to Howard the Marvel Universe would contain numerous descendants of the Nordics, few of them actually worshiping the Asgardians.
Enda80 wrote:Thor's battle with Hercules in Thor Annual#5 presented a problem, as since Hercules was leading Greek soldiers who worshiped the Olympian gods, while the Codex Theodosius had banned the worship of the Olympian gods centuries before 1000 CE, that seemed to indicate this adventure took before the Codex Theodosius was passed around 400 CE. However, Thor I#300 and the Handbook entries for Zeus and perhaps Hercules indicate that these Greek soldiers were actually brought forward into the future by Hercules.
Which seems to forget that historically Olympian worship survived imperial persecution for centuries.
Enda80 wrote:(A man named James Allison once incorrectly believed that the story of Fafnir slaying the dragon was only a "racial memory" of a conflict that he had had in his past life as Niord Worm's Bane.)
If I remember correctly the same story also considers Perseus a racial memory of Niord. However several descendants of Perseus from Greek mythology have appeared in the Marvel Universe, most prominently Hercules.