A most raucous party in book 3, chapter 7 of Olaus Magnus's Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (1555). Wikimedia Commons.

about

Mimisbrunnr.info is a unique, internet-based project focused on the field of Ancient Germanic Studies, the academic study of the ancient Germanic language-speaking peoples. Mimisbrunnr.info aims to provide a variety of useful resources and tools for academics, creatives, and other interested parties: for example, the site hosts an ever-expanding database of interviews with academics to artists and everything in between, and features other unique items, such as intermittent columns and sporadic news reports relevant to the field.

Mimisbrunnr.info is operated and maintained by Joseph S. Hopkins and features regular contributions and columns by J. H. Roberts and Ross Downing. Other contributors include Lauren E. Fountain, Thomas Nielsen, and Arjuna Thomassen.

While Mimisbrunnr.info developed out of an academic society at the University of Georgia (see History section below), the project is not directly associated with any educational institution, nor is it affiliated with any political or religious group. Mimisbrunnr.info is self-funded, ad-free, and independent.

Mimisbrunnr.info's core goal is strictly academic in nature: all project members hold degrees related to the field of Ancient Germanic Studies.

Have any questions or information you'd like to share? Contact Mimisbrunnr.info here.
 

history

Mimisbrunnr.info developed out of Ár Var Alda: The Ancient Germanic Studies Society at the University of Georgia (ÁVA), an academic student group which met monthly on and around the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia (U.S.A.).

These meetings often opened with discussion about current events and developments in Ancient Germanic Studies. Over time, it became clear that a news service focused on the topic would be necessary to keep up with the many developments occurring in the field.

ÁVA ended its five year run in 2014 and Mimisbrunnr.info was founded in January 2015 by Joseph S. Hopkins.

This site was partially inspired by Chris Abram's (now defunct) Old Norse News blog, an academic resource active between July 2008 and December 2011.

Various images around the site derive from Olaus Magnus's 1555 century ethnographic work Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus by way of Wikimedia Commons.
 

NAME

The name of this website derives from Mímisbrunnr, an Old Norse proper noun meaning 'Mímir's Well'. Mímisbrunnr is a spring repeatedly mentioned in the body of narratives that make up what we know today as Norse mythology.

These texts present Mímir, the spring's namesake, as a somewhat enigmatic and even shadowy entity, strongly associated with wisdom and intelligence. The name Mímir may be interpreted as something along the lines of 'he who remembers, wise one'.

In turn, Mímisbrunnr, Mimi's Well, is associated with knowledge and wisdom. It feeds a major root of the tree Yggdrassill, an immense, cosmological ash that is central to all things.

According to the seeress in the poem Vǫluspá, the long-bearded, wisdom-seeking god Odin (Old Norse Óðinn) placed one of his eyes in Mímisbrunnr.

The poem doesn't explicitly say why. However, Gylfaginning, a section of the Old Norse Prose Edda, quotes Vǫluspá and clarifies (or interprets) that Odin, ever seeking knowledge, placed his eye in the well in exchange for a drink from its waters.

While we won't be sacrificing our eyes any time soon, Mímisbrunnr operates with a similar guiding principle: seek knowledge and provide it.