Old Norse: Týr Pronunciation: Teer
Anglo-Saxon: Tue / Tiw Continental Saxon: Seaxnet Old High German: Ziu
Gothic: Tyz Old Scandinavian: Ti, Ty Proto-Germanic: TIWAZ
Tuesday is named after him (Tue’s day). Deutschland (Germany) is also named after him (Tue’s Land).
Tyr (generic word meaning “God”) is the God of oaths, justice, law, courage, and warfare in Germanic Mythology, portrayed as a one handed man. He is a son of the giant Hymir, and the husband to Zisa.
He is renown for his great wisdom, is unrivalled in his sense of duty and nerve, and it is said; “Tyr will help you if – and only if – your cause is just”.
Tyr is most often equated with Mars in Latin chronicles. Many ancient Germanic tribes sacrificed to him (and Zisa, his wife) for victory in battle, yielding the first spoils, captives, and the weaponry taken in the conflict. In keeping with his patronage over justice and legal affairs, we find his hand in the settings of the AlThing (the judgment-assembly of the Germanic peoples) which included ordeals and trial-by-combat as a measure of inducing Tyr to shown his judgment.
Tyr’s justice, however, is not that of calm Solomonic legislation, but that of the often lively wrangling of the Germanic legal process, which was effectively a battle sublimated into a form where the process of working out the problem could help, rather than harm, the community.
Entomologically his name is derived from the Indo-European generic root word for God (DIU) that is also found in the Greek Zeus. He was the “Sky-Father” and the original chief god. who was later overtaken in authority and power by Odin, when Odin discovered the Runes.
He was known for his courage: at one stage the gods decided to shackle the giant wolf Fenrir, but the beast broke every chain they put upon him. Eventually they had the dwarfs make them a magical ribbon Gleipnir (“fooler”) But Fenrir sensed the gods’ deceit and refused to be bound with it unless one of them put his hand in the wolf’s mouth. None, save Tyr had the courage for such unflinching self sacrifice to bind the Wolf of Chaos and stave off the end of the world until the day of Ragnarok.
His symbol is the sword.
During Ragnarok, Tyr is destined to kill and be killed by Garm, the guard dog of Helheim.
Other names:
Tyr/Tiwaz/Ziu – God
Saxnot – Sword god
Er/Heru/Cheru – Warrior
Bardagityr – Battle god