Norse mythology units out the pre-Christian beliefs and legends of the people of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. The myths had been handed on solely by way of oral transmission by way of the Viking age.
The most detailed written file of this mythology was supplied by the Edda, a medieval Icelandic literary work that lists and describes the normal tales. The Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson, dates to the early thirteenth century. The Poetic Edda was written half a century later by an nameless creator.
The Beginning and the End
At ﬁrst, there was solely vacancy, ice, and ﬁre. The warmth of the ﬁre melted a number of the ice into two primal ﬁgures, Ymir the enormous and Audhumla the cow. As Audhumla fed Ymir along with her milk, the ﬁrst frost giants emerged from his physique. Audhumla ate up the ice, and her licking shaped the ﬁrst of the Aesir, who had been the principle Norse deities.
The ﬁrst god was known as Buri. Buri had a son, Bor, and he, in flip, had Odin, Vili, and Ve, who slew Ymir and drowned all however two of the frost giants in a ﬂood of blood. The three gods shaped the earth and sky from Ymir’s physique and used the sparks from the ﬁres to make the Sun, Moon, and stars. They made the ﬁrst two people, Ask (Ash) and Embla (Elm), from two logs.
The finish of the world was known as Ragnarok, or Gotterdammerung, which suggests “the doom of the gods.” This, the ﬁnal battle between good and evil, would lead to the destruction of your complete cosmos. This occasion could be adopted by the creation of a brand new and higher cosmos.
There are 9 realms of creation in Norse mythology. A tenth, the realm of the dokk alfar, the “dark elves,” is usually included within the rely.
Asgard: realm of the Aesir, the warlike supreme race of gods.
Vanaheim: realm of the Vanir, a secondary race of gods.
Alfheim: dwelling of the lios alfar, the sunshine elves.
Hel: realm of the useless.
Jotunheim: realm of the giants.
Midgard: realm of humanity.
Nidavellir: realm of the dwarves.
Niﬂheim: realm of ice.
Muspelheim: realm of ﬁre; dwelling of the ﬁre giants.
Svartalfheim: realm of the dokk alfar, the darkish elves.
These realms are united by the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which has roots that attain down by way of the decrease realms and branches that attain up to the realms of the gods.
The Aesir had been the chief gods in Norse mythology. Their dwelling was known as Asgard. The Aesir aged like mortals however appeared eternally younger and vigorous by consuming the magic apples guarded by Freya, the goddess of magnificence. The Aesir had been to meet their finish at Ragnarok.
Some of the extra necessary Aesir deities are listed under:
Odin: chief of the pantheon.
Frigg: Odin’s spouse and patron of marriage.
Thor: god of thunder.
golden-haired spouse of Thor.
Idun: goddess of immortality.
Balder: the white god.
Tyear: god of conflict.
Loki: trickster god of ﬁre; son of a large and lightning; not really one of many Aesir however often included with them within the Norse sagas.
The Vanir had been a minor race of gods. Among the Vanir had been Frey, god of fertility; Freya, sister of Frey and goddess of magnificence and fertility; and Njord or Niord, god of the ocean and father of Frey and Freya.
The Vanir as soon as battled the Aesir, presumably indicating the supplanting of an older religion by a more recent one. They had been ﬁnally admitted into Asgard, the place the 2 teams of deities coexisted.
Elves, Giants, and Other Beings
The alfar had been the magical elf people, who had been lower than gods however greater than mortals. They are stated to be the kids of the Vanir, presumably of Frey. The alfar are divided into two teams: lios alfar, or mild elves, the honest inhabitants of Alfheim; and dokk alfar, the darkish elves, the dark-hearted inhabitants of Svartalfheim.
The jotun had been the races of giants —ﬁre giants, frost giants, and mountain giants — that lived in Jotunheim. These grasp architects had been stated to be the enemies of the gods, though the 2 teams sometimes labored collectively.
Some of the necessary jotun are: Aegir: king of the ocean. Fafnir: son of the dwarf king who was turned to a dragon due to his lust for gold. Gerd: spouse of the god Frey. Gunlod: jotun who was both seduced by Odin or willingly gave him sips of the mead of poetry. Ivaldi or Vate: grasp smith who designed ﬂying boats and different wonders for the Aesir. Skaoli: spouse of the god Njord. Surtur: king of the ﬁre giants. Thrym: king of the frost giants. Ymir: founding father of the frost giants and the ﬁrst being created at first.
Dwarves had been small, hideous subterranean beings. They had been a crafty race of grasp craftsmen able to creating such wonders as caps of invisibility and magic rings. Individual dwarves usually weren't singled out within the mythology.
Quite a lot of monsters are described within the myths. Fenrir, or Fenris Wolf, was a monstrous wolf sired by Loki who was sure by the god Tyear till the approaching of Ragnarok. The mythology states that on that day Fenrir would break unfastened to slay Odin. The Midgard serpent was an important snake stated to lie within the ocean, encircling the world with its tail in its mouth. On the day of Ragnarok, the Midgard serpent was prophesied to rise from the ocean to be killed by Thor, who would, in flip, die from the serpent’s venom.
The Valkyearies had been the warrior daughters of Odin. These sisters went to the battleﬁelds after battle and selected the slain who had been worthy of going to Valhalla, the good corridor at Asgard.
A volva was a feminine prophet, priestess, or shaman. The volva practiced seidr, which may imply both “sorcery” or “shamanism,” and had been held in excessive regard. The chief god, Odin, consulted a volva to be taught the future of the gods. The volva could have been precise historic ﬁgures in pre-Christian instances.