Norse Mythology A to Z Owl s Wisdom Press

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Third Edition,MYTHOLOGY A TO Z,African Mythology A to Z. Celtic Mythology A to Z,Chinese Mythology A to Z,Egyptian Mythology A to Z. Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z,Japanese Mythology A to Z. Native American Mythology A to Z,Norse Mythology A to Z. South and Meso American Mythology A to Z,MYTHOLOGY A TO Z.
Third Edition,Kathleen N Daly,Revised by Marian Rengel. Norse Mythology A to Z Third Edition,Copyright 2010 2004 1991 by Kathleen N Daly. All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means. electronic or mechanical including photocopying recording or by any information storage or. retrieval systems without permission in writing from the publisher For information contact. Chelsea House,An imprint of Infobase Publishing,132 West 31st Street. New York NY 10001, Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. Daly Kathleen N, Norse mythology A to Z Kathleen N Daly revised by Marian Rengel 3rd ed.
Includes bibliographical references and index, ISBN 978 1 60413 411 7 hc alk paper ISBN 978 1 4381 2801 6 e book. 1 Mythology Norse Dictionaries Juvenile I Rengel Marian II Title. BL850 D34 2009,293 1303 dc22 2009013338, Chelsea House books are available at special discounts when purchased. in bulk quantities for businesses associations institutions or sales promotions. Please call our Special Sales Department in New York at 212 967 8800 or 800 322 8755. You can find Chelsea House on the World Wide Web at http www chelseahouse com. Text design by Lina Farinella,Composition by Mary Susan Ryan Flynn. Map by Patricia Meschino,Cover printed by Bang Printing Brainerd MN. Book printed and bound by Bang Printing Brainerd MN. Date printed November 2009,Printed in the United States of America.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, This book is printed on acid free paper and contains 30 percent postconsumer recycled content. Introduction vii,Map of Scandinavia xii,A to Z Entries 1. Selected Bibliography 121,Introduction,WHAT IS A MYTH. Myths are as ancient as humankind and have their origin in the efforts of primitive. people to explain the mysteries of the world around them thunder and lightning. floods and fire rain and drought earthquakes and volcanic eruptions night and. day the Sun Moon and stars the seasons the existence of plants and animals man. and woman and birth and death Myths fulfill a need in people to believe in some. higher being or beings who have power over the daily lives and fate of humankind. Many of the world s myth systems include a sky god or father of all and an Earth. Mother In many cases including that of the Norse people believed in a set of. attendant gods and goddesses as well as villains such as demons dragons and. other monsters giants and dwarfs and supernatural forces. Myths help people structure their lives Myths reflect their codes of behavior. their cultural customs and rites and their ways of worship Myths are basically. stories of the struggle between good and evil between order and chaos They. predict the eventual breakdown of order but also regeneration. Ancient myths about the creation of the universe and the living creatures on. Earth were passed orally from one generation to another from family to family. and from one community to another As people moved from one part of a conti. nent to another they adapted their stories to the changing landscape or climate. Stories that may have originated in India the Middle East or the south of Europe. changed dramatically when people told them in the harsh icy lands of the north. where summers were short and winters long and harsh. Finally myths are part of a moral and ethical often spiritual belief system. Many historians of myths and scholars of human social development see myths as. part of a religious belief system and an attempt to explain human existence. WHO WERE THE NORSE, The Norse people of the north are known today as the Scandinavians. the people of Norway Sweden Denmark Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Mistakenly Norsemen are often thought of only as the fierce warriors of the. Viking Age a d 750 1070 however Norse culture originated long before the. dramatic explorations of the Vikings It probably started to take root during. the Bronze Age 1600 450 b c No written sources describe early Norse culture. but surviving works in metal and stone depict gods and goddesses and provide. glimpses of ancient myths and rituals The Norse were superb shipbuilders and. navigators intrepid explorers and people with a strong sense of family and clan. loyalty They also loved a good story a quick wit and fine craftsmanship which we. viii Norse Mythology A to Z, can see in the ancient carvings weaponry and utensils that have been discovered in.
a variety of archaeological sites across Scandinavia The mythology of these strong. lively people was rich vigorous and clever, Norse mythology originated in Asia according to experts It was modified in. the European Mediterranean lands and eventually was carried north and west by. migrating Germanic tribes in the third to sixth centuries a d during the breakup. of the Roman Empire a time known as the Migration Period The roaming tribes. included Angles and Saxons Goths Visigoths and Ostrogoths Alemanni Vandals. Franks and others As the migrating tribes settled the stories they brought with. them began to change with the local geography climate and temperament of the. people Later during the Viking Age the Norse began to explore and populate. countries from the British Isles and the rest of Europe to Iceland North America. the Near East Byzantium and Russia settling in the lands they conquered and. taking with them too their myths and their culture. The Norse myths were not written down however until the 13th century by. which time Christianity was established in northern Europe and had displaced. paganism that is the worship and the myths of the ancient gods Thus much of the. ancient lore is lost to modern audiences What remains is fragmented incomplete. and often distorted by the pious Christian monks who edited the pagan tales as. they transcribed them onto vellum and parchment for the first time Although the. Norse myths as we know them today are often confusing and contradictory they. still present us with wonderful tales about these northern people The more you. learn of them the less confusing they become, The flat rock of Vitlycke in Sweden depicts a large ship some smaller boats and a man with long arms. Photo by Fred J Used under a Creative Commons license. Introduction ix,THE SOURCES OF THE NORSE MYTHS,The main sources of the Norse myths are. poetry of the early skalds poets transmitted orally until the 13th century. Poetic Edda a collection of poems written by different poets at different times. between the eighth and 13th centuries, Prose Edda a handbook written by the Icelandic poet scholar historian and. clan leader Snorri Sturluson around 1220, Gesta Danorum written by Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus in about 1215.
historical observations by Roman author Tacitus notably in Germania end. of the first century a d the Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan 10th century a d. and the German historian Adam of Bremen 11th century a d. Landnamabok Book of Settlements a history of the settlement of Iceland from. the 13th century a d, the 13th century Icelandic sagas about 700 of them many written by. unknown authors which are a valuable source of information about pre. Christian beliefs and practices kings and bishops Norse exploration and. settlement and legendary heroes such as Sigurd the Volsung. HOW TO USE THIS BOOK, The entries in this book are in alphabetical order and may be looked up as in a. dictionary Alternate spellings are given in parentheses after the entry headword. including spellings using Icelandic letters which are found in the manuscripts but. not found in English Those include,Uppercase Lowercase Pronunciation in English. the th in the,the th in thing,rounded form of ea in earth. Spellings given in small capital letters are variations of the names found. in different original sources Those appearing with standard capitalization are. English translations Within the main text cross references to other entries are. also printed in small capital letters, In case you are not familiar with the Norse myths here is a list of the chief.
characters and the stories in which they are most important. First the gods, Odin The one eyed god the All Father the god of wisdom poetry and. magic of war and death Odin plays a principal role in many of the myths. including those of the creation the Aesir Vanir war The Death of. Balder see Balder and Ragnarok the end of the world. Thor God of thunder son of Odin and Frigg He was the strongest of the. gods of fiery temper but well loved He had a hammer Mjollnir a magic. belt Megingjardir and iron gauntlets and was forever at war with the. Loki A mischievous god Loki is involved in many of the myths Loki often. deceives the gods and creates dangerous situations and then comes to the. rescue of the gods He is admired yet distrusted by them. Norse Mythology A to Z, The Karlevi runestone on the island of land Sweden is commonly dated to the late 10th century The. carving contains a full stanza of skaldic poetry that translators say describes Odin Photo by Peter Ryd n. Used under a Creative Commons license,Introduction xi. Balder Son of Odin and Frigg He was the most beautiful and beloved. of the gods There is only one myth about him but it is one of the best. Njord A Vanir god of the seas and seafarers Njord has two major roles in. the myths as a peace token sent to Asgard the home of the Aesir gods. along with the twin deities Frey and Freya his children and as the husband. of the giantess Skade, Frey A Vanir god sent to Asgard as a peace token along with his twin sister. Freya and his father Njord Frey was a god of fertility peace and plenty. and was much worshipped, Tyr One of the most ancient gods and the most mysterious he was also the.
bravest and most just of the gods when he undertook to put his hand into. the jaws of the terrible wolf fenrir, Heimdall The watchman of the gods who guarded Bilrost the bridge that. connected Asgard the domain of the gods with Midgard the Middle. Earth Heimdall had a trumpet Gjallarhorn with which he would sum. mon the gods to battle at Ragnarok, The goddesses play a lesser role in the surviving Norse myths according to extant. manuscripts but scholars believe they were important to the people who practiced. Norse religion They include, Frigg The wife of Odin Her greatest role is in the myth of Balder her. beloved son whom she tries to protect from death, Freya The goddess of fertility the twin sister of Frey and the daughter of. Njord She is beautiful and has a fatal love of gold She is loved by dwarfs. and giants alike She may have been acquainted with magic and prophecy. but few facts are known about her, Idunn The keeper of the apples of youth she is known only through the.
myth Idunn and the Golden Apples see Idunn, Other females in Norse mythology are the Norns and the Valkyries The Norns. are the three Fates who represent the past the present and the future and who. determine the destiny of all living creatures The Norns are more powerful even. than the gods, The Valkyries are Odin s warrior maidens who select the fallen heroes and carry. them to Odin s hall Valhalla, The forces of evil are represented chiefly by the offspring of Loki Hel queen. of death and the underworld Fenrir the monster wolf and Jormungand the. Midgard Serpent who is so huge that he encircles the Earth and holds his tail in. his mouth Other wolves chase after the Sun and the Moon and numerous Jotuns. try to outwit and outfight the gods,xii Norse Mythology A to Z. Norse myths as we know them today are often confusing and contradictory they still present us with wonderful tales about these northern people The more you learn of them the less confusing they become viii Norse Mythology A to Z The flat rock of Vitlycke in Sweden depicts a large ship some smaller boats and a man with long arms

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