A Blog on Mythology and occasionally on Reality.

This is a Blog on Mythology, both Indian and World and especially the analysis of the myths.

In effect, the interpretation of the inherent Symbolism.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Norse Mythology – An Introduction

Norse Mythology refers to the mythology of the Scandinavians, i.e. the modern day Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and parts of Germany.

The Norse people lived from about A.D. 200 to 500 in northern Europe & Scandinavia. After A.D. 700, the Norse migrated in search of new lands, settling in parts of the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland and East into Russia. From this period on, the Norse are known as Vikings. Needless to say that one of the most famous Vikings known and loved the world over was the famous comic character, Hagar the Horrible!

Their mythology reflects the Nordic men’s love of battle and conflict. Death and violence are rarely far away, for that was the only life that he early warriors knew.

There isn’t too much of original writing now available except for some short runic inscriptions on wood, bone, stone or metal. However, majority of the stories and myths are based on the Christian writers. Majority of the myths are based on the poems and prose written by such writers. Amongst the prominent sources are:
1.     Saxo Grammaticus who wrote in heavy Latin style
2.     Snorri Sturluson wrote in native Icelandic, especially his Prose Edda
3.     Some precious manuscripts called the Codex Regius found in an Icelandic farmhouse, and better known as Elder or Poetic Edda.

Besides the above, there are references in Archaeology, architecture and art, which gives glimpses of the times and their heroes.

We also get an occasional glimpse of the life of Vikings and their religious customs thru the eyes of Latin or Arab travellers who visited their settlements and trading centres.

The Principal gods of the Norse were Odin, Thor, Freya, Balder, Freyr and Loki to name a few. In the centre of the world in the Tree of Life, Yggdrasill, around which everything in the universe revolves. The gods lived in Asgard and mankind lived in Midgard. Another interesting place in the Valhalla, which was the Hall of the Heroes who were all preparing for the final war, known as the Ragnarok.

Over the next few days, we will go through each one of them in more details.

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