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Norse Cosmology
The cosmology of Norse mythology
Norse mythology
has "nine homeworlds" or "nine realms", unified by the world tree Yggdrasil. Mapping the nine worlds escapes precision because the Poetic Edda
Poetic Edda
often alludes vaguely. The Norse creation myth tells how everything came into existence in the gap between fire and ice, and how the gods shaped the homeworld of humans.Contents1 Yggdrasil 2 Creation 3 Norse gods 4 Nine homeworlds4.1 Poetic Edda 4.2 Prose Edda 4.3 Counting the worlds 4.4 Uncertainty5 See also 6 Notes 7 ReferencesYggdrasil[edit] A cosmic ash tree, Yggdrasil, lies at the center of the Norse cosmos. Three roots drink the waters of the homeworlds, one in the homeworld of the gods, the Æsir, Asgard, one in the homeworld of the humans, Midgard, and one in the homeworld of the dead, Helheim
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History Of Scandinavia
The history of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
is the history of the region of northern Europe comprising Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
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Ginnungagap
In Norse mythology, Ginnungagap ("gaping abyss", "yawning void") is the primordial void, mentioned in the Gylfaginning, the Eddaic text recording Norse cosmogony.[1]Contents1 Etymology 2 Creation myth 3 Geographic rationalization 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External linksEtymology[edit] Ginnunga- is usually interpreted as deriving from a verb meaning "gape" or "yawn", but no such word occurs in Old Norse
Old Norse
except in verse 3 of the Eddic poem
Eddic poem
"Vǫluspá", "gap var ginnunga", which may be a play on the term
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Norns
The Norns
Norns
(Old Norse: norn, plural: nornir) in Norse mythology[1] are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men. They roughly correspond to other controllers of humans' destiny, such as the Fates, elsewhere in European mythology. In Snorri Sturluson's interpretation of the Völuspá, Urðr
Urðr
(Wyrd), Verðandi
Verðandi
and Skuld, the three most important of the Norns, come out from a hall standing at the Well of Urðr
Urðr
or Well of Fate
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Valkyrie
In Norse mythology, a valkyrie (from Old Norse
Old Norse
valkyrja "chooser of the slain") is one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live. Selecting among half of those who die in battle (the other half go to the goddess Freyja's afterlife field Fólkvangr), the valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin. There, the deceased warriors become einherjar ( Old Norse
Old Norse
"single (or once) fighters"[1]). When the einherjar are not preparing for the events of Ragnarök, the valkyries bear them mead
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Jörmungandr
In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr
Jörmungandr
(Old Norse: Jǫrmungandr, pronounced [ˈjɔrmuŋɡanðr̥], meaning "huge monster"[1]), also known as the Midgard
Midgard
(World) Serpent (Old Norse: Miðgarðsormr), is a sea serpent, the middle child of the giantess Angrboða and Loki. According to the Prose Edda, Odin
Odin
took Loki's three children by Angrboða — the wolf Fenrir, Hel, and Jörmungandr
Jörmungandr
— and tossed Jörmungandr
Jörmungandr
into the great ocean that encircles Midgard.[2] The serpent grew so large that it was able to surround the earth and grasp its own tail.[2] As a result, it received the name of the Midgard
Midgard
Serpent or World Serpent. When it releases its tail, Ragnarök
Ragnarök
will begin. Jörmungandr's arch-enemy is the thunder-god, Thor
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Ask And Embla
In Norse mythology, Ask and Embla
Ask and Embla
(from Old Norse
Old Norse
Askr ok Embla)—male and female respectively—were the first two humans, created by the gods. The pair are attested in both the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, three gods, one of whom is Odin, find Ask and Embla
Ask and Embla
and bestow upon them various corporeal and spiritual gifts
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Ásgarðr
In Norse religion, Asgard
Asgard
(Old Norse: Ásgarðr; "Enclosure of the Æsir"[1]) is one of the Nine Worlds and home to the Æsir
Æsir
tribe of gods. It is surrounded by an incomplete wall attributed to a Hrimthurs riding the stallion Svaðilfari, according to Gylfaginning
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Vanaheimr
In Norse mythology, Vanaheimr
Vanaheimr
( Old Norse
Old Norse
for "home of the Vanir"[1]) is one of the Nine Worlds and home of the Vanir, a group of gods associated with fertility, wisdom, and the ability to see the future. Vanaheimr
Vanaheimr
is attested in the Poetic Edda; compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda
Prose Edda
and (in euhemerized form) Heimskringla; both written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In the Poetic Edda
Poetic Edda
and the Prose Edda, Vanaheimr
Vanaheimr
is described as the location where the Van god Njörðr
Njörðr
was raised
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Miðgarðr
Midgard
Midgard
(an anglicised form of Old Norse
Old Norse
Miðgarðr; Old English Middangeard, Swedish and Danish Midgård, Old Saxon
Old Saxon
Middilgard, Old High German Mittilagart, Gothic Midjun-gards; literally "middle yard") is the name for Earth
Earth
(equivalent in meaning to the Greek term οἰκουμένη, "inhabited") inhabited by and known to humans in early Germanic cosmology, and specifically one of the Nine Worlds in Norse mythology.Contents1 Etymology 2 Old Norse 3 Old and Middle English 4 Old High German 5 ReferencesEtymology[edit]Look up middangeard in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.Look up 𐌼𐌹𐌳𐌾𐌿𐌽𐌲𐌰𐍂𐌳𐍃 in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.This name occurs in Old Norse
Old Norse
literature as Miðgarðr
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Vígríðr
In Norse mythology, Vígríðr
Vígríðr
or Óskópnir is a large field foretold to host a battle between the forces of the gods and the forces of Surtr
Surtr
as part of the events of Ragnarök. The field is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional material, and in the Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson
Snorri Sturluson
in the 13th century
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Bifröst
In Norse mythology, Bifröst
Bifröst
(/ˈbɪvrɒst/ ( listen)[1] or sometimes Bilröst or Bivrost) is a burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard
Midgard
(Earth) and Asgard, the realm of the gods. The bridge is attested as Bilröst in the Poetic Edda; compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and as Bifröst
Bifröst
in the Prose Edda; written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and in the poetry of skalds. Both the Poetic Edda
Poetic Edda
and the Prose Edda alternately refer to the bridge as Ásbrú ( Old Norse
Old Norse
"Æsir's bridge").[2] According to the Prose Edda, the bridge ends in heaven at Himinbjörg, the residence of the god Heimdallr, who guards it from the jötnar. The bridge's destruction during Ragnarök
Ragnarök
by the forces of Muspell is foretold
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Fólkvangr
In Norse mythology, Fólkvangr
Fólkvangr
( Old Norse
Old Norse
"field of the host"[1] or "people-field" or "army-field"[2]) is a meadow or field ruled over by the goddess Freyja
Freyja
where half of those that die in combat go upon death, while the other half go to the god Odin
Odin
in Valhalla. Fólkvangr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. According to the Prose Edda, within Fólkvangr
Fólkvangr
is Freyja's hall Sessrúmnir
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Helheim
In Norse mythology, Hel (or Helheim), the location, shares a name with Hel, a being who rules over the location. In late Icelandic sources, varying descriptions of Hel are given and various figures are described as being buried with items that will facilitate their journey to Hel after their death. In the Poetic Edda, Brynhildr's trip to Hel after her death is described and Odin, while alive, also visits Hel upon his horse Sleipnir. In Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, Baldr goes to Hel on his death and subsequently Hermóðr uses Sleipnir to attempt to retrieve him.Contents1 Etymology 2 Attestations2.1 Poetic Edda 2.2 Prose Edda2.2.1 Gylfaginning2.3 Gesta Danorum3 Theories 4 See also 5 Notes 6 ReferencesEtymology[edit] The Old Norse feminine proper noun Hel is identical to the name of the entity that presides over the realm, Old Norse Hel
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Hel (being)
In Norse mythology, Hel is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. Hel is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In addition, she is mentioned in poems recorded in Heimskringla
Heimskringla
and Egils saga
Egils saga
that date from the 9th and 10th centuries, respectively
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Múspellsheimr
In Norse mythology, Muspelheim (Old Norse: Múspellsheimr), also called Muspell (Old Norse: Múspell), is a realm of fire. This realm is one of the Nine Worlds, ruled by Surtr with his consort Sinmara in some accounts. The denizens of Muspelheim were usually referred to as the Eldjötnar (or Eldthursar, Eldþursar — "fire giants") in Norse tradition, though they were also identified by other epithets in Eddic poetry, such as the Múspellssynir (or Múspellsmegir — "sons of Muspell"; altn. Múspellmegir, Múspellsynir) and the Rjúfendr (from rjúfa — "to break, tear asunder", Destroyers of Doomsday).[1][2] Both of these terms sometimes described an entirely separate mythological species that dwelled alongside or in place of the eldjötnar within this fiery realm. Muspelheim is fire; and the land to the North, Niflheim, is ice. The two mixed and created water from the melting ice in Ginnungagap
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