Norse Mythology: The Beginner's Guide by University Press Biographies
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is definitely written for beginner or newbies to the world of Norse Mythology, in fact it might even be called a children’s book. The author explains in some very brief pages the Norse beginnings of the world, who the gods are, various creatures and beings, the different realms and some Viking History. If you are well versed in Asatru or Norse Mythology you are going to want to pass this book up.
In the very beginning there were to worlds, MuspelHeim and Niffelheim. Respectively the worlds of Ice and Fire. This of course was ordained by a god of gods, father of all. From this steam came a giant named Ymir. Ymir was soon slain by Odin and Vili and Valey and from the giant’s parts came our world and mankind. Now these Norse legends have been culled from the writing of Snori Stulson and te like. These Saga like the Poetic Edda and the Icelandic Saga are the sources for Norse Mythology. These sources in many cases were written by Christians, so the sources might have a Christian like flavoring.
The Norse Realms are divided into three levels. The first level is Asguard home of the Gods. The Asgard deities include Odin, Thor, Tyr, Frigga etc. Another world contained in the upper Asgard realm is Vanaland, home of the Vanir. These land deities include Frey, Freya and the lord of the sea.
The middle Level is called Midgard, this is here our realm is and on tis plane it might be neighboring some other worlds like Svartleheim ( Home of the dark elves) Alfheim (Home of the light elves)
Then there is the lower world which has Hela (Realm of the dead) and the roots of the World Tree.
On the world tree, Ygdrasil, their lives three creatures constantly agitating each other. The eagle on top, the snake on the bottom and squirrel in between. The squirrel tries to snake and the eagl to fight each other. At the roots of the world tree. Lives the three norns who write everyone’s fate including that of the gods. There is also Niedhof who sucks with poison at the roots of the world tree. There is also an end of day’s scenario called Ragnarok. In that end the gods and giants duke it out. Thor is killed by the world serpent, Odin is slayed by Fenris and Freyr is slain by Surt, a fire god. In the end after the world is destroyed everything gets reborn and the children Asgard inherit this world.
There is a good little bit on the Vikings. The Vikings had a three hundred year reign. Starting of rom countries like Norway, Denmark and Sweden they conquered parts of England, France and even there wa an alliance with Byzantines where in they conquered much of the Middle East. Thereis a chapter on famous Viking Kings. Included in this is the famous Ragnar Lothbrook and his son Ivar the Boneless an a slew of others. Several myths about Vikings are debunked as well. They did have slaves an no they did not wear horned helmets
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