Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
I recently finished reading the Prose Edda which is one of the major sources of information about Norse mythology. All has its roots in Germanic/Danish languages. I thought Norse myth would be a useful insight in to the way the Vikings saw the world and ‘all’. Indeed it was. Below is an excerpt from the Penguin edition, concerning itself largely with the ‘Yggdrasil’, or, the ‘World Tree’.
In describing different places in the cosmos, the Edda often employs the imprecise word heimr, meaning ‘home’, ‘world’ or ‘land’, and we must guess at the locations of many of the described areas. In addition to the realms of the gods, men and giants, the Edda speaks of geographically disparate regions such as Ginnungagap in the north, an empty place filled with ice, and Muspell, a burning place of intense heat to the south. So also there are several heavens; one is called Andlang and another, ‘further up’ is where light elves live.