Norse mythology is based on the tales of the various deities from the North Germanic people (also know as Heathens). These myths have survived even after Christianity.

Norse Mythology

Germanic people use to live in Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Iceland, British Isles and North of the Alps.

Most of the texts we know about the Norse Gods are believed to come from the Poetic Edda, also know as the Elder Edda or Codex Religious, which was a collection of heroic and  mythological poems.

The other source it's the Prose Edda, or better know as Younger Edda, which was written probably around 1722 by Snorry Stulurson.

These myths usually center in the interactions and relationships between the Gods, mankind and Jotnar (beings that were family members, foes, friends and /or lovers of the deities).

Gods in in these myths are divided in 2 groups: Aesir and Vanir. Some historians think that Aesir was the Pantheon for the new Gods, while Vanir was the old Pantheon.

Another historian, Georges Dumezil, thought that the Pantheon was divided in factions:

  1. MILITARY: Tyr was in charge.
  2. RELIGION & SECULAR: Odin and Thor were the leaders.
  3. PRODUCED AND ECONOMY: Vanir was the God in charge.

Norse mythology says that the cosmos it's divided in nine worlds:

  • UPPER LEVEL: Asgard (Land of the Gods).

               Alfheim (Elve's world). 

               Vanaheim (Vanir).

  •  MIDDLE LEVEL: Midgard (Men's world).

                Jotunheim (Giants).

                Svartalfheim (Dark elves).

                Nithavellir (Dwarves).

  • LOWER LEVEL: Musperlheim (Fire world located in the Southern end).

               Niflheim (Land of the dead).

A better description of how the cosmos it's divided, it's found in the next myth:

"The world is on a circular disk, in  the center it's located a concentric ciorcle, which it's surrounded by sea. This central portion is Midgard, accross the sea, Jotunheim is found. Asgard, The God's home lies, above Midgard and below it, Niflheim it's found".

If we talk about Norse mythology, we need to talk about the Vikings (seafaring raiders, warriors and explorers) who roam the seas of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, who followed these Gods.

Vikings spoke the old Norse language and it's believed they wrote in ruins some myths and practiced this ancestral religion, this is why most of the stories hat we know are from the Viking era.

A very interesting about these Gods, it's that they were mortals and therefore, they could die.

Even when Christianity started to take over most religious, it never fully replaced the faith in Norse Gods, anfd even in these days, some people in Sweden believe in the old Gods.

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