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Norse Religion and Mythology - Research Paper Example

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Norse Religion and Mythology

This mythology is the study of the Germanic myths (Iceland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands and Denmark). The Norse societies later adopted Christianity because the Norse religion was not as strong as other religions. Lindow says that this mythology developed slowly over the years and the importance of different heroes and gods kept varying with time and place (45). They worshipped different gods and did not have any proper organization, as religion was not institutionalized. The absence of priests and temples meant that religion was part of their ordinary lives as they could worship from anywhere they wanted. The Gods and Goddesses of the Norse Religion
The Gods and Goddesses of the Norse religion were divided into two major categories: the Vanir and Aesir. The former were referred to as the Earth Gods and symbolized fecundity, riches and fertility. They controlled the earth and the sea and had to be consulted on everything that falls in this category. The most important gods in this category are Freyr, Freya, Njord and Aegir. The Aesir on the other hand were the gods of the sky and they symbolized wisdom, power and war. They lived for relatively long periods and were very powerful but mortal. People could therefore pray to different gods when faced with different situations and their prayers were answered and their wishes granted. Odin Odin is the son of Bor and Bestla; he is the father and leader of all the other gods and men. He is the king of Asgard (the great citadel of the gods) and the ruler of Aersir. He had magical skills and could travel to all the nine Nordic worlds to exert his powers. He had two ravens, Huginn and Munin that could traverse the world on daily basis and inform him on everything that is happening in Midgard. He has magic, wit and wisdom that help him in making key decisions. He is also the lord of knowledge, war & death and could travel the world without being noticed. He rides on an eight legged horse during battles and has unrivalled military intelligence (O’Donoghue 24). He only has one eye because he traded the other one for wisdom. He is married to Frigg but occasionally flirts with Rind and was the god of poetic inspiration. Together they have three children namely, Thor, Baldur and Vali. He interfered a lot in the affairs of men and was believed to be the cause of the occurrence of many misunderstandings between people. These misunderstandings often led to war as men differed on different issues that were of strategic importance to all parties. Therefore, they turned to him for prayers during wars so he could help them win and humiliate their enemies (Lindow 78). He won his wars mostly through his cunning ways and not force because his wits, guile and stratagem were unequalled on earth. This made him to be a very important member of the god family and could be consulted by kings and other leaders for help before they could venture into any war. His willingness to accept both pain and loss made him gain advantage over men and other gods as he could venture into anything he was interested in. For example, he had to part with one of his eyes in order to be allowed to drink from the Urd. This shows that he could offer to do anything in order to get what he wanted in order to gain advantage over all the others. Through this, he was able to gain wisdom, and became a lot wiser than the others, making him to outwit them with ease (Skye 14). Everything he did was therefore for a purpose and with specific objectives that were of strategic importance to him as a god. He gained knowledge through pain as he was forced to hung and be ...Show more

Summary

The Norse mythology is part of the wider Germanic Mythology and it flourished before the Scandinavian countries were Christianized. This mythology refers to the legends, beliefs and myths of the Norse Pagans’ supernatural beings. …
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