Mitologia nordica del a a la z

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Norse Mythology
A to Z
Third EdiTion

MYTHOLOGY A TO Z
African Mythology A to Z Celtic Mythology A to Z Chinese Mythology A to Z Egyptian Mythology A to Z Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z Japanese Mythology A to Z Native American Mythology A to Z Norse Mythology A to Z South and Meso-American Mythology A to Z

MYTHOLOGY A TO Z

Norse Mythology
A to Z
Third EdiTion

8
Kathleen N.Daly
Revised by Marian Rengel

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Norse Mythology A to Z, Third Edition
Copyright © 2010, 2004, 1991 by Kathleen N. Daly All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. Forinformation contact: Chelsea House An imprint of Infobase Publishing 132 West 31st Street New York NY 10001 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Daly, Kathleen N. Norse mythology A to Z / Kathleen N. Daly ; revised by Marian Rengel. — 3rd ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-60413-411-7 (hc : alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4381-2801-6 (e-book) 1. Mythology,Norse—Dictionaries, Juvenile. I. Rengel, Marian. II. Title. BL850.D34 2009 2009013338 293’.1303—dc22 Chelsea House books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk quantities for businesses, associations, institutions, or sales promotions. Please call our Special Sales Department in New York at (212) 967-8800 or (800) 322-8755. You can find Chelsea House on the World Wide Web athttp://www.chelseahouse.com Text design by Lina Farinella Composition by Mary Susan Ryan-Flynn Map by Patricia Meschino Cover printed by Bang Printing, Brainerd, MN Book printed and bound by Bang Printing, Brainerd, MN Date printed: November, 2009 Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

This book is printed on acid-free paper and contains 30 percent postconsumer recycled content. Contents

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Introduction

vii

Map of Scandinavia A-to-Z Entries Selected Bibliography Index
123 1

xii

121

Introduction

8

WhAT iS A MYTh?
Myths are as ancient as humankind and have their origin in the efforts of primitive people to explain the mysteries of the world around them: thunder and lightning; floods and fire; rain and drought; earthquakes and volcanic eruptions;night and day; the Sun, Moon, and stars; the seasons; the existence of plants and animals, man and woman; and birth and death. Myths fulfill a need in people to believe in some higher being or beings who have power over the daily lives and fate of humankind. Many of the world’s myth systems include a sky god or father of all and an Earth Mother. In many cases, including that of the Norse, peoplebelieved in a set of attendant gods and goddesses, as well as villains such as demons, dragons, and other monsters; giants and dwarfs; and supernatural forces. Myths help people structure their lives. Myths reflect their codes of behavior, their cultural customs and rites, and their ways of worship. Myths are basically stories of the struggle between good and evil, between order and chaos. Theypredict the eventual breakdown of order, but also regeneration. Ancient myths about the creation of the universe and the living creatures on Earth were passed orally from one generation to another, from family to family, and from one community to another. As people moved from one part of a continent to another, they adapted their stories to the changing landscape or climate. Stories that may haveoriginated in India, the Middle East, or the south of Europe changed dramatically when people told them in the harsh, icy lands of the north, where summers were short and winters long and harsh. Finally, myths are part of a moral and ethical, often spiritual, belief system. Many historians of myths and scholars of human social development see myths as part of a religious belief system and an...
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