Norse Creation Stories The Norse Pantheon

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Norse Creation Stories

The Norse Pantheon (also Viking / Scandinavian / Germanic)

  • Balder (Balker) 

  • Freya

  • Freyr

  • Frig

  • Loki

  • Njord

  • Odin (Woden)

  • Thor

  • Tyr

  • For quick ID's see:

Norse Genealogy

Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241) and the Prose Edda

Study Questions on Norse Creation Stories

  • 1. What would it feel like to live as a believer in the stories Snorri tells? If you worshipped the gods he describes, what would your view of the world be? Would it be better or worse than living under the divine system described by Hesiod and Ovid?

  • 2. Compare what Snorri says in his Prologue about the non-Norse deities with what you have learned from ancient Greek and Roman sources in Chapters 3 and 4.

  • 3. We read that Snorri Sturluson’s recounting of Norse myth (especially in his Prologue) is rationalized. What would cause him to create such an elaborate rationalization?

  • 4. Why are the Aesir so named, and why is this area important to Snorri?

  • 5. Draw a “map” of the world described by Snorri in the Prologue. How does this reflect the events he describes?

  • 6. Compare the world of the Norse to that of the Israelites in Genesis.

  • 7. Compare the description of creation here with those in Genesis and Hesiod. Make a chart that highlights important ideas.

  • 8. What is the parallel to Ginnungagap in Greek mythology?

  • 9. Describe briefly the steps in Icelandic myth leading up to the creation of humans.

  • 10. Explain what it means to say that Snorri rationalized myth in the Prologue of the Prose Edda.

  • 11. Describe Odin's "personality" as a god as evidenced by this section of the Prose Edda. Give at least one example of how he treats humans.

Snorri’s Ptolemaic Universe

Geysir Strokkur


Yggdrasil Norse World Tree

Norse Creation Stories

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