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Creation and Food in Old Norse Mythology

By Andrea Maraschi

The sources we’re going to draw upon

What we know about nordic mythology comes from the Eddas, two XIIIth-century texts which represent the written versions of very ancient oral traditions plausibly dating back to the era of migrations and invasions. One of them is a collection of anonymous poems (poetic Edda), while the other one is a prose work signed by the christian historian Snorri Sturluson. In the matter in question, the section entitled Gylfaginning (The deluding of Gylfi), featured in the prose Edda, includes a pretty detailed description of the creation of the world and of all living beings. Not surprisingly, as we can ascertain by reading the Bible and many other religious and mythological texts of the past, also in Norse beliefs food and fecundity were central elements in the origin of all things (not to mention the destruction of the universe).

But let’s just go back to Gylfi and his story.

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