is a deceased religion from the pre-Christian period in North Europe.
Commonly, the geographical extension is considered to be Scandinavian,
including those areas which had been settled on Iceland and the North of
Germany and East Europe.
The beliefs belong to the group of Indo-European mythology which share a
The best preserved relicts are from Iceland, thus, it is the
best-preserved version of the older common Germanic or Norse mythology,
which also includes the closely related Anglo-Saxon mythology.
Norse mythology is a collection of beliefs and stories shared by
Northern Germanic tribes.
Take a look at some articles dealing with
Norse Mythology (Pantheon.org).
The belief system was based on the worship of the
Norse Gods by
- the belief that nature manifests in the gods and their decisions
- celebrating celestial festivals
- performing sacrifices
It was not a revealed religion, in that it
was not a truth handed down from the divine to the mortal
(although it does have tales of normal persons learning the stories of
the gods from a visit to or from the gods), and it had no scripture.
The mythology was orally transmitted in the form of long, regular poetry.
Oral transmission continued through the Viking Age, and our knowledge
about it is mainly based on the Eddas and other medieval texts written
down during and after Christianisation.
Translations and origianl texts cen be read at
NorthVegr Foundation or
Since all original teachings were done orally we can rely only on the
medieval transcriptions. The best well known and probably the closest to the
original texts are the
which consist of the older Poetic Edda or the younger Prosa Edda.
Other sources are the old
The word "saga", probably means "What is told". Norse sagas are similar
to epic, but usually refer to works compiled during medieval Iceland.
Saga is usually a narrative, either in poems or prose, dealing with
historical, legendary and mythical subjects, written in Old Norse,
during the 13th-14th century.
The Icelandic sagas can be divided into three different
categories: Kings' Sagas, Family Sagas, and Heroic or Legendary Sagas.
Well known examples of the Heroic Sagas, which are often called fornaldar saga
or "saga of antiquity" are the Nibelungen Cycle or the tale of