In this captivating book, readers are introduced to the mythology that reflects the religious beliefs and social practices of the Scandinavian people and the fearsome Vikings. Readers learn about the great Norse gods and the Nine Worlds. They will also discover how the physical geography of Scandinavia influenced their mythology. Topics include:
• Ragnarök, the prophecy of battles ending in death for many heroes
• Beowulf, a legendary king
• Fenrir, the wolf
Table of Contents
What are Myths? 4
What are myths and how have the Norse myths come down to us today? What do the Norse myths explain and what thrilling stories do they tell?
Viking Scandinavia 6
Where the Vikings came from, how far they traveled, and how their harsh landscape shaped their myths. The Viking myth of how the world was created.
Religion and Gods 10
The many gods and goddesses in Norse myths: who they all are and what forces they control. How the gods quarrel and fight one another.
The Natural World 16
How the Norse myths explain the workings of the natural world such as the melting of the winter ice, the tides, and earthquakes.
Daily Life 24
Family life, the changing seasons, and other aspects of daily life in Norse times, and how the different myths made sense of it.
Into Battle 34
Viking raids and battles, and the weapons the Vikings used to overwhelm their opponents. The myth of Ragnarok, the battle at the end of the world.
Norse Legacy 40
How Norse culture, myths, and beliefs remain alive today in books, movies, games, and music. Modern words and place names that have Norse origins.
Time Chart 45
Learning More 47