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09-Aug-2019 17:55

According to Adam of Bremen (who wrote his account - based on hearsay - c.1070 CE) there was a great temple at Uppsala in Sweden which housed images of Thor, Odin, and Freyr, who were sacrificed to in times of famine or disease, war, or when weddings popped up, respectively.There were four phases: the process in which the world - and everything in it - was created; a dynamic phase in which time is started; the destruction of the world in the Ragnarök; and the arising of a new world from the sea.According to Snorri, before anything else existed there were the opposing realms of icy Niflheim and fiery Muspelheim (which other sources simply call Muspell).Peeling back the layers of history in order to form a properly detailed and accurate picture of the myths, beliefs, and customs as they actually were in the Viking Age is no mean feat, especially for an overwhelmingly oral society, as Scandinavia mostly was at the time.

Understandably rattled, the gods hold an emergency council to prepare for battle against the powers of the Underworld, who are closing in.

Ancient Scandinavia was a world in which belief in divine powers abounded, and all of these had their own attributes and functions.

The Norse worldview only gradually changed with the emerging influence of Christianity, which becomes apparent by the second half of the 11th century CE.

Of course, what it was exactly the Vikings believed with regard to all these different Norse gods and the world they lived in is hard to pin down.

However, archaeological evidence helps hint at personal devotion to specific gods people felt connected to, with accompanying customs and rituals being a standard part of everyday life.

However, the older Eddic and skaldic poems clearly do more justice to the dynamic and integrated role mythology actually played in Viking Age societies.