Asgard

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In Norse religion, Asgard (Old Norse: Ásgarðr; meaning "Enclosure of the Æsir"[1]) is one of the Nine Worlds and is the country or capital city of the Norse Gods surrounded by an incomplete wall attributed to a Hrimthurs riding the stallion Svadilfari, according to Gylfaginning. Valhalla is located within Asgard. Odin and his wife, Frigg are the rulers of Asgard.

Contents

Attestations

The primary sources regarding Asgard come from the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Icelandic Snorri Sturluson, and the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from a basis of much older Skaldic poetry.

Poetic Edda

Völuspá, the first poem of the work, mentions many of the features and characters of Asgard portrayed by Snorri, such as Yggdrasil and Iðavöllr.

Prose Edda

The Prose Edda presents two views regarding Asgard.

Prologue

In the Prologue Snorri offers an euhemerized and Christian-influenced interpretation of the myths and tales of his forefathers. As-gard, he conjectures, is the home of the Æsir (singular Ás) in As-ia, making a folk etymological connection between the three "As-"; that is, the Æsir were "men of Asia", not gods, who moved from Asia to the north and some of which intermarried with the peoples already there. Snorri's interpretation of the 13th century foreshadows 20th century views of Indo-European migration from the east.

Snorri further writes that Asgard is a land more fertile than any other, blessed also with a great abundance of gold and jewels. Correspondingly, the Æsir excelled beyond all other people in strength, beauty and talent.

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