Vanaheimr

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In Norse mythology, Vanaheimr (Old Norse "home of the Vanir"[1]) is one of the Nine Worlds and home of the Vanir, a group of gods associated with fertility, wisdom, and the ability to see the future. Vanaheimr is attested in the Poetic Edda; compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda and (in euhemerized form) Heimskringla; both written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, Vanaheimr is described as the location where the Van god Njörðr was raised. In Norse cosmology, Vanaheimr is considered one of the Nine Worlds.

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Attestations

Vanaheimr is mentioned a single time in the Poetic Edda; in a stanza of the poem Vafþrúðnismál. In Vafþrúðnismál, Gagnráðr (the god Odin in disguise) engages in a game of wits with the jötunn Vafþrúðnir. Gagnráðr asks Vafþrúðnir from whence the Van god Njörðr came, for though he rules over many hofs and hörgrs, Njörðr was not raised among the Æsir. Vafþrúðnir responds that Njörðr was created in Vanaheimr by "wise powers" and references that Njörðr was exchanged as a hostage during the Æsir-Vanir War. In addition, Vafþrúðnir comments that, when the world ends (Ragnarök), Njörðr will return to the "wise Vanir" (Bellows here anglicizes Vanir to Wanes):

In chapter 24 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, the enthroned figure of High says that Njörðr was raised in Vanaheimr, but was later sent as a hostage to the Æsir.[4]

The Heimskringla book Ynglinga saga records an euhemerized account of the origins of Norse mythology. In chapter 1, "Van Home or the Home of the Vanir" is described as located around the Don River (which Snorri writes was once called "Tana Fork" or "Vana Fork").[5] Chapter 4 describes the Æsir-Vanir War, noting that during a hostage exchange, the Æsir sent the god Hœnir to Vanaheim and there he was immediately made chieftain.[6] In chapter 15, the king Sveigðir is recorded as having married a woman named Vana in "Vanaland", located in Sweden. The two produced a child, who they named Vanlandi (meaning "Man from the Land of the Vanir"[7]).[8]

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