Elf

related topics
{god, call, give}
{language, word, form}
{woman, child, man}
{day, year, event}
{film, series, show}
{food, make, wine}
{game, team, player}
{area, part, region}
{system, computer, user}
{build, building, house}
{black, white, people}
{household, population, female}

An elf is a being of Norse mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine or semi-divine beings (wights, vættir) endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind. In medieval Norse mythology, they appear to have been divided into light elves and dark elves, difficult to delineate from the Æsir (gods) on one hand and the dvergar (dwarves) on the other.

In early modern and modern folklore, they become associated with the fairies of Romance folklore and assume a diminutive size, often living underground in hills or rocks, or in wells and springs. 19th-century Romanticism attempted to restore them to full stature, often depicting them as very young, probably adolescent (lack of facial hair on male elves), men and women of great beauty. From their depiction in Romanticism, elves entered the 20th-century high fantasy genre in the wake of the published work of J. R. R. Tolkien (especially the posthumous publication of his Silmarillion where Tolkien's treatment of the relation of light elves, dark elves, black elves and dwarves in Norse mythology is made explicit).

The "Christmas elves" of contemporary pop culture were popularized during the 1870s in the United States, in publications such as Godey's Lady's Book.

Contents

Full article ▸

related documents
Norse mythology
Son of man
Baal
Ragnarök
Holy Spirit
Middle-earth
Book of Job
Moloch
Virgin birth of Jesus
Isis
Elijah
Book of Genesis
Druid
El (god)
Odysseus
Krishna
Mortification of the flesh
Greek mythology
Qur'an
Shamanism
Athena
Norse dwarves
Jainism
Gospel of Barnabas
Achilles
Apollo
Human sacrifice
Afterlife
Divine Comedy
Guan Yin