Midgard (an Anglicised form of Old Norse Miðgarðr), is one of the Nine Worlds and is an old Germanic name for our world and is the home of Humans, with the literal meaning "middle enclosure".
This name is attested in many ancient Germanic languages. It occurs in Old Norse literature as Miðgarðr. In Old High German poem Muspilli it appears as Mittilagart. The Gothic form Midjungards is attested in Luke's Gospel as a translation of the Greek word οἰκουμένη. The word is present in Old English epic and poetry as Middangeard; later transformed to Middellærd or Mittelerde ("Middle-earth") in Middle English literature.
All these forms are from a conjectural Proto-Germanic *medja-gardaz (*meddila-, *medjan-). Even if the two terms derive from Indo-European roots *medhyo ("middle") and *ghartos ("enclosure"), the construct exists only in Germanic. It's possible to speculate about the ancientness of this cosmological concept, but it may be inappropriate to trace back the Germanic terminology in common Indo-European.
The Danish and Swedish form Midgård or Midgaard, the Norwegian Midgard or Midgård, as well as the Icelandic form Miðgarður, all derive from the Old Norse term.
Midgard is a realm in Norse mythology. Pictured as placed somewhere in the middle of Yggdrasil, Midgard is surrounded by a world of water, or ocean, that is impassable. The ocean is inhabited by the great sea serpent Jörmungandr (Miðgarðsormr), who is so huge that he encircles the world entirely, grasping his own tail. The concept is similar to that of the Ouroboros.
In Norse mythology, Miðgarðr became applied to the wall around the world that the gods constructed from the eyebrows of the giant Ymir as a defence against the Jotuns who lived in Jotunheim, west of Mannheim, "the home of men," a word used to refer to the entire world.
Full article ▸