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PCRN

Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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Descriptions and mentions of Loki in Gylfaginning

text

Gylf ch. 33b

33b.

Sá er enn taldur með ásum er ...

'That one is also reckoned am...

[status: unverified copy]

[excerpt from] Gylf ch. 34b

34b. The Three Children of Loki

Angrboða het gýgur í Jǫtunhei...

‘There was a giantess called ...

[status: unverified copy]

[excerpt from] Gylf ch. 50b

50b. The punishment of Loki

Þá mælti Gangleri: "Allmi...

Then spoke Gangleri: 'It was ...

[status: unverified copy]

commentary

context


Gylfaginning, which is part of Snorra Edda, was composed in Iceland in the 13th century, and holds the stories of many of the Pre-Christian myths of northern Europe. It is believe to have been composed by the Icelander Snorri Sturlusson. Snorra Edda consists of three separate parts, Gylfaginning, Skaldskápamáland Háttatal, all functioning together as a greater work and guide for the aspiring medieval poet and storyteller.

commentary

Loki is a complex character floating somewhere between the gods and jötnar. He is born by jötnar but presented amongst the gods as Óðinn´s foster brother. The role of Loki in the mythological narrative is often crucial in driving the story, creating drama but also bringing solution. Loki does not stand as a sacred entity but rather functions in the narrative as important elements of surprise, creating challenges, twisting with trickery, hurting with evil intent but bringing peace and salvage. With the jötunn woman Angrboða with he shares the three somewhat unpleasant children Hel, Jörmungandr and Fenrir.

For more, see:

Ellis Davidson, H. R, (1990), Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. London: Penguin Books. pp. 176-182.

Simek, Rudolf (2007), Transl: Angela Hall. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer. pp. 192-197

Steinsland, Gro (2005), Norrøn Religion. Myter, Riter, Samfunn. Oslo: Pax Forlag. pp. 128-135.

(Contributed by Liv Marit Aurdal.)

tags

Main text: Gylfaginning

Attributes: Landscape Shape-shift Loki as shape-shifter Loki causing trouble Nature phenomenon

Named things:

Text sections: SnSt Gylf 50bIII SnSt, Gylf ch. 33b SnSt Gylf 34bIII

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