Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

Menu Search

in progress

At the roots of Yggrasil, the figure Mímir is found with his well of wisdom.


[excerpt from] Gylf ch. 15b

15b. Mímir's well

En undir þeirri rót er til hr...

But under the root that reach...

[status: unverified copy]

[excerpt from] Gylf ch. 51c

51c. Mímir

En er þessi tíðindi verða þá ...

And when these events take pl...

[status: unverified copy]



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, Skaldskápamál and Háttatal, all functioning together as a greater work and guide for the aspiring medieval poet and storyteller.


Mímir‘s well holds wisdom and this is where Óðinn comes for advice. The well is owned by the character Mímir and is said to be a the foor of Yggdrasil where Mímir drinks from the well to gain wisdom, using the horn Gjallarhorn. Knowledge, prophesy and wisdom coming from waters can be recognised in such as Swedish placenames, like Mimesjöen and Mimesøa, as well as rituals in connection to water and bogs attested in archaeology.

For more, see:

Ellis Davidson, H. R, (1990), Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. London: Penguin Books. pp. 26, 45, 166-168, 194

Simek, Rudolf (2007), Transl: Angela Hall. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer. pp. 216-217

(Contributed by Liv Marit Aurdal.)


Main text: Gylfaginning

Attributes: battle God of war God of assemblies Sacrifice Battle Assembly Drinking Óðinn grants victory in battle drinking horn Blind Water Well Knowledge Wisdom

Named things:

Text sections: SnSt Gylf 51cIII SnSt Gylf 15bIII


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.