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Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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A description of Heimdalr


Gylf ch. 27b

27b. Heimdalr

Heimdallur heitir einn. Hann ...

There is one called Heimdall....

[status: unverified copy]

[excerpt from] Gylf ch. 51d


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


Heimdalr is considered the guardian of the gods and is mentioned in such as Völuspá 1 and 46, Rígsþula, Lokasenna 48, Grímnismál 13 and Gylfaginning 50. He is a somewhat obscure character being born from nine mothers who are all sisters, he is the father of all mankind and he guards the bridge Bifröst, blasting his horn Gjallarhorn in warning.

For more, see:

Ellis Davidson, H. R, (1990), Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. London: Penguin Books. pp. 172-176

Simek, Rudolf (2007), Transl: Angela Hall. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer. pp. 135-136

Steinsland, Gro (2005), Norrøn Religion. Myter, Riter, Samfunn. Oslo: Pax Forlag. pp. 220-227

(Contributed by Liv Marit Aurdal.)


Main text: Gylfaginning

Attributes: Horse God Hall Landscape Gold Drinking Drinking or toasting vessel Nature phenomenon Natural Phenomenon Women/woman Sword Nine

Named things:

Text sections: SnSt Gylf 51dIII SnSt, Gylf ch. 27b


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