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Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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A description of Heimdalr


Skm ch. 15b


Hvernig skal Heimdall kenna...

How shall Heimdall be referre...

[status: unverified copy]



Skáldskaparmál, 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.


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: Skáldskaparmál

Attributes: God Gold Necklace Necklace Sword Nine Female deity

Named things:

Text sections: SnSt, Skm ch. 15b


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