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Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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The story of the abdusction of Iðunn as told in Skáldskaparmál


Skm ch. 2b


Hann hóf þar frásögn, at þrír...

He began his account where th...

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


Iðunn is rarely mentioned in the written sources. She is described by Snorri as the wife of Bragi and she holds the apples which the gods eat to remain young. She features mainly in the story where Loki and Þjazi but is also mentioned in Haustlöng and Lokasenna. Because of her apples, she must be regarded amongst the fertility gods and a strong paralell to this theme canbe found in classical mythology with Hesperides‘ apples.

For more, see:

Ellis Davidson, H. R, (1990), Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. London: Penguin Books. pp. 165-166

Simek, Rudolf (2007), Transl: Angela Hall. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer. pp. 171-172

Steinsland, Gro (2005), Norrøn Religion. Myter, Riter, Samfunn. Oslo: Pax Forlag. pp. 241-243.

(Contributed by Liv Marit Aurdal.)


Main text: Skáldskaparmál

Attributes: Fertility storms, bad weather Ox Bull / ox sacrificing an ox Giants Shape-shift Loki as shape-shifter Loki causing trouble Æsir

Named things:

Text sections: SnSt, Skm ch. 2b


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