”The religion of Odin, god of war and magic, of Thor, ruler of the thunder, of Freyr, god of fertility, the tales of the Valkyries and berserks, dragons and giants – all are often thought of as being the creation of the Vikings. Certainly the religion of the Northern gods reached a peak during the ninth and tenth centuries when the Vikings roamed the world from Greenland to the Volga. But the mythology of Scandinavia, Germany and Iceland can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Scandinavian mythology reflects the Norsemen’s love of battle and conflict; death and violence were rarely far away. They believed that those who died heroically in battle went to Valhalla where each day they fought once more, and at night feasted on never-failing meat and mead. Hilda Davidson brings to life this world of mighty warriors, ruthless gods, giants, dwarfs, elves and monsters. She also demonstrates how Christianity gradually spread and overcame the old religion, intermingling with it in art and story-telling for many years.”
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