Connections of Norse Mythology

Making connections to other cultures around the world

Mythology and legends have been an intrinsic part of human societies all around the world and across all points in time. From the ancient Greco-Roman myths of creation to the Christian book of Revelations, these stories have served their purpose of trying to explain the mysteries of human creation, the uncertainties of life, and the all but predictable future. If one were to examine the multitude of myths and legends in a single culture, they would find very common themes or symbols within the stories. However, some stories from one culture may have an uncanny resemblance to a story told from a completely different culture from across the globe.

My goal is to examine how the stories in Norse mythology are strongly connected to the stories of other cultures. My biggest piece of evidence is the explanation of the “world tree”, Yggdrasill. The way the tree is structured and the overall theme of the tree is very similar to the Mayan interpretation of their respective “world tree” called Wakah-chan. Another eerily similarity is between the Norse story of creation and the Christian story of Adam and Eve. Examining these examples and other similarities can quite possibly change the way we look at how ancient societies were connected. Three integral questions I pose about this topic are: How old are each of the stories being compared? Who recorded the stories? How can these stories be so similar given that the societies where the stories originated from are geographically far apart? I believe that by exploring every possible avenue of these questions, I can have a better understanding of how these stories came to fruition and how their proliferation impacted not only their respective societies, but those outside as well.

Works consulted:

1) Mythology: Myths, Legends and Fantasies. Birmingham: Sweet Water Press, 2013. Print.

2) Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Norse Myths. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007. Print.

3) The Holy Bible. Ed. Bishop Richard Challoner. London: Baronius Press, 2010. Print.

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