the dictionary of norse mythology


GEFION Giver A goddess of fertility, associated with the plow. In one myth told by snorri sturluson in the prose edda, Gefion disguised herself as a beggarwoman. She asked gylfi, the king of sweden, to give her some land. The king told her that she could have as much land as she could plow in a day and a night. The old woman went off to find her four sons, who were huge oxen that had been fathered by a giant. Gefion hitched the oxen to a plow and proceeded to cut deeply into the land of Sweden. Then she and the oxen towed the land into the sea where it is now known as the island of Zealand, part of denmark.

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