the dictionary of norse mythology


HORSE The horse plays an important role as helper in Norse mythology, but archaeological and historical evidence suggests that the ancient people of scandinavia also worshiped the horse. The Ger-manic tribes that were the ancestors to the norse regarded horses as mouthpieces of the gods and tried to learn about the future from their snorts and neighs. Evidence from Scandinavia suggests that the Norse sacrificed large numbers of horses and even made horses fight each other as a way of determining which to sacrifice. People also saw a link between horses and fertility. Horses provided a medium for the gods to travel between the lands of the living and the dead. Famous horses in Norse mythology include odin's eight-legged horse, sleipnir, and gulltopp, the horse heimdall rode to warn the gods of the coming of ragnarok.

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