the dictionary of norse mythology


AUSTRI East One of the four dwarfs named after the cardinal compass directions. The others are vestri West, nordi North, and sudri South. Though these four dwarfs are mentioned in early Norse poetry, it was Icelandic poet snorri sturlu-son who gave Austri and his three companions the job of holding up the four corners of the sky. Austri is a name used often in Norse poetry. In some cases the name refers to a person involved in a conflict who is smaller and weaker than his oppo-nent. In others it refers to the dwarfs who surrendered their mead, a strong alcoholic drink, to the giant suttung. In yet another use Austri refers to the dwarf who steered a ship filled with dwarfs.

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