the dictionary of norse mythology


SOL Sun According to 13th-century Icelandic poet snorri sturluson, a servant of the sun. Sol was the daughter of the human mundilfari and the sister of mani. The gods stole Sol and Mani from their father when they were children—or perhaps young adults, since Snorri says Sol was married to a man named Glen. The gods were offended that a human, Mundilfari, had named his children after the Sun and the Moon.In Snorri's telling of their story, the gods put Sol to work in the heavens where she drove the chariot that carried the Sun through the sky. Two horses, arvakr and alsvid, pulled the chariot. To protect the horses and Sol from the flaming heat of the Sun, which would burn up anything that came too close to it, the gods placed the shield svalin between them and the Sun.The huge, evil wolf skoll chased Sol and the Sun's chariot through the sky until ragnarok, when he caught and devoured the Sun.Sol is rarely given human characteristics in Norse poetry. Only Snorri tells the story of her work in the heavens. An older poem, part of the poetic edda, identifies Sol as the Sun, not a servant, and only names her and the Moon as children of Mundilfari. The Sun played only a small role in Norse mythology.

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