Norse Mythology and Runes in English

Abbreviated content from th
e Eddas

The Creation of the World - The Giants, Ćsir, Men and Women, Dwarfs, Vanir and Elves

The Plains of Ida: Valhalla and Yggdrasil










Hod, Vali, Vidar and Ull

Haenir and Lodur

Loki and his Children

Hermod and Skirnir

The Goddesses - Frigg, Jord and Freyja

Saga, Eir, Gefjon, Var, Vor and Synsnotra

Idun, Nanna and Sif

The Norns

Familiar Spirits: Attendant Spirits

The Valkyries

Thorgerd Haelgabrud and Irpa

The forces of Nature - Ćgir

Night and Day


The Giants

The Dwarfs

The Vettir

The Heroes and Life in Valhalla


The Treasures of the Gods

The Rape of Idun

Thor's Unlucky Journey to Jotunheim

Thor's Visit to Hymir

Thor's Visit to Geirroed

Thor's Combat With Rungnir

Thrym Steals Mjollnir

The Necklace of the Brisings

The Death of Balder

Other Norse Myths Concerning the Death of Balder (in Saxo)

Ćgir's Banquet - The Chastising of Loki

Odin's Debate With Vafthrudnir

The Death of Kvasir - Suttung

Odin (Grimnir) and Geirred

Harbard and Thor

Ragnarok - The Twilight of the Gods

The Poetic Edda
(Henry Adams Bellows, 1936)

General Introduction











Baldrs Draumar





Helgakvitha Hjorvarthssonar

Helgakvitha Hundingsbana I

Helgakvitha Hundingsbana II

Fra Dautha Sinfjotla





Brot Af Sigurtharkvithu

Guthrunarkvitha I

Sigurtharkvitha En Skamma

Helreith Brynhildar

Drap Niflunga

Guthrunarkvitha II, En Forna

Guthrunarkvitha III


Atlakvitha En Grönlenzka

Atlamol En Grönlenzku



Pronouncing Index Of Proper Names

Henry Adams Bellows - The Poetic Edda (1923) (PDF)

The Elder Edda/The Poetic Edda (Bray Translation) audiobook MP3 (ZIP)

The Prose Edda





Finnur Jónsson (Ed.) - Edda Snorra Sturlusonar (1931)

The Prose Edda (Brodeur Translation) audiobook MP3 (ZIP)

Various e-books

Rasmus B. Anderson (Ed.) - The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson (1906)

Rasmus B. Anderson - Norse Mythology - The Religion of our Forefathers (1879)

Rasmus B. Anderson - The Younger Edda (1880)

Emilie Kip Baker - Stories from Northern Myths (1914)

James Baldwin - The Story of Siegfried (1899)

Henry Adams Bellows - The Poetic Edda (1923)

Katherine Boult - Asgard and the Norse Heroes (1926)

Katherine Boult - Heroes of the Norselands (1903)

Sarah Brandish - Old Norse Stories (1900)

Abbie Brown - In the Days of Giants; a Book of Norse Tales (1902)

J. W. Buel (red) - The Norse Discovery of America (1906) (html) (pdf)

Ethel Mary Wilmot-Buxton - Stories of Norse Heroes from the Eddas and Sagas (1909)

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Story telling from Norse Mythology and the Nibelungenlied (1903)

Paidric Colum - The Children of Odin (1920) (html) (pdf)

George William Cox - Tales of the Teutonic Lands (1872)

William A. Craigie - The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia (1914)

Karl Mortensen and A. Clinton Crowell - A Handbook of Norse Mythology (1913)

Johannes Ewald - The Death of Balder (1889)

Andrew P. Fors -The Ethical World-Conception of the Norse People (1904)

Mary Foster and Mabel Cummings - Asgard Stories: tales from Norse Mythology (1901)

Julia Goddard - Wonderful Stories from Nothern Lands (1871)

Jacob Grimm - Teutonic Mythology Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 / Vol. 3 / Vol. 4 (1882)

Hélčne Adeline Guerber - The Legends of the Rhine (1895)

Hélčne Adeline Guerber - The Myths of the Norsemen (1909)

Hélčne Adeline Guerber - Myths of Northern Lands (1895)

Charles Harold Herford - Norse Myth in English Poetry (1919)

Henry Hulst - Balder's Death and Loke's Punishment (1918)

Julia Clinton Jones - The Myths of Norseland (1880)

Annie Keary and Eliza Keary - The Heroes of Asgard (1909)

Rudolph Keyser - The Religion of the Northmen (1854)

Annie Klingensmith - Stories of Norse Gods and Heroes (1894)

Mary Elizabeth Litchfield - The Nine Worlds - Stories from Norse Mythology (1897)

M. W. Macdowall - Asgard and the Gods (1917)

Hamilton Wright Maybie - Norse Stories (1902)

Hamilton Wright Maybie - Norse Stories Retold (1908)

Eiríkr Magnusson and William Morris (transl.) - Gunnlaug the Worm-Tongue and Raven the Skald (1999)

Karl Andreas Mortensen - A Handbook of Norse Mythology (1913)

Peter Andreas Munch - Norse Mythology: Legends of Gods and Heroes (1926)

Alexander Stuart Murray - Manual of Mythology: Greek and Roman, Norse and Old German, Hindoo and Egyptian Mythology (1885)

Grenville Pigott - A Manual of Scandinavian Mythology - The Religion of Odin (1839)

Viktor Rydberg - Teutonic Gods Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 / Vol. 3 (1906)

Chantepie de la Saussaye - The Religion of the Teutons (1902)

Benjamin Thorpe - Northern Mythology Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 / Vol. 3 (1851)

Benjamin Thorpe - The Poetic Edda (1866)

Other relevant texts

From Tacitus, "The Agricola and Germania"

"Saxonis Grammatici Historia Danica"


The runes is the oldest writing system known from Scandinavia. According to Hĺvamĺl (138-145), the runes were revealed to Odin himself while he was hanging in the world tree Yggdrasil for nine days and nights, pierced by his own spear. Knowledge of the runes were called reginkunnr - knowledge of gods - because the runes originated from Odin.

Heimdal introduced the runes to man. In Rigsthula, Heimdal, calling himself Rig, had the sons Trell (ancestor of the thralls), Karl (ancestor of the free farmers) og Jarl (ancestor of the aristocracy) with three different women, thus creating the social stratification. When Jarl became an adult, Rig returned and taught Jarl the runes.

The oldest preserved runic inscription is from a comb found in Denmark, approximately from 150 A.D. It is assumed that the runes originated in southern Scandinavia, since all the oldest inscriptions are found in this area. The fact that the first runic writing system was well adapted to the Old Scandinavian language, supports this assumption. The influence from other writing systems is evident, so the originator(s) must have had good knowledge of classical alphabets. The latter is not surprising, considering that there were trade networks from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean since the Bronze Age. Since long distance trade required a level of organization and resources unavailable for ordinary people, it was probably under the leadership of local chieftains. Thus, knowledge of the runes probably originated from the upper echelons of society, also as indicated in Rigsthula.

The oldest runic inscriptions are written in Elder Futhark, a writing system consisting of 24 runes.

In addition to Scandinavia, runes was also used by Goths near the Black Sea, where some runes were used in the Gothic alphabet. Runes were also used by Franks, Burgundians, Lombards, Thyringians, Alemannis, Frisians, Angles and Saxons.

The runic writing system of the Viking Age (from about 800 A.D.) is called Younger Futhark, and consisted of only sixteen runes. This was not sufficient to represent all the phonemes of Old Norse. Many runes therefore had to serve more than one purpose. The writing system was called Futhark after the first six runes, and is arranged in three ćttir (families). Why the runes were ordered in this manner, remains unexplained.

Younger Futhark existed in two main variants, namely the long-branch (normal or Danish runes), and the short-twig runes (Swedo-Norwegian runes). A third, and less used variant, was called staveless (Swedish or Hälsinge runes).

The three Viking age variants with transliteration and sound values

(Williams 2012: 282-283.)

Runic fonts

Runic font 1

Runic font 2

Runic Font 3

Runic Font 4

Runic Font 5


Heyerdahl, G. H. (2017). Runer. Store Norske Leksikon. Retrieved March 31., 2018 from
Internet Sacred Text Archive. (Undated.) The Poetic Edda. Retrieved March 15., 2018 from

Internet Sacred Text Archive. (2001.) The Prose Edda. Retrieved March 15., 2018 from

Larsson, P. (2002). Yrrunan. Använding och ljudvärde i nordiska runinskrifter. (Runrön 4), Swedish Science Press, Uppsala.

Melheim, L. (2015). Europeisk handel. Retrieved March 31., 2018 from

Skogstrand, L. (2015). Runene: det fřrste skriftsprĺket. Retrieved March 31., 2018 from

Williams, H. (2012). Runes. In: Brink, S. and Price, N. (ed.): The Viking World. Routeledge, London og New York, p. 281-290.

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