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Scandian Myth Essay, Research Paper

The Scandinavian myth of creation begins by presenting Odin as the All-Father, a god that is older and mightier than all other beings. Being the ruler of all living things, Odin was responsible for the creation of the skies in the heavens and the ground on the earth. Soon after his formation the planet, the deity composed the first man, breathing life into his body and providing generously a soul to the frame. Even with such apparent power and control over the world, Odin the All-Father, was not the first creature.

Before Odin there was only a great emptiness called Ginnungagap and was the only thing that existed. Niflheim, an area filled with mist and ice, was fashioned in the abyss along with Muspellsheim, a section in the south of intense heat and fire. Yggdrasil, the world-tree, and her nemesis, Nidhogg, an evil serpent, were spawned to occupy the space as well.

The two points of cold and hot, Niflheim and Muspellsheim, collided into each other, melting the ice with a strong fire. From the interaction, Ymir was formed, the frost-giant who adopted the shape of humans. Giants were produce from his perspiration, causing a massive cow to be grown to feed them. The cow began to lick the ice, resulting in the appearance of hair, a head, and then a full body named Buri. From Buri three gods, Odin, Vili, Ve, were born, producing a new race that killed Ymir.

The offspring of Ymir, the giants, drowned in immense sea of his blood. His body made land and his skull into the heavens by three gods. Dwarfs were molded from the maggots that consumed Ymir`s body, while the first man was created from an ash tree and a woman from a vine.

In Greece, the origins of creation were not drastically different, referring to the story of King Lycaon of Arcadia. Lycaon was a conventional ruler and man of the age, having no regard for other mortals, beasts, or even gods. Zeus, the god above all others, masquerading carefully in a human form, visited the castle of the great king only to find him and his nobles in celebration. As a practice of the day, the god sat down at the table and ordered a hot meal, expecting a hospitable welcome as a visitor. Having seen through Zeus?s ruse, Lycaon replaced him intended dinner with that of human limbs, an effort to murder the god. Zeus rose from the table, scorned and furious, removing all who were present at the banquet with his mighty wrath except for one, Lycaon, a man that was transformed into a wolf.

In an attempt to eradicate the mortals, Zeus commanded a flood to be spread upon the earth once he reverted to his original form at Mount Olympus. The creator of humans, a titan Prometheus, forewarned Deucalion, his mortal son, of the destructive plans, allowing him to gather his wife Pyrrha and rations before the danger. Deucaltion and Pyrrha, two individuals that were in Zeus?s favor, survived by resting on a chest for nine days and nights, remaining after all mortals had be destroyed. Both looked to the goddess of the titans, Themis, for council, praying for advice of the situation. The goddess instructed for Deucalion to throw stones over his shoulder, resulting in the creation of men, and directed Pyrrha to perform the same, generating women upon the earth from stone.

Bibliography

Work Cited

Crystal, Ellie. ?Greece – Creational Myths.? Creation 28 Sept. 2001 .

Crystal, Ellie. ?Scandinavian Creational Myths ? Odin.? Creation 28 Sept. 2001 .


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