Dictionary of Northern Mythology

Rudolf Simek

440 Pages, ISBN 978 0 85991 513 7     
Published by Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 1993. Reprinted in 2007     

For two and a half thousand years, from 1500 BC to 1000 AD, a culture as significant as the classical civilisation of the Mediterranean world settled an immense area in northern Europe that stretched from Iceland to the Black Sea. But whereas the stuff of classical mythology has been fully absorbed into the cultural history of the west, the mythology of northern Europe - Scandinavians, Goths, Angles and Saxons - is often enigmatic.
In compiling this dictionary Rudolf Simek has made the fullest possible use of the information available - Christian accounts, Eddic lays, the Prose Edda, runic inscriptions, Roman authors (especially Tacitus), votive stones, place names and archaeological discoveries. He has adhered throughout to a broad definition of mythology which presents the beliefs of the heathen Germanic tribes in their entirety. Here are not only tales of the gods, but also of beings from lower levels of belief: elves, dwarfs and giants; the beginning and end of the world; the creation of man, death and the afterlife; cult, burial customs and magic - an entire history of Germanic religion.
Rudolf Simek is professor in the Scandinavian section of the German department at Bonn University.

(The text above comes from the back of the book)     

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