The Norse gods are as vivid and powerful as the rugged elemental landscapes they ruled over. From Scandinavia the Vikings raided, traded and settled across Europe and beyond, leaving their mark through their deities in place names, literature and particularly through the derivation of the names of the days of the week from Tuesday to Friday.
Marion Pearce sets the major Norse gods like Odin, Thor, Loki, Tyr, Baldur, Freya and Frigg into a context of both time and place, telling their tales in a unique manner and through doing so she introduces numerous other gods, giants, heroes, dwarves and monsters from the Norse myths and legends. The author also writes on the Germanic Saxon gods, who sprang from the same roots, and explores the conflict between the Norse and Saxon gods and Christianity. The influences of the Norse and Saxon gods are considered further through their survival in British folk customs and significant calendar festivals.
Drawing on numerous sources, including the Eddas and Sagas, the tale of Beowulf, contemporary Arabic writings and early British laws, the author demonstrates the threads which unite the days of the week and the Norse and Saxon gods with other early civilizations and classical sources from Pliny, Tacitus and Ravenna to the Old Testament.
From the world tree Yggdrasil to its gods and creatures, from the Norse creation myths to the cataclysmic Ragnarok, from magic charms to ritual practices, The Gods of the Vikings is an evocative journey through the rich tapestry of Norse paganism, history and cosmology, illustrated with numerous original line drawings by visionary artist Emily Carding.