Volcanoes in Old Norse Mythology
Volcanoes in Old Norse Mythology
Myth and Environment in Early Iceland
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Table of Contents
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Old Norse Mythology Between Environment and Literature
Old Norse Mythology in a Comparative Perspective
Indigenous Perspectives on Myth and Environment
Interpretations of Old Norse Mythology in Context of Environment
Mode of Interpretation
An Indigenous Theory of Volcanism in Iceland
A History of Icelandic Volcanism
Volcanism in Icelandic Literature
Hallmundarkvida: An Indigenous Icelandic Theory of Volcanism
Hallmundarkvida: Between Pre-Christian and Christian Tradition
Volcanism in Old Norse Cosmogony
The Sources to the Creation Myth
The Volcanic Nature Image in Snorri’s Creation Myth
The Indigenous Theory of Volcanism in Snorri’s Creation Myth
Volcanoes in the Social Order of Old Norse Mythology
The Mead Myth
The Indigenous Theory of Volcanism in the Mead Myth
iórr and Hrungnir’s Duel
Volcanoes as a Cosmological Principle in Old Norse Mythology
Risk Perception in Volcanic Zones
Narration and Emotion
Cosmology and Emotions
Primary sources
Secondary literature

Reviews and Features

"Overall, Volcanoes in Old Norse Mythology is a convincing and well reasoned book. [...] The integration of material from outside Europe is respectfully dealt with and highlights the benefits of conducting comparative studies."
- Manu Braithwaite-Westoby, Scandinavian Studies, Vol. 94, No. 2

Mathias Nordvig

Volcanoes in Old Norse Mythology

Myth and Environment in Early Iceland

Volcanoes in Old Norse Mythology details how Viking Age Icelanders, migrating from Scandinavia to a new and volcanically active environment, used Old Norse mythology to understand and negotiate the hazards of the island. These pre-Christian myths recorded in medieval Iceland expound an indigenous Icelandic theory on volcanism that revolves around the activities of supernatural beings, such as the fire-demon Surtr and the gods Odin and Thor. Before the Icelanders were introduced to Christianity and its teachings, they formulated an indigenous theory of volcanism on basis of their traditional mythology much like other indigenous peoples across the world.
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Mathias Nordvig

Mathias Nordvig is a Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Colorado, Boulder. He specializes in Nordic mythology and has published on the eco-humanities in Iceland and Scandinavia.