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Final Exam Information & Review

Exam will be Tuesday, April 30, 11:30-2:30!

Glossary link for key terms.  (These terms are from several classes so don't be alarmed!)  Also linked from individual terms on the Final Exam info/review page.

Assignment for Thursday, April 25:

Norse Mythology 3



Power Point:

Norse Myth Terms and Names Defined

Connections with the Present:

"It's the end of the world as we know it ... (and I feel fine) ..."

How does or will the world end?  In modern American culture, the best-known sacred story is the Apocalypse of the New Testament.  Some people may be familiar with views that see circular rebirths and destructions of the world.  Movies and books give a number of different scenarios.

Working from some of these sources, consider:

  • What brings about the end of the world?

  • Are there elements or events we can see that will signal the end of the world?

  • Is the world brought on by sentient beings or by some other kind of disaster?

  • Is anyone to blame, and if so, who?

  • Is it inescapable destiny?

  • Are there survivors, and if so, what are the circumstances of their lives?

  • Will the world be reborn?  Better or worse than before?

You might consult the Wikipedia site on apocalyptic films for a refresher on films you may have heard of or seen.

Even more useful for a pop-culture overview is the Wikipedia site on apocalyptic fiction, which lists the causes of the end of the world in each book/series.





Assignments from Previous Classes  


Norse Myth Terms and Names

(These are brief definitions; fill them out with incidents from the reading ...)

Edda: one of two Old Norse texts.  One consists of poetry (the Poetic Edda) dealing with mythological matters.  The other, the Prose Edda, is the work of the scholar Snorri Sturlesson, dating from about 1200 CE.  Though written in the Christian era, it describes, in a more or less connected form, the key myths of the pre-Christian Icelandic culture.

Snorri Sturlesson: An Icelandic historian and scholar of the early 13th century CE, who collected pre-Christian tales if the Norse gods in his Prose Edda.

Gylfi (a.k.a. Gangleri): The king whose questions to the three figures High, Just as High, and Third inspire the telling of Norse myths in the Prose Edda.

Ymir: Giant from whose body the earth was formed

Ginungagap: Meeting place of fire and ice where the world began

Muspell: Land of fire, whose flames were a

Aesir: Race of gods about whom most of the Norse myths tell, among them Thor, Odin, Balder, etc.

Vanir: A race of gods associated with the land and its fertility; not as common in Norse myths with the exception of Freyr and Freyia.

Asgard: Home of the gods

Bifrost: The rainbow bridge that leavs to Asgard.

Utgard: Home of the giants

Midgard: where humans live.

Elfheim (Alfheim): where elves live.

Valhalla: Where warriors who die bravely in battle spend eternity fighting and feasting, preparing for Ragnarok.

Gimli: Another realm of the dead, populated by bards and keepers of knowledge.

Ginungagap: the cold yet fiery place where the world comes into being.

Yggdrasill: the world tree, with roots in Asgard, Utgard and Hel, which represents all life in a state of entropy.

Norns: The fates, three women who guard and tend Yggdrasil.

Giants (or frost giants): the constant opponents of the gods.

Odin: Chief of the Norse gods, known as a wanderer, distinguished by having only one eye, having lost the other to gain the wisdom of the well of mimir; aften a trickster and shape changer; the god of kings in warfare.

Thor: Thunder god, popular in the Norse world; straightforward and trustworthy; often portrayed as strong but slow, although he is capable of craftiness. his hammer was a sign of protection into the Christian era.

Frigg: Wife of Odin; her name means "Fate."

Baldr: a beloved god who was killed by mistletoe through the connivance of Loki; he will return to rule a world of peace and plenty when this one is destroyed.

Freyr: A god of agricultural fertility.

Freyia: Goddess of agricultural fertility, sexuality, and mysterious knowledge; owner of one-third of the dead.

Tyr: a one-handed warrior god, best known for binging Fenrir.

Loki: the Half-God, half-giant trickster whose antics threaten the gods' very existence at some times, and at others preserve them from their enemies the Giants.

Fenrir (also Fenris): Son of Loki, a giant, tricky, evil wolf, now safely bound in Hel but sure to break free from Ragnarok.

Hel: another child of Loki, the guardian of the afterlife realm of the same name.

Iormungand: the serpent at the base of the world, Thor's particular enemy.

Ragnarok: The battle of gods and giants that will end the world as we know it.