Ægir

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In Norse mythology, Ægir (also Aegir) (Old Norse "sea")[1] is a sea jötunn associated with the ocean. He is also known for being a friend of the gods and hosting elaborate parties for them.

He is the namesake for the exoplanet previously known as Epsilon Eridani b.

Ægir's servants are Fimafeng (killed by Loki) and Eldir.

Description[edit]

The Nafnaþulur attached to the Prose Edda list Ægir as a giant.[2] Richard Cleasby and Guðbrandur Vigfússon saw his name as pre-Norse, derived from an ancient Indo-European root.[3]

Attestations[edit]

Both Hversu Noregr byggðist and Snorri Sturluson in Skáldskaparmál state that Ægir is the same as the sea-giant Hlér, who lives on the Hlésey ("Hlér island", modern Danish Læsø), and this is borne out by kennings.[4][5] Snorri uses his visiting the Æsir as the frame of that section of the Prose Edda.

In Lokasenna, Ægir hosts a party for the gods where he provides the ale brewed in an enormous pot or cauldron provided by Thor and Týr. The story of their obtaining the pot from the giant Hymir is told in Hymiskviða.

The prose introduction to Lokasenna and Snorri's list of kennings state that Ægir is also known as Gymir, who is Gerðr's father, but this is evidently an erroneous interpretation of kennings in which different giant-names are used interchangeably.[6]

Family[edit]

Ægir, ruler of the ocean.jpg

According to Fundinn Noregr, Ægir is a son of the giant Fornjótr, the king of "Gotlandi, Kænlandi and Finnlandi", and brother of Logi ("fire") and Kári ("wind").[7]

Ægir's wife is Rán. She is mother of the Nine Daughters of Ægir.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lindow (2001:47).
  2. ^ Faulkes (1987:156)
  3. ^ Cleasby, Vigfússon (1957:758).
  4. ^ Simek (1993:151).
  5. ^ de Vries (1956:251).
  6. ^ Simek (1993:126).
  7. ^ Lindow (2001:48).

References[edit]

  • Cleasby, Richard, Guðbrandur Vigfússon (1957). An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd ed. with supplement by William A. Craigie. Clarendon Press. Repr. 1975. ISBN 9780198631033
  • de Vries, Jan (1956). Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte Volume 1. 2nd ed. Berlin: de Gruyter. Repr. 1970.
  • Faulkes, Anthony (tr. and ed.) (1987). Snorri Sturluson. Edda. Everyman Classics. Repr. 1998. ISBN 0-460-87616-3.
  • Lindow, John (2001). Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515382-0
  • Simek, Rudolf (1993). Dictionary of Northern Mythology, tr. Angela Hall. Cambridge: Brewer. Repr. 2000. ISBN 0-85991-513-1