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In Norse mythology, Gimlé (alternately Gimli as in Icelandic) is a place where the worthy survivors of Ragnarök are foretold to live. It is mentioned in the Prose Edda and the Eddic poem "Völuspá" and described as the most beautiful place in Asgard, more beautiful than the sun.


The meaning of the name is "fire-lea" or "fire-shelter",[1] or in scholar Lee M. Hollander's view, more likely "gem-roof".[2]


Within Asgard, the realm of the gods, Gimlé is a golden-roofed building where righteous people go when they die.[3] In the Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson places it in Víðbláinn, which he describes as third heaven currently inhabited only by light elves.[4] In "Völuspá", which he quotes in one of his accounts of Gimlé, the hall is on Gimlé, presumably a mountain, rather than being itself called Gimlé.[5]

Snorri presents Gimlé as a pagan heaven.[6] Scholars including Hollander and Rudolf Simek have seen the description of Gimlé as influenced by the Christian Heavenly Jerusalem.[2][4] Ursula Dronke suggested that while the concept of a heaven in which "hosts" of the righteous lived together was based on the pagan Valhalla, the "Völuspá" poet or his associates invented the name "Gimlé" with reference to its protecting the blessed from the fires both of Surtr at Ragnarök and of the Christian Hell.[1]

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  1. ^ a b Dronke, Ursula (2001) [1997]. "Vǫluspá". The Poetic Edda. Vol. 2: Mythological Poems. Oxford: Oxford University-Clarendon. pp. 104, 152. ISBN 9780198111818.
  2. ^ a b Hollander, Lee M. (1988) [1962]. "The Prophecy of the Seeress: Vọluspá". The Poetic Edda (2nd, rev. ed.). Austin: University of Texas. p. 12, n. 93. ISBN 9780292764996.
  3. ^ Davidson, H. R. Ellis (1990) [1964]. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. London: Penguin. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-14-013627-2.
  4. ^ a b Simek, Rudolf (2000) [1993]. "Gimlé". Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Translated by Hall, Angela. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. p. 109. ISBN 9780859915137.
  5. ^ Bellows, Henry Adams (1923). "Voluspo". The Poetic Edda. Scandinavian Classics. Vol. 21, 22. New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation. p. 26, n. 64. OCLC 314234105.
  6. ^ Lindow, John (2002) [2001]. "Gimlé". Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. Oxford / New York: Oxford University. p. 140. ISBN 9780195153828.

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