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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


in Norse mythology, is the tree of the world, an enormous ash, whose branches touch the sky and stretch out over the entire surface of the earth. Three roots feed it: one extends to the assembling place of the gods, Asgard; another into the giant country, Jotunheim; and the third reaches down to Niflheim (infernal regions). By the spring, Urdarborn, live the three holy destinies of fate, who daily water the roots with the water from the spring. This fountain is in the country of the Asas. By the other root, in Jotunheim, is the well of Minvers, and in the kingdom of Hel is the spring Hwergelmer, from which the hellstreams flow. The tree is inhabited by different animals. The two harts, Dunair and Duratoor, eat the buds of the tree. In the peak of the tree lives an eagle, who carries the hawk Wedurfolner between his eyes; at the bottom of the tree the reptile Nidhogr lives, and gnaws at the root of the tree; between both there travels up and down a squirrel, Ratatosker, that seeks to cause discord between the eagle and the snake. The harts bite its branches to destroy it, but the tree is preserved by watering, and will be preserved till the destruction of the earth, up to which time the gods will assemble daily in its shade to seek advice and even at the end of the world it will not be destroyed, but only receive a heavy shock. (See NORSE MYTHOLOGY).

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ygdrasil'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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