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Greek Vs. Norse Mythology

Want to know the difference between Greek and Norse mythology? This guide has everything you need to know.

Ever since the beginning of time people have tried to come up with explanation for the creation of life and other complicated or unexplainable concepts of life. The most common way to do this is by religion or myths. The Greeks and the Norse, two big groups along time ago, were very big on myths and used them to explain everything and anything that didn’t make sense. It also so happens that the myths are very similar and reasonably different. So how might these to power house countries myths compare?

First off, the Greeks and the Norse came from totally to different areas and life style. On the Norse side you have all the Northern countries which ranged from a lot of different backgrounds and the Greeks who at one point were considered the greatest country. The Norse, up north, had a difficult time. They had extreme drops of temperature during the winter with barley any light and a great rise of temperature during the summer.

The seas up north also weren’t the safest with strong winds and tons of storms. On the other hand you have the Greeks how didn’t have as much temperature change and almost as calm of water as you can get. This climate difference played a huge roll on their views of the gods and this certainly can be reflexed in the myths.

The Greek gods were more joyful and happy compared to the dark and gloomy Norse gods. The climate can be the reason for that but it also greatly effected the adventures and stories of the gods. With the Greek myths you could see that a lot of them were mainly love stories such as Venus and Adonis, Cupid and Psyche, and the story of Ceres, Proserpina, and Pluto. Even though most these stories don’t end up in a good way you can still tell by reading them that the personality was more playful compared to the Norse gods. The Norse myths were more about battle and struggle with usually an end result of death such as the story of the Death of Blader or the stories of the two hero Beowulf and Siegfried.

Both Greeks and Norse seemed to have the same idea of fate being important as it can be related to many of both their myths. The Norse called the gods of faith Norns and the Greeks used the now day word fate or Fates. Both groups had three of these gods, they were females, and they both of course served the same purpose. One sets out the string of life, another decides the length and decides what is to happen to this person and the third cuts it off or ends it, which in simple form can be said as one sets the past, another the present, and the third the future.

Also it seems that the Fates and Norns were more superior then the gods them selves even though they fall into a different realm then the gods which truly shows how important these fates or this idea of fate was to the Greeks and Northen people. As you can see both the Greeks and Norse believed that there lives are predetermined and they can’t really do much about it.

The creation of the two stories are also slightly related. The Norse believed that the world was once frozen over and after years Ymir was born and Ymir was one of the first giants who was later killed by his grandchildren while the Greeks believed the world was formed from chaos were Gaea (mother earth) and Uranus (the heavens), were created. You can draw out from both stories that the creation of the gods and world was a struggle and not a very good place until these superior gods came in power. This idea really shows how much honor both gods had from their people.

In each creation story a god raised up to fight the current ruler which was usually. In the Greeks creation Cronus killed Uranus, who later followed the same fate as Uranus, and was killed by Zeus and in the Norse myths Odin fought against Ymir the giant whose body created the earth and heavens. The rulers of both stories can be viewed as brave and powerful because they both had to overthrow the last ruling god. Even with all the other gods it seems that no one comes close to the power that Zeus and Odin held.

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  36. Ricardo

    On October 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    There are some points that need to be corrected. The first point is that Uranus was not killed by Cronus, rather he was castrated and his son assumed rule over the universe; likewise Cronus was not killed by Zeus, rather he was merely overthrown. The Greeks considered their gods to be immortal hence they were incapable of dying. The second point is that in Norse mythology, many scholars argue that although Odin was ruler of the gods, he was lesser in power to his son, Thor.

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