Detail of a memorial stone, dated from about A.D. 500, found
during the restoration of a church at Sanda in Gotland. The tree at the center
of it symbolizes the Viking concept of the universe.
Click on image for full size
Image reproduced by courtesy of Gotlands Fornsal, Visby.
Midgard is the realm where humans live, the Earth. It was created when
the god Odin
and his brothers Vili and Ve slayed the giant Ymir. In
Norse mythology, the world was seen as a gigantic tree, called the World
Tree or Yggdrasil, around which existed nine realms, each at a different
level. The roots supported the tree and its branches shaded the world.
The roots of the tree reached down into the underworld. On the surface, Midgard is surrounded by a giant serpent. Bifrost is a huge bridge connecting Midgard to Asgard, the home of the gods.
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