The above small bronze statue (about 2.5 in, 6.4 cm), probably made about A.D.
1000, was found on a farm at Akureyri in
Iceland. It portrays the bearded god Thor with his hammer.
Click on image for full size
Image reproduced by courtesy of the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik.
In Norse mythology, Thor was the god of thunder. He produces thunder with his
hammer, called Mjolnir, which means "The Destroyer". This hammer was made by
dwarfs, and would magically return to Thor's hand whenever he needed it. Thor was a tall, muscular man with red hair and a beard. His magic belt could
double his strength. His greatest enemy was the World Serpent, which lived in the ocean surrounding Midgard
, the Earth.
There were many stories written about this strong god, but many were lost. One, however, tells of a time when Thor tried to kill the World Serpent. Pretending to be a fisherman, Thor used the head of an ox as bait to catch the beast. When he had the serpent on the line, he swung his hammer and missed. The giant, Hymir, was so afraid that he cut the line before Thor could kill the serpent.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
Inuit Inuit people live in the chilly northern parts of Canada, Alaska (USA), Siberia (Russia), and Greenland. There are many different groups of people in this large area. Most have similar ways of living...more
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief god of the Navajo. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. The four main directions are believed to be supported by giants. Each direction has a specific color: white-east;...more
In Roman and Greek mythology, Amphitrite was a beautiful sea nymph. Poseidon (Neptune), who was the god of the sea and earthquakes, fell in love with her at first sight. Amphitrite did not respond to his...more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. To the perfection of her figure and the purity of her features she added an innocent grace. On her sweet face she...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. He was known as the god who could...more
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera swore to kill Heracles, the most famous Greek...more
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia. His wife was Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs, the...more