University of Colorado Boulder
Old Norse Mythology in the Sources
University of Colorado Boulder

Old Norse Mythology in the Sources

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

18,152 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Mathias Nordvig

Instructor: Mathias Nordvig


(295 reviews)

Beginner level

Recommended experience

6 hours to complete
3 weeks at 2 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • Identify the differences in literary representation of Old Norse myths in medieval literature and the pre-Christian religion

  • Understand the processes underlying the codification of Old Norse mythology, and how the literature was interpreted in Christianity

  • Describe the key elements and features of Old Norse mythology and understand how Old Norse mythology came into existence as medieval literature

Details to know

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There are 4 modules in this course

In this module you will learn about the history and background of Old Norse mythology. You will gain insight into the source background to Old Norse mythology, the relevant historical developments in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, and the interplay between pre-Christian religion and Christian interpretation in the sources. You will be introduced to the Old Norse sources that inform our understanding of pre-Christian and Viking Age religion in Scandinavia: Eddic poetry, skaldic poetry, Snorri's Edda, and runic inscriptions.

What's included

16 videos1 quiz1 discussion prompt

In this module you will learn about the primary family of gods in Norse mythology, the Æsir. There are many Æsir but very few of them have stories attached to them. You will learn about the ones that appear most in Snorri Sturluson's Edda and in the Eddic poems: Odin, Thor, Loki and a few others.

What's included

12 videos1 quiz

In this module you will learn about the secondary family of gods in Norse mythology, the Vanir. They are hardly to be considered less important than the Æsir, but especially in Snorri's Christianized version of the mythology, the Vanir's role is diminished. Here you will learn about the primary Vanir: Njörðr, Freyr and Freyja.

What's included

10 videos1 quiz

In this final assessment module you will demonstrate that you have learned the important aspects of the course in Norse mythology.

What's included

1 quiz1 peer review


Instructor ratings
4.7 (161 ratings)
Mathias Nordvig
University of Colorado Boulder
1 Course18,152 learners

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