Orel, Vladimir. edition. Jesse Byock (2005) Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda. An elf (Old Norse álfr, Old English ælf, Old High German alb, Proto-Germanic *albaz) is a certain kind of demigod-like being in the pre-Christian mythology and religion of the Norse and other Germanic peoples. Ultimately, then, their veneration lasted longer than even that of the gods. Not much is known about them, but they have some form of connections to the Aesir and the Vanir.  Texas, USA: University Research Institute of the University of Texas. We would find it hard to distinguish whom from whom. Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. Over the last two hundred years, scholars have proposed many interpretations for the types of elves mentioned in Norse mythology. In Gods and Creatures by SkjaldenSeptember 24, 2020. p. 231. The Vanir god Freyr is the lord of the elves’ homeland, Alfheim, and at least one Old Norse poem repeatedly uses the word “elves” to designate the Vanir.  Snorri Sturluson. The elves (Old Norse: álfar, singular, álfr) are divine beings in Norse mythology. In Norse mythology, the elves lived in the land known as Alfheim meaning the land of elf. Germanic in character, the mythology of the elven race stems in the pre-Christian Norse religion and language. 1st. Elves in Anglo-Saxon England. This ritual is still held within many Ásatrú communities throughout Scandinavia, and parts of North America. Tolkein's fantasy novels which included elves became popular, elves have become more popular and tend to lean more towards the latter type. However, the lines between elves and other creatures were a little bit blurry. The lord of the land of Elf was Freyr god of sunshine and summer. We would find it hard to distinguish whom from whom. I’ve also written a popular list of The 10 Best Norse Mythology Books, which you’ll probably find helpful in your pursuit. The elves are luminous beings, “more beautiful than the sun,” whose exalted status is demonstrated by their constantly being linked with the Aesir and Vanir gods in Old Norse and Old English poetry. The Elves of Norse mythology are usually considered to be the height of humans or just above, and they were thought to be long-lived or immortal. edition. Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. The elves (Old Norse: álfar, singular, álfr) are divine beings in Norse mythology. Elves commonly cause human illnesses, but they also have the power to heal them, and seem especially willing to do so if sacrifices are offered to them. The elves are luminous beings, “more beautiful than the sun,” whose exalted status is demonstrated by their constantly being linked with the Aesir and Vanir gods in Old Norse and Old English poetry. Who Were the Indo-Europeans and Why Do They Matter. Freyr who is the brother of Freya became the ruler of their realm Alfheim (Old Norse: Álfheimr). Since the dark elves have been described as living under the ground, which could indicate that they, in fact, are dwarves. In Old Norse, elves are known as álfar, although this term can be broken up into subcategories.  Humans and elves can interbreed and produce half-human, half-elfin children, who often have the appearance of humans but possess extraordinary intuitive and magical powers.  Still, other sources do speak of the elves and the Vanir as being distinct categories of beings, such that a simple identification of the two would be misguided. Snorri Sturluson mention how the gods created a world for which they were to live in, and the difference between the light-elves (ljósálfar) and dark elves (dokkálfar) or black elves (svartálfar), but nothing about individual elf. There are some scattered references of elves in the Poetic Edda, but their roles in Norse myths were minimal, at best.
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