Sir (mythology)

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Mårten Eskil Winge : Thor , 1872

The Asen (from Old Norse áss "Ase", plural: æsir "Asen") are, according to Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, a family of gods in Norse mythology . According to the number of deities belonging to it, this sex is greater than the Norse family of gods, the Wanen .

The sir are portrayed by their mentality as warlike and ruling gods, whereas the Vans are stylized as fertility deities. At Snorri, however, there is no strict separation of the sexes. In addition, the term “Ase” is also used in sources as a general term for “God” (see also: Section Etymology in the Germanic language area with God ).


The term "Ase" is first documented in a runic inscription from the 2nd century from Vimose in Denmark: asau wija "I consecrate the Asen / God". Another evidence is the form Ansis in Jordanes (Getica 13.78), here they are called the mythical ancestors of the Goths as semideos , Latin for "demigods".

The Old Icelandic or Old Norse áss has a u-stem due to the runic evidence, which suggests a Germanic * ansu-z . Due to the evidence from Jordanes, researchers are discussing whether the form ansis , in addition to the Old Norse form with the u-stem, is justified in assuming an i-stem and can subsequently be traced back to a Germanic * ansi-z .

The Aesir of the Edda

According to the Younger Edda , twelve sir live in Asgard (seat of the gods). You rule the world and people. They are attributed properties such as strength, power and power. They are largely humanized, so they have an earthly everyday life. Like humans, they are mortal. Only the Idun apples keep them young until almost all of them are killed at Ragnarök .

Family tree of the Nordic deities

The following overview shows the relationships between the most famous Nordic deities from the families of the Aesir and Vanir :

Family tree of the Aesir and Vanir
  Buri   Bölthorn  
  Delling   Nott   Börr   Bestla   Fjörgyn  
  Dagr 2. Jörd   Vili     Odin 1. Frigg   Ivaldi  
  Thjazi   Sif   Thor   Nanna   Valer   Hödr   Hermodr   Bragi Idun  
  Nerthus   Northr   Skadi Ullr   Thrud   Forseti  
  Gerda   Freyr Freyja 4th Grid   Odin 3. Rinda  
  Fjolnir   Vidar   Vali  

See also


supporting documents

  1. Alfred Bammesberger: ansis Gothic and proto-Germanic * ans (u), p 233
  2. Alexander Sitzmann, Friedrich E. Grünzweig: The old Germanic ethnonyms, p. 34
  3. Alexander Sitzmann, Friedrich E. Grünzweig: Die old Germanic Ethnonyms, pp. 34, 35
  4. Vladimir Orel: Handbook of Germanic Etymology, p. 21