Cover image for Nordic gods and heroes
Nordic gods and heroes
Colum, Padraic, 1881-1972.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Children of Odin
Publication Information:
New York : Dover Publications, 1996.
Physical Description:
ix, 282 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm,
A collection of Norse myths and legends featuring such gods as Odin, Thor, Frey, and Freya.
General Note:
Originally published: The children of Odin. New York : Macmillan, c1920.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL860 .C63 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The age-old legends and tales of Nordic mythology are a common heritage of German, Scandinavian, and Anglo-Saxon peoples. This very readable collection features a rich selection of these time-honored stories, retold in simple dramatic fashion by noted Irish author Padraic Colum.
Readers will find themselves drawn into the timeless world of the gods and goddesses who dwell in Asgard, a magical realm reached by a rainbow bridge. Here unfold the exciting stories of how Frey won Gerda, the Giant Maiden, and how he lost his magic sword; how Thor and Loki fooled Thrym the Giant; the Dwarf's hoard and the curse that it brought; Baldur's doom; Sigurd's youth; Brynhild in the House of Flame; the death of Sigurd; the twilight of the gods; and many more.
Enhanced with over 40 atmospheric illustrations by Willy Pogany, this charming volume will delight myth lovers with its rich selection of enduring legends.

Author Notes

Born in a Longford workhouse where his father was first teacher and then master, Padraic Colum grew into an important figure in the Irish literary renaissance before immigrating to the United States. Invited by the Fay brothers to join the National Theatre Society, he married the teacher and writer Mary Maguire, with whom he undertook several joint projects. The Colums immigrated to the United States in 1914. Colum kept up a varied production of verse, plays, fiction, criticism, and children's literature, together with active lecturing. His most extended teaching appointment was at Columbia University, where he and his wife offered a joint course in comparative literature.

Colum felt that his Roman Catholic and peasant roots gave him a closer tie to the Irish folk than did the Protestant, Anglo-Irish background of many writers of the Irish renaissance. His poetry usually deals with common people and rural landscapes in a forthright manner. Colum was resolutely Irish, and his work for the most part avoids didacticism or sentimental nationalism in favor of straightforward presentation.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Part I The Dwellers in Asgard
1 Far Away and Long Ago
2 The Building of the Wall
3 Iduna and Her Apples: How Loki Put the Gods in Danger
4 Sif's Golden Hair: How Loki Wrought Mischief in Asgard
5 How Brock the Dwarf Brought Judgement on Loki
6 How Freya Gained Her Necklace and How Her Loved One Was Lost to Her
7 "How Frey Won Gerda, the Giant Maiden, and How He Lost His Magic Sword"
8 Heimdall and Little Hnossa: How All Things Came to Be
9 The All-Father's Forebodings: How He Leaves Asgard
Part II Odin the Wanderer
1 Odin Goes to Mimir's Well: His Sacrifice for Wisdom
2 Odin Faces an Evil Man
3 Odin Wins for Men the Magic Mead
4 "Odin Tells to Vidar, His Silent Son, the Secret of His Doings"
5 Thor and Loki in the Giant's City
6 How Thor and Loki Befooled Thyrm the Giant
7 Ægir's Feast: How Thor Triumphed
8 "The Dwarf's Hoard, and the Curse that It Brought"
Part III The Witch's Heart
1 Foreboding in Asgard
2 Loki the Betrayer
3 Loki against Æsir
4 The Valkyrie
5 The Children of Loki
6 Baldur's Doom
7 Loki's Punishment
Part IV The Sword of the Volsungs and the Twilight of the Gods
1 Sigurd's Youth
2 The Sword Gram and the Dragon Fafnir
3 The Dragon's Blood
4 The Story of Sigmund and Signy
5 The Story of Sigmund and Sinfiotli
6 The Story of the Vengeance of the Volsungs and of the Death of Sinfiotli
7 Brynhild in the House of Flame
8 Sigurd at the House of the Nibelungs
9 How Brynhild Was Won for Gunnar
10 The Death of Sigurd
11 The Twilight of the Gods