Aesir (god) In Norse mythology, a race of gods and goddesses under the leadership of Odin and opposed to the Vanir.

The name may come from the Indo-European áss, meaning breath, life, or life-giving forces.

They were

  • Balder
  • Baugi
  • Bragi
  • Forseti
  • Frey
  • Heimdal
  • Hodur
  • Hoenir
  • Loki
  • Njord
  • Thor
  • Vilur
  • Vili
  • Vidar

Another group of deities, called Vanir, predated the Aesir. The Vanir group included

  • Boda
  • Bil
  • Eir
  • Fimila
  • Fjorgyn
  • Freya
  • Frigga
  • Frimla
  • Fulla
  • Gefjon
  • Gerda
  • Gna
  • Hnossa
  • Horn
  • Jord
  • Nanna
  • Saga
  • Sit
  • Siguna
  • Skadi
  • Vanadis

The two groups fought but settled their disagreements, all creating the dwarf Kvasir, from whose blood mead was
made. The Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson (13th century) suggests that the Aesir were “men of Asia” and that to the east there was a land known as Ásaland.



Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante


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